When I mention blogging many people groan; “I don’t have time,” they tell me. Some of these people send a monthly newsletter out, most of them post material on social media – in my book that’s reinventing the wheel!
I’m lazy and they do say that if you want to find the most efficient way to do something ask a lazy person. I’m also a bit of a systems geek – I like having a step-by-step process to make things easy.
What has this got to do with blogging?
Firstly, I believe you should write once and then use many times.
Secondly, if you have a plan to follow everything gets much easier.
Let’s look at the second one first.
Faced with a blank sheet of paper, most of us find our creative mind is equally blank. What we need are ideas to get started.
Here are a few things that might give you some ideas:
- Questions people ask: Most businesses get asked questions by clients or prospective clients. If you get asked the same question several times that means it’s something people want to know about. There’s a subject for a blog.
- Topical subjects: Search Google (other search engines are available) for your key words and look at any news items about the subject. Don’t just copy the article, reference it and give your spin on it. How does it affect your business? How will it impact on your customers?
- Tips: Choose one area of your expertise and create a set of tips – anything from 5 tips upwards are good.
- Warnings: There are almost always things people get wrong – and that you know better. Explain the mistake and what a solution is – this can either be one mistake or three or more common errors people make.
- Testimonials/case studies: There’s nothing wrong with blowing your own trumpet! If you have an interesting case study, especially if you’ve got some feedback from the client to go with it, outline it for your readers. If the situation is recognisable or you want to identify your client, always check with them first. Often people are pleased to get a bit of extra visibility.
One of the things that I find useful is to have a list of all my services and then work through them one by one, writing useful information about each that will help the reader (just like this blog post about blogging!) This is also a useful exercise to develop your magic matrix.
Now about that lazy strategy of writing once and using many times. Here are my steps to make this work:
- When you’ve written a blog post it with a suitable picture
- You can also post it on your LinkedIn profile as an article.
- Read through it and extract single sentence quotes or soundbites and put these into a csv file to use on social media – not just once, but several times (this only works if the blog subject is generic, if it’s related to a date, event or news it will go out-of-date).
- Use the blog to lead your newsletter with added value. The best ones to use here are the ones that give advice/information to help people.
- Over time you can gather several blogs around one subject area and create an ebook to give away (or sell) in exchange for people’s email info to build your marketing list.
Now you have a strategy to follow – blogging isn’t such a big mountain to climb.