Blogging

Finding the time to blog

I am in the middle of a ‘heaven and hell’ week! I am in my local pantomime production and I love it…it is so much fun being on stage, but it is also busy and crazy organising life and work around being out every night. I had a message, just last week, from a friend asking how I find the time to blog every week, especially when I seem sooo busy at the moment. And the truth is, when life is a bit crazy busy, I genuinely squeeze it in whenever and wherever I am! Why? Because a) I made a commitment to blogging weekly, as part of my content strategy and b) because I really enjoy it! I find it therapeutic. I find it challenging (in a good way) and I think it is really good for my continued professional development.

A part of my blog starter, we discuss scheduling, ‘finding the right time to write’, working out your own style and continual topic generation. There are three things I have identified as really helpful for ensuring you have the time and also the motivation to blog regularly. Below, I explain more.

Planning and Scheduling

There are many elements to planning and scheduling when it comes to blog writing. One of the first decisions when committing to blog for your business is how regularly you are going to commit. I am true believer that less is more. This means – it is better to blog less often, but regularly and of good quality. So, for example, start with committing to writing a post every other month. It is better than nothing. Give yourself the time to put together really good quality posts which will reflect well on your business and be genuinely helpful or insightful for your website visitors, clients and customers.

When you think about it, blogging every other month is only 6 posts. Monthly is only 12. There is every chance that in a (sometimes rare, I admit!) quiet week, you may be able to write 2 or 3 posts – draft them, at the very least. If you do that, then you are already half way (or quarter of the way) through the year’s posts.

Planning is really important for a successful blog. Plan before you even launch. And then plan going forward. Plot in a diary or spreadsheet what you are going to write about when. It doesn’t matter if this gets moved around, but at least you know you have enough topics going forward.

Consider not only when you are going to publish your blog posts, but also when you are going to write them – how long in advance? You also need to work out when is the best time for you to write.

Your optimum writing time

Blogging is very personal. Everyone who does it regularly will actually approach it in very different ways. You need to work out what works best for you. My favourite time is a Sunday evening with a glass of wine! It’s a time when I don’t want to be doing “proper work” but writing a blog is enjoyable and still makes me feel like I have achieved and got a bit of a head start on the week ahead. I write on a Sunday and then have time before I publish on a Thursday to refine and proofread the post.

I also often write blogs when I am bored, to be honest! Whether I am sat waiting to attend an appointment or recently at the odd rehearsal when I have not been needed in a certain scene. I start writing a blog on my phone as an email and then I can either send it to myself or I save it as draft. Then I can access via it a laptop at a later date. I also have the WordPress app, so I can blog directly to my website if I want.

It will take time but you have to work out what works best for you. I know many business bloggers who ‘batch write’. As their topics and posts are not particularly time sensitive, they may write two or three blogs at a time, as they are ‘in the zone’.

Your own style

Writing style is very personal. I am not talking about tone or form but actually how you write. An anecdote I often share is the difference between my husband and me. When I start writing a blog post, I jump straight in and start typing…within minutes I have at least 100 words on the page. I will keep waffling on and then I will go back an edit my work. I will add heading, shuffle things around and even rewrite large sections sometimes.

My husband will hover over the keyboard for several minutes before writing a single sentence. He will formulate what he is going to write in his head before typing it up. He works much slower in terms of typing anything, however, when it comes to checking and editing, he changes very little.

The amount of time it takes for us to write the same amount of words is very similar, but our approach is very different.

You really need to work out what works best for you. It will take time and you will probably change as you blog for longer. Some people like to write lots of bullet points and ideas and then form them in to full paragraphs. Some people like to write a big long lump of text before breaking it up and adding headings. None of these approaches are wrong. You just have to work out how to make blogging as easy as possible and still end up with a well-written, easy to follow piece.

Continual Topic Generation

I have blogged before about topic ideas. Having a topic idea for a post is the most important starting point if you want to blog regularly. You need to feel interested (passionate, ideally) about what you are going to be writing about and feel like that for every post. There are lots of ways to come up with topic ideas, including online tools, drawing and expanding areas, updating old posts, drawing on clients’ frequently asked questions and discussing things you have recently done or going to do. For more ideas, see these posts:

Whatever you use to help with topic generation, the most important thing is that you have an effective way of noting them down and planning what you are going to be writing about when. Ideally, you want to be ready with a blog post idea the moment you have set aside the time to write.

Furthermore, if you are struck by inspiration have something with you at all time where you can make notes – whether this is a memo on your phone or a physical notebook/diary.

Find the joy – find the time

As mentioned, I blog so much because I enjoy it. There is nothing better than hearing a new client say…”I wanted to work with you because I read your blog” or “I have found your blog so helpful”. It is an effective lead generation tool, but it is also a great way for me to reflect, learn and grow.

If you are keen to get blogging, let me help you find the time and get you motivated. Email me on kate@thecontentconsultancy.com

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