The importance of making time for content
Well, hello. It's been a while!
Like many small businesses, I began blogging with a fervent enthusiasm. And then I started to attend events, submit proposals and ultimately, get clients. Having clients is awesome. Not only do they pay me and justify my time spent doing what I love, but they also have so many cool new projects that I'm genuinely interested in.
So as I said, having clients is awesome. However, it can be hard to find time to put yourself first when delivering to existing clients and finding new ones is a priority. All of a sudden, blogging and even a regular social media presence goes out of the window!
Recently I've been talking to quite a few clients about the importance of content in terms of both search engine optimisation (SEO) and also bringing people to your website via social media. It's also an opportunity to show a more "human" side to your business, and as the old saying goes, "people buy from people".
It's easy to know the value of content but harder to make time for it in practice, so how can you easily create more blog posts when your attention is being pulled in so many different directions?
1. Have posts ready that aren't time-specific
The next time you have 5-10 minutes, make a list of general blog posts that you could write and publish any time of year (this is a great task for when you're on a bus or short train journey). This will give you some focus for when you have a window of time and/or inclination and you can choose one of those topics to write about.
Don't be too much of a perfectionist as you can always review it before you publish it, so try to allow 30 minutes at most per blog post done in this way. You can either write it offline and then copy and paste to your blog when you're ready, or you can write it directly into the blog and save it as a draft.
Tip: If you're writing the blog elsewhere (e.g. on a Word document) and it looks a bit weird (e.g. it's the wrong font or the spacing isn't right) after you've pasted the content into your blog, look for an option like "Remove Format" or "Clear Formatting". This will make your text consistent with the rest of the style of your website, however be aware that it will also remove any bold or heading formats that you've added.
2. Use interviews or "guest posts"
By far the easiest way to circumvent the issue of finding time to write new content is not to write it at all, and let others do the hard work for you. If you have some pre-written interview questions you can send these out along with a request for a few photos and/or a logo.
Try to pick people that are likely to respond, and that your audience will be interested in. Make use of friends or contacts, and don't be afraid to aim high with who you approach - just manage your expectations in terms of the success rate with people who will be in high demand! Other groups to target could include fellow small businesses, new product developers or suppliers. For $35 you can buy email templates from AppSumo which include ready-made requests for content (as well as examples of what works and why).
If you want to be really clever you can also pre-write your own interview questions (and responses) or create a specific "guest post" content piece, and offer to also provide these to your contributor's site as a thank you or in exchange for their content. You will only have to write it once but it could then provide you with exposure on multiple sites.
3. Take advantage of your blogging platform
Many blog or website platforms allow you to submit posts by email or write them on a mobile app, which means you can create your content on the go and take advantage of time travelling or when you're away from your computer.
Squarespace for example, gives you a specific email address unique to your blog. You can then send your post with the subject line as the blog title and attach an image to be used in the blog. This functionality is great for short updates, and if you want to add more images or formatting from your mobile device you can download their blog app.
If you're interested in finding out more about creating your blog posts so that they are even more effective, the Buffer Blog has a number of articles that cover everything from the anatomy of a perfect blog to a list of over 50 sources of free images for your posts.
Happy content creation!