There are two big challenges for blogging for your business:
- Getting started
- Keeping going
I’ve covered the getting started part, the coming up with ideas part. Maybe you’ve had a really good run, you’ve got a good regular posting schedule going. Your customers find your posts valuable, they comment on them and share them.
With any luck you’re seeing some key business results. Email list growing. Enquiries and sales growing. You get the benefit of doing it.
And then you hit a wall.
Welcome to point 2.
You are not alone
Don’t beat yourself up. You are not the only person who’s ever been at this point, and stared morosly at the screen, completely uninspired. Maybe you won’t even switch the laptop on. You just want to run away from it.
Remember why you started
There are really key reasons, even in the busy online world, why a blog for your business is a smart thing to do. Don’t just take my word for it, here are some key stats from the Orbit Media annual
- Companies that blog receive 55% more traffic to their website than those that don’t
- Active company blogs generate 67% more leads than websites withouth blogs (Source: Hubspot)
- 68% of consumers are likely to spend time reading content produced by a company they are interested in
- B2C companies that blogged 11 times or more a month got more than 4x as many leads than those that publish only 4-5 times month.
Those have got to be good reasons to get over this slump. Let’s think about the reasons why it could be hard at this stage, and what you might do about it.
You’ve run out of ideas
I don’t know anyone who blogs regularly who doesn’t run into this one. Even if you have great intentions on creating a content calendar, there’s bound to be a point when you scratch your head and wonder what next.
If there isn’t, let us all in on your secret!
In many ways, getting over this is a bit like getting started, so you might want to go back re-read my post on that. You also have some other things you can do now that you have some history.
Look at your analytics, and see what your best performing posts have been. Can you spin something off those, on a similar theme? Can you create an update to your best post?
I love Answer the Public, and you could use that here too. Take the gist of the title of your best post and put that into there and see what it comes up with as alternatives, the things that people are asking about.
On the basis that you’d bothered to set up a blog, then I’m going to work on the assumption that you also have social channels up and running. Ask your followers what you should write about. You’ll probably get the best response if you could at least give them a few ideas. Make use of the poll function on Twitter and Facebook for best engagement.
You’ve run out of time
I’ve written before about the myth of the 30-minute blog post. It still holds true.
But we all have the same amount of time in each day, and there are businesses making time for blogging. Just go back to those four stats and ask what else you do that might generate the same kind of results, and decide whether you’re prioritising the right things. Maybe one hour less a week on email might buy you enough time to get a blog post together.
You could also decide that it’s not the best use of your time, but you want the best benefits. Like I’ve said before, just because everyone can write, doesn’t mean everyone should. It just may well not be the best use of your time. Find someone on your team, find a freelance writer, find someone else, and keep the consistency in your posting.
And don’t let the word “should” enter your vocab. As small business owners, it’s always tempting to think you should do everything. We always have to ask ourselves where we add the value to our business. Only you can answer that in my view.
You just don’t feel like it
Even as a freelance writer, I know that feeling. There are some days when it just feels like it’s not a writing day. Generally, I find that it’s not that it’s not a writing day, it’s probably not a writing hour or two. But how to get out of that funk? Here’s some suggestions:
- Do something different, and active. If it’s active, then I go for a walk. Just the act of movement and fresh air helps the old brain cells to start firing again. If it’s wet, then I have a cup of tea. Apparently those of us who drink tea are more creative. Well, it works for me.
- Read something that inspires you. Could be online, could be a book, could be Woman’s Weekly. Whatever works for you.
- Go back and look at posts that people have left comments on. See what they enjoyed about your previous writing.
- Don’t think it has to be words. Maybe just post a great image (I know, it’s your blog, not Instagram, but doesn’t mean you can’t do this). It could be beautiful, it could be funny, it could be thought provoking, it could just be something you love. And it might just buy you some time to get your writing groove back.
So, I would say yes, blogging is hard. Yes, there will be days when you might wonder why you’re doing it. But if you can work through this, then you can keep reaping the benefits for your business. What do you think? Which one of these reasons have you experienced, and how did you get yourself out of it? I’d love to know.