Blogs are an important tool for businesses, driving traffic to websites, improving SEO and a platform to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. But writing effective blogs takes planning, time and inspiration and it’s all too easy to procrastinate, pushing blogs to the bottom of your to-do list.
Eating ‘the blog frog’ can become an issue but, introducing some simple strategies to allocate time and effectively plan can help make that ‘blog frog’ just a bit more appetising.
One of the biggest reasons people procrastinate is time… trying to start a blog that requires thought, planning and careful execution into a 10-minute slot between meetings is unlikely to end well. It’s easy to convince yourself that there just isn’t enough time available to complete the task so it’s just better not to start – and in this case, you’re probably right.
The solution is to allocate the task a chunk of time in your diary and stick to it. Knowing when you are going to sit down and do it will help you prepare mentally and will result in more efficient use of your time, less stress and a better blog.
Make a plan
Without a plan, quite frankly, you are doomed… having a clear perception about what you are going to write and who you are writing it for before you begin will help you feel more confident and give you structure. Investing a little time at the very start to think through what the point of your blog is, what messages will work for your audience, how to order your points plus ensuring you have the right facts at your fingertips, will make the difference between success and failure.
A plan doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible and creative when writing – when you get in ‘the zone’ and the words start to flow, you might be surprised at where the blog ends up.
And that’s OK. You’ve stopped procrastinating and started writing.
When you’ve finished, just take the time to check back to your plan and make sure that what you’ve written actually incorporates your key points and meets your original objective. If it does, and you’re happy with the piece, then job done. If you find you’ve gone a little too far off-script during your time in ‘the zone’, at least your plan will highlight that, and you can edit the piece accordingly.
Invest time in a plan, to ensure you stay on message – you won’t regret it.
Where to begin?
Sitting, staring at a blank screen is always a bit daunting, so where do you begin? People often say, “just start at the beginning”, and it’s easy to think that is the best place start.
But what if it isn’t? What if the hardest part is the opening paragraph so you sit there, worrying about what to write and never begin?
The best place to start can actually be in the middle. With your plan prepared you know what points you are going to make, so make them. Work through them systematically and write what you want to write. When you are satisfied with the main body of content, you can draft your concluding paragraph.
Then come back to the opening paragraph.
You’ve already written the key points you want to highlight, and you’ve drawn your conclusions so it should be easy to capture the essence of your blog in the opening paragraph by telling the reader what you’re going to tell them. The main body of text should then tell them what you actually want to tell them while the final paragraph should tell them what you’ve told them. If you’ve done that, then you’ve probably structured your blog well.
So, don’t get hung up on the opening paragraph. Write what you want to write in the middle first, draw your conclusions and then impress your readers by successfully linking the opening paragraph to the rest of the blog.
What do I write about?
Don’t waste the valuable time you have allocated to writing your blog trying to come up with an interesting, current and relevant topic to write about. As soon as you start searching for ideas on the internet, you’ll quickly find that your allocated time has disappeared, and you haven’t come up with anything original anyway.
Keep a three-month rolling plan of blog topics and add to it frequently. Good ideas will come to you at the strangest times so be prepared – involve your colleagues, capture thoughts on a note pad or in your phone and add them to your three-month plan.
You are in control of your plan and it can be as flexible as you need it to be, but it will become your best and most valuable source of inspiration and ideas to get you started on a blog.
Put procrastination on the back burner
- Dedicate time to writing your blogs, we recommend 2 hours for the first iteration, sleep on it and review the next day
- Don’t shy away from planning each blog, involve your team and brainstorm ideas together
- Create a rolling three-month plan and share the document so everyone can add new ideas
- Make it a monthly agenda item, everyone must bring at least one idea to the table
- Don’t get bogged down trying to write the opening paragraph because sometimes the middle is the best place to start
- Eat the ‘blog frog’ and be proud of yourself
Writing blogs is not for everyone so if you decide eating the ‘blog frog’ isn’t your thing or you just don’t have the time, feel free to contact us. We can help develop your rolling plan and draft blogs that will engage your audience, deliver your messages and improve your customer reach, leaving you free to get on with what you do best in your business.
We love a ‘blog frog’, especially with ice cream!