I’ll be honest. Blogging isn't always my favourite thing, either. Sometimes it is more a chore than a pleasure. Even if you like writing, it is easy for blogging to fall off your to-do list. If you don't like writing, it can be tough for it to get on your to-do list at all.
Yet blogging is still the best way -- especially on a limited budget -- to get your message to your audience and let people know about the work you do.
So yes, you should blog. But you probably already knew that. I talk to a lot of people who know they should be blogging but aren't for some reason. Common barriers include:
- not enough time
- don't like writing
- don't think they have anything to say
If any of this sounds familiar to you, read on for five easy, painless ways to overcome these challenges.
1. Use the Goldilocks test to figure out how often you should blog.
While you may have heard it is best to have 2-3 posts a week to generate significant web traffic, this is a lot. The mere thought of it is enough to scare many people off from blogging at all.
I know I can't maintain that pace, and it's okay if you can't either. To figure what makes sense for you, take a moment and imagine yourself blogging:
- twice a week
- once a week
- once every two weeks
- once a month
How do you feel thinking about each frequency? The idea of blogging everyday probably feels anxiety-inducing; what frequency feels manageable?
There isn't a right answer. I call this the Goldilocks test because it's about finding what's juuuust right for you. Pick a frequency that feels doable, not stressful. Maintain that pace for two or three months, and then consider doing a bit more.
Strangely, this is often helpful for people with a writing background. A friend with a creative writing degree recently told me the idea of blogging made her stressed, because her background made her feel every word had to be perfect.
If you are caught up in a trap of perfectionism, experiment with vlogging. You may be less self-conscious when talking than when writing.
This may also be a good technique if you don't think you have anything to say. Sometimes we freeze when facing a blank page on a computer screen; it can be easier to share our thoughts verbally.
Plus, it can often be less time-consuming than blogging. My first vlog took me about 15 minutes to record, much less time than it takes me to write a blog post. And video does really well on social media.
3. Give yourself permission to write short blog posts.
There is no shame in writing a 65-word blog post. Give yourself permission to write something short, rather than pressuring yourself to hit a certain word count.
4. Do interviews.
For an interview, all you have to do is write the questions, and the interviewee does the rest.
Find someone who has some connection to your work or would be interesting to your audience to interview. Once they have agreed to be interviewed, you can email them the questions and get them to email you their responses so all you have to do is copy and paste. So simple.
As a bonus, the interviewee will be excited to be featured, and will probably share the interview with their audience, helping you reach new people.
For inspiration, check out the Yes and Yes blog's successful True Story series.
5. Hire someone to write your blog posts.
Not doable for everyone, I know, but if your organization has some spare change, it is worth hiring a professional writer.
More and more companies are hiring freelance writers for content creation. Interestingly, those that hire freelancers have higher marketing return on investment than those that do not, as this survey showed.
Professional writers have niches. Find one with expertise in your field, and they will be able to write about it in a compelling, informed way. (By the way, I write for a roster of business and non-profit clients. You can hire me.)
A freelance writer takes your ideas and turns them into high-quality content. They will pay attention to every detail, from writing a catchy headline to linking to other blog posts to keep people on your site longer. They may also interview people at your organization, if necessary.
Depending on the arrangement, it may be as simple as specifying the general gist of the post and a deadline. Then the content will magically appear in your inbox. Easy peasy.
Do you have other lazy blogging tips to share? Leave a comment below.