Blogging can be a tricky task to stay on top of — like laundry, there’s always more to do. It can be especially overwhelming if you’ve been kicking it into the corner for a few months, like the lovely Valerie.
She writes: I’m about a year behind on blogging, on my personal blog and 5 months behind on the business blog. How do I find a direction? And where should I begin?
It sounds like you’re just plain overwhelmed by how much you have to do. So, you don’t begin and tell yourself you’ll get on top of it ‘later.’ That’s the worst thing you can do for your poor neglected blog.
That’s like, “Ugh! I’m 10 pounds overweight so I’ll just have another donut.” Before you know it, you’re 20 pounds overweight. And then 30. And then 35. And then you start buying sprinkle accessories in the hopes that they’ll camouflage the donut that’s permanently held in your left hand. Starting gets harder and harder until you imagine you just CAN’T take the first step.
To start on Mission Get Caught Up on Shiz, we’re going to schedule a time in a few days when you’re free to write and during that time you’re going to set your timer for 20 minutes. Just twenty minutes. Easy, right? And in that twenty minutes, you’re going to complete a full post. No matter what.
So, these getting-caught-up posts. I can feel your panic from here: What would be in these blog posts? Where should you begin? Should you do this chronologically or helter-skelter?
If that means you hit the New Year’s Eve party pics hard and completely ignore that 102-degree-summer session that didn’t go well, so be it. If that means you show Santa photos in February, awesome.
When you look at all the material that you’ve made in the past 6 months for your business, blog about what gets you the most excited.
The secret to catching up with your blog is to start chipping away at the tasks without making wild resolutions.
It’s tempting to go all Hardcore Fitness Resolution on your blog, decreeing that you’ll blog for thirty minutes five times a week until you’re 100% caught up.
Then, you skip a few days and you’ve already tanked your resolution, so why bother? Strict, earth-shattering resolutions were made to fail, and you deserve better than that.
Twenty minutes of blogging per week is a simple way to get caught up, to meet your marketing goals, and to keep your business relevant to potential customers. (We talked about the all-important twenty-minute marker here.) Just be sure to mark it on your calendar and to stick to it, just as you would stick to a doctor’s appointment or a meeting with your child’s teacher.
But why does it matter if I blog, Kristen?
When you don’t blog, people assume you don’t have anything to say. If you don’t blog and you’re an artist of some kind, they assume that you don’t have any work.
It’s not fair, but it’s absolutely true. When I stumble onto a blog that hasn’t been updated in six months, I don’t assume the blogger has been so busy that she can’t keep up with her blog. I assume she’s not really working so she’s got nothing to show off at the moment.
Is that unfair? Absolutely. But it’s human nature.
Your blog shows people that you’re still around and that you’re still doing work that excites the crap out of you.
But Kristen, I still can’t think of a thing to say! I’ve got you covered.
Here are ten blog post ideas that ALWAYS work:
- Your favorite inspirational quote and how it relates to your line of work
- A “Year in Review” post or series of posts to highlight your top business lessons or creations
- A pretty post to spotlight your favorite product or service
- An informational post to share basics about what you do for a living (Outdoor Photos 101; Holiday Snapshot Gifts; Painting with Watercolors and Little Ones, etc…)
- Behind-the-scenes pics to show off your workspace or your creative process
- Before & after shots to showcase a makeover, a remodel, a finishing process, or a service (works just as well with decluttering as with hair styles and Photoshop retouching!)
- Style post to show off the latest trends in your industry (nail art, plaids, extensions, caramel salt sugar scrubs, deep tissue massages, strip classes, whatever…)
- Industry icons post talking about who you admire in your profession and why (bonus points for an interview with him or her)
- Infographic describing the last week/month/year (100,000+ words written, 423 cups of coffee consumed, 47.3 hours spent on the phone, 114 books read, 1 Kindle Paperwhite purchased, 2 of 3 Shades of Gray books consumed.)
- Preview post showing what you’re working on for the business (new logo, marketing materials, book, album, Facebook timeline cover, nothing is too big or too small for this tease!)