Over here at North + Morello, we’ve been talking a lot lately about what things really matter. How are we being intentional with our time and whether or not what we are doing matters, in the grand scheme of things. We’ve been dialing in on the things that help us put meaningful content out into the world and letting go of the things that don’t.
Finding that balance between doing the things you love and doing the things that you need to do is hard sometimes (theoretically, we would love for them to be the same things, but let’s be real, dishes don’t wash themselves). Then throw in the things that we feel we should do or even just could do and life gets a whole lot more crazy. We’ve seen our clients struggle with it too. It seems that whenever we talk about what activities are worthwhile to spend time on, the question always comes up…
What about blogging?
Here’s the honest truth. Blogging can be awesome (and help improve your search engine results) if….
- You provide relevant content that serves your readers and
- You blog regularly
Blogging can be an incredible way to raise your voice online, share great information with your readers, help your clients get to know you better, drive more traffic to your website, and ultimately, create more business for you. It doesn’t have to be crazy. It can be as simple as sharing recipes, resources, links and media. Or it can be more involved and become a space for you to share high-quality well-researched information and articles.
Did you know?
Every blog post that contains relevant keywords can help boost your search engine results. When you write about things that matter to your potential customers, you show Google that your website has a higher likelihood of appealing to someone searching for those kinds of topics. Things that matter: how frequently you post!
Should I share _______?
If you can honestly answer yes to the following questions, then hit that “Publish” button!
Will this post serve my readers?
Will this information make my business more valuable to a customer or potential customer?
Is this post relevant to my business and my customers?”
What you share is only one piece of the puzzle. How you share it is just as important.
The reality is that most business owners get excited about blogging initially but over time, that excitement starts to fade and publishing an article or posting media on The Blog gets put on the back burner. Blogging can be incredibly powerful, but a failure to blog regularly can give visitors to your website the impression that you either don’t follow through on your plans or worse, you simply have nothing to say to them.
Failing to plan is planning to fail.
I believe the reason so many people fail at blogging regularly is because they fail to plan. Maybe you had a cool idea for a blog post but then promptly forgot it. Perhaps you didn’t make the time to research a topic and gave up. Or maybe your web designer/co-worker/friend/foe told you that blogging is The Way to boost your business and connect with your clients online (they aren’t totally wrong, but a lack of planning can quickly turn blogging into My Biggest Nemesis).
Maybe you DID make a plan, but you failed to follow through. (It’s not too late – start blogging regularly again and in less than a few weeks you will have a blog that is alive and breathing once more!)
Regularly. There’s that word again.
I would consider “regularly” to be MINIMUM once a week. Even better, 2-3 times a week. Any less than once a week and your readers just can’t count on you. If you post too often you run the risk of reader fatigue and they will just skim over that link in their Twitter feed.
How to succeed at blogging
I have blogged on and off for almost a decade. It started out as simply a personal place to share my stories and thoughts as I traveled the world. At times I was religious about blogging regularly. Then I would go for months without even checking my website. For North + Morello, our goal is to provide our readers with impactful, relevant content 1-3 times a week.
So here’s my plan to stay on track.
I have a list of blog post ideas that I continually add to. Sometimes when I’m running low on inspiration, I’ll sit down and write down as many topics as I can. Then I’ll go back over them and strike out 30-50% of them – getting rid of the repeats, consolidating topics into one (ie. this blog post started out as three ideas – Why Blogging Is A Bad Idea Unless You Do It Right, How To Stick To Your Blogging Plan and What Should I Post On My Blog?), etc.
I schedule weeks in advance which days I want posts to go out, then I plan my writing schedule to give me enough time to properly research, edit, schedule, and find or create images to share. As you find your groove, blogging will take less time, but it is certainly no cakewalk! It requires an investment of your time. I estimate about 3 hours per blog post.
Share! Share! Share! You wouldn’t want to spend hours on a post that never gets read, right?! Make sure you’re utilizing social media to get your words out there. (Not sure how to do that? Lucky for you, I have a post brewing on this very topic, so stay tuned for that next week!)
All of this is great, but I suck at planning…
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a bit of an organizational nerd. I love planning and I love helping others plan! I also love making pretty things. So. I created an eight page blog content planner to help you plan out your content. It will help you remember all your great ideas, plan out blog posts, schedule social media, keep track of other “things to do” and even see what’s going on this week. I created it to work for a whole month, but of course, you can print extra pages of whatever you might need more of! The best part is that’s freeeee! To get access, just click the button below, share the love on Twitter or Facebook and then download!
*This blog planner may be downloaded and used for personal use free of charge. You may not share it, send it, upload it, sell it, or profit from it in any way. You may not alter it or edit it in any way. Please do tell your friends and direct them to this page for their own download. We welcome links back to our blog.