Arguably the biggest restraint small businesses face when it comes to running a successful blog is time; time to think of and research a topic, time to write the post, and time to publish and share it afterwards.
When you look at it like this, you can understand why a lot of business managers are hesitant to prioritise blogging over other, more pressing business matters. Time is money, after all.
The good news is that blogging does not have to be time consuming, or difficult, or a hindrance. So long as there is a clear strategy in place, even the most time-poor of businesses can enjoy the benefits of blogging.
Here are 5 quick tips to help your business be more efficient when it comes to planning and executing a blogging strategy.
Plan to attract
First and foremost, think carefully about the audience you want to attract to your website; what problems do they face, what information do they crave, and what might you be able to offer them in the way of solutions?
Working backwards like this takes away the guesswork when it comes to devising blog topics, which means you won’t be wasting time writing blog posts that simply aren’t interesting or relevant. Better still, spend time researching this information online; industry forums, social networks and even other blogs are a goldmine when it comes to inspiring content ideas.
Share the responsibility
The more people that you can get involved in blogging, the better, within reason of course. Not only does this lighten the load on individuals, but it also diversifies the blog by encouraging different opinions and areas of expertise.
Create a schedule and stick to it
One of the hardest parts about blogging is coming up with ideas. To avoid last minute panics, create a schedule so that everyone involved knows exactly what they’re due to write, and when.
This could simply be managed through a shared spreadsheet, which is populated with topics at the beginning of every month, for example. Crucially though, someone needs to be responsible for managing this schedule.
By front-loading the planning, a lot of time can be saved further down the line.
The natural thing to do once a post goes live is to share it on your social profiles, which is indeed the correct thing to do. However is there more you could be doing to improve the reach of your content?
What hashtags are people using in relation to the topic of your post? Are there any Twitter chats or LinkedIn groups you can join in order to promote your post? That forum thread you found that inspired the post in the first place – is there an opportunity to go back and share your post there?
These things do not require much additional effort, but can have a big impact on the number of views your post receives.
Analyse and repeat
Knowing which posts receive the most interaction should inform your strategy going forward, so keep a record of social interactions such as retweets and likes, and use Google Analytics to assess which posts receive the most views and best engagement.
When time is tight, it’s all about making the most out of the resources you have. By being more efficient, businesses stand a much better chance of seeing a return on their blogging investments.