Between work, family, and the Earth's rotation refusing to throw us a few extra hours, business blogging may often feel like one more commitment than you can handle. On top of that, recent research suggests that to generate a meaningful boost in organic traffic, you need a minimum of 11 posts per month, making effective business blogging a substantial time commitment.
However, with a few tools for balancing the blogging workload and a healthy dose of planning, any business blogger can stay inspired and achieve the inbound traffic they desire without sacrificing the important things in life.
1. Do the Math
In order to establish an effective routine for your business blog, consider breaking down the problem mathematically.
First, set the goal: if you wish to write a minimum of 11 posts each month, aim to finish a post every 2-3 days. Luckily, this goal gives you a little flexibility. You can plan to have the post done in two days, and if the second day becomes a nightmare of sick kids, car problems, and encounters of the third kind, you can still keep a solid time frame overall.
Next, ask yourself how long it normally takes you to draft a blog post. Consider the complexity of your next topic and decide how long the job should take, and how much extra time you'll allow yourself if your estimate is off.
With this number in mind, you can look to the coming days and find the necessary time. Perhaps you can outline the post while your pizza is in the oven, and work on the introduction before bed (with apologies to that Gillian Flynn novel on your nightstand).
Remember, detailed planning results in fewer surprises and more blog traffic for your business.
While this approach may seem stressful and borderline neurotic, it can actually reduce stress by helping you take control of the situation. Budgeting time for business blogging is a great way to build confidence and gain momentum.
Plus, as with any budget, you can work to trim out excesses by spreading out the workload and making the most of your spare moments.
2. Keep a Journal
Believe it or not, bespectacled MFAs aren't the only ones with Moleskine journals full of chicken scratch. You too can use a notebook (or a notebook app) to leverage all of those spare minutes you might otherwise spend playing Alphabear or refreshing Facebook.
Not only will a journal preserve those excellent mid-meeting blog ideas, but it can also be used for on-the-go outlining and prewriting.
Next time you find yourself waiting for the kettle to boil, put pen to paper, jot down your main idea, and define the bullet points. When it comes time to write your first draft, stitching these ideas together will take you far less time than developing them on the spot.
This piece of advice got me through the rougher parts of my college days, and it can easily work for business bloggers as well: use your relaxation time to finish the more mindless parts of the writing process.
Nobody likes the prospect of sacrificing time with friends or family for the sake of a blog, yet writing a new post every few days requires compromise. Therefore, when the kids decide to pop-in The Lion King 2 for the tenth time this month, grab a laptop and put those finishing touches on your latest post.
You might, for example, use this time to select and import images, insert hyperlinks, give the post a final proofread, or share the published post on your different social media accounts. These tasks only demand brief moments of attention, meaning you can still enjoy family time and work towards a finished product without feeling rushed.
By taking these suggestions and finding a personalized approach to business blogging that makes the most of your time, you can begin to cultivate your most important resource: confidence. No feelings stifle creativity more than the stress and anxiety of a looming task. Taking ownership of that task, then, can vastly improve the pace of your work, the inbound traffic to your site, and your quality of life.
If you're interested in advice on brainstorming topics, check out my post “4 Creative Ways to Brainstorm Blog Post Ideas.”