How much time is this going to take?
Download Blog Planning Template here (MS Excel file)
So you’ve decided to start blogging. Or you’ve been told that Google likes regularly updated content on your website. Tis true, and what’s more, users like it too.
But before you launch into the blogosphere, do me a favour and stop to think awhile. For this reason – it looks a bit half-hearted if users arrive at your website only to see five or six posts that were written in a burst of energy a year and a half ago, and then… nothing.
Establishing and maintaining a blog requires effort. I actually find writing posts, articles, newsletters pretty enjoyable. But it does require some dedication.
Here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way:
- Start as you mean to go on. Don’t start with a bang and then fizzle out. Think about how much time you can realistically commit on a regular basis to your blog or website. If that’s just an hour once a month, then fine – but keep it consistent. That way, users know what to expect.
- Have a set time in your diary once a day/week/month when you’ll update your website/blog. Set a reminder in your calendar so you can’t avoid it! Ok, so this is real life, so things will crop up that mean you can’t always do what you’d planned. But you can make sure you fill in the gaps as soon as you have a spare moment.
- Think about where you’ll be getting your ideas from. Here are just a few suggestions, I’m sure you’ll come up with more:
- Keep an eye at what’s going on in your industry/sector and share your opinions
- Share some of the knowledge you use when working with your clients
- Answer the questions that you had when first starting out in the industry
- Share a solution you’ve arrived as a result of a problem in your day-to-day work
- Create a schedule with dates, future post titles and ideas – sit down every two or three months & plan out future posts. Print it out & pin it on your notice board – no getting away from it then! I started out with this strategy this year, and it’s incredible the difference it’s made to the regularity of posts on my blog!
- If you’re limited on time, consider one of these options:
- Rather than long, in-depth posts, just keep an eye out for useful, informative or engaging posts by other writers – and then link to them, with your own thoughts & comments on the subject
- Re-use content you may already have accumulated – articles, user guides, press releases, etc. But make sure they’re interesting, up-to-date and relevant!
- Find someone else to blog for you – there are companies that will offer this as a regular service to clients. Ideally, you’ll sit down to discuss & agree topics in advance. Work out who will be doing the research, and what input is required from you.
- Remember to publicise as well as write! Use article publishing sites; put a link to your blog in your email signature; use Social Media to tell people about your new post; link back to posts from your newsletter; and tell everyone you know about your blog & where to find it!
I created a blog schedule template for my own use, and have posted it here so you can take advantage of it too. It’s nothing complicated – have a look and adapt it to your own liking. Click here to download Blog Schedule Template (MS Excel file).
2 thoughts on “How much time is this going to take?”
Sarah, I just wanted to leave you a message to say thank you so much for creating your blog schedule template. After a number of years of trying and failing to maintain a regular schedule and trying a variety of different blog planning tools, Matt and I finally downloaded your template and haven’t looked back!
We’ve made a few minor tweaks (such as adding a column for categorising each idea according to which of our services it relates to and, because there’s two of us, a column for who is responsible for writing up which idea) but I can’t tell you how much difference it’s made. We finally have one location in which to write all our ideas down and to plan our upcoming schedule. With a healthy dose of a little bit of discipline, we’re finally well on our way – which I hope you’ll be able to tell from the content we’ve been producing on our blog recently!
Thanks again for all your inspiration!
Hi Debbie, many thanks for your feedback – glad you found the template useful! It’s a while ago I created it now, so pleased it’s still coming in handy.
Right now I need to take my own advice & do some blog scheduling myself!