If you are reading this, you must already know the importance of writing a blog for your company. Blogging requires dedication: finding a topic, doing research, and above all, making it part of your routine. Indeed, writing is not necessarily everyone’s habit at work. It’s already hard to manage your other projects, so how are you going to be able to create content for your blog?
In this article, you will find 3 tips to help you better manage your blog and write content on a regular basis.
1. Plan ahead
Have an editorial calendar
The basic rule of time-management is to plan things in advance. This goes for your blog too. Many web companies give you access to free editorial calendars, the best tool to schedule your work for your blog. My favorite is the one by Hubspot, a turn-key Excel sheet, ready to be customized.
Here are the key elements you need to have on your editorial calendar:
- Author. It’s important to know who’s in charge of the article so you can communicate with this person, and ask if help is needed, send a reminder when the deadline is approaching, or just to write the author’s name correctly when it’s time to publish.
- Due date and publication date. These deadlines are essentials. The author has to be aware of the due date to make sure the final revisions are done. Try to always stick to those dates, which should not be chosen randomly, but be in line with your content strategy.
- Topic/Title. Even though the title might not be final, try at least to find a topic. The author can then suggest some modifications for the title. However, your choice of keyword(s) should never be modified as they’re part of a strategic plan. Also, the keyword(s) have to be in the title, modified or not. To find inspiration for titles, take a look at my previous article “30 blog ideas for interior designers“.
- Persona(s). Personas are, in simple words, your target audience. Who are you addressing this article to? The answer to this question will impact the tone of your article, its difficulty level, and topic.
- Offer/CTA. If you’re an adept of the Inbound marketing methodology, then you’ll probably want to add an offer to your article (white paper, guide, content calendar, video, …) you wish to push to your readers. Planning it will let you know if you already have the content available or if you have to schedule its creation.
Structure your content first
Whenever I’m writing a new blog article, I systematically start by doing research on the topic. You need to have a deep understanding of the key elements you’ll be writing about. While doing research, write down those elements. Don’t try to organize them yet or even write complete sentences, use only words and concepts.
Once you gathered the information needed, structure it with main sections, subsections and bullet points/numbered lists. When writing for the web, this structure can be optimized for search engines by using heading tags. Heading tags help establish priorities for Google and other search engines, to visitors, and to the website. Structured by importance, it will be both visually clearer (the size of the font, and the use of bold) and written in your HTML code for SEO.
- H1 will usually be your title tag, which should be unique
- H2 will be the main structure your content. In this article the H2’s are “Plan ahead”, “Choose the right time of the day,” and “Don’t spend to much time on it.”
- H3 will be subsections
- Paragraph is your article’s body
- Bold will be used to emphasize a concept
Understanding what you do before writing will save you time. You will avoid repetitions in your text, be more accessible, and feel more confident.
2. Choose the right time of the day
Your most productive time of the day is the first two hours after becoming fully awake, which means you’re going to have to wake up earlier than you used to. Just kidding, you don’t actually have to wake up earlier than you already do. Just make some time in your schedule and make it a habit.
Some of you will think it’s impossible because you have to take the kids to school, or because your boss wants you to be at your job at 8:30am. Well, if you really want to succeed in writing for your blog more frequently you’ll have to change some habits. So, why don’t you ask your boss to trade those two hours you work from home in the morning for two hours in the evening?
Moreover, getting your writing done in the morning will free your mind for the rest of the day.
3. Don’t spend too much time on it
Writing should not be a burden. To make it enjoyable, don’t spend too much time on it. The frustration will only grow bigger if it impinges on your other activities.
Set a limited writing time
Let’s say you have 3 days to write an article that will take you between 5 to 7 hours in total to write. You can schedule 1 1/2 hours of writing every day for three days. By not finishing your article in just one shot, your creativity andyour motivation will be at their highest. The outcome of this process will be a quality article and a growing interest in writing.
I have heard many many times that some people can focus 8 hours straight and stay productive. Well if it’s true, they should know that by taking breaks they could be even more productive. This rule stands for writing too. Put a timer on and take a break every 25 minutes. I assure you, it will not stop your flow of ideas but it will boost your energy and focus instead. I personally use tomato.es but any timer will do. And if you don’t do it for productivity, jut do it for your health then.
I once worked with someone who spent way too much time writing a blog article. His problem was that he had too much to say and didn’t know when to stop. Every time he started writing, he had a new idea coming up and his articles sometimes took days to write. My advice: keep it concise:
- Use bullet points. Its easier and quicker to read.
- Write up to 1600 words. Apparently, people don’t read much more than 7 minutes.
- Write short sentences.
- Use links. Don’t try to explain every concept. Just use a link to a resourceful website that will explain it for you.
- Recycle content. That old article you wrote 2 years ago? Update it and add some fresh content to it. And voila!
One last thing you should keep in mind: practice makes perfect. By writing on a regular basis and adopting the techniques above, you will find yourself more and more comfortable writing with time.
Blogs are essential to businesses, don’t miss the occasion to perform better by just lacking time to write your articles.
Do you have another technique to find time to write content for your blog? Let me know in the comments!