One of the common complaints or questions I get from business owners is that they don’t have time to blog. Although there are incredible business benefits of blogging, business owners fear that blogging is a time-consuming activity that they can’t squeeze into their busy schedule.
The truth is that they’re right to some extent. Blogging is hard work. And, it takes time and patience to build your blog into a business-driving machine.
However, blogging doesn’t have to eat away at your schedule. If you put the right skills and systems into practice, you’ll find that blogging is a lot easier than you think.
If you’re short on time (and who isn’t?), here are some tips to help you create powerful blog content faster and easier:
- Set a realistic schedule. You don’t have to blog every day to be successful. I often encourage my clients to start with once a week. It’s consistent enough to keep your site fresh without biting off more than you can chew. Once you get the hang of it, you can always up the frequency.
- Have ideas at the ready. So much time is wasted in trying to come up with blog post ideas. Instead, you should have an editorial calendar to plan out your blog posts in advance, so you’re not scrambling before every deadline. And, even if you don’t have your topics plotted out on a calendar, you should at least have a list of post ideas at the ready. That way, you can get to writing faster.
- Give yourself a time limit. It’s easy to get caught up in noodling with a post only to look up and realize that you’ve let a couple of hours slip by. I know I’m guilty of this. But, if you set a timer for yourself, it will help you work faster by giving yourself a deadline for finishing. Stanford Smith offers up some great tips for how to set up a system to help you write faster.
- Keep your posts brief. You don’t have to write a lengthy, epic post every time you blog. In fact, readers often want content that’s quick to consume. Try keeping your posts under 500-600 words and you’ll find that you can write that in no time.
- Repurpose other content. Chances are good that you’ve got great content that you can rework into a blog post. Here are some good places you can look: e-letters, presentations, press releases, emails and correspondence, FAQs, white papers and case studies.
- Use photos and graphics. A picture is worth a thousand words. And sometimes, that’s all you need to get a message across. For visual-based business (think interior designers, photographers, stylists, etc.), you can share photos of your work with a short explanation and you’ve got yourself a blog post.
- Try video. A short 2-3 minute video is easy to produce and gives your readers a chance to connect with you in a different way. You can often put together a video quicker than writing something, so this can be a good choice when you’re short on time. Here’s a great example from Jayme Soulati. And, if you’re not comfortable being in front of the camera alone, conduct an interview with an employee, client, or well-respected leader in your niche.
- Get employees to contribute. Blogging doesn’t have to fall on the shoulders of one person. In fact, blogs are often better when you bring in the perspectives of different employees. For instance, someone from customer service could offer answers to common questions from customers, while your sales team is great at talking about features, selling points and questions people have during the buying process.
- Invite guest posts. Once you’ve got your blog up and running for awhile, you can invite guest posts from others. Not only does this give you relief in your schedule, it also brings a new perspective and audience to your blog. For instance, here are my guest post guidelines for people who want to write for my blog.
Speed certainly doesn’t outrank the importance of quality content, but employing these tactics should help you develop rich content that doesn’t consume all of your time.
What works for you? How do you create blog content when you’re short on time?
Image credit: Jacob T. Meltzer