The top reason business owners give for falling behind on writing blogs and social media posts is lack of time. With all of the other things that require attention in the life of entrepreneur, sitting down to write often gets pushed to the back burner. However, with a little advanced planning, it can be fairly easy to generate an entire month’s worth of posts in just a few hours. That way, you can escape the constant feeling of pressure to write while also gaining a little independence from your computer.
Five writing steps to guide you on a path to posting success
Follow these guidelines, and before you know it, you’ll have multiple blog entries and several related social media posts that can go live throughout the month.
1. Brain Dump
Often, a major barrier to writing is a lack of potential topics. The brain dump is a simple way to come up with dozens of topics (link to blog post later in month about inspiration) at one time. Then, you can choose a few from the list each month. A good brain dump can yield a year’s worth of blog entries. Start with these topics and expand on them:
- Current industry trends and your take on them
- Industry-related news
- Customer profiles
- Behind-the-scene looks at your company
- Employee profiles
- Portfolio items you are particularly proud of
- Customer feedback and your response to it
- Work-in-progress photo galleries and comments
- Something interesting you read on another blog (don’t forget links!)
- Answering common industry questions (use them to compile an FAQ page on your website) (link to previous blog on FAQs.
2. Create Outlines
Unless writing is something you are comfortable doing just off the cuff, having an outline for your posts is extremely helpful for keeping on track and ensuring posts get finished. So, grab eight of the topics you chose during your brain dump and create a little path you want each one to follow. Here is an example:
Topic: Industry Trend: Live Piano Playing at Wedding Receptions
- History of the trend
- Logistical factors (acoustics of the venue, using electronic keyboard vs. actual piano, power source)
- Popular songs on the playlist
- Normal duration of playing (just during dinner hour, or just during the ceremony?)
- What a client would expect to pay for the service
3. Set Yourself Up for Success
Writing without distractions can be challenging. That’s why you’ll have much more success if you are deliberate about prioritizing your writing time. Think about these factors:
- Set aside a consistent writing time. Maybe in the evenings or early morning before anyone else is in the office.
- Create a comfortable writing place. Whether you write at work or hide in a coffee shop, make sure you are mentally dedicated to the task at hand.
- Eliminate distractions. Turn off your phone and put it away. Don’t check email or social media channels until you are done.
- Focus on the goal. Plan to get all eight blog posts and several social media posts done in one sitting. Who knows when you will have time to get back to it if you stop before you have completed them all.
- Proofread when you are done. Fix all the words underlined in red. Reading the text aloud can help reveal errors.
4. Schedule the Posts
Now that you have written a month’s worth of entries, use Hootsuite or a similar tool to schedule them to go live throughout the month. Remember, the main goal of your social media posts should be to drive followers to your blog entries and web site. Every time you post a blog, you should have a social media post alerting people that it’s there. Other social media posts can be more organic and reactionary to things that are happening on a daily basis.
5. Monitor the Results
Content management tools give users a weekly analytics report that shows when most people are reading blogs and how many clicks you are getting on links. Use those statistics to adjust your posting times and days. After all, you’ve dedicated yourself to writing good content, and now you want to make sure you maximize your efforts for customer engagement and brand familiarity.