This is a guest post by Chris Ducker.
I always say I am a businessman first, and a blogger second. Even though I take my blogging seriously, focusing on putting out the best content I absolutely can on my chosen niche of virtual and mobile entrepreneurship, it is not my focus in my day-to-day routine.
However, I am smart enough to know that by blogging I can definitely attribute a certain amount of new business that has come to my offline companies, from my online activities from last year, as I worked my way up from complete blogging virgin to attending BlogWorld and interviewing tons of great bloggers (including our Blogging-God-of-a-Host, David!) and building a pretty popular blog of my own.
This year, with the small amount of success that I experienced blogging last year, I decided that I was going to ramp it up a little and announced that I was going to attempt to post daily, Monday-Friday.
That plan lasted all of 12 days.
It wasn’t that I couldn’t create the content. I blog through written posts, podcasts, and a certain amount of video, and as far as I know, my visitors enjoy all the content, across all of those mediums.
It became very apparent very quickly that I simply did not have the time to devote to blogging daily. I own and operate a company with well over 200 employees. As a full-time Virtual CEO, I go into the office twice a week for a few hours each time, and the rest of the week I work from home. The juggling of working with my management team, servicing my clients, working on upcoming projects, being a husband, being a father (of three), and a blogger took its toll, quickly.
So, the decision was made to cut back to 3 posts a week.
Lifting the Load
The moment I made the decision I felt as if a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders. That feeling itself was enough for me to know I had done the right thing. I mean, seriously, if that weight hadn’t of been felt, then obviously the blogging part of my week wasn’t an important element for me. But, it was. It is.
Through coming to this decision I did a certain amount of planning and strategizing to allow me to focus on my business (both personal and “real business” related) and still blog regularly and produce great content.
The following are my five pointers to be able to blog consistently and still take care of business!
1. Don’t think of blogging daily as a requirement. Putting that type of pressure on yourself, especially when it comes to a creative situation, like writing, is utterly pointless.
2. Think about utilizing a Virtual Assistant. As someone that has been involved in the outsourcing industry for a decade I get asked about VA’s and what they can do to help you in business all the time – daily almost. What a lot of people have asked is if they can use a VA to blog for them. For me, this is a complete no-no. Your blog is an extension of YOU! You should be the one creating the content. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t work with a VA to help your blogging load to become a little lighter. Nowadays I actually dictate all of my blog posts (including this one). I then send it to my VA, who will transcribe it for me, and email it back as a Word file. I read over it, make simple, small edits and corrections and send it back. She will then import it into WordPress, get it all ready (along with All-in-One-SEO tags, etc. to post), and I will simply hit the “Publish” button. I’ve worked out that this set-up alone saves me on average around one hour for each post. The same goes for audio and video files too, for when it comes to uploading to servers or YouTube, etc.
3. Put a schedule in place – but, not necessarily a posting schedule. When you post is nowhere near as important as when you create your blog content. The creative process of writing is different for everyone. Because of my highly busy workday, I like to have a lot of things scheduled on my calendar so that I make sure I achieve them all. My blog content is no different. Following my little “blogging rehab” thinking stage, I decided that I would put to one side five hours every Friday (I don’t do much “work” on Fridays) for me to concentrate entirely on my blog content. That’s everything – written, audio, video – the whole lot. Being structured like this enables me to then focus on other things during the rest of the week. Of course, I visit WordPress daily (at the end of my day usually) to reply to comments, questions, etc., too.
4. Capture your blog ideas. Immediately. Some people jot them down in a notepad, others create a draft post right there and then. Whatever system you use to capture your post ideas, it doesn’t really matter – just be sure to capture them. This will enable you to always have something to blog about, so you’re never “hurting” for ideas. Personally, I use Penultimate on my iPad. It’s a quick and easy tool for me to hand scribble ideas. I then open it up on Fridays and start writing/recording my content.
5. Easily the most important one…Quality over Quantity – Always. Even though I got through those 12 days of constant blogging, producing some cool content, the fact of the matter is that I would not have been able to sustain it. That’s clear to me now. Sooner or later, the quality of my posts (regardless of the medium) would have dropped, and that would have just plain sucked.
A lot of bloggers are online, wanting to monetize their blogs. Some are posting because they enjoy it and simply want to help others and tell their tales. Some are business people that want to zone-in on blogging and the things it can do for their business.
Regardless of your reasons for blogging, one thing you must understand, realize and accept, above and beyond everything else is that a burned out blogger is not going to help, inspire or motivate anyone.
So, sit back for a moment. Breathe. Relax. Think. Then plan your next blogging move. Just like I did. The moment you finalize it, it will all make total sense, I assure you.
See you in the Blogosphere!
About the author: Chris Ducker is a 20-year sales, marketing and PR professional originally from the UK. He’s now the Virtual CEO of the Live2Sell Group of Companies, a thriving total business outsourcing provider based in Cebu City, Philippines, with almost 200 full-time staff. Read more about Chris at Virtual Business Lifestyle.