Do you often find yourself rushing at the last minute to finish your weekly or bi-weekly blog post so you can get it posted?
Or, maybe you’re thinking HA, what “regular” blog post? I barely have enough time to run my business, let alone maintain a content strategy!
Well, even if you have some other choice words for how you feel about blogging or have to FORCE yourself to get it done (think: tie yourself to your computer, bribe yourself for finishing every sentence, renegotiate with yourself several times over whether you have to write it at all) – there is a different way.
I’d know. People sometimes assume that with an academic background in communications, English and writing – I’d be in my happy place with blogging and writing. But it wasn’t always so. Not even close.
My own experience of turning loathe into love for blogging came gradually. I’ve seen firsthand the effect that consistent blogging can have on a business too many times to count – so I know it’s something I have to do. But that wasn’t always enough to get me to actually sit down and do it. It was a constant battle every week with myself and I almost quit entirely.
I realized that between the pressure I put on myself to do something I pretty much hated, the expectation that it had to be perfecto and my real fear of just getting started – it was no wonder I was having so much trouble.
• I had to shake off the shoulds (all the things I felt I was supposed to be doing) and redefine a content strategy that felt as good as the results it provided for my biz.
• I found my process (snowball method, batching and bribery)
• I learned to keep myself in the creative side of things (me = strategy, writing, designing the systems; outsource = formatting, publishing and scheduling promotions)
Why loving your blog matters
Love – Playfulness – Fun – Service
These are the feelings I’ve defined as how I want to feel about my entire content strategy – when I blog, when I create my newsletters, my membership site, everything.
And it wasn’t until I had these locked down (and hung them in an always visible place) that my relationship with blogging really started to transform from loathing to absolutely loving.
So why does it matter how you personally feel when you blog and about blogging in general? Here are the 3 main reasons it definitely matters:
1) First off, when you love to do something, you’re going to do it much more consistently than you would if you hate it
2) Readers can pick up your energy (even through words). Your joy in creating it translates to their joy in reading/viewing/listening to it. To get real geeky on you, perceived playfulness and enjoyment of the blogger has a big impact on the success of your blog (read this study here)
3) Your content will be more creative, more fun and more inspired
So how about we do right now to start rehabbing your relationship with blogging?
Step 1 – Uncover the cause of your disdain
Behind that blanket statement – I HATE BLOGGING – is something else. It’s your job to find it so you can find a way around it. If you don’t, you’ll always be forcing yourself.
For myself, the root causes were striving for perfection (a no-win situation) and having trouble getting started.
Here are 6 of the biggest reasons why people have a sour relationship with blogging:
1) believing you're not good at writing
2) not having enough time
3) striving for perfection/thinking anything you write isn't good enough
4) don't know what to write about
5) having trouble getting started/writer's block
6) not seeing results from efforts
Take some time and examine where your dread is coming from.
Step 2 – Match your reasons with an action step
Now that you’ve uncovered the reason behind why you dislike blogging, match each with a resolution or action step to overcome it.
Here are some examples:
1) Believing you're not good at writing
Realize that very few people are good at writing. Now for your peek behind the curtain: the magic of good writing comes from the editing process. So commit to being a-okay with the dreadful first draft. It’s a rite of passage all great blog posts must pass through.
2) Not having enough time
Sometimes we get way too busy working in our businesses (client work, product development) that working on our businesses (content, marketing) can take a big hit. Figure out your minimum viable content output (what’s the least amount of channels you can use and frequencies of using them) and be okay with it. Once you have your minimums, stick to those and ditch the guilt. If you end up doing more – bonus!
3) Striving for perfection/thinking anything you write isn't good enough
Similar to number 1 but also realize that if you wait for something to be perfect, it will never be finished. A completed post that is of service to your readers is better than an almost-perfect draft that isn’t helping anyone.
4) Don't know what to write about
Ask the people who you want to serve what they want to read about, get help with or would enjoy. Keep a running ideas file so you’re never left without inspiration. Also, separate the planning from the writing process. You should never sit down to write without knowing what you’re going to write about. The ‘figure it out as you go’ method is just a recipe for disaster.
5) Having trouble getting started/writer's block
Just start with 1 idea or 1 main point. Then expand. You can also come up with questions and then you just have to answer each one to finish your post.
6) Not seeing results from efforts
Until you get ultra-consistent, results will be sporadic and unpredictable at best. So like number 2, figure out what your minimum viable content output is and stick with it!
If you are being consistent with content already, 1 of 2 things could be happening:
(1) You’re spending all of your time creating content and not enough time promoting it. A good rule of thumb is that you should be spending AT LEAST 50% as much time promoting something as you did creating it. Ideally, equal time or even more.
(2) You’re not writing about topics your potential customers want to read about. See number 4 and ask readers what they’d like to read most.
Step 3 – Shake off the shoulds
You know all of those things you think you're supposed to be doing? The things all of the so-called experts tell you should be your priorities for growing your blog? Eff those things. They don't matter.
Even if you have help, there's no way you could possibly do them all. So start by doing to a ‘should purge' by writing down every little (and big) thing you've been told to do for your blog. Just get them all out on paper.
Step 4 – Create Your Happy Blogging Plan
Pull out another sheet of paper and write down the things you actually enjoy doing for your blog.
Ask these questions to come up with your list:
1) Think of a time you actually enjoyed working on your blog. What were you doing?
2) What are your favourite ways to promote your blog? What social media do you enjoy using?
3) What topics do you like to write about? What formats do you enjoy using to create content?
4) What are you favourite content tools? (see my list here)
5) Is there anything you've been really wanting to test out and try with content?