I don't consider myself a real blogger. To me, real bloggers don't have jobs, they just get paid for writing about their opinions. Kinda like journalists.

I'm just a small business owner that happens to blog on a few times a week. But since my source of income is my business blogging takes a back seat to business needs. Most small businesses can't afford to hire a full-time blogger or ghost writer so they have to work blogging into their many business-owner duties. And because those duties are so heavy on the business owner, blogging generally falls by the wayside as more pressing matters are attended to.

Many small business owners are out there thinking "Blogging? That's just one more thing to add to my already over-booked work schedule. No thanks." I feel you.

There is no doubt that sitting down to write a good blog post takes time. Add in artificial deadlines and blog posting schedules, that's why most small businesses simply don't do it.

But blogging is an important aspect of growing your business. The key to good blogging is understanding how to work it in, prioritize it properly, and not to feel obligated to anybody but your family and customers.

Establish your blogging priority

Many small business that blog find themselves torn between business obligations and feeling like blogging is one of the most important things we can do to grow their business. It is important but it needs to be prioritized properly.

Looking at the big picture, blogging isn't just about communicating with our audience. Blogging, when done effectively, helps us improve our reputation, build a brand, get customers, increase search engine rankings and, ultimately, grow the business. Yet, missing a day of blogging here or week there certainly isn't going to cause your business to fail or turn your customers against you.

As with everything else, you have to keep your blogging time in perspective and prioritize it properly. You don't have to blog every day. You can set time aside on a weekend, or on your typically slow days and write several posts at once and publish them later. If your designated "blogging time" gets interrupted by more important issues, take care of what's important. It's not the end of the world if you don't get your post(s) completed on schedule.

Know when to stop writing

All of our time is limited so when writing a blog post sometimes we find it taking a lot more of our time than we anticipated. And BLAST!!! you still have two more posts to write today! Ok, stop for a second. Think about this. Can your really long blog post be broken down into several short posts? Snip here, cut there and you just met your blog quota for the week!

You can also break your blog writing time into several shorter periods. Write one post a week, spending 15-20 minutes a day until it's done.

Change your blogging patterns

It is often not so much a matter of how much you blog but a matter of the content you provide. Not every blog posts has to be 1200 words. Some can be a few hundred, so long as the information you provide is valuable.

If you didn't get time to sit down and write your typical blog posts, just think of something that you can share in a couple of quick paragraphs. Write it, post it, move on. You can always go back later and revisit on and expand the topic it later.

Short posts can often be just as good, if not better than, long posts. Quick bits of information can be fantastic to readers who don't always have time to invest in reading long pieces.

Create a blogging schedule

How and when you blog is up to you, but I recommend that you work blogging into your schedule. Have certain times of the day or days of the week or month that is designated as blogging time.

It's also a good idea to stay a few weeks ahead of yourself. I like to keep 4-6 weeks worth of blogs posts ready to go. This gives me a chance to 1) write a post and go back to it later for proofing, and 2) have blog posts ready to go should something interfere with my normal blogging schedule. Then you never have to worry about not having a blog post ready.

Blogging can be very important to the success of your business. There is a lot of value and potential growth you can get from it, you just need to make sure you set time aside to make it happen.






Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.





Comments(13)

Great blog - as a business owner it is difficult to fit everything in as you say. This blog makes it clear and simple. Thanks. Shelley

Another brilliant article and some great points. When I blog for my company I always try to do it once a week on the same day and I write about relevant subjects, which readers will find interesting. The points you've listed are definitely useful for me and other blog writers. Thanks.

from what i understand, it takes great dedication to be a good blogger, almost like running a whole nother business

I love blogs that blog about blogging.

It seems so funny to me to say this. But boy what valuable advice given here, I agree that at times it seems like such a chore! But I have seen first hand the benefits blogging can bring, and it really doesn't take to long to start seeing these results.

Personally I start each day out with blogging, its a great way to get some ideas out while I am fresh, trying it at night is worse because I am usually drained from the day and can't seem to focus.

And I agree little snippets are sometimes better than long articles.

thanks for the inspiration

Blogging is definitely a great way to build your rep and let people know how you think and what you know. I would add another point for business owners to just be consistent. If you can only post once/week that's fine as long as that is the schedule that you follow. Too many business owners start out firing off posts for a couple of weeks and then you don't hear from them again for months. How many times have you gone to a business site and clicked on the blog tab only to hear crickets?

Great post.

Great article.

Blogging can take time ... but it is well worth it.

I try to keep my blogging down two 2 hours a week.

Thanks for the articles.

Stoney
I always enjoy your articles, (Adding a Blog to Your Article Marketing Strategy) but this one really hit the nail on the head for me.
I just had this EXACT conversation with a client today begging her to set aside time to blog for her local business. Afterwards I also had to admit that I hate blogging. For me it is simply because I type so poorly. Having been a professional artist for so long I could literally draw, paint, build, or carveout of wood- blog posts faster than I can type them.
So I have to really really really push myself to make time to blog (and comment on blogs) now that I am in the virtual and SEO world.

Snippets are easier to produce and seem more natural, and I also like commenting on other articles and news items as well.

something great about wp is scheduling posting which can help you divide your time in posting

So question...does the blog have to be about your site? For instance I'm in the christmas light installation business so All my blogs all year long should be about that? Or can it be about Christmas? Or just holidays in general? Just having the blogs on my page will help me with me SEO? I look forward to your response! Thanks,

Matt,

Nope, the blog does NOT have to be about your site. In fact, some of the best small business blogs focus more around the personality of the company or a complimentary topic than they do the site itself. Blogs are soft sell tactics, not hard sell tactics.

They're a chance to attract people who might not otherwise go hunting for your company, get them in the door, win them over, build loyalty and then spark sales or simply word of mouth. Maybe a reader comes in who is never going to buy from you, but s/he will be more than happy to mention you to friends when they mention a similar need.

Blogs also rock for search. I've seen a lot of companies implement blogs specifically as a way to drive new search rankings and traffic and then use the posts to pass people along to specific products or services.

The key is going to be to sit down and figure out what you want to accomplish with a blog and then build a strategy or find someone to help you build a strategy that is specifically designed to meet those goals. Whether that's traffic, sales, increased awareness or any other number of things...know your goal first.

I have to admit that the world of blogging seems to be made up of people that fall at the far end of the spectrum. They are those that are helpful and follow proper blogging etiquette, and they are often wonderful blogger.

Thanks so much for the mention! It is interesting how many
people don't think of simply being kind as acting in our own
best interests - most of the time, we feel that acting with kindness is
giving others the upper hand, especially at work. But when I look back on
the most important relationships I have in my career, they're often based on
mutual respect and kindness.

I like to blog about something Ive read or seen that week, that way it keeps the content fresh, but I agree that proofing your posts is necessary. As a blog writer I edit posts faster, better and more cheaply than the business owner wasting precious time.

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Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > How Small Business Owners Can Build a Blog Without Blowing the Business