This week's guest blog features Suzy at Wish Freelance Writing! Suzy is a freelance writer, and mum to two beautiful sisters via adoption. She's passionate about helping business owners find their voice online and shares lots of brilliant advice over on her Instagram page.
One of the things Suzy is great at is teaching small business owners how to create blog posts when they don't have time. In this blog she shares some tips to help if blogging is always falling to the bottom of your to do list!
How to create blog posts when you don't have time
Running a small business brings with it a lot of pressure and often a to-to-list as long as your arm. Setting aside time to write might seem like a luxury you can’t afford. Particularly if you’re trying to keep up with orders. Or launch a new product or service.
But having a blog section on your website that’s regularly updated isn’t just a luxury. It’s a necessity if you want to get your website seen by the people you’d like to do business with.
Why have a blog on your website
There are a number of reasons why search engines pick up websites and show them in their results pages. Using the right words in the right places is the main factor.
Another key one is having regular, well-written content. This shows search engines that your business is up-to-date and open to new customers. A blog section on your website increases the number of pages (each post is a new page) which also shows search engines it’s an active site.
But perhaps most importantly, having regular blog posts helps your audience get to know and trust you. If they trust you, they’re more likely to want to buy from you. And then recommend that their friends buy from you too.
Blog posts let you showcase what you do, why you do it, and how you can help to solve a particular problem. They’re a way of sharing more about you. Not all posts need to be about your business. Posts that share snippets of your day, your journey to where you are now, a bit about you and your reason for doing what you do, all help readers to get to know you.
They also let you show off your knowledge and expertise. Doing a deep dive into a particular product or service and explaining why it works will show that you know what you’re talking about. And that can help to build your reputation as a leader in your field.
How to write posts when you don’t have time
We can’t be good at everything and there will be parts of our businesses that we don’t particularly enjoy. Writing doesn’t come easily to everyone. And not everyone finds it easy to create time in their schedule to write regularly.
If it’s part of your routine, it becomes easier and doesn’t feel like as much of a chore. Creating a writing habit that fits easily into your day is the best way of creating regular content.
Starting a writing habit
Work out when you’re most productive during the day. For me, it’s early morning. Make yourself a cuppa and set a timer for 20 minutes. Either grab a pen and notebook, or your laptop, and just write. During that time, don’t be tempted to look at emails or messages. Just concentrate on writing.
To start off with, it doesn’t matter what you write about, just write whatever comes into your head. When your timer goes off after 20 minutes, stop writing and get on with your day. At this stage, you’re not writing specific content. You’re creating the habit.
Get into the habit of writing for 20 minutes, several times a week. Daily would be perfect, but it needs to be something you can maintain. So, if three times is more realistic, do that. You’re more likely to keep it up if it doesn’t feel like a stretch.
Once you’ve established a writing habit, you can focus more on what you write about. However, before you get to that stage, it helps to have created another habit so that coming up with content ideas is easy.
Make sure you take a note of content ideas as and when they come to you. You could do this on the notes section of your phone, create a voice note or jot them down if you prefer pen and paper. The ideas don’t have to be business related. They could be to do with something you’ve seen on the news, a conversation you’ve had that got you thinking, a great film you’ve watched, or a book you’ve read.
You’ll be surprised how much inspiration you have during the day, that can be turned into a blog post. Making a note of them gives you a big bank of things to use later.
Start writing a blog post
As you start to get more confident writing regularly, pick one of your content ideas and write a blog about it. Aim for 600 words and to do it in three 20-minute slots. Some people find planning makes the writing part easier. It doesn’t need to be a detailed plan, perhaps just a headline, start, middle, and end.
If typing isn’t your thing, or if you get your best ideas when you’re out walking or in the car, there are plenty of apps and tools you can use such as Otter that will transcribe your voice notes and recordings.
Don’t be tempted to go back and edit at this stage. Just get the idea out of your head and into words.
Once you’ve written your post, use your next 20-minute slot to edit it. Shorter sentences and paragraphs are the easiest to read. Check your spelling and grammar. Again, there are plenty of tools you can use to do this for you (just make sure they’re the right version of English).
When you’ve done that, add in some images and hit publish!
Using this method, you’ll find that writing can fit easily into your day. It doesn’t feel so overwhelming when it’s broken down into bite-sized pieces. In the time it takes you to drink a cuppa, you’ll be well on the way to creating a blog post. That feels achievable.
Find out more
Visit Suzy's website here www.wishfreelancewriting.com
Find her on Instagram www.instagram.com/wishwriting1