Here at Desire Path we often do things that we’d never, ever want to see our clients do. Like having a blog that’s somehow turned into a dark, cold cave, utterly devoid of the welcoming content we owe our readers.
Caves are scary. How’d we get in here?
We wandered in, just like any other small business team might.
We started out strong. Then we got busy and began telling each other we’d write the next post as soon as (client deadline, huge proposal, family issue, planetary disruption) was safely behind us.
It wasn't long before a deep sense of guilt set in, pushing the creativity and energy needed to remedy the situation down to about zero.
Sound familiar? Are you in that dark cave, too, searching for the way out? If so, here are 7 suggestions for getting your small business blog back on track.
1. Forgive yourself. Then set a non-negotiable deadline. Getting over the embarrassment of not having posted in a long time is the first step. Share something, even if it’s far less than perfect. Don’t go overboard apologizing to your readers. Just re-enter the conversation in a natural way.
2. Make note of how long it took to write the post. Wow! Only about an hour? OK, good to remember the next time you tell yourself don’t have time. Just about all of us can fit in an hour, especially if we capture it in smaller bits (more about that in a moment).
3. Next, find that content plan you put together earlier. This is the menu of good ideas you can pick from when you’re hungry for inspiration. Don’t have one? Challenge yourself or your team to identify 20 good topics right now and stash them in the mobile app of your choice, where you can glance at them anytime. This will help you establish the habit of thinking about your blog often, harnessing spare energy and time to keep it going.
4. Look for small spaces in your schedule and take advantage of them. You know, those chiclets of time while you’re waiting for the doc or the airplane or the kids or the next meeting. With a little practice, you can train yourself to punch out crappy, 15-minute drafts you can polish up later.
5. Set your next publishing deadline. Decide when you’ll do that craptastic draft, when you'll finalize it and when you'll publish it. If you miss a deadline, set another one without guilt. Aim for imperfectly wonderful, both in the content and frequency of your posts.
6. Work one post at a time if that’s the best way for you. Or, if you do better with a long-term plan, put at least 3 to 6 months’ worth of deadlines on your calendar. You can go out farther if you want. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable and committed.
7. As you gain momentum, congratulate yourself on doing something great for your business. Every post published is a big victory, because your website desperately needs fresh content to attract new customers and satisfy current ones. You are telling the world more about what makes your business unique. You are shining a spotlight on all the goodness you have to offer.
So keep at it. Plan your work and work your plan. When you get stuck, call us. Drawing on what we've learned in rescuing our own blog and in publishing blogs for many others, we're more than glad to help.