How to Find Time to Blog


There’s no doubt about it, starting a blog is a commitment. To use an already overworked metaphor, blogging is a marathon not a sprint.

Your daily investment need not be very large, but if your goal is to establish a personal brand or become a recognized authority in your field, you have to keep at it over the long haul to see real results.

The challenge is to successful blogging are significant:

  • What to blog about? In other words, what is your over all theme?
  • How to come up with new things to blog about, day in day out?
  • How to write a blog if you are busy making a living?
  • How to produce new blog posts on a regular, consistent schedule?

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to streamline this whole process so that your time commitment to your blog doesn’t overwhelm your life. Here are some ideas:
  • Begin with a theme. For most professionals, you would do well by focusing on the problems you are both very good at solving. Then determine a niche of people who need to solve these problems. This is your niche and the theme to your blog.

  • Create a master list of how-to tips. Just collect and write down as many tips and ideas as you can, and then over time, keep adding to this list. Once your list gets fairly large, you will find an almost endless supply of things to blog about. Each tip might be an entire blog post, or a group of them might fall into one article. You might also find that you can drill down into each idea to find more insights.

  • Decide on a schedule. Few busy professionals can commit to putting up a new blog post every day, but posting two or three new articles a week should be doable if you follow the other tips discussed here.

  • Create a comparatively smaller list of long tail keywords. Constantly refine this list and use these keywords in two ways. First, you will want to draw from your keyword list as you write your various articles, in order to optimize your blog for search engine results (see “Blogging to Dominate Keywords and Google – Part One” and “Blogging to Dominate Keywords and Google - Part Two” to see how one blogger did this the right way).

    The second reason for having a list of keywords is to set up Google Alerts so that you will receive daily emails whenever new pages pertaining to these keywords show up on Google. By the way, another use of Google Alerts is to help you refine your keywords. If you find you are getting a lot of “junk” results, that are not what you are looking for, you know your keyword needs to be revised.

  • Identify several other bloggers that write on topics similar to yours. Blogging is not a competitive sport. Instead you will find a lot of cooperation amongst bloggers. When you find a good blog, subscribe to its RSS feed, post regular comments on it, and write trackback articles that spin off from interesting articles you find on them.

  • Have a couple of “cheats” ready in reserve. There will always be times when you either don’t feel like writing or are too busy. When this happens to me, I often go over to YouTube and find a video that relates to my topic. Then I will embed the code (this embed code is just to the right of the video) on my blog and write a few paragraphs about the video and the idea(s) behind it.

    Another “cheat” you may wish to use is http://ezinearticles.com. This is a site that makes a massive amount of articles available for reprint as long as you reprint it without modification and give the author proper credit. The quality of these articles is all over the map, however, so be very selective. Also, if you overuse a source like this, you will dilute the brand and voice of your blog. Remember the purpose of your blog is to position YOU as an expert and this won’t happen if you always use other people’s material. But as an occasional respite, it probably won’t do your blog much harm.



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3 comments:

March 18, 2009 at 10:12 PM Gary D Cohen said...

Nice post Charles -all good points. its about walking the talk and as you say - scheduling.

March 19, 2009 at 12:57 PM Charles Brown said...

Yes it is, it is also about having usable information to share with your prospective clients.

April 26, 2009 at 10:34 AM Joseph Hollak said...

Charles,

If I might, I would like to expand on two of the bullet points you mention above.

1) If you are going to grab the occasional article from ezinearticles.com to post on your own blog, think about reciprocating. Write a few outstanding articles yourself and get them posted to ezinearticles.com that others can download and use on their blogs. With every article used, your own bio will appear with a link pointing back to your blog. This helps to build the recognition of your blog, and contributes to your own positive SEO.

If you are at a loss for article words, take a blog post of your own and expand on its topic.

I'm having better than expected success with this strategy and I just started. Here is an example:

http://ezinearticles.com/?expert_bio=Joseph_Hollak

2) When identifying other bloggers in your niche to follow, reach out to them and make contact. Blogging is a very lonely sport usually. A single e-mail or comment from a reader can really make a blogger's day. So sending an introductory e-mail will get your blog noticed.

Now, after making contact with other bloggers in your niche, offer to write a couple of guest blog posts. The other bloggers have rough days and when they don't feel like blogging they can grab one of your guest posts to throw up on their blog. Now, to their readers, you look like an outside expert, welcomed and approved of by the blogger and they will usually grant you a link back to your own site.

Blogging is a contact sport, so make some contact.

That, coupled with your outstanding list above, and your readers are well on their way to blogging and online branding success.

All the best,

Joseph Hollak