Stay short, punchy, and natural: 7 ways to stay motivated to blog on your small business site

This cat is SO OVER blogging. By: Jacob Enos – CC BY 2.0
This cat is SO OVER blogging. By: Jacob EnosCC BY 2.0
Small businesses looking to grow their website traffic (and who isn't?) know that frequent, relevant content is one of the big ways to keep Google wanting more and thinking you are the shit. Seach engines go batty for content updates, and stagnation is a traffic killer. So what can you do to keep the pixels shaking? Blogging on your business site, natch!

But if you're not in the business of blogging, but are rather selling items or your services, content can hit the back burner pretty easily. Who has time? It doesn't feel worthwhile! It's boring! Whatever your reasons, it can totally become a drag. But it can also mean personal, engaging, and entertaining content that will connect your visitors to who the hell you are. Here are some ways to stay motivated when your goal is to kick-start blogging.

Be realistic

Don't overwhelm yourself with an unrealistic goal. You don't have to blog every day to keep search engine attention. Start out with a reasonable schedule (like once a week) and stick to it. If you find you have more to say, increase it by another post a week.

Keep your posts short and punchy

300-500 words is definitely enough. Readers love photos, external links, and lists. Take advantage of those shorter format posts to get more content on the site with less effort.

Stay within scope, but experiment with taking risks

You don't want to write about anything and everything since both your clients and search engines like relevancy, but certainly experiment with different types of content and topics. If you have hobbies or passions that have some overlap with your business, capitalize on that to keep yourself interested. You've got to like doing this, too!

Use a natural tone

Be as engaging as you can, but don't go crazy trying to emulate other bloggers in terms of tone or content. Just be yourself, or it will become harder to keep up with it.

Lean on an editorial calendar and theme days

Check out a yearly calendar and plan posts around dates that are related to your industry. If you're a wedding vendor, look for wedding expos, peak times for couples looking for services, and holidays. You can also do this on a micro level by having theme days for your content. Client spotlights, guest posts, "wordless" posts, and other types of themes make coming up with content ideas easier.

Keep an idea file

Whenever you see something that inspires a post, keep track of it. That sounds easy, but I know how easily those things can get lost.

Blog about projects as they are happening

Clients love to see behind-the-scenes posts about projects as they happen. Showcase your creative process behind the projects you're working on. It's easy content and total customer insight into you as a professional.

Show me your tips! What do you blog about and how do you keep from slacking?

  1. I like blogging all at once if I have a bunch of ideas. That's the nice thing about scheduling posts is that you can be working on a post that you know you want to feature in October. And you can sit down and dedicate a few hours to a few entries and then walk away and not think abou them again…

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    • YES. Scheduled posts are the best thing ever — you can really build up a solid pipeline of good stuff, and not have to wait until the inspiration strikes you.

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      • Yeah, if I waited to write for inspiration to hit, there'd be looooong periods of crickets chirping and my blog would get cobwebs. It's nice to start working on several things and think "yesss, people are going to think I blog every.day" as I schedule the posts for the next week.

        I have a photographer friend who always publishes the same days each week, but does all her writing on Sundays (except when she publishes the wedding photos she's taken). Seems like a really good method!

  2. I have a pretty little notebook I take with me everywhere and have by my desk. If ever I think "Oooh, that might be a good blog subject!" I write it in the book! Otherwise I would never remember anything that inspired me to use as a blog post!

  3. If you want to keep a list online, I really like Google Keep. It's really easy to pop open a new note or add a line to an existing checklist, and you can color code the notes – lightweight and simple.

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