SMALL BIZ BLOGGING 101: a painless process

{Psst: this is the third installment of a three-part blogging series. Read part one, focused on format & frequency here, or part two, focused on what (the heck) to write about, here. And then dive-on-in below! And THEN, grab this consolidated PDF guide which includes ALL OF IT for future reference.}

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to blogging for your small business is finding the time to do it.

When you run your own shop, the to-do list is long – so it can be hard to carve out a significant chunk of time to create, post, and share a blog post. (Can I get an amen?!)

Which is why I’ve created this three-part strategy. All you need is 20ish minutes/day for three days. I like to tackle this task in the wee hours of the morning – but you can pencil it in whenever it makes sense for you.

This approach works because it breaks a big task down into manageable chunks – which significantly increases the chance you’ll actually do it. Which – it probably goes without saying – will pay off for your business big-time over the long-run.

Ready? Here we go.

Day 1: 1st draft

If you’re familiar with my writing process, you’ll know that you’re not supposed to write and edit in the same chunk of time ever. So, obviously, we’re going to separate them for blog writing.

Therefore, on day one, your only job is to write.

During this window of time, you’ll want to create your mind-map if that’s a technique you use (it should be! more info on how to do it here). And then quickly hash out your first draft – without analyzing, editing, looking things up, or over-thinking.

Your only job at this point is to get a draft on paper. Give yourself permission for it to be CRAP. It’ll take the pressure off and – more often than not – make for a better finished product, because of it. (Sounds counter-intuitive but try it and you’ll see.)

When you’re done, put away that crappy first draft and forget about it until tomorrow. You’re done!

DAY 2: EDIT & ADD PHOTOS

On day two, your job is twofold:

  1. Edit you post. Once again, see this post for instructions on how to tackle this step. There’s also a cheat sheet you can download there for easy reference.

  2. Lay it out and add photos. If you don’t write your posts right in your publisher, put it in there, and format it. (Remember: avoid big chunks of nothing-but-text.  Sub-heads, bullets and lists are your friend!).

    Next you’ll add your photos. Every post should have one main ‘banner’ image – extra points if you can add the title of the post. Of course original photos are always best, but if you don’t have what you need, my favourite resource for free photos is Librestock – read more about it here. Additional photos are great too – the more the better – but the one banner image is your bare minimum. I use Canva or PicMonkey to add the text.

At the end of this stage, your post should be edited and formatted, with at least one image in it. In other words, ready to hit the presses. You’ll also want to make sure any tags are in place, as well as your SEO post title and description, if you have control over those in your editor.

Day 3: POST & SHARE

The big day is here! Time to post and share.

Timing is important here – but depends on your business, customer, and industry. Do some research as to the best times to share for your particular niche. My audience is a business owner, so daytime is best for me, and I typically aim for midweek. But your audience might be different. The important thing is to do your research and schedule to accommodate it.

Once you’ve posted your masterpiece, your goal is to share your post 12 times, which I wrote about here. Post it on all the social media outposts where you have a presence right off the bat – and then schedule/plan future posts to help you reach the lucky dozen.

For some social media platforms, it’s completely acceptable to re-post the same thing (Twitter being the main one), and for the others, it’s a matter of getting creative and using things like memes and video to create a new opportunity to put your post in front of your audience. More detail – and ideas – for how to reach your 12 shares is available here

And that, my friends, is how it’s done. No muss, no fuss. Just three short 20ish-minute bursts and you’re done. Tell me you can’t work that into your week (or month?). I didn’t think so!

As a reminder, this is the third of three installments in my (very drawn-out) series on blogging. You can read part one – all about format and frequency – here, and part two – which focuses on what the heck to write about – here. Or by clicking the images below.