Like losing weight, going back to school and so many other things in life, blogging is a project that most webmasters begin with the best intentions. We all know that business blogging can be a powerful way to connect with your audience and promote your site, which is why it’s tempting to start out with grandiose visions of high quality posts going live every day and flocks of new customers storming your digital walls.
The problem is that – as with all of the other examples cited above – blogging is actually hard work. It takes time to research the subjects that will appeal to your audience, develop well-written posts and promote them appropriately day after day. Although you might start off strong, blogging quickly turns into yet another item on your “to do” list, leading to the type of burnout that derails even the most enthusiastic of efforts.
To prevent your site from becoming yet another tombstone in the graveyard of great blogging intentions, take the following three steps to avoid blogging burnout:
Step #1 – Realistically assess your available resources
One of the best things you can do for your business blog is to take a good, honest look at the resources you have available to commit to its upkeep. Specifically, you’ll want to consider two things: your available time and the skills of your available blogging team members.
If you’re a solo business owner who’s already swamped managing your company’s day-to-day needs, there’s simply no way you’re going to be able to crank out a well-written blog post every day. So first, look at your available time. Good content can’t just be cranked out – it takes time to research subjects thoroughly and draft high quality articles.
If you (or any team members who will be assisting with your company blog) only have a few hours a week to commit to business blogging, that’s fine. It is possible to come up with a publishing calendar that works with this limited investment – but only if you’re honest about how much time you can realistically dedicate to the project.
At the same time, assess the writing and researching skills of any employees that will be involved in your business blogging efforts. If you’re a slow writer and plan to handle all of the necessary business blogging responsibilities on your own, you’ll need to adjust your expectations regarding the number of new posts you’ll release each week. There’s nothing wrong with this – you just need to be realistic about the demands that business blogging will place on your time.
Really, the worst thing you can do at this point is to overestimate your available time and resources. The more optimistic you are about your ability to handle the responsibilities associated with business blogging, the more likely your project will be to end in burn out.
Step #2 – Set up a publishing calendar that works for your company
Once you know what types of resources you’re working with, take the time to set up a publishing calendar for your blog. Business blogging shouldn’t be a hastily thrown-together type of affair – it should be something that’s as carefully thought through as any other major project your company undertakes. Setting up a defined publishing calendar is one way to provide this necessary structure.
Specifically, your publishing calendar should cover all of the following elements:
- How frequently your business will publish new posts. Posting at least once a week should be seen as the bare minimum, as anything less than this will cause a drop in visitors as your readers wonder whether or not your site has been abandoned. Posting more frequently can be advantageous, but keep in mind that it’s better to publish one high value article a week than several sloppy posts.
- What topics you’ll cover. Again, this aspect of blog management should be approached strategically to ensure that you’re covering a variety of topics that will resonate with readers. Use your website’s analytics program and the data generated by your social followers to brainstorm topics and then create a list of future posts that covers at least two months of content.
- Who will be responsible for each part of the blogging process. Once you’ve set your topics, somebody will need to research the articles, write the posts, upload them to the blog and promote them on social networks. By assigning workers to these tasks as part of your publishing calendar, you’ll minimize confusion and prevent blogging mistakes.
For best results, take the publishing calendar you’ve created and work ahead by at least two months. Most popular blogging platforms allow you to pre-load and pre-schedule posts that will go live in the future. By taking advantage of this functionality, you’ll give your company a bit of “wiggle room” when it comes to publishing new content when you become busy or burned out.
Step #3 – Outsource blogging tasks when possible
Now, suppose you’ve gone through these first two steps and determined that, unfortunately, there’s no way you’ll be able to free up the time and resources needed to maintain the blog presence that you initially envisioned. Don’t worry, and don’t let this stop you from taking advantage of all the different benefits this promotional method entails.
Instead, consider outsourcing all or part of your company’s business blogging responsibilities. For example, you could:
- Hire a digital marketing agency to outsource the content creation process entirely.
- Work with a freelance writer who will provide you with drafts for future posts.
- Bring on an assistant (either local or virtual) who can upload, schedule and promote the posts that you write yourself.
If you do decide to go this route, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. First, choose any company our outsourced worker carefully – especially if your business operates in a highly-technical or scientific niche. Not all outsourcers are created equally, so it’s important to find the right fit before committing to a contract (unless you want to add even more work to your plate when it comes to managing your outsourcers!).
In addition, keep in mind that outsourcing doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” proposition. You can bring on outsourced workers or agencies to handle only specific tasks (if, for example, you want to continue writing posts on your own, but don’t have the time to promote them effectively) and for any length of time needed. You could work with a freelance writer to help build up your two-month content buffer and then keep him or her on speed dial for peak busy periods in your company’s future.
Though all of these solutions do represent an added cost to your company, you’ll likely find that the financial benefits of keeping an active, engaging blog up and running far outweigh your initial expenses. By outsourcing when necessary and creating a publishing calendar that’s a realistic fit for your available time and resources, you’ll eliminate the possibility of blogging burnout – allowing you to maximize the potential of this promotional strategy for the long term.