Life is busy, we all know it. How do we find time to do things we want to do, much less the things we have to do – like blogging? A retailer’s life is beyond busy – there are always orders to process, inventory to manage, customers coming in – the days go by in a whirl. When everyone and everything is coming at you at once, how can you make blogging easy?
In our business (at Modern Retail) designing e-commerce websites for retailers, we have deadlines to meet, sites going live, clients to please and other activities that are critical to the success of our company. If there’s an issue with a retail website, it’s understandable that our team drops everything and makes it our number one priority. While everyone understands how important it is to keep our website fresh with relevant and informative content, blogging sometimes takes a back seat. I absolutely understand the “I have no time” syndrome, so this article on how to find time to write a blog is dedicated to my team of contributors. I think the title “Just Do It” says it all.
How to Make Blogging Easy
1. Keep a Blog Journal
Whether you choose to do this on paper, mobile phone or iPad/tablet, keep a journal of blog ideas. Whenever an idea hits you, put it down. There’s no need to to write the entire blog – unless of course the words are flowing from your fingertips. In this case, major thoughts, bullets or an outline is fine.
2. Create a Blog Calendar
Put together all the topics that you might want to write about and put it on a calendar. You’ll know ahead of time what subjects you want to cover and when you’ll write about them. As the new year approaches, you might have thoughts about the coming year’s trends. As summer approaches, schedule a blog for Hot Products for the Beach.
3. Get Away
If you really want to find the time, get away from the daily distractions. Take an hour and go to your local coffee shop, turn off your phone (unless you’re entering your blog journal into it) and get started. Schedule it as an appointment once or twice a week – and stick to it – no matter what.
4. Write About What’s Happening
Think about your recent experiences. What’s been going on this week? What have you learned? Have common issues or questions come up from your clients? If you’re frustrated about something, chances are other people are too. If you’ve been working on something new or exciting, others may want to hear about it.
5. Write About What You WANT to Know or What Inspires You
As I sat here thinking about my next blog, I thought about my week (trying to get contributors to meet deadlines) and wondered how could I get inspired – or inspire my team – to write. So I did some research to see what helps other people find time to blog and hoped that by sharing this information, miraculously a dozen blogs would show up for me to review. If not inspired by this article, maybe a little guilt will do it.
6. Create a Quick Video
I love this one because videos are a GREAT way to share information and a good one can go viral just like that. Create a “how to” video that’s relevant to your customers – whether it’s how to use technology or 100 ways to tie a scarf – a good video can be exciting, informative and can be linked back to again and again (think social media, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.). Plus, if you’re feeling stuck with words, a change of pace might be just what you need!
7. Create a List
How many people start their searches with “Top 10 ways to…” or “Top 5 things…”? What do your customers want to know? If you’re a retailer, how about creating top gift ideas for women (and send to my husband)? Lists like this don’t always require a lot of explanation, so should be quick and easy. A good list will be shared again and again.
8. Use Links
As I was doing my research today, I came across a blog that listed a bunch of links for Tips on Finding Time to Blog. Loved that one! Everything I needed starting in one place.
9. Put a Spin On It
Take a topic that you’ve used before and write about it from a different perspective. Take your blog on Shoe Trends in Chicago and spin it to show what’s hot in Europe. Write about Social Media like Facebook or Pinterest as it relates to your business and pick a different angle each time.
10. Just Do It
Bottom line; content marketing is important to keeping your online business at the top of searches. So when it comes to blogging, set up some realistic expectations and a system that works for you and just do it! Start writing. The more you get into the habit of doing it, the easier it will come.
Whether you’re trying to motivate yourself or the people contributing to your blog, hopefully a few of these tips – if not all of them – will help you get rolling. And to my team of contributors – I’ll expect to see all of your blogs (future and past due) by Monday!