Blogging for business can be a challenge. If you've told yourself, “I should be blogging,” read on, this blogs for you.
After “shoulding” on ourselves about blogging, we often tell ourselves a story. It goes something like this:
“(Insert woman’s name) makes blogging look easy. She must have some magic touch when it comes to blogging that I just don’t have. (Sigh.)”
Want to know the truth? That story is a lie.
In general, women are AMAZING at making the grass look greener on the other side of the fence. And we often fantasize about how other women are better than us or have it better than us.
But here’s the thing. When seeing someone's blog, we see the highlight reel, a collection of positive moments, and successes.
Then, we look at our own lives. We see our nitty-gritty challenges in first-hand detail and we compare our nitty-gritty view with someone’s highlight reel.
I believe strongly in authenticity. And so when I blog, I try to blog about the successes AND the challenges.
And today, I’m talking all about my struggles with blogging for my business, because, yes, even though I have a blog and am successfully using it to market my business, I don’t have some magic fantasy business and blogging life that you can only wish you had.
Blogging isn’t an innate skill I have, and I’ve put a good amount of effort into figuring out how to make it work for me.
I hope that as you see my personal challenges with blogging, you’ll know that you’re not alone in any blogging blocks you may have and that blogging really is something you can do if you want to.
If I compared myself to what the "blog gurus" say a business owner "should" be doing with their blogging, I'd only be on their fail-o-meter. Why? Well, I don't write consistently. I don't follow a writing schedule and I don't create a blog post from start to finish at one time.
I tend to experience what I'll term "writing storms."
These are times when I'm just really in the mood to write, and I quickly write as many blogs as I can, usually in a day or 2. And during these times while I’m focused so much on blogging, I don’t worry as much about other things, like exercise or house cleaning. In fact, I'm in the midst of a writing storm while I create this post. I'm running my first ever "personal 5 day blog challenge" to see how many blogs I can write in a work week. This is number 9, and I'm on day 3 of the challenge.
I find that my writing storms work for me because once I get my brain on blog content creation, the ideas start to flow more and more. Trying to write once a week would mean I'd be spending a lot of mental and emotional energy because I'd be out of the flow that naturally happens. My ideas tend to build on each other and the words come more easily with continued writing.
Once my writing storm comes to an end, I count up how many blogs I've written. If I've written at least 6 blogs, I schedule them to post once a month for the next 6 months. After all, I'm not a "blogger." I'm a business owner. My income doesn’t come from blogging, and it’s just one component of my client connection plan. For me, this once-a-month posting schedule is my form of blogging consistency. It lets me share my ideas and information with clients and prospective clients at a level with which I’m happy. And, once everything is scheduled, I don't need to worry about blogging for another 6 months! And I can easily assure myself that within 6 months’ time, I'll have another writing storm without difficulty.
So yes, my blogging method is not the way the "gurus" say you should do it. But ya know what? It's working for me so much more effectively than when I was attempting to write and publish a blog post every week. And I’m waaaaay less stressed about blogging now, which is a definite win.
Being an Authority
The idea of “being an authority” kept me from blogging for a really long time? I opened my coaching business in 2006, but I didn’t start blogging until 2010. That 4 YEARS of being stuck in the challenge of blogging for my business.
Why did this affect me so much? While I felt comfortable being an expert coach, I just couldn’t get my head around the idea of being “an authority” and telling women what to do. When I'd see blog topic suggestions like "How to XYZ" and "The Top Mistakes X People Make," I'd just cringe.
This made me realize that, in fact, I very much didn’t want to be an authority because I believe in allowing business owners to find and create their own paths. I don’t hold to always following a specific model or doing things a particular way. I trust in being authentically myself and helping my clients be authentically themselves. Then together, we can challenge ourselves to express that authenticity in our businesses.
So how did I finally start blogging? I hired a content coach and had a frank discussion with her about how most of the common blog topic suggestions weren’t for me. We worked together for 6 months and figured out a way for me to blog that aligned with my beliefs. We also worked on my brand voice, and that meant no more academic sounding research papers as blog posts, thank goodness! Now I write just like I talk, and it totally works for me. Plus, it makes blogging much easier and sooooo much more enjoyable.
Finishing the Posts
I'm freaking amazing at starting things! But finishing them? Not so much. It's my greatest strength and my strongest weakness. So while I am awesome at helping clients move into new behaviors that they then implement into their businesses themselves (this is why I do this coaching thing!), I struggle with completing projects for my own business. I was writing blogs but not finishing the process by editing, creating images, or actually hitting the Publish button. Would you believe that I have quite a few blogs written out on pieces of paper and stashed away that have never made it to my website? That’s another true story.
To get past my blogging block, I decided to hire a copywriter. No, a writer doesn't write the content of the blog for me, but she does write the blog post. Let me explain how it works.
When I wanted to begin getting help with my blog posts, I created a blog prep form for myself of 8 key questions about the blog topic. I now use this prep form for every blog post, and my responses to these questions form the content of my post. Once I’ve completed the prep form, I send it off to my writer. My writer then takes that content, formats it, and makes my words flow. And she chooses what material from my responses will be the opening statement, body content, and closing call to action.
I'm no longer stuck in the details of the post and I get around to actually publishing blogs. I stay in my zone of strength by creating the content, and my writer uses her strengths by crafting the words into a finished product. For me, it’s a perfect system! I no longer feel self-doubt in my ability to write because of things like formatting and grammatical errors.
If you find blogging for your business a challenge, take a deep breath, and know you're not alone.
Maybe you’re trying to blog as the "gurus" say to, and it's just not the right system for you.
Maybe you're stuck on what to write about or how to write it.
But whatever your blogging block may be, it doesn't mean you're not good at blogging. It just means you're finding some point in the blogging process challenging.
And I’m here to tell you that you can get unstuck and find a blogging system that works for you! As you now know, I’m proof that you can!