In the summer of 2020, I tried running regularly for the nth time in my life, and this time, I actually stuck with it.
In my previous attempts, I didn’t know how to establish a routine. I had no strategies to actually motivate myself or stay accountable.
Maybe you feel the same way about starting a blog for your business. You’re aware of the benefits of blogging, but you’ve never been able to stick with it.
The thing is, blogging doesn’t have to be complicated. The key at the start is to develop good habits.
Here are five tips that I used to get into running that you can apply to blogging for your business.
Tip #1: Pinpoint Why You Want to Blog for Your Business
Like a lot of us, I spent a lot of time indoors last year. I knew I needed to exercise to stay healthy, but gyms were closed and I didn’t want to spend money on expensive equipment.
So I decided to run.
Blogging is like running in that it’s an incredibly cost-effective way to boost your business’s online health.
But before you start, identify why you want to blog in the first place. By contextualizing your blogging in terms of the concrete benefits it can bring your business, you create incentives to keep going, even when you’re not feeling inspired.
For instance, maybe you want your blog to…
- Raise traffic to your website to generate more leads.
- Equip your sales team with collateral to move leads through the funnel.
- Establish thought leadership to promote credibility and awareness.
All three are worthwhile reasons to blog. Whatever your reasons, keep them top of mind so you always feel like you’re writing with a purpose.
Tip #2: Set Realistic Goals for Blog Output
On my first few runs, I set simple goals for myself, like running to a certain point in my neighborhood without stopping.
The reason: I wanted to give myself a chance. I knew that if I forced myself to run five miles right out of the gate, I would likely fail and not want to continue.
After a few weeks, my endurance increased enough to run faster and further, and I set new goals.
If you’re just beginning to blog, start small. Set goals that you can reach.
Your first goal might be to write one 500-word piece a month for the first three months. To keep yourself on track, make an editorial calendar. Record what you plan to write, what you’ve written, and when pieces will go live.
Once you’re comfortable with this pace, you can think about increasing your target word count or publishing more frequently.
Knocking down your initial goals, no matter how small they are, is how you’ll build momentum and gain confidence in your blogging ability.
Tip #3: Focus on What Your Business Has to Offer
I used to get discouraged when people passed me on a run. It made me feel slow and unfit.
But then I reminded myself that I was running to improve my own health, not to compete against other runners.
You should have the same mentality when blogging for your business. Deliver your company’s unique insights, in the way you’re able to do it right now.
Don’t worry about whether other blogs in your industry have longer pieces or more interesting visuals. They each have their own unique purpose, process, and resources.
Focus on creating the best possible blog for your business:
- If there’s a news story relevant to your services, offer commentary on it.
- If you know how to solve a common problem within your industry, share your expertise and how you fixed it.
- If you encounter the same questions from different leads around your product or service, write an article that answers those questions.
Your posts might take the form of a LinkedIn Pulse piece or a short article on Medium – and that’s fine! The goal is to deliver the unique value that only you can offer, in a format that you can consistently and successfully deliver.
Tip #4: Establish a Blogging Routine
Before I run, I always eat something, stretch for at least five minutes, and check the weather to dress appropriately. After the run, I walk around my building and stretch to cool down. This is a pretty standard running routine, and I rely on it because it helps me perform at my best and recover.
In the same vein, stick to a blogging routine that enables you to create the best content possible.
We’re firm believers that good (content) things happen when you follow a writing process with these three steps:
- Preparation: Brainstorm and research topic ideas.
- Writing: Organize your thoughts in an outline and let yourself draft poorly (at first).
- Editing: Self-edit your piece and ask someone reliable for feedback.
Tip #5: Blog Consistently
At the beginning of my running journey, I struggled a lot. But one thing that kept me going was the belief that I would improve if I ran on a regular schedule.
Likewise, you have to blog consistently in order to enjoy the bottom-line benefits business blogging provides.
That’s how we do it at Propllr. By routinely posting well-written, PR- and content marketing-focused pieces over the past three years, we’ve seen steady growth in the Propllr blog’s monthly page visits:
Propllr’s monthly organic blog traffic since March 2018
To hold yourself accountable to your routine, add a recurring writing block to your calendar.
Through consistent work over time, you too can create a blog that regularly attracts visitors, covers a broad range of topics important to your business, and establishes credibility and awareness for your company.
Blogging for Your Business Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Today, I’m able to go nearly five miles at a sub-nine-minute pace without stopping. I’m proud when I look back at my progress, and I’m still using these tips to get better.
Blogging for your business is a marathon, not a sprint. And as in a marathon, staying with it is more important than nailing a record pace. If you’re ready for the benefits blogging can bring your business but know you don’t have the stamina to blog consistently, reach out to us. We’d love to help!