Sep 14, 2016 10:00:42 AM
“I don’t have time for blogging.”
That statement is behind failed content marketing strategy.
We’re all guilty of using this excuse, for blogging or any other task, because it’s true. Sometimes our schedules are crammed and we just can’t take on anything new, but let’s be honest with ourselves. When we say “I don’t have time to blog,” what we are really saying is “Blogging is not important enough to prioritize over the other stuff I have to do.”
When you can’t or won’t make the blog a priority, that leaves you with two choices: Outsource the writing or watch the results suffer. There are pros and cons to hiring a ghost writer for your company, but for now let’s focus on how you can free up your schedule and create content of your own.
Finding a way to manage your time at work is not hard. The hard part is sticking to it.
If you’ve ever made a serious attempt at managing a your schedule more efficiently, and it didn't work out, I'm willing to bet your coworkers had something to due with it. The work habits of people around us impact us more than we realize, and while you can’t eliminate distractions all the time, you have to put up some barriers and keep them there if you want to work smarter. That means prioritizing tasks that get results first, and putting off the ones that are simply crying for your attention.
It’s not easy to prioritize everything on your calendar, but it’s necessary. Blogging is vital to my work, and even when I have crushing deadlines to meet for clients I always make time for my business.
This was a hard lesson to learn. When I went into business for myself I was managing content for a couple clients and struggling to move forward, then one day a friend referred me to a large agency that needed freelance writers. I reached out to them and we hit it off. At one point I was pumping out 11,000 words a month just for them. I was crazy busy, but money was finally rolling in and I enjoyed a little financial breathing space.
I kept taking on more and more freelancing work, and it made me complacent about generating leads for my business. The sales side of my brain started throwing up caution flags, saying Stop chasing freelance work and start focusing on your agency, but I was too busy chasing a quick buck to listen. Sure enough, the agency I was working for stopped outsourcing work several months later and I was back to where I started: scrambling to find new clients.
Instead of building my business, I spent too much time pursuing short term work. Lesson learned. You have to take care of your own business first if you want to stay in business.
My commitment to taking care of my company includes blocking out time for blogging every day. From 7 to 9am you’ll find me pounding away at the keyboard with my head down. Once that is done, I block out a short break to rest my eyes and stretch my muscles, then I dive into another two-hour period of client work, followed by another break and another block of work.
I limit my focus on one or two big tasks for each block of time, depending on how intensive they are. This allows me to set realistic expectations of what I can accomplish each day. It doesn’t help to load up your calendar with a bunch of stuff you know you won’t really get to. Instead, you can establish a hierarchy of priorities, knocking them down one by one.
Don’t let yourself get distracted whenever an email or a call comes in. Ninety-percent of the time, it can wait until you’ve finished what you are working on. Budgeting your time will help you feel less overwhelmed and keep you focused on the most important tasks on your plate. It blocks needless distractions and enhances productivity with your blog and all other work.
This is another great way to create great content, and many people miss it. Every day your employees are talking to customers. Customer service, sales, finance – everyone who has front-line contact with your buyers have a wealth of great content stored away…in their inboxes.
Ask your colleagues to scan through their sent folders and look for emails where they’ve answered customer questions, particularly ones that educate them about a product or service you offer. You can easily adapt these emails into blog content and post them in half the time it would take to write from scratch!
These suggestions aren’t meant to make your schedule inflexible or make you unapproachable to coworkers – that is the last thing you want – but budgeting your time as a daily practice will help you get more things done in a day, especially high priority items like blogging.