Develop a writing routine

Bloggers gotta Blog…but sometimes it sucks

Kris Windley

Kris is a writer, editor, illustrator, teacher, mother of two amazing young ladies - and enthusiastic cat-belly snuggler. A certified teacher, long-time blogger and experienced brand consultant, she writes about Writing, Business and Blogging...and sometimes about Changing the World.
KrisWindley2020

Kris Windley

Kris is a writer, editor, illustrator, teacher, mother of two amazing young ladies - and enthusiastic cat-belly snuggler. A certified teacher, long-time blogger and experienced brand consultant, she writes about Writing, Business and Blogging...and sometimes about Changing the World.

Business Owners Blog for a lot of Reasons.

We are told again and again that blogging is an important part of online marketing.

It is, in fact, often seen as the central aspect of your online presence. I definitely think that – in my own business and the businesses of many of my clients – the blog has been the engine that pushed all of the other marketing efforts we engage in.

If it didn’t start on my actual blog, it’s probably something that came from engaging with other bloggers and readers, or it will show up on the blog very soon. It’s my sounding board, inspiration pot and soapbox – AND it allows me to talk to you every week about the stuff I really care about.

There are a lot of big reasons to blog for your business. Here are 5 of my favourites:

  1. You can reach your Target Market in a way they love – without interruption ads or the always awkward COLD CALL vibe.
    – They will come to you, kitten! The statistics that support blogging for business are staggering: Companies with blogs have 97% more inbound leads than companies without blogs, and more than half of the US consumers polled made purchases based on advice from a blog (these and more stats were found on Yahoo Small Business. Go check em out, if you still need convincing).
    – Your potential clients, when they are looking for advice or answers in your field, can stumble across your blog and learn from you. Then, they are far more likely to come to you when they are ready to pay for a service that you offer, because they like and trust you already – and you already have given them value.
  2. You can use blogging to build your Expertise
    – As you share valuable and interesting information related to your field, your perceived expertise will grow.
    – Another side effect (and this is an often overlooked thing, but very cool) is that you will actually learn more and become more of an expert in the process of writing really good posts for your readers.
  3. Build Community
    – I love the communities I’ve stumbled across on other blogs – and the one that has formed here. It’s truly one of the coolest things about blogging as a medium.
    – Having a vibrant and active blog-community is extremely motivating for me, as a solo business owner. I spend a lot of hours working on my biz alone, and it is always welcome to hear from the people I’m writing to each week. It can be lonely on the other side of the keyboard, right?
    – Your community can inform you too! There is no better way to learn about what your people need, than to talk with them yourself and also support a forum for them to talk to one another.
  4. Hone your Message
    – The more you talk about it, the more you will be clear about what is important to you and to your readers.
    – Being conscious of the words you use over time has been continually referred to by many famous writers as one of the best ways for them to find their own beliefs, and one of their major motivations for writing.

    Click to Tweet: “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say”
    ~ Flannery O’Connor

    Click to Tweet: “I write to find out what I think” 
    ~ Stephen King 
    …Not a bad reason to keep writing your blog posts, right?

  5. Build a legacy
    – Over time, your posts will build up and become a library of great information for new readers and even a resource for you to offer to new clients.
    – I can’t tell you how awesome it feels to know that when I get common questions from new clients, I have the time to give every single one of them a great, well-thought-out answer, written in my own Voice – one that underlines the things that I truly feel are most important and educates them in a way that I wouldn’t have time to otherwise. And it is as easy as giving them a link to a post I’ve already written. Bonus!

There is clearly value in blogging; that’s not even up for debate.

What is up for debate though, is what is the best way to go about doing it – the best way to avoid some of the more irritating parts of writing a blog.

And there are a lot of those, right? These are the 5 I hear most from my clients and friends:

  1. Coming up with new and interesting ideas to write about
    – You know what I mean. If you have a blog, you’ve sat in front of the monitor before, asking yourself what the h$%* you can write about this week. We obviously write about our industry or field, right? So how can we keep it fresh week after week after gosh-awful week?
    – You find yourself writing the same thing again and again…and again. And it is beginning to feel like your record is skipping and your readers are running in the other direction out of boredom.
  2. Writing in a way that connects well with my reader
    – I hear this a lot too. You feel like you’re writing, but it’s falling flat. You don’t know why, but your readers just aren’t into it.
  3. Being consistent
    – We commit. We promise ourselves (and our Biz Coach) that we’ll blog every week – on the same day of the week. Because we know that consistency is one of the best ways to make our blogs successful, right?
    – But life isn’t very consistent, and nobody is actually standing in your office, asking you to hit publish. It doesn’t feel as urgent as dealing with your current customers, and it’s not easy or straightforward.…so your blog sometimes gets left off of the ToDo list and ignored.
  4. Making each post effective in the moment – and over time
    – You spend all that time working out what to write about each week, and how to write it in a way that will energize your readers…and then it just disappears.
    – It feels exhausting to throw those blog-post-pennies down the well each week, just to have them vanish forever. What a waste!
  5. Finding the time to write
    – Yup. It takes For-ev-ER! At least it seems like it takes forever, right? I sometimes spend a whole day writing only one blog post. Is that really useful and effective use of my time?
With all these frustrations, we often forget the reasons we chose to write a blog in the first place.

The blog becomes just one of those “I should really” things in our business that only serve to make us feel like crap.

Because we aren’t doing it. Right?

So I’m starting a #BlogYourVoice series this month, and I want to help you to conquer the big-bad-blog-boogie-monsters.

Here is where that whole community thing comes in: I want you to tell me what the WORST thing about blogging is for you: what would you change if you had a magic wand and could make your blog better – just like *that*?

And, if you aren’t on the list for free updates, printable and blog announcements now – get on it! Don’t miss a thing.

Let’s get our blogs vibrant and happy – let’s access those amazing blog-opportunities we keep hearing about, shall we?

xo
Kris

You mad? Excited? Have a perspective to share? Please do!

18 Comments

  1. […] you want in on that conversation, go check out this post and tell me what you really […]

  2. […] reasons behind my belief that you need to be blogging for your business in last week’s post: Bloggers gotta Blog…but sometimes it sucks. I also talked about the 5 main reasons it sucks, and I asked for your feedback. Having time […]

  3. GTA painters on June 7, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Great post.

  4. Erika Swafford on June 6, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Pretty much EVERYTHING you said is a problem I run into with my blog. (Are you reading my mind?)

    Finding new ideas for new blog posts, the time it takes to write and publish the blog post (with photos), connecting with my audience, trying to stay in my own voice, and being consistence to do it every week.

    I would love to get ahead of myself and have 6 month’s worth of posts done and scheduled so I don’t have to work at it so much (or just take a guilt-free break). I have yet to make such a Herculean effort. Definitely would have me diving under the covers!

    I’m looking forward to your new series, Kris!

    • KrisWithaK on June 6, 2015 at 8:53 pm

      Oof! I feel like asking yourself to have 6 months ready ahead of time might be too intimidating, Erika.

      I would be totally intimidated to do that, BUT having a plan of the topics you will write about and then some outlines ready too could be far less intimidating and more realistic.

      I’ll look how to address that too, in the series. Thanks for the input 🙂

      xo
      K

  5. Nancy on June 3, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Hi Kris!

    It seems I’m kinda the opposite, in usually it’s a photograph that sparks an idea for me. If it’s someone else’s photo, I’ll take my own and craft my story/post around my photos. My posts tend to have too many photos sometimes, I’m working on less is more. 😉

    Your website and posts have given me so many great tips. You make me challenge myself to try new ways to improve my writing skills. Mind you, its not always easy, but you make it super fun! Thanks!

    xoxoxo
    Nancy

    • KrisWithaK on June 3, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      That’s a cool way to start, Nancy!

      I do agree that less can be more with photos…especially if the photo is as adorable as the ones you take. Really highlight the coolness of the thing you made, without distracting too much from one with another 🙂

      xo
      K

  6. Holly C. on June 3, 2015 at 11:03 am

    The worst thing about blogging for me is coming up with ideas for content. I can have ideas for projects, but sometimes I procrastinate on actually starting them, and, Like Nela, I like using my own images in my posts, so actually working on projects and remembering to photograph the process needs to be more of a priority! I also find that my voice changes from a more thoughtful tone to a “pun”ny tone. Can I use both?

    • KrisWithaK on June 3, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      You can TOTALLY use both, Holly!

      If you are a thoughtful person, who also likes to toss a pun down, you SHOULD be using both – because that is your Voice.

      I find that having a good editorial calendar, with themed series’ helps me to have images ready that relate to lots of blog posts from one or two “shoots,” rather than having to create a whole new set each week. Batching your work is pretty awesome for time-saving 🙂

      xo
      K

  7. Renia Carsillo on June 2, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    All I really want is to be able to write the posts and have someone else format, figure out graphics and post them. I love the writing part and have dozens of posts written and ready to go, but I procrastinate and spend hours formating, figuring out pictures and trying to make it all perfect.

    Looking forward to this series Kris!

    • KrisWithaK on June 2, 2015 at 6:27 pm

      Oooo – I’m already seeing a pattern here, Renia.

      Images and formatting were a big issue for me too. I may have to ask one of my photographer or designer buddies to come guest post about their process.

      Thanks for the input!

      xo
      K

      • Nela on June 3, 2015 at 3:31 pm

        Hey if you’d like me to share some of my own tips and processes, I’d be glad to 😉



      • KrisWithaK on June 6, 2015 at 8:51 pm

        Cool, Nela! Thanks 🙂

        I’m percolating on how I’ll address that one. It may be an interview questionnaire or something. I’ll send you a note if I do 🙂

        xo
        K



  8. Nela on June 2, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    The absolute worst thing for me is one you’ve already mentioned – it takes SO MUCH TIME.

    I can’t even make one post in a single day. The reason is one, a most of my posts are in the 1500-2000 words bracket and beyond, which obviously takes time to type. I tried writing shorter posts, and I just can’t. I don’t know how, but I always end up with so much text.

    Another reason is I take time to create blog graphics, at least one main per post, sometimes more. Because I want all my graphics to be original, this means either drawing it, or setting up a scene to photograph, or scrambling to find something appropriate in my huge photo and sketch archive.

    I have zero problems coming up with topics (I have over 100 – not exaggerating – drafts in my drafts folder), I actually enjoy writing, and I’ve been told by my readers that they connect with what I write a lot, and I make sure to link up old posts in my new ones to get fresh eyes on them regularly… but man, time is such a huge downer for me. I’ve been managing to post weekly for a few months now, but it’s a huge challenge when it takes me time away from the work that pays the bills.

    • KrisWithaK on June 2, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      I TOTALLY get the time it takes to put together images, Nela!

      I started doing huge photo shoots for posts every week, and I just couldn’t keep it up. I realized that doing a full how-to post with photos for each step is something I can do sometimes, but not every week 😉

      I tend to take many photos now – all at once – and save them to use in my header image. It’s not perfect, but it saves me a LOT of time.

      xo
      K

      • Nela on June 3, 2015 at 3:29 pm

        Oh I absolutely agree, a post with a lot of photos isn’t viable for every week.

        I’d love to batch taking photos for plenty of posts in advance, but I haven’t managed to do that yet. Hm I wonder why that is.
        Given the amount of posts I have in the pipeline I suppose I could do that. I just don’t want my graphics to be repetitive, so I still need to create some fresh drawings or lettering to keep it interesting.

        As a primarily visual creator, I set a standard for myself and now I feel like I’m not allowed to “phone it in” on the graphics department! 🙂



      • KrisWithaK on June 12, 2015 at 3:42 pm

        I think finding the right system to make the workflow efficient will do wonders for you in this department – because you are already skilled at creating images, but you need to have batched images that meet the standard you have for your visual branding.

        Start thinking about how you can get that quality while shaving down the set up and follow through time you use. I’ll be writing about this soon with a friend of mine who manages to do this with illustrations & photos on her blog quite well, so stay tuned!

        xo
        K



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