Over the last decade, business marketing expectations have skyrocketed. Today, businesses—small and large alike—all need to write and maintain a regular blog to keep up with customer demand for product and service information. But as you are blogging away at your business, precious time is taken from the many duties of running your business: producing your products, reaching out to new clientele, and managing the day to day workload. For a small business owner, this can be taxing in time and energy.
So, what can a small business owner do to shorten blogging time?
Although blogging is a necessity to modern business marketing, the blogging process does not have to be a chore. Business owners and media managers can increase efficiency by putting in some tried and true writing practices: plan in advance, use a writer’s notebook, write with a variety of styles, and follow the writing process. These are the same practices that students use to balance multiple courses in college, the same practices that novelists use to compose a book under a deadline, and the same practices that freelance writers use when working with multiple clients. Because these practices work for shortening your writing time, bloggers need to master that skill set.
How can the writing process speed up blogging?
The writing process consists of: brainstorming, planning, drafting, editing and revising, and presenting. For many writers, the process takes a little energy the first time through but becomes smooth and efficient with practice. When we organize writing into a well-organized procedure, we get an efficient piece of writing as a result. Using the writing process as a part of blogging production keeps a writer on track, disallows distracted thinking, and maintains organization for both the blogger and the blog post. Sometimes, writers may manipulate the writing process to fit their specific needs (e.g., some writers combine the brainstorming and planning into one step), and doing so creates better organization and a quicker blogging process. A little organization is something all bloggers need.
Can utilizing a variety of writing styles make a difference?
Absolutely. I recently met with a new blogger to support her through the planning process for her first blog post. She wanted to include a comparison between two skill sets, an introduction to a service her business offers, a series of definitions about her business, and a narrative to give back story on her topic. This blog post would have been a jumbled mess if I had encouraged her to continue in that vein. Instead, we looked at her topic and broke it down into several smaller goals.
We needed to look at these ideas one at a time. She wanted to communicate her backstory, so I helped her to organize that into a narrative blog post. Then we moved into defining the parameters of her business, so we made that into an expository blog post. Next, we moved into a comparison of skill sets for a third blog posts. In the end, we outlined six different blog posts for her blog. With these in place, she was able to write in a more organized manner, reach out to her readership with a clear, competent voice, and engage her readers by appealing to the variety of questions they have around her topic. Breaking up her writing into different writing styles polished her blog into a professional series of posts rather than a jumbled mess.
The writer’s notebook—a great step towards efficiency for bloggers
As a blogger and business person, your website is on your mind much of the time. Why not take advantage of the situation by using a writer’s notebook? A writer’s notebook is a tool that creative writers use to keep track of the ideas that come up throughout the day, because some of our best ideas come up on the bus, while queuing for a latte, or during the down time of staff meetings.
A writer’s notebook can be anything—a student notebook that fits into a purse or briefcase, a moleskin notepad that fits into a back pocket, or even a notes app on a smart phone. Pull it out whenever a question, thought, idea, or connection comes to mind. Throughout our days, we come up with many ideas that get lost when we are busy multitasking, but by using a writer’s notebook, we can capture those ideas for use in blogging.
For example, I carry a writer’s notebook everywhere I go. In it, I have jotted down the notes of two coworkers who had an argument about a new company policy; I could use that as a jumping off point for a blog on whether this type of policy is effective and what the viewpoints on it are. Another page of my notebook is a list of questions I have about new technologies that I am trying out. I could easily combine these into single or multiple posts and share in a blog post; if I have those technology questions, then so do many other people. The writer’s notebook provides a useful tool for making blogging more efficient.
Focus on your business not your blogging
When you started your business, I doubt you envisioned working long, laborious hours day after day. You probably pictured yourself as a successful entrepreneur, a person in charge of their future, and someone who had the luxury of making their own decisions in life and work. By focusing your writing time and energy, you can lessen your stress, increase your motivation, and rejuvenate that inspired vision of being a successful entrepreneur. By planning out your blog posts, using a writer’s notebook, writing with a variety of styles, and utilizing the writing process, producing high-quality blogs becomes a snap, your readers are more engaged, and your stress level drops significantly. Instead of spending too much time on blogging, spend just enough efficient time on blogging and enjoy your business.
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