Setting Your Blogging Intentions

At this time of year it’s traditional to be looking at the year ahead, deciding what you want to achieve, and figuring out what you need to do to get there. Once upon a time I’d have set New Year Resolutions, but not anymore. Resolutions seem so set in stone, so absolute, that if I set one and then deviate even slightly, I end up feeling like a failure and give it up altogether. So now I set intentions and goals. It’s the same principle, but I find words can be powerful motivators, and the words ‘intention’ and ‘goal’ seem to give me more lee-way for veering off course, or changing course altogether if I find a particular goal doesn’t work for me. And all without making me feel like an out and out failure. Each year I make sure that I set some blogging intentions. I give blogging the importance and priority I know it needs if my blog’s going to work for me. Blogging intentions aren’t just about writing. They’re also about how you’re going to generate ideas of what to write about; getting clear on who you’re writing for; deciding how often you intend to publish your posts; and working out where you’re going to publish your posts. Last year my Blogging Intentions centred around getting clear on who I’m writing for, getting into the habit of publishing once a week for The Write Angles blog, and figuring out what my personal blog is all about. I haven’t set my intentions for this year yet, I’m still formulating them. But in terms of People, Objective, Storycupboard, True To You, and...

How To Cheat At Blogging

It’s Blog Week this week, and earlier in the week somebody, let’s call her Geraldine (not her real name), shared her blog post with an apology for cheating. Cheating! How do you cheat at blogging? Well in this case, Geraldine had written a follow on from her post of the previous day. It had occurred to her as she went to bed that there was another angle, and so she got up the next morning and wrote a short post, from this new angle. Her thinking was that because it had been so easy, and was quite short, that it was cheating. Why should something that’s easy and quick and short be considered cheating? Why do we assume that for something to be worth it, it has to be arduous? When you think of all the phrases you hear around the concepts of work, ‘good, hard, honest work’, ‘work hard, play hard’, ‘all that hard work has paid off’, ‘blood, sweat, and tears’ in conjunction with worthwhile results from working at something: is it any wonder that we associate ‘work’ with difficulty and struggle. Luckily, when it comes to blogging there’s no such thing as cheating, because blogging can be easy. And quick. And fun. Yesterday I set a challenge in Blog Week: set a timer and write a blog post in 30 minutes. Everyone who took up the challenge managed it. They all wrote and published a post in 30 minutes. Some of us went back after it was published and corrected a few spelling or grammar errors, but the point was that we’d written a post in 30 minutes. Quick, short, easy, and fun....

A Vlog About Limiting Beliefs

I’m always telling people that they should mix things up in their blogs.  That they should post different types of content in order to keep things interesting.  And then I go and post the same kind of content, because writing’s what I love to do, and up until recently I’ve shied away from all things video.  Well here I am practicing what I preach!  I’d love to hear about your Limiting Beliefs, especially where they relate to blogging, and how you’re overcoming them...

The Danger Of Not Blogging

If you think blogging’s a marketing tool for the future, you need to catch up: because blogging is fast becoming an integral part of any successful business’s marketing strategy.  And the danger of not blogging is leaving money on the table and directing all your ideal customers to take their custom elsewhere. A couple of days a week I work out of Loudons Cafe in Edinburgh.  I’m lucky because it’s a brilliant cafe with lovely owners and friendly staff.  And handily it’s also situated opposite my husband’s office.  So on the days I work in Loudons, Paul and I drop Kimber off at Doggie Daycare (which is just as cute and bonkers as you imagine it is) and drive into town.  This morning I was telling Paul about a talk I gave yesterday on the importance of blogging.  I was recounting one of the questions I was asked, which was ‘what are the dangers of not blogging?’, when he cut in with a rather succinct, and if I may say so, forceful response!  Which was along the lines of ‘the danger is that someone who’s her ideal customer will come on her site and not be able to tell that she’s their ideal accountant.  So they’ll go somewhere else.’.  This from the man who didn’t consider blogging to be ‘proper work’ not two years ago.  Now given that my husband specialises in helping struggling businesses to become viable, thriving businesses: the fact that he now considers blogging to be an integral part of any business’s marketing strategy tells me that blogging is no longer a marketing tool for the future.  It’s...

How I Crushed My Content Nemesis

The Buggles sang that video killed the radio star, but when it comes to creating content, I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t progressed past the written word.  To be honest, I can’t really be doing with podcasts.  When I’m listening to music I can be dancing, reading, writing, chatting.  But when it comes to listening to someone talking from my speaker or headphones, I don’t quite know what to do with my eyes. So you might reasonably expect that video would be my thing?  Well, up until this week, not really.  I don’t find it as convenient as reading when I’m out and about, and let’s be honest, some people’s videos can take some time to get to the point.  And I don’t have the kind of patience that can tolerate much in the way of ‘I’m so excited to be here, would you like to hear all about my day from hell/life history/adorable children/cute dog/funny thing my cat did earlier, before we get to the reason you’re watching at some point in the quite distant future’. Of course as a content creator, I know that diversifying the content I produce is a good thing.  And as a learning professional, I know that different people prefer to receive information in different ways.  So it would not be unreasonable to expect me to be incorporating this knowledge into the way I run my business.  But I’ve resisted.  I’ve had my reasons: it’s too technical – despite the fact I’ve learned how to do some quite complex web based stuff; I don’t have the right place to film – despite having a house with rooms; I don’t...

Five Barriers To Creating A Business Blogging Habit

If you want your blog to work for your business, blogging needs to become a habit.  Here’s how to break down the barriers that are fuelling your resistance to forming a business blogging habit. Barrier One: Your Blog Has No Clear Business Benefit When you’re looking to establish any habit, you need to understand what the benefit will be.  You need a reason to change or establish a behaviour.  Because otherwise it won’t make any sense to you and it’ll be the easiest thing to drop. Blogging for the sake of blogging results in poor, irregular content, and does little to benefit your business.  Blogging with purpose and with clear expected benefits, is key.  Both my free e-book, Seven Secrets To Building A Blogging Habit That Works For Your Business, and the Blog Club Members’ Guide, have exercises to help you give your blog a clear, business purpose. Barrier Two: You Don’t Know How To Do It or How To Get Better At It Blogging sounds like it should be easy, right?  But when you actually sit down to write, you can end up staring at a blank screen for what seems like an eternity.  For most people, whose expertise is what they run a business in, coming up with few hundred informative and entertaining words on a subject, doesn’t come naturally.  It takes knowledge, skills, and experience.  But especially experience.  To get good you need to know what to write about, learn how to write about it, and moreover, practice clicking ‘Publish’.  Everyone has the fear of clicking ‘Publish’.  And the only way to get over it, is to do...