I sit down with my coffee, open email, and an hour later still haven't posted on my blog. I decide I need inspiration for what to blog about, so I go over to my feed reader, or to my Alltop.com. I start reading my favorite blogs.
Ninety minutes later, I still haven't started a new blog post. I've read some great stuff over on Copyblogger, Ittybiz, Seth's Blog, and Problogger… only now I feel like my writing sucks. I've got serious blog envy and feel like crap.
It's now time to get started on a client project, but I've got a tennis match so I'll have to come back later.
Sound familiar? Change a few details and I bet this is your story. Yesterday I wrote about two ways to find your blog writing genius, going outside and going inside.
Clearly going outside for ideas to blog about is easy, but it's not without peril, as described above. The way to avoid time-sucking, ego-draining traps is to go inside of yourself and write your own material.
Going inside can be a time saver, because you’re the source of your post, (unless you get bogged down and start writing your memoires). However, always ask “What’s in it for my readers?” Keep the focus on providing relevant stories they can use for their own edification.
Going outside for blog post ideas is fascinating because you’ll be learning as you do this, however, it’s a huge time-sucker. Only do that when you’ve got time.
I’d say split your posts up between original material and other people’s resources 50-50 or even 70-30. When I started out and was finding my way and still learning, I mostly wrote about what others were blogging about, maybe 25% of my own stuff, 75% outside stuff. Now it is the other way around.
One exception to this is to frequently write about your own clients, their stories, their emails. Joan Stewart does a great job of this on her Publicity Hound blog.
So here's a tip for saving time writing on your blog: Write something you're already working on. You can look at the following list of projects to find material you can easily turn into a blog post:
- Speeches, presentations
- Outlines for classes, teleseminars
- Client projects
- Newsletter articles
- Notes from a phone call or conference
- Your own 'to-do' list
- Steps you need to take to complete a project
- Passages you've highlighted in an article or book
This blog post was originally part of an outline for a blogging teleseminar coming up soon (stay tuned!) So I already had written a paragraph, just needed to round it out, link, add a photo, and bingo, blog posting done in 40 minutes.
I'm on my second cup of coffee, fed the kitties, and now it's time for tennis.
What time-saving tips can you share for us here?