How to Audit Your Blogging Process and Prepare for the Year Ahead

 

In a world seemingly driven by hashtags and engagement, too many entrepreneurs are quick to think they can continue growing their business through social media only. Yes, social media is a valuable piece of the puzzle, but a great content marketing approach is about diversity in platforms. 

If you have a website for your business, you are the proud owner and editor-in-chief of the most powerful platform your business will ever own: a blog. Your blog allows you to produce long-form content that lives on your website and brings you traffic on repeat. The average lifespan of a blog post is 2 years and only 48 hours for an Instagram post.

In other words, you have full control over the platform. You don’t have to worry about “beating the algorithm” or staying up to speed on the latest TikTok dances. Instead, you can focus on creating valuable content that attracts and wins over your ideal clients year after year. After all, isn’t that what marketing is all about?

Pro Tip: The only thing you own on the Internet is your website, so consider your blog as your insurance policy against social media changes. It serves as a “home base” to store, organize and promote all of the amazing work you do and the expert advice you have to share, no matter what happens to any of the third-party platforms you use.

There’s also the other invaluable benefit of building your search engine optimization (SEO) authority. A website without a blog will not impress Google and will likely live in the depths of the search results. But, one that is regularly updated with rich keyword-driven content will show Google, and your audience, that you’re relevant, active and open for business.

Whether you’re new to the game or you’re looking for tips to keep it going strong in the new year, here’s how to set yourself up for blogging success: 

Evaluate Where Your Blog Stands

If you’re not blogging already, there’s no time better than the present to begin writing. If you are, don’t stop! Going forward, see if you can curate your content to draw in even more traffic. Start by looking at your website analytics to see where your traffic comes from, in particular the blog posts that get the most attention and those that don’t. This data can tell you what to do more of and what to do less.

Pro Tip: Don’t stress too much about the numbers. There are many intangible benefits to blogging that have nothing to do with traffic or analytics, so the most important thing is to just do it.

Gather Ideas For Content

A lot of business owners find themselves turned off by blogging because they get stuck wondering what to write. In reality, every entrepreneur has plenty to share, you just need to know where to look. I recommend starting with your FAQs, as it’s likely that each question and answer can be turned into an insightful and helpful blog post. 

You can also look at all of the work you’ve done in the past year and craft a new post for every project. If you work in weddings and events, showcase the celebrations you’ve helped bring to life. If you’re a crafter or artist, share profiles of the products you’ve sold or custom projects you’ve designed and the inspiration behind each of them. The ideas are there waiting for you to share on your blog. 

Remember, you’re the editor-in-chief of your blog, no one is going to tell you, “No, that’s not blog-worthy.”

Create Time For Blogging

Let’s get real for a second: if you have time for social media, you have time to blog. More often than not, “I don’t have time” is an excuse that means “I don’t want to do it.” If you are genuinely too busy to create content that grows your business, there are other problems that need to be addressed.

Start thinking of your blog as an effective sales tool that will attract more business and have a positive impact on your profit margins. It’s not just writing into the ether; it’s telling your audience exactly why they should buy into your brand’s offerings. At the end of the day, all the smart and savvy tactics in the world won’t make blogging easier if you have a negative mindset about it.

Learn About SEO

You don’t need to be a search engine expert by any means, but it’s worth spending some time reading up about SEO basics to ensure you’re doing right by your blog. If you’re producing content regularly, it might as well work to bring in more eyes.

Read up on blogging best practices to understand the anatomy of a good blog post, how to use keywords and what you can do to increase your website’s authority. Including elements like images, links and headings can all add up to help boost your ranking. A blog post done right will pay dividends for years and years, but a blog post done wrong is a waste of time. 

Find Your Rhythm

Writing is a creative process, so it’s important to figure out how you operate best. Are you a time-blocking, batch-working whiz? If so, you might find that getting a month’s worth of posts done in one sitting is the best strategy for you. On the other hand, if you prefer consistency in your approach, you might like having it become a weekly routine.

More important than when you do it, is how you do it. It’s best to plan ahead during your slow season, so you know the type of content you need to create without having to think too hard about what to write when your schedule is full. 

Make It A Pressure-Free Process

Here’s the thing: Not every post needs to break the internet and be the next great American novel. It just needs to be done. It’s OK if your blog post isn’t engaging and overly detailed. Give yourself permission to have some not-so-great posts or posts that are photos only with very few words. Try not to stress out about blogging 100 photos, when five really great photos would get the job done. You can always go back and edit later (after all, you’re the editor-in-chief) or simply move on and consider it practice for the next post. 

Avoiding your blog because you don’t think you’re a good writer with anything to offer is worse than posting a blog post that isn’t super engaging or simply full of pictures. Consider it an ongoing learning process,  don’t let “perfect” be the enemy of good.

Avoid These Blogging Don’ts

As you learn about content marketing and writing blogs, you’ll see a lot of “do this” and “do that”  even in this article. But there are plenty of don’ts to consider as well. In particular: 

  • Don’t overthink it. Done is better than perfect.
  • Don’t compare your blog FOR your business to a blog AS a business. They are two very different businesses.
  • Don’t blog without a plan. It will lead to inconsistent posting.
  • Don’t think you’re a bad writer. You are fine! 
  • Don’t forget to celebrate your business’ wins on your blog. There’s no better place to do so.
  • Don’t think that you have to have words in every blog post. When you just can’t find the words, a photo round-up is your best blogging friend.

There are numerous reasons to start blogging for your independent business, so if you haven’t started already, consider this your sign to get the blog rolling.


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Julianne Smith

Juliane Smith is The Garter Girl, a stylish wedding garter company hand making modern heirlooms for today's brides. She is on a mission to modernize the oldest wedding tradition and provide women something sophisticated to wear and cherish on their big day. She is a reformed political junkie with a love of tradition, an eye for style, and a passion for beautiful things. Julianne is also the founder and former editor of the Washington DC area’s top wedding blog, United With Love. You can find more at www.thegartergirl.com, on social at @gartergirl, or at the park in our nation’s capital with her three little kids.