Blogging once a week is one of the most helpful SEO practices a marketer can do. You need to feed the Google monster and it survives on a diet of fresh content. The more blog posts you create the more chances you have to boost your search ranking for a variety of keyword phrases. More quality posts mean more quality traffic.
The key to seeing this ROI from your blog is consistency. Consistent posting not only helps to improve your search rankings, but it also builds trust with your readers. Frankly though, it’s easier said than done.
For most of us blogging isn’t our day job. We have any number of other deadlines to meet and many of these can seem more important at the time. The basic problem is we’re distracted.
Here are seven tips to block out the noise of your competing interests and get down to the business of blogging:
- Plan your topics in advance: When you sit down to write is not the time to plan your topic. You wouldn’t launch a new website without some planning, would you? The same goes for writing your posts. Have a game plan before you sit down. Hopefully you already have a blog editorial calendar. When you brainstorm and add topics to the calendar include a column to jot down the main points you’ll tackle. Then refer back to it when it’s time to write. This will minimize the time you spend staring at blank screen pondering what to write about.
- Block out time: Treat your writing time like you do a meeting—add it to your calendar. And don’t let flexibility creep in. Stick to the time you set as if it’s an important customer meeting that you can’t reschedule. Everyone has millions of other things that seemingly can’t wait; move blogging up the priority list.
- Say goodbye to IM: The chat client is an open invitation for interruption. Writing takes focus and the blinking chat notice on your taskbar is the writer’s equivalent of a knock at the door during family dinner. Sign out of chat when you need to get your blogging done. Don’t just exit the chat client because it will continue to run in the background and an IM will inevitably pop up on your screen. You must actually sign out.
- Silence your cell phone: I know, I know – how could you possibly? Just do it. We’re all hyperconnected and it is killing creativity. It can be hard to resist the urge to check your phone, so put it out of sight and out of mind. I mute my phone and stick it in a drawer when it’s time to write. Whoever needs to reach you, can wait 30 minutes. If it truly can’t wait, they’ll find another way to track you down.
- Write what you know: The biggest doorway to distraction is trying to write about something that you don’t know enough about. Perhaps your blog administrator assigned you a topic. If it’s not in your wheelhouse, say no. That post will take you too long and inevitably you’ll abandon it for some other task, like checking Facebook or surfing cat videos. Stick to your expertise and the content will flow from you naturally with an authentic voice.
- Remember you are not a one man wolf pack: Sometimes you’ll dive into a post and you start to feel stuck. You may question, where am I going with this post? That’s when I pick up the phone and call one of my coworkers because it often helps just to talk it out. That act, in and of itself, can be enough to pull me back on task.
- Know when to call it quits: There is no need to spend extra time trying to reach some magical number of tips or word count. Say you set out to write 10 tips for blogging, but you get to the seventh and the post feels complete. Well, then you’re done.
If this post served as a distraction from writing your own blog post, then don’t let me keep you. And I probably should return the call that has come to my desk line a couple times in the last 10 minutes — like I said, they’ll find a way to track you down when you’re not on IM and your cell goes straight to voicemail.
What other tactics do you use to screen the noise out and focus on the things matter, whether that’s at work or in your personal life?