I’m not a blogger—I just play one on the Internet. There are a lot of professional bloggers out there. I’m not one of them. Like many small business owners that also happen to blog, I have to find ways to balance my time between the demands of running a business and pushing out information that helps me build up my online reputation.
Lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed between business and blogging issues. I love to write, but blogging takes up a considerable portion of my day. I then have the added self-imposed pressure that I have to blog regularly. In talking with my wife about this, she looked at me and asked, “Do you really have to?” I immediately jumped into self-justification mode. “It puts me out there.” “It builds my credibility.” “It gives me a voice in my industry. “It leads to more contacts, leads and even speaking gigs. Of course I have to.”
But, well, I really don’t have to. Reality struck me later that evening. I’m not a professional blogger. I don’t make my living blogging, and there is no one demanding that I write a blog post every day. In fact, if something more important comes up, things such as family or urgent business matters, the blog needs to be the first thing to be pushed aside. The problem is that it’s often not.
Setting your blogging priorities
I know many small business owners feel the same way that I do. Somehow stuck between business obligations and feeling like blogging is one of the most important things we can do. And looking at the big picture, blogging is one of the important things that we do for our business, but it’s not the most important thing. And while we are looking at the big picture, a missed day here or week there certainly isn’t going to hurt.
As with anything else, putting blogging into perspective and prioritizing it properly is essential for any small business blogger. It’s OK to set time aside for blogging, but if that time gets interrupted by other, more urgent matters, go do what’s important. Your blog will still be there the next day, or week, or month. Missing a post here or there isn’t the end of the world.
Know when to say when
Another useful suggestion that can help during those times that you don’t have a lot of time to invest in blogging is to break up a long post into several shorter posts. You can either sit down and write it all at out once and then take several blogging days off as you post the pieces over time, or you can write each piece separately, allowing you to spend less time writing it all out in one sitting.
There have been a lot of times when I published a very long blog post and wished that I had broken it up into several posts over a few days. This would have given me more time to focus on more important business matters while not having an extended period of blogging silence. My readers, too, might appreciate the smaller quicker hits of information, as many of them are busy as well.
Changing your blogging patterns
Sometimes it’s not a matter of how often you blog but a matter of how much. I tend to get pretty wordy in my blog posts and there is nothing wrong with that. But sometimes I forget that not every blog post has to be a 1200 word article. Some posts can be shorter than others.
This is helpful to keep in mind when you’re stressed about not getting to your blog posts. Don’t worry about writing some lengthy prose; just throw up a few paragraphs. Give your readers something, even if it’s just a quick thought. You can always go back and revisit and expand upon it later. It’s really OK to do that. In fact, I recommend deliberately mixing things up a bit. One day force yourself to write no more than a paragraph. Another day write 300 words. Another, 600, and another 1200, if you can do it.
My point here is that short posts can often be just as good, if not better than long posts. Honestly, I know I don’t write enough short posts, but I do enjoy reading them! Quick bits of information can be fantastic to your readers who don’t always have time to invest in your longer, more thought-out pieces.
And speaking of keeping things short and sweet, I’ll make an effort right here and now to end this article. I’ll bet you didn’t even notice what didn’t get written, did you? I’m off to do the important things, like run a successful small business. I’ll leave the rest of the blogging to the professionals.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.