This is one of those odd 5th Mondays where I don't need to follow a specific editorial calendar. Since this week (almost) marks halfway through the year, I decided to reflect a bit on how I've stuck with my plan to get one blog out every week so far this year and what you can do with your own site to help.
Blogging isn't terribly difficult, but keeping the content fresh can be time-consuming. I usually manage to get a few weeks written ahead of time. Then I get busy with production work and everything catches up to me such that I'm scrambling to write a blog a few days before it's scheduled to show up in your inbox. In previous years, this meant I was missing a week with blogging. This year is different because I set some things up to help me focus my blog. Which leads me to the first and best thing that you can do to keep your blogging on track:
Setup an Editorial Calendar
It doesn't have to be extensive, but figure out how often you want to blog and then outline topics. For instance, I set the goal to write a weekly blog and have each week cover something different. For a weekly blog, I rotate through four topics on which I want to educate my readers, clients, and prospects. There is a fifth week for oddball months (like this month) that I just labeled "Random Week". The other four are:
- Week 1: Music Week (which has grown to something more like "hobby week" or "life week")
- Week 2: Last Month in Security (which has evolved to be more about what happened last month and what you can do to protect your business)
- Week 3: Marketing Week (which covers different digital marketing efforts and ways to improve)
- Week 4: Web Week (which I wanted to focus on some of the more complex things we do, but writing about that without being boring is harder than I originally thought it would be - so this one is still evolving)
Now, when I have to scramble to write a blog, I just look up the week and use that to narrow my focus on deciding what to write about. Which leads me to the second thing you can do:
Build on Other Popular Articles
Entrepreneur.com and many other sites publish fantasic articles. Use those as references and starting points. A number of blogs I written in recent weeks simply offered counter-points or supporting views of the content in another article. When it's a particularly long article, I like to focus in on a few key points the other author discussed and opine on my own. This does a couple things; it provides you with unique, fresh content and it provides a link to a highly-ranked site, which in-turns boosts your own ranking. Both of which are Google/SEO-friendly.
Blogging doesn't need to be difficult. Just keep it short. Create a basic list of rotating topics. Build on the other research out there.