Do you find it impossible to write blogs consistently? Do you wish it could be an easier task or find an alternative to blogging altogether?
This week on the Whin Big Podcast, Katie shares the reasons behind her own blogging failures and looks at how she worked around them to succeed at content creation in other ways.
As always, the Whin Big Podcast is a positive and inspiring place for you to tackle issues around improving your small business marketing.
Jump into this week’s episode for ideas to turn your blogging failures into content success.
As always the show notes are a guide to the episode – make sure you hear the full conversation for even more inspiration and advice on marketing in today’s sometimes-uncertain climate.
Today’s episode is sponsored by my Instagram MOT. This 20-point checklist will take you through all the most important things you need to get right in your Instagram marketing. Head to thewhin.co/mot to sign up for the free training and download the checklist. Now, let’s get into the episode.
Embrace failure – you never know what you’ll learn!
As business owners, it’s easy to shy away from failures and just concentrate on the good stuff – we certainly don’t shout about them. It’s even harder to talk about what we do wrong when everyone else seems to get it so right. Right?
Here at the Whin Big Podcast, we got to thinking about this very subject and thought it was important we talked about our failures with you. After all, if we don’t talk about what we’ve failed at, we can’t share what we learned as a result – and that’s important!
“When we make a mistake, we turn it into a learning experience.” – Katie
After several failed attempts at starting a blog on The Whin website, Katie accepted it wasn’t the right medium for her business goals.
What she learned from her blogging failures now feeds into everything she does with her digital marketing – her podcast, email newsletters and even Instagram.
If you can’t get your blog off the ground, don’t dwell on your failings. Learn from them instead.
Lesson 1: Find something new to say
When I first started blogging, I followed all the traditional advice. I researched keywords based on my customers’ searching habits and tried to write blogs around those subjects.
“I ended up creating blogs with the same titles and content everybody else writes. There was no way for me to add personality or share my experience. It felt like I wasn’t contributing anything valuable.” – Katie
Flip traditional advice on its head. Don’t look for ways to appeal to search engines and keyword research. Instead, look to how you can add value for your audience. Ask yourself:
- What do they need to know?
- What would they like to read?
- What content did I wish was out there when I started out?
- What do I want to read about?
When I stopped blogging, I started podcasting. At last, I’d found a way to share the stories I wanted to hear. So, if blogging doesn’t do it for you – look for an alternative.
Lesson 2: Have your audience hold you accountable
After posting a blog, I was often frustrated at having no sense of who was reading it. I struggled to find a connection as there was no sense of relationship and no way to build one.
Finding a form of content where you feel accountable to your audience is essential.
“When you create content, you should feel a sense of accountability – think about people in your audience. They are sitting, waiting to hear from you. That’s an important mindset shift… a connection to your audience makes it easy to be consistent.” – Katie
- Try switching the focus from blogs to email newsletters. Seeing names of real people as they sign up makes it easier to imagine them when sitting down to write
- If you use an email system like Convertkit you get a feel for the numbers – you will see where the connections work well, and which areas could use more attention
Lesson 3: Do-it-yourself has its downsidesFor me, blogging was a huge task to complete as I did everything herself, and I didn’t always enjoy it. Researching, writing, promoting (rinse and repeat) became overwhelming.
“When you run a business, there are 101 things you could be doing on any given day. Because I was responsible for all the things it was difficult to make blogging a priority.” – Katie
Wherever you can – outsource. Even if it’s one tiny element of the process at the start.
If you’ve committed to regular content creation, find someone who can take over the tasks you enjoy least. Ask yourself:
- Which jobs are the biggest barrier?
- Which tasks take ages to do?
- Where do I feel most stressed?
- What bits do I hate doing?
- Who do I know who can help me with this?
Find an expert who can do it for you. The Whin Podcast has a team of experts behind it. Keith looks after the editing, Abi writes the show notes and Rachel looks after the processes and systems.
Without them, the podcast wouldn’t happen. I have the freedom to create podcasts I love, while the others take on the tasks I doesn’t enjoy or can’t prioritise.
Lesson 4: ‘Everyone says I should’ is not a good enough reason
I felt like I ‘should’ have a blog but found it unfulfilling and frustrating. If you don’t enjoy the process, it’s going to be a thankless task. When you make a commitment to creating content regularly, it’s important to find an enjoyable way to do it.
“I got into running my own business because I wanted to enjoy my own work. Because I’m the boss, I get to choose whether or not to do things – based on if I enjoy them or not! I didn’t enjoy blogging, so I couldn’t be consistent. So I found ways to share content that I did enjoy.” – Katie
What parts of digital marketing do you enjoy? Where would you prefer your energy to focus? If you can find a way to share your content and enjoy it at the same time – it’s going to be easier to stick to.
If you want to get away from blogging, try:
- Instagram. Better to write excellent captions that people want to read every week than plugging away at long-form blogs a couple of times a year
- Facebook. You can write longer posts on Facebook, like mini-blogs
- Twitter. Start threaded tweets to engage people in a way that blogs never can – in real-time
Your failures can give you valuable insight
If you sit down to write a blog with a heavy heart, then focus on why that might bel. Is it really the best way to get your message out? Sometimes we do the task because we don’t want to feel like a failure, but now you know how failing can be great for your business marketing.
Get in touch
Do you have a question or story you’d like to share with the Whin Big Podcast audience? Is there an area of your own marketing you would love to understand better? If you have anything you’d like to share – Iwould love to feature you on a future episode.