Whoops, I’ve Neglected My Blog… Now What?
When running a small business, it can be tricky to keep up with all of the tasks. There are so many touch points that we create when building a brand, and rightfully so. Sometimes keeping them all afloat is simple, and sometimes some fall by the wayside.
With the immediacy of social media, we automatically point a large chunk of our attention to those channels. It can feel a bit like trying to keep a balloon up in the air – maintaining a streak of posting and interacting without ever letting it touch the floor.
But the ever-changing landscape of social media is exactly why we shouldn’t be spending all of our time working on content for Instagram (which has a lifespan of 48 hours). Easier said than done, though, as social media is designed to be more addictive than blogs!
So, how can we blog in a way that is less reliant on consistency and constant availability, but still has an impact on our business?
Don’t emphasise times away
You’re going to need to do what I say and not what I do, in this case, because I actually haven’t posted a blog post prior to this one in 2 months. So, I probably shouldn’t have made my next post about how I’ve been away. But inspiration struck and I thought you could learn a bit from myself – the master of sporadic blog posting.
Don’t make a big song and dance whenever you return from a period of inactivity. While people used to read blogs every day, they’re much less likely to now, which means in most cases they might be finding the post way after you’ve written it, anyway! And what they’re after is their specific query, not an explanation for a 3-month break you took several months before.
Which leads me to…
Focus on writing evergreen content
Compared to the 48 hours of life your post has on Instagram, blog content can be found and experienced for years thanks to the magic of search engines and repeated sharing of evergreen content across platforms like Twitter.
Look at your existing blog posts and your future content plan and toss away 95% of things that have too much of a timeframe attached to them. Go ahead and mention activities and promotions about Christmas, but leave what you had for lunch of Tuesday the 22nd of July 2014 (unless you’re a food blogger).
Write your content in a way where it could be read right away, or on a distant date, and still make sense and be relevant to your audience. That way it doesn’t matter if you’re MIA, the content will serve your audience in your absence.
Space out the posts you DO write
Again, the way that people consume blog content has changed drastically in the past few years. It used to be the norm to post every day, or at least once per week. Now I feel the urge to write strikes me a lot less than it used to. I might have a day when I bash out a few posts, and then have a few weeks where I’m too busy working on client projects to put a metaphorical pen to metaphorical paper.
In this case, it can help to not schedule the posts that I do write too quickly. You can create the illusion of consistency by simply scheduling your posts with longer gaps between them. If you’ve written 5 posts, schedule them to post every 2 weeks and, bam! You have 10 weeks free to focus on other things while maintaining the facade of being the sort of business owner who has time to pen a new blog post fortnightly.
Remove the dates
Okay, hear me out: there’s no law that says you need to prominently display the date your blog post was written. Yes, it can help with time-sensitive information, but if you’re writing evergreen content does it matter? Really?
If you’re embarrassed by the space between your dates, simply remove them, or hide them near the bottom of your post. While I do show the dates on the individual blog posts and listing of my own blog, I actually don’t show them when they’re listed on the home page… because it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, my audience click on a blog post because the title interests them, not because of the date it was posted!