Whatever you're doing with your blog, keep doing it because you're business is red hot right now. The phone's ringing, email enquiries come in every day and more people than ever before are hiring you.
Business is great but what do you do when your blog marketing strategy starts getting results, when business is booming and you can't keep up with your blog any more?
Small business owners always want more business and because of the instability of self-employment we tend to take on all the work that comes our way. That's because there's often a fear that work could dry up in the future, and because most businesses have natural seasonal slumps so when business is good you're grateful for it and happy to work hard during those times.
In our web and blog design business we adapt our work hours depending on the flow of our clients. If there's a lot of work on (October, November and December are usually our busiest months) we put it as many hours, nights and weekends as it takes to get the jobs done well.
Whenever there's a quiet period we work less and spend more time at the beach. Fortunately a lot of our clients take time off after Christmas and at the beginning of January when the school holidays are on so so that makes it easier for us to spend more time with our kids then.
Being self-employed means you don't have the luxury of paid vacations and often work long hours when business is booming. But how do you keep blogging when you're so busy working on the paid jobs you hardly have time to turn around, let alone write and publish a new blog post?
How to Keep Blogging When You're Busy
1. Focus on your paying clients
Don't worry about your blog right now. You're obviously doing something right so just leave it be. It really won't matter if you don't publish any blog posts for a week, a fortnight or even a month. Really. My experiments into what happens if you stop blogging proved that.
Remember that no one ever unsubscribed from a blog because no new posts were published. Blog readers unsubscribe or lose interest in your blog when your posts are irrelevant or boring, not because you haven't written anything new for a few weeks. Or even months.
Focus on keeping the clients you've got happy and remember that it's much easier to get new business from the clients you already have than to convert a new lead into a paying customer.
When you wrap up business with a client make a point of calling them to say how much you enjoyed working with them, then mention that you're growing your business right now and you'd love it if they recommend you to anyone who might need your services.
A few five minute phone calls to clients like that could lead to thousands of dollars of new business and will be much faster than writing a new blog post and promoting it.
2. Keep the blog ticking over with quick blog posts when you can
Remember not to stress about keeping your blog up to date. It's optional but if you only have 30 minutes and want to write a blog post here are a few ideas for getting great blog post up fast:
- Be inspired by another blog post.
Choose just one post you love on another blog, summarise and link to it. Most bloggers will be delighted with the free publicity and many bloggers (like me at both Get In the Hot Spot and Successful Blogging and Leo Babauta at Zen Habits) have uncopyrighted their work so you can use the entire blog post if you like. Crediting the source is recommended.
- Post a question.
The aim is to craftily get your readers to write the post for you. It should also be fun for them and get them feeling involved in your blog and build your community. Tailor the question to your niche and target audience. Make sure the question is quick to answer and that you have time to promote the post on social media to make sure you get the comments you need. Here are some examples of questions:
Fashion blog – I love red! What’s your favourite colour? What colour flatters you most? What colour instantly brightens your day?
Internet marketing blog – I love Hootsuite for my social media management. What tools, apps or software do you rely on?
Travel blog – Which country has the best food? I vote for Thailand. How about you?
- Look for guest posts
Email or tweet a few treasured readers whose blogs you love, otherwise you may get so many guest posts you can’t use them all. Remember adding guest posts still takes time – you will have to read them, edit them, format and promote them but it could still be faster than writing your own post and is a useful way to get a new voice on your blog or cover a topic you're not an expert on.
- Adapt old blog posts
Choose a popular blog post and put a new spin on it. This post has been adapted from a guest post I write for Nikki Parkinson called How to keep your blog banging when you need a break but you can also use blog posts on your own blog. Link to the original post if relevant or just change the format of your post, for example from a How to… into 5 Ways to…. You don't need to change much because most readers won't notice although if you're using a guest post you wrote for another blog you might prefer to do a complete rewrite or just post the first couple of paragraphs and let readers click over to the other blog to read the whole thing.
3. Don't apologise
If you need a blogging break because business is booming take it and when you have time for your blog again there's no need to apologise for your absence. Just write a relevant blog post about your recent experiences such as:
- 3 Things I Learnt About Time Management From My Best Clients
- How to Stay Looking Cool When You're Running Flat Out
- What it Takes to be a Creative Success
Remember that if business is booming that's cause for celebration. When business slows down again take time to breathe and recover from all that hard work then come back to your blog refreshed when you're ready.
Whatever you've been doing on your blog keep doing it but keep doing it at a pace that works for you and allows you to sustain your business, income and sanity.
What do you do when you're so busy and don't have much time for blogging?