Now that you are convinced that social media is here to stay, the question often asked is, “How the heck do I make blogging easier and less time-intensive?”
If you aren’t sold that blogging can work for contractors, check out Marcus Sheridan’s story on how he turned around his fiberglass pool company during this recession. He spent countless months worrying about how he was going to stay in business. Then he started blogging. Read his book. It’s free.
Here are my 5 tips to make blogging easier for remodelers:
1. Write every darn day. Don’t give me the “I don’t have time” excuse. We all have 24 hours in a day. Yes, admittedly, there are some days that are much more jammed-packed than others, but I can guarantee you can find at least 15 minutes a day to write. You may not complete an article in 15 minutes, but you will complete more blog articles dedicating 15 minutes a day toward writing … than no time. Over time, you’ll become more efficient in writing and the ideas will come faster than if you only write sporadically.
2. Keep an idea journal. One of the biggest headaches (and time wasters) when it comes to blogging is figuring out what to write about. Just like you advise your customers to keep an idea file of the features they’d like to include in their new home or remodeling project, you need to do the same for your blog. Keep an idea journal so when it comes time to write, you have ideas at the ready. You can keep your ideas on index cards, a white board, a notebook or a document on your computer; it’s what works for you.
3. Develop an editorial calendar. I’ve mentioned this before, but it is important to develop an organized approach to what you write about. Many bloggers use an Excel spreadsheet or their Google calendar. This will help you visualize the weeks and months ahead and plan your topics accordingly. For instance, I often write about five key topics (blogging, customer stories, newsletters, social media and website content), so I try to rotate those topics within my editorial calendar. But there are times when I want to concentrate on one topic (think “Shark Week” on TV) to really hammer home some tips.
4. Use your projects. Your projects make excellent posts on your blog. Homeowners want to read about how you found a solution for another homeowner and implemented it. Photos sell, guys, so make sure you also tell your project story with plenty of photos. If the project is bigger, don’t be afraid to divide it up into small articles. Not only will you get more mileage out of one project, but homeowners will thank you for not writing a long article, too.
5. Keep the plan in mind. Perhaps the biggest mistake that contractors make when they decide to get into social media is that they don’t have a plan. They just jump in – without a plan and without defining what the end goal is. Identify what “winning” looks like for you? How can you help your target audience and in turn, gain conversions. If you don’t have a plan and clearly defined goals, you’ll never stick with blogging.
You need to be committed to blogging.
Blogging is like a diet or exercise program or quitting smoking in that you need to be 100 percent committed to the process because the results don’t appear overnight. Like with anything else that is worthwhile (losing weight, getting healthy), you need put the time and energy into it. There is no magic pill you can take and *poof* it is done.
However, the reasons for getting into social media are just too large to ignore: This is where your customers “hang out.” Furthermore, traditional advertising is waning as an effective means to market your business.
Social media – with your blog being your hub – is where it is at.
Now it’s your turn. What tips can you share that make the task of blogging easier?
Tess Wittler, Social Media and Blogging Strategist