I think you and I can agree that if you want to achieve success with anything life, a consistent approach is the key. Fitness, training a dog, weight loss…and blogging.
We all know consistency is important, but it’s rare to see people stay consistent at blogging over a longer period of time. Let’s say 30 months, for example.
You know what it’s like after you publish your blog article…that initial motivation and sense of satisfaction quickly becomes a distant memory and suddenly those few days since you last published have turned into weeks and even months. Your blog and customers are now feeling more than neglected and that guilt has started to set in.
In this guest blog Yva Yorston, Founder of Boost Business Support, addresses why accountability is the key to success for blogging consistently, and 3 ways to become more accountable.
In the process of writing his latest book, Mark Schaefer discovered that it takes, on average, 30 months to become ‘known’.
Mark interviewed 100 people who are well known in their field, asked them about the process they followed to get there, and concluded that there really is no such thing as overnight success.
Good news, right?
Assuming the quality of our content is good, all we’ve got to do is stick with our blogging strategy for 30 months and we’ll reap the rewards.
- How to become famous in 100 days or less – Mark Schaefer
There’s just one problem…
Blogging consistently is hard.
There are numerous reasons for this:
- Whilst it’s important, it’s not urgent
- It doesn’t (usually) reap immediate reward
- It’s time-consuming
- It can feel like no one cares
- It’s hard to know what to write about
The list goes on.
But, if Mark is right (and I believe he is), then there’s no way around it – consistency is the only route to success.
So, what can we do to overcome the barriers to creating content consistently? As business owners and marketers, how can we make sure our blog strategy stays at the top of our agenda for 30 months straight (and beyond)?
The answer is to become more accountable.
3 ways to become more accountable so you can blog consistently
Accountability can come in lots of different forms. Here are 3 that have helped me create blog content consistently for my business, and that might help you too.
1. Join a community
The first is to join a community where members share similar goals and ambitions.
There are many online business communities to choose from; some, like the Female Entrepreneur Association, bring together a particular demographic or industry, whilst others focus on a specific area of business, like CMA.
Within these communities, there are often facilitated group challenges, where members collectively set out to master a skill, complete a task or achieve a goal.
In CMA, we have regular 90-day challenges, where we set our personal target for content creation and stick to it for the duration. By the end of the three months, we have (hopefully!) established a sustainable habit, and can focus on a new challenge next time.
For ongoing support, you could also join a mini-mastermind or accountability group. This is where a small number of community members (usually 3 or 4), meet regularly to discuss problems, keep each other focused and give each other a ‘kick up the bum’ where necessary!
Working closely with a small group of people who are fully aware of the targets you have set for yourself, and who will ask for justification when you fall short, increases your likelihood of success.
If uncertainty around the content creation process itself is holding you back from publishing regularly, then a community can be an excellent source of feedback and support.
2. Work with a coach
Another way to get accountability to achieve your content marketing goals is to work with a coach. Whether it’s a life or business coach, getting one-on-one support can be invaluable.
A coach will help you stay focused on why you’re blogging for your business, and remind you of the consequences if you don’t achieve your targets.
If (or when) you stumble along the way, they can help you identify the blocks and obstacles that are preventing you from taking action, and challenge your thinking. Sometimes having our own words and thoughts reflected back at us is exactly what we need to change our mindset and move forward.
A coach can also help you to break down your goals into achievable actions. When the gap between where you are and where you want to be seems insurmountable, you just need to take one step at a time.
A lesser-known source of accountability, but a highly effective one, is to delegate. By passing on part of your blog production process to someone else, not only do you buy your time back, but you are held answerable to your own publishing schedule.
This can be achieved either by insourcing or outsourcing. At Boost, we provide a blog management service, which takes care of all the steps required to publish and promote your content successfully.
From proofreading to social media posting, clients send us their raw blog content and we do everything else to get it live and in front of their audience. This is one option for outsourcing your content production.
If you have a broader range of support needs, a general virtual assistant might be a better fit. Or, if it’s one particular part of the process that’s proving a barrier to consistent content creation, working with specialist freelancers, such as an editor or social media manager, may be the best solution for you.
For those who would prefer to work with someone in-house, or who are already set up to take on employees, you could consider hiring an intern to focus on content marketing.
Or, if you have the budget, a dedicated Content Marketing Manager – the holy grail!
Whichever option is the best fit for your needs, delegating elements of your content production to a team member is a proven way to ensure consistency and realise the benefits of content marketing for your business.
We’ve got to stick at it for 30 months before we’ll see the real impact of blogging. If, like me, you decide you can’t do it alone, then one of these sources of accountability could be the answer.
Know your weaknesses, and play to your strengths. That’s what it’s all about.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic too:
- What are your biggest challenges when it comes to producing regular blog content?
- Where do you get your accountability from to stay consistent?
Please share your experiences below and feel free to ask if you have any questions.
- Guest Blogging: Why I’ve started a Guest Blog
- Blogging isn’t dead: 3 fundamental lessons for blogging in 2016 from Mark Schaefer
- Episode 44; Chris Marr: Getting started with business blogging; No more excuses! (Podcast)
- Be Less Boring (Guest Blog)
About Yva Yorston
Yva is the founder of Boost Business Support, who provide blog publishing and distribution services for ambitious entrepreneurs and growing small businesses.
She lives with her ‘high school sweetheart’, Ben, in Westhill. When she’s not in business mode, she enjoys a walk in the beautiful Aberdeenshire countryside, followed by a cup of tea and a massive slice of cake.