KNOW HOW

How to Build a Profitable Business Blog in 20 Minutes a Week

Blogging is essential to modern business success, but it can also be very time consuming. Here's how to do it without overloading your already jam-packed schedule.
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You hear it all the time. In order to stay relevant and grow your customer base, you need a truly awesome blog. Not only does it have to be interesting and original, you’ve got to post new material almost daily. 

The problem with this well-intentioned advice is that it usually doesn’t take into account that you’ve already got a “day job.” When a huge client order or major project rolls in, it can be almost impossible to keep the posts coming. It’s the main reason many business blogs are inconsistent. It's also the reason most of them fail.

Fortunately, there is a way to maintain the kind of blog you need without sacrificing the attention your other activities demand. Here’s how.



Front-Load Your Time Investment



Building a blog that expands your company’s profits requires time and work like anything else that’s important. The difference between successful and unsuccessful business bloggers is that the successful ones know where and when to invest long hours for maximum impact. Instead of sitting down to a blank page each day, plan everything out far in advance. Build blueprints for every article, blurb, and video you’ll use. Work hard on your content up front so you won’t have to do it each day.



Appeal to Your Readers’ Neurons



If you’re going to apply a structured approach to blogging, it’s important to know which structures to use. The good news is that people are more alike than they are different and respond to the same stimuli in fairly predictable ways. In every culture on earth, there are stories that follow identical plotlines with only a small difference in the details. When it comes to blogging, the same is true for everything from headlines to calls to action. Using time-tested structures will make all the difference between whether you’ll have success at efficiently producing blog posts that generate hard business results or your drive yourself crazy with no return.

Customize Your Material

Taking advantage of universal storytelling structures isn’t the same thing as churning out generic schlock. Take the blueprints you’ve decided to use and plug in specifics that establish your point of view as novel to members of your target audience. Make sure you give readers actionable tips they cannot get elsewhere. The outlines of your blog posts should tell the entire story all by themselves.



Rely on Available Resources 



Now that you’ve got the bones of your blog set, it’s time to flesh out each and every post. But don’t try to tackle it on your own. If your company has a staff of any considerable size, distribute actual writing duties among staff members in every department. If you’re a solo-preneur or mom and pop business, contact other bloggers in your niche and ask them to contribute. You’ll be surprised by how many are willing to share. Maybe everyone contributes once a week--or even once a month. When many people chip in a little bit over a long period of time, a lot gets done quickly without anyone feeling the burden.



Remember, blog posts aren’t feature articles. In fact, the best ones are limited in scope. If you establish the right infrastructure, plan properly, and provide adequate instruction at the outset, there’s no reason that creating profitable blog posts should take longer than twenty minutes apiece.

IMAGE: Shutterstock
Last updated: Dec 17, 2013

MICHAEL SCHEIN | Columnist | Founder and Principal of Michael Schein Communications

Michael Schein is the founder and principal of Michael Schein Communications, a digital marketing company. He has created or facilitated the production of content for companies such as eBay, LinkedIn, Avectra, Tesla, SEER Interactive, Interneer, Arise Virtual Solutions, and Citrix. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with honors and got his start at Spin the Bottle, the production company behind VH1 hit show Pop-Up Video.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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