In the rollercoaster ride of setting up a communications consultancy in this constantly evolving digital age whilst still working full time (an addictive safetynet) and trying to raise three good kids, I am constantly telling potential new clients about the important of fresh web content, the importance of social media with the blog as ‘daddy’.
Last week I was interviewing a new client about all she believed about her retail homewares business, ahead of writing her website content. She had done her homework and had already identified a few good web design models that she liked, and each of them had a blog page, if not the other social media champions, twitter and facebook. When we looked at the blog pages on her model sites though, most had written an introductory blog post or two… and then nothing. We laughed over our wineglasses and called it the ‘Their first blog was also their last’ effect.
And then I thought of my own blog. It was at exactly that ‘welcome here’ stage, but now left idle, lolling aimlessly about in cyberspace, a do-nothing freeloader type. Neglected, forlorn and a wasted opportunity. The irony of this situation sat between us like an unappealing blob, squelchy and indeterminate in colour.
Of course, for everyone who has a business, or works in a business and who has a blog because they kow they need one, TIME – or the lack of it is the biggest drain on a blog’s development and its ability to reach its full (or any) potential. It is tricky to fit in time for the blog amongst running day-to-day business operations, a relationship, a family, a home and a social life. ‘Busy is good, chaos is better’ I like to think, but still. Easily overlooked, the blog is often the last in line to get any attention.
Another common staller in blog development is the blogger’s biggest concerns: WHAT to write about and WHO will read it?!
The answer to these questions will obviously depend on what kind of business it is, and who are the customers, suppliers, competition, maybe one day hopefully relevant media in the market. No-one but good friends and family might read it until it’s really up and running and gaining its own momentum, which is a consolation in itsself.
Blogs are important to nuture for three main reasons (and many more really)
- they add density to a product, service or business
- they build trust and identity
- they offer strong organic search engine benefits.
There are some great bloggers who post about blogging, what to do and how remain inspired. Some of the most popular bloggers also have guest bloggers contribute posts. Problogger is one; Copyblogger is my favourite, with approachable and often humourous tips on copywriting for online marketing success. Here’s a snapshot of a great one, follow the link to read the article in full.
8 Bad Habits that Crush Your Creativity and Stifle Your Success
by Dean Rieck
“The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts the moment you get up and doesn’t stop until you get into the office.” ~ Robert Frost
It’s a myth that only highly intelligent people are creative. In fact, research shows that once you get beyond an I.Q. of about 120, which is just a little above average, intelligence and creativity are not at all related.
That means that even if you’re no smarter than most people, you still have the potential to wield amazing creative powers.
So why are so few people highly creative? Because there are bad habits people learn as they grow up which crush the creative pathways in the brain. And like all bad habits, they can be broken if you are willing to work at it.
Here are eight of the very worst bad habits that could be holding you back every day:
1. Creating and evaluating at the same time
You can’t drive a car in first gear and reverse at the same time. Likewise, you shouldn’t try to use different types of thinking simultaneously. You’ll strip your mental gears.
Creating means generating new ideas, visualizing, looking ahead, considering the possibilities. Evaluating means analyzing and judging, picking apart ideas and sorting them into piles of good and bad, useful and useless.
Most people evaluate too soon and too often, and therefore create less. In order to create more and better ideas, you must separate creation from evaluation, coming up with lots of ideas first, then judging their worth later.
2. The Expert Syndrome
This a big problem in any field where there are lots of gurus who tell you their secrets of success. It’s wise to listen, but unwise to follow without question.
Some of the most successful people in the world did what others told them would never work. They knew something about their own idea that even the gurus didn’t know. Every path to success is different.
3. Fear of failure
Most people remember baseball legend Babe Ruth as one of the great hitters of all time, with a career record of 714 home runs. However, he was also a master of the strike out. That’s because he always swung for home runs, not singles or doubles. Ruth either succeeded big or failed spectacularly.
No one wants to make mistakes or fail. But if you try too hard to avoid failure, you’ll also avoid success.