I’ve often been so busy in the past, working away on clients’ sites, that I’ve ended up neglecting my blog posting or internal business work. Sound familiar? It’s that plumber with the leaky roof syndrome, where you’re so busy servicing everyone else’s needs that you have no time to look after your own.
However, it’s vital that you do block out the time to work on your business, rather than getting trapped working in it. Why? Because as business owners, we want our business to appear up-to-date, engaged and relevant. We want your customers to feel like we’re present and available to connect with. Plus, we have to go about the activities that keep customers showing up at our door!
Here are some thoughts to help you manage those in-house activities that might otherwise get a bit pushed to the margins!
I try and schedule time each month to write at least one blog post – something that’s useful, adds value to our site, and is another piece of indexable, searchable content. I set this to repeat on a monthly basis and remind me a day in advance. This gives me time to think about what I’m going to write so I’m not staring at an empty page waiting for inspiration.
Even better, is to plan your blog posts in advance. Create a list of titles for posts that you could write. These may belong to different categories: for example, support, marketing, advice, information, interesting market news, fun stuff, quotes or images. Then when the time comes to write your blog post, you can dive straight into the research and get writing.
To automate your blog publishing in WordPress, you can schedule posts to go live at a certain date/time. Great for creating content in advance so you don’t have to worry about it each month! To make things even more streamlined, you can employ a tool such as Buffer or Jetpack to automatically post your blog posts to multiple social media accounts, which kinda takes care of the next section here…
Facebook offers its own way of allowing you to schedule posts to go live at a future date, which greatly helps you automate your social media posts.
It’s great to spend a day or 2 creating content and then letting things take care of themselves. This also provides consistency for your followers, as the times and dates are always the same.
Don’t forget to do the essential work of checking your social media comments and interactions to respond to questions and provide assistance.
Marketing & Advertising
Obviously it’s nice when your organisation is of the size where you can employ someone to work on your marketing full time, but many small businesses don’t have this luxury. A lot of people will fluctuate between periods of intense work for clients, and then realise they’ve got no more business queued up and it’s back to the marketing quick sharp!
This is an activity that really pays (literally) to be put on automation. Setting up advertising campaigns with Facebook or Google are classic examples of ways in which you can keep your marketing presence going without having to do a lot.
Your campaigns will definitely be more effective if you’re actively involved in monitoring and amending them, but may work just fine to be left to do their thing.
Alternatively you could employ a digital marketing company to manage your campaigns for you.
Don’t neglect your website’s static content
Plenty of people feel like once their website’s static pages are complete that they won’t need to be touched again. Not so!
It’s a good idea to set review points in the year to look through your pages’ content and see what needs to be updated. Things may change in your business over the course of a year and you may realise that you have out-of-date information that needs updating. Or you may find that as you review your content, that it’s possible to improve upon it, either by changing the layout and design, or the content itself. You may need to change the flow of pages in your site to funnel prospects in a new way.
SEO is an ongoing process and requires frequent checks to ensure that the market hasn’t changed to the point where your keywords need to change too. Whilst it is possible to set and forget some SEO settings, the fact that our businesses are constantly evolving as well as the markets they reside in, means that you need to stay on top of things. Well, perhaps not you, but an SEO specialist. Employing a team to look after your SEO on a monthly basis can be expensive though, so consider getting your site’s SEO reviewed on a yearly basis.
There are things you can do yourself though, like ensuring your keywords are present in your page meta titles, headings and content; that you have good meta-descriptions written for all your important pages; and that all your images are appropriately named and have ALT description tags.
See our other blog posts for more on SEO jobs you can do…
Not all tasks need to be done weekly or monthly – some can be done annually – but the important thing is to recognise that your business doesn’t function if you don’t invest in it, and that includes your online activities. So get that calendar out and start scheduling!