Last updated on July 12th, 2017 at 04:00 pm
Blogs have become one of the biggest parts of the internet. Coca Cola does it, your competitors do it, and kids at your local high school do too. Blogging for consultants has grown just as much.
Blogging is one of those things you know you should be doing, but you probably aren’t.
You might have written a post or two in the last year, but you don’t have a consistent schedule.
The Internet is full of general blogging advice. Since you’re a consultant, a lot of this advice is useless for you.
In this article you will learn about blogging for consultants. Effective blogging brings more traffic to your website and positions you as an authority.
The Problem With Blogging
If you are a reading this, you’re a consultant committed to growing your business. You know how important your website and online presence is.
You’ve also come across posts outlining why you should blog. Some of it may have resonated. But there’s a reason why your website isn’t full of great posts that bring people to your corner of the web.
The problem is that you are not consistently publishing articles on your website. This is not because you don’t have anything to write–after all, you’re a consultant. You get paid to give people and businesses advice.
You might not understand why you should be blogging (the benefits).
If you do understand the benefits and still aren’t blogging, you don’t have a framework to use for your blog posts.
If you understand the benefits, have a framework and your website still isn’t full of quality articles, you don’t have a schedule.
Once you have all three, you have the recipe for producing a quality blog.
This post will…
- Teach you why you should blog.
- Give you a framework you can use for all of your articles.
- Help you schedule your blog posts and stick to it.
NOTE: You don’t have to be an amazing writer to produce great content. It helps, but it’s not a requirement. I will give you some resources to help with your writing further down.
NOTE 2: Hiring someone to write your content for you is an option. I have never done this myself so I won’t comment on it.
What is a “blog” or “blogging?”
A blog (noun) is an online collection of posts. Blogging (verb) is the act of writing and publishing posts to your blog.
WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr are platforms that help manage your blog and publish blog posts.
The content of your blog is going to be dependent on who you are. Teenage girls use their blog as a journal. Companies use their blog for engagement.
For consultants, blogging is publishing articles or essays to your website. Notice the change of words here – this is important and I ‘ll expand on this further down.
Who is involved?
- You, as you will write the vast majority of posts on your blog.
- The people who hire you, as they will check your website (and your articles) to see if you are worth hiring.
- Your audience, as they will read your blog to learn from you and to see what you are about.
- Your contacts & network, as you can have them write a guest post on your blog. Or you can write a guest post on theirs.
When should I blog?
You should aim to blog once a week or once every two weeks.
This is the sweet spot for consultants. It’s frequent enough to grow your audience and show everyone that you are up to date. It won’t take away time from client work and other marketing efforts.
I like to do most of my writing in the morning before anything else. Find a time when you write most effectively and stick to it.
Where should I blog?
You should do 80% of your blogging on your own website.
One of the main reasons you have your own website is that you control it. It’s yours. Hopefully, it’s designed to make reading and sharing your content easy. Most of your articles and your blog itself should be on your website.
If you don’t have a website yet or you are looking for other places where you can blog, you can use Medium or publish posts to LinkedIn. These are viable options that can grow your reach and enhance your credibility.
You should also guest post on blogs with a similar audience. Reach out to consultants or other businesses with audiences who you can provide value for.
Why should I bother?
Blogging is an effective form of marketing.
You need to be marketing to build up your audience, get leads, and win more projects.
Blogging will bring traffic to your website, position you as an authority, and make you the expert in your field.
Creating high quality content will bring you more clients.
Step inside the shoes of someone who is making the decision to hire you versus your competitor.
If they are checking out two consultant websites to build up the case for who to hire, they will check out each blog.
If you’ve been blogging frequently with quality articles, you will stand above the consultant with two posts.
Who looks like the expert?
Who looks like the more credible hire?
Who has the bigger audience and the authority?
Blogging will not only bring new members to your audience, but it demonstrates that you are at the top of your field.
How do I do it?
By now, I hope you understand that blogging is important. Especially for a consultant.
How do you consistently produce high quality articles for your blog?
You need a framework. You need a system that you can use for every single post.
Staring at a blank word document and trying to come up with a quality piece of content is difficult.
Using a framework makes producing quality content easier and more efficient.
Here is the framework that I use, and you can use it yourself. Write your outline using simple, plain English.
The Blogging for Consultants Content Framework
- Write down why your audience should read this piece of content. How does it help solve their problem? What value does it provide for them?
- Write down what is making your audience read this piece of content in the first place. What is it that they are struggling with? What is the problem that they want solved?
- Write down your teaching points. Come up with at least 3 points you can use to educate your audience. This is the bulk of your content and where your audience gets the most value.
- Write down the mistakes people make surrounding this topic and how the experts approach it.
- Write down an action step. Give your reader something to do or a task to complete related to the article. Encourage them to share their owns strategies or what they have learned in your comments (and engage with them when they do).
Example: In this article, you will learn how to effectively manage your employees.
Example: The problem is your business has great talent, but is ineffective at managing them.
•Recognize their achievements
•Keep their goals in mind
•Communicate early and often
•Facilitate their growth
•Have fun with it
Example: If your employee performance is lacking, you may be quick to blame each individual. Before you do this, investigate the resources your employees have available. Do they have adequate time? Do they have the supplies they need? Employee performance can be an a sign of inadequate resources.
Complete this outline using simple, plain English.
Once you have done that, have the outline up next to a fresh word document. Use the outline to write a complete article and expand on your points.
It will be much easier to write with this plain English outline right next to your document. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling – just get it all out onto the page.
After that, take the time to revise your article. I like to paste my draft into Hemingway App. It will help you refine your article and make it easier to read. It’s the perfect tool if you are not a great writer and have trouble simplifying your message.
I like to follow each step through a series of days.
On Day 1, I will complete the outline using the framework above.
On Day 2, I will use the outline to write a draft of the post.
On Day 3, I will revise and refine the post. I’ll then paste it into WordPress, add relevant images and tweak it for the web. After a final proofread, I hit publish and the post goes live.
Sometimes, the posts I write are long. In that case, I may use another day to do SEO optimization.
Following this system, you can produce quality content that is helpful to your readers. An active blog is the sign of a healthy business.
I used this exact system for this post. I’m not a great writer nor can I write particularly fast. But using the above framework, I wrote my draft of about 2000 words in an hour and a half.
The Do’s of Blogging for Consultants
- Stick to a schedule. You should create a simple excel sheet to hold your ideas and your publication dates. This will keep you accountable and give you a time-frame for completing your posts. Here is a screenshot of how my blog editorial calendar looks:
- Publish quality articles. Take time to write your outline, your draft, and revise. One to two weeks per post is plenty of time to write a quality post. The higher quality your post, the more people will read and share. The more people read & share, the more traffic you will get. The more traffic you get, the bigger your audience will become.
- Promote your articles. Unless you are Seth Godin, it’s not enough to just write posts and wait until the traffic comes. If you are producing great content that helps your audience, you are obligated to find them and share your articles. This is one of the most effective forms of marketing you can do.
The Don’ts of Blogging for Consultants
- Think of it as “blogging” – both figuratively and literally. It’s marketing, and you’re publishing articles or essays, not blog posts. You should fit blogging into your marketing time. Articles or essays are higher value words than “blog posts,” and you should make this known on your website. I use “articles” in my own website’s navigation header. If you think of it as blogging, you won’t value it, and your audience might not either.
- Worry about word count. If you follow the framework I’ve laid out above, word count won’t matter. You’ll be producing content that helps your target audience and educates them. I like to hide the word count when I’m writing and remove any other distractions. This helps me focus on the writing. Some of your posts will be around 300 words, and others will be upwards of 2000. Produce quality content and search engines will reward you.
- Neglect blogging. I’ve given you all you need to get started to start writing on your blog. When hiring managers receive your name they will check out your website and blog. Their is no better way to show your credibility than through your articles. When you teach your audience about the problems people hire you you to solve, you are the expert. If you don’t take the time to blog and your website lacks content, you are diminishing your own credibility.
If you look at an expert in any field, I guarantee you that they use their blog (among other ways) to teach.
When it comes time for hiring managers to make a decision, who are they going to hire? The expert.
How can you call yourself an expert if you aren’t demonstrating your expertise?
Your blog gives you the perfect opportunity to do this. Your contacts, your audience, and the people who hire you will recognize this. It’s one of the most important features of your website and online presence.
Now that you know why you should blog and how to write lead-generating content, publish one article to your website in the next week or two. Once it’s live, share it in the comments below. I would love to check out your post and see what you have done with your blog.