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Too busy with clients to post to my blog

Most of you know that I do career coaching, mostly for technical and marketing executives. I had an interesting conversation recently during one such coaching session, when my client expressed a deep need to publicize her expertise but lamented her inability to maintain her blog. She gave me an entirely believable and reasonable reason for her lack of recent posts: “I am too busy with my clients to post.” But while believable and reasonable, my client wasn’t thinking clearly about her choices. First off, nobody actually has any more time than anyone else. We each get 24 hours in the day and we all get to choose how to use them. So, if a blog post is really more important in the long run than spending an extra hour on client work, you should be able to make that happen.

Blog Machine
Photo credit: digitalrob70

But, as a consultant myself, I totally understand the calculation that billable time is almost always more important than non-billable time, so I can sympathize with always prioritizing client work over blogging. What my client needed was a way to blog more efficiently.

So, I started by asking her a question about how much time blogging takes: “Which takes more time, the actual writing or the process of coming up with the idea?” She thought a minute, concluding that coming up with the idea was the tough part. She said she could write post in 30 minutes or less once she had a solid idea, but she had writer’s block when she had to write a post with no idea.

What she needed was a new process for coming up with ideas. So, I gave her one suggestion for a new process, that she write down every good question a client asks her. Answering each question is a potential blog post. In fact, when she is spending the most time with clients is when she should be surrounded with ideas for posts. The problem isn’t the lack of ideas, but rather that she hasn’t organized herself to write down those ideas when they are most plentiful.

Once you have a system for capturing ideas, the blog posts are far easier to do. It usually isn’t lack of time that prevents blogging, but our understandable avoidance of that excruciating pain of trying to come up with an idea from nothing. Most people don’t generate ideas on demand, while they sit and contemplate.

If you’ve been struggling to maintain your blog, perhaps this system might work for you. It works for me. That’s how I got this post. I wrote down my client’s question when she asked it, weeks ago. Then today, when I needed to write, I went through my list of ideas and this one seemed the one I could knock out most comfortably.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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