Lots of entrepreneurs and consultants rush into social media networking without a strategy or a clear intention to implement that strategy. This is particularly true of blogging and other self-publishing efforts. There is no reason to spend the time creating content to publish without a plan.
This is true of all marketing efforts around products to sell: if you make content or online products to sell (eBooks, videos online or on CD, and so on) you must have a marketing strategy ready at launch, and then you must maintain the effort to implement that strategy. Otherwise, you have wasted your efforts in creating what you will distribute (for sale or for prospect outreach and credibility).
A plan would define what you mean to achieve by the effort committed (a return on that investment of time and effort), and allow you to measure it, however informally.
And blogging is not the only format that works: newsletter publishing to your opted-in list (do you have such a list? are you developing one? How rigorous are you are maintaining it– and using it?) is a different publishing strategy, and one which may take less time and produce more results.
Consider a plan that extends your outreach to broader distribution (re-publishing on other sites, conversion of various writing concepts to webinars for distribution through targeted media empires, and bundling many writings on the same topic, and so on).
To begin, ask yourself these initial questions:
- How often do you want to post/publish? (Thought leader bloggers post 2-3 times each week, each blog is 300-500 words.)
- What topics will you write on? List several.
- What impact do you want the writing to have, on what audience?
- How will you build that audience? Social media? Linkedin only? Twitter followers? Private development of your networking list? Local or worldwide?
- What results do you want to achieve from your selected audience? Conversion to customers for your products? Credibility in your professional community? Attraction of prospects for your services?
- For now, only focus on your original writing, not on aggregating content from other bloggers.
If you can identity what you want to achieve, from what market/audience, and how to reach that audience, and what content you need to create to pull in that audience, then you are on your way to using your time effectively in content creation. You may need help from partners: strategic guidance or practical implementation of the marketing strategy. That’s all part of the plan too.
I know it is exhilarating to launch into your most creative endeavors. But if you are building a product or service business, or a consultancy, then time and effort are you most valuable assets. So focusing only on the efforts that will bring you the best results is critical to your survival. For that, you need some objective thinking and planning before you begin.