It's all very nice to set business blogging goals, but how will you meet them?
As part of your business blogging success blueprint, you have to figure out exactly what tools and resources you will need to meet your goals. An effective way to do this is to first look at what obstacles you face. Then think about what you need to overcome those obstacles. Get this right and you’ll be prepared for at least some of the potential blogging challenges you’ll face along the way.
Let's take a look at the two-step process for overcoming business blogging hurdles
Step 1: Identify Potential hurdles to Blogging Success
No matter where what stage you are in your blogging career, there will always be obstacles waiting to challenge your best laid plans. The key to dealing with these challenges is to anticipate them as much as possible and make sure you have the resources to kick them out of the way. In other words, know how to roll with the punches coming your way.
The most common obstacles that people face from a business blogging stance are:
Lack of skills and knowledge.
Are there elements to your blog marketing plan that you just don’t know how to do? For example, perhaps you’ve never segmented a mailing list before or don’t know how to set up a landing page. Maybe you aren’t a member of your own target market, so you can’t naturally relate to their problems. For some marketing strategies, you may not even know the right questions to ask in the first place.
Not enough time in the day
There is never enough time in the day to do everything you want to do, especially for business blogger, we have a million ideas running around in our minds. The question is just how much time you need to devote for your business blogging to succeed. If you don’t have that time available, that’s just another obstacle to work around if you still want to move ahead and achieve your business blogging goals.
It’s a rare person indeed who has all the funds they want to implement any scheme they’ve dreamed up. Figure out just how much you need for your ideal plan. Then look at how much you can actually afford to spend. The difference is the obstacle you need to figure out. It may mean creating a minimum viable product, it may mean working with someone else to achieve your goal, whatever it is don't let it hinder you.
No support network
In the online marketing world or any business where you don’t interact with real, live people very often, lack of a support network can be a big problem. Do you have people to go to when you’re stuck or need a boost? Identify people who you can brainstorm and support, then when you need them they are already in place and know you well enough to support you back.
Step 2: Identify Resources for Overcoming Your Obstacles
Now that you’ve anticipated your obstacles you can start identifying and putting in place the resources you need. You may find you have to adjust your goals and plans a little if you can’t get the resources, but it’s better to do that sooner rather than later. You don’t want to have all your great plans derailed 6 months down the line just because you failed to learn something critical skill in time, and yes, I have done that one too.
Here are a few examples of solutions and resources that could overcome the most common obstacles:
Focus on the skills you need
There is certainly no shortage of experts who will want to teach you “everything you need to know to be successful”. However, you need to focus on just one specific skill or item of knowledge that is relevant to your business blogging. This is why I find I am a successful blog coach with very few vacancies – I focus on coaching the specific skills required to get the job done. I focus on the specifics rather than the generics. Get recommendations in trusted forums for courses, ebooks, advice or other resources for learning what you need. Be careful not to get sidetracked by all the other great things you could learn. If it's not useful right this instant, shut it out. You will probably have to set a certain amount of time each week just for learning, so that you don’t let it take up all your time.
Manage your time and delegate
Unfortunately, you can’t make time slow down or expand (well not yet anyway, but I'm working on it ;)), so you’ll have to be a fraction more creative. Depending on how much time and funds are available, you really have only three choices.
- You can budget your own time very tightly
- You can adjust your goals and plans,
- You can outsource some of the tasks.
If you have the funding, outsourcing is usually your best bet so that you can grow your business blogging faster. Just make sure you know exactly what you want to outsource so you can pick the right people. Many a good blogger has fell over on the outsourcing aspect.
Budget wisely. If you are working on a very small budget, you’ll also have to be very creative with where you spend and where you save. Put your money into the places that will have the greatest impact on your success and think twice about the rest. I spend my budget on education. You might want to try out a hot new article submission service, but your returns on investment can be much higher spending the money on list building. Check out all your options.
Build your support network
For some people building a network of friends and colleagues comes naturally. For others, it has to be a planned, scheduled activity. Check out the top forums in your niche and find at least one where there are people you can relate to. Participate and become known by helping others. Don't go nuts and post every single blog post you ever write for feedback… I'm a member of a closed community where a top online marketer kept posting his blog posts and one day, a very hacked off community turned around and savaged him. It wasn't pleasant but people get feed up with constant taking. Try giving instead, but remember what you call giving the community might not, so get to know them as well as possible.
Get your friends and family on board with your blogging plans so that they can be supportive when you’re feeling down – even if they have no clue what you do! Trust me when I sat no matter how simply you explain it it, they never seem to understand it ;)
The best way to make sure your plans stay on the course for success is to anticipate the obstacles ahead. There's no point in setting a business blogging goal to create tonnes of articles if you don't know how to do it. Instead, take a good, hard look at what might happen to upset your plans and what resources you need to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Then put those resources in place or adjust your blogging plans accordingly.