Do you work better under pressure?

It's been a long week.

Projects have started to pile up.

Deadlines are appearing in my diary.

Yet daily I flit between post holiday blues and crazily motivated new year productivity.

This schizophrenic state is not good and often leads to late night working and caffeine overload. Ironically, it also fuels some of my best work.

Thankfully, it seems I'm not alone.  Today I stumbled upon a link encouraging us all to ship something everyday for a week.  In this case it's write a blog post.  Find out more at  Seven days is enough to form a habit and this could just be the kick I/we/you need to make 2015 the best yet.

The cheerleader within has me clicking on the link, while the slipper wearing freelancer reminds me of the steadily increasing to-do list already on my desk.

Is this short term pain for long term gain?  Let's see.

Who's with me?


The 5 point blogging cheat sheet


I'm still quite new to the wonderful world of blogging, and often I think that my dog (pictured above), is the only one who gets the benefit of my musings.  That said, even those who don't consider themselves marketers now seem ready to put their thoughts on paper, so what follows is my cheat sheet of advice to get that first post out there - go on ....

1. Have goals

What are you trying to achieve with your blog?  Who is your audience likely to be?  Which format works best to communicate with that audience? These may seem like easy questions, but unless you answer them in advance, you'll never be able to justify the time and effort that a blog takes to produce and maintain.  Establish topic or market credibility by addressing subjects your audience cares about and responds to, then carefully choose layout, images, content and timing.

2. Provide valuable content

Successful bloggers write a lot.  They are passionate about their subject matter.  They work on getting people's attention quickly and keeping it through easily digestible posts.  These posts typically
- answer questions
- provide hints and tips
- show behind the scenes footage
- tell a story
- cover events for those who can't attend
- create regular features
- highlight success stories
- share photographs
You get the idea.

3. Be authentic, be transparent, be you

Just as the opening page of a book switches you on or off, a blog needs to reward the reader for their attention.  People like to know who's behind the prose.  Write as though you're explaining something to your neighbour. Don't be afraid to show who you are and what you do. Tell true stories well.

4. Use your best assets

A lone blogger is generally their own best asset, but if you're thinking of starting a company blog, it's worth remembering that your employees know your company better than anyone else and customers want to hear that inside scoop.  That said, it's also great if you can engage by blogging customer testimonials, including guest blogs from suppliers and distributors and sharing those experiences which might otherwise go unnoticed.

5. Listen, respond, repeat

With an estimated 300 million blogs currently in existence, blogging is now a regular source of information and part of everyday life.  It's time to join the conversation, educate, inspire, challenge, motivate, but most of all share. Encourage feedback and respond to it, showing that you hear rather than deleting anything negative.  Over time your analytics will show those posts which are enjoyed most so you can hone your new found skills and join the ranks of the greats or at least get a thrill from providing a window into your world.


6 Good reasons to have a blog