Blogging is not for the weak. Like taxes, and parenting (I hear), it just keeps coming.
You write an epic post one week and the next, there you are staring at a blank screen again. And you have a mountain of other to-do’s that need your attention.
So what happens? You put off writing a post for that week. Then the next. Then, since you’re not blogging regularly, you don’t worry too much about putting up new posts for a while because, dammit, you’re busy! Running a coworking space is hard work.
Before you know it, the most recent post on your blog is from three months ago, or a year ago. Or 2012. It’s not good, mate.
Your coworking blog, when put to good use, is an incredibly powerful marketing and community-building tool…but you have to use it.
The good news is that you don’t have to move mountains to bring a tired blog back to life. But you do have to give it some attention and energy. Here are six to-do’s to get you started:
1. Brainstorm Topics to Cover on Your Blog
When you started your blog, you may have had a vague idea of what that entailed: sharing announcements, posting photos from events, linking to newsy tidbits.
But the best blogs are focused, powerful content tools that attract the attention of your target market, boost your credibility and visibility, position you as an industry leader, share valuable resources and information, entertain…or all of the above.
What is it you want to share on your blog? What are your strengths? How are you different from other coworking spaces? What type of posts can you realistically generate on a regular basis? What do you want to be known for?
Start brainstorming (or brainwriting) a master list of all the possible topics you could focus on. Don’t edit yourself or overthink it at this point, just get a bunch of ideas down.
Once you have 20 or so, go back over your list with a critical eye. Which ones best serve your target market? Which ones can you repeatedly turn for content ideas? Which ones are you best equipped to cover? Which ones do you want to cover?
The topics that stand up to these questions are the ones you should focus your attention on.
2. Mind Map Specific Post Ideas
Once you know the topics you’re going to cover on your coworking blog, it’s time to come up with specific post ideas. Get out some scratch paper and put one of the topics in the center of the paper, with a circle around it.
From here, you’re going to mind map the hell out of it, to unearth lots of blog post ideas. If you’ve mind mapped before, you know how powerful this exercise can be. If you haven’t, Lifehacker has a good overview of how to do it.
Mind map each topic and you’ll have a TON of post ideas. Below is a mind map I made to explore blog post ideas for a new column I’m writing. It’s messy and unedited—like all of my mind maps—but from it, I can pull out the best post ideas and angles and write them up.
3. Find Anchor Dates
Have you ever had a great idea for a seasonal blog post, but, by the time the season or event rolled around it was too late to pull together the post? Yeah, that happens to me too. The best way to avoid that is to schedule posts for anchor dates, such as holidays, the end of the year, events, anniversaries, etc., ahead of time.
Some of these will be specific to you and your space, and some will be cultural events. The trick is to lay all your anchor dates out and strategize post ideas for them long before the dates are upon you. Then put a plan in place to create your posts so that, when the anchor date does roll around, you’re ready to go with great posts.
4. Plan and Schedule your Next 3-5 Posts.
I use (and highly recommend) Trello to keep track of post ideas, to schedule them, and to move them from the idea stage through published post.
I have three boards titled: Ideas, On Deck and Done. Get your next three posts scheduled in whatever tool or platform you prefer (a notebook works just fine if you’re low-tech). That way, there’s no question of what you’re posting next and you can focus on fleshing your idea out.
If you’re really ambitious, you can schedule out the next several months, or longer. The pros have content calendars that span months, if not the entire year.
That doesn’t mean you have to have every piece of content laid out, but get the big ones that will help you promote your events and celebrations on the calendar…and into your consciousness.
ProTip: When you have a good idea for a post, write it down immediately. Many brilliant blog post ideas have been forgotten in the day-to-day madness. I recommend using a list app on your phone or putting it directly into Trello, which is what I do.
5. Write a Blog Post
It’s painfully obvious but, like many things, the hardest part about revitalizing a blog is starting. Once you have your idea, have created an outline for it, and sit down to flesh it out, you’re well on your way.
If you’re really dragging your feet getting started, make yourself do one Pomodoro, which is just 25 minutes. You can do that, right?
The beauty of the Pomodoro trick is that you may find your writing groove and turn what was going to be a quick writing session into a finished blog post.
6. Involve Members
If you know you need content, but really don’t want to create it, and don’t have anyone on your team who can do it, enlist the help of one of your members. There are probably a few writers [or videographers] hanging out in your coworking space, right?
Work out a trade or partnership with them to create posts for you. One good post a month can revitalize any blog and, if you work out a way for them to write more frequently, even better.
Original content directs attention to what you’re doing and spotlights what makes you unique.
It’s a way to celebrate your members, connect with your local community as well as the global coworking community, educate people about coworking, share resources to strengthen and grow your space…and so much more.
Your turn: How’s your coworking blog looking? If it’s looking good, what are your favorite tips to keep it that way? If it’s gathering dust, what are you struggling with? In the comments, let me know.
Bonus: Want to help new members of your coworking space feel at home more quickly? Download the free six-page guide, 15 Must-Do’s Your First Month in a Coworking Space.
Local Coworking: How to Use Content to Stand Out in Your Town
Forget Brainstorming. Brainwriting is Way Better
ICYMI: Why Coworking? [the video]