The 15-minute Post: Challenge Yourself

In 15 minutes, can you write a blog post that will effectively convey an idea? This week's blog post touches on that topic and gives ideas on how you might be able to do it.

Lately, things have been crazy for me. Aside from doing sales work for the company, I'm also trying to hire a couple new employees, manage payroll and benefits for the company, run existing projects and delegate the responsibilities to people who have some free time. Oh, aside from that I've got two kids at home with various needs and let's face it: I need to be able to carry on with my home life and make sure I follow the philosophy of working to live, and not the other way around.

Welcome to the life of a small business owner.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, blogging is an excellent way to reach out to your audience of customers and prospects at large. You establish yourself as a subject matter expert, and you give them the opportunity to gain a little trust in your ability to help them. But blogging regularly does take time. I usually spend between 1-2 hours on my own articles (sometimes more), because I want to ensure that I'm conveying value in the information I provide, and sometimes the prep work (such as with the CMS review I did last week) takes more time than the blog itself to write.

On weeks that you don't have that kind of time, however, you can challenge yourself to a 15-minute post. The speed at which you complete your post doesn't have to negate the quality, either.

Think of it in terms of an elevator pitch. The concept is that you have to be able to express the important ideas of your business in the amount of time it would take for you to share an elevator ride with someone.

In order to reach this goal, though, be sure to have a plan in mind:

  1. Turn off your email alerts, or ignore calendar reminders. Set your phone to silent running. You are only talking about 15 minutes of your time on a blog, so unless a house is burning down almost anything can wait.
  2. Pick a topic that doesn't require a lot of research. The information you convey should have one source: your brain.
  3. Pick an idea that you know your clients can sometimes struggle with (some of my clients struggle with writing regular blog posts, hence, this advice). If it takes you 15 minutes to write, it takes a lot less time to read and - boom! - you've provided instant value in a short period of time.

And those are just what came to mind in the first 15 minutes (right around 450 words). Imagine if I had an hour to write this stuff?

What do you think? How do you challenge yourself when coming up with a blog post?

Written by Mariano Di Fabio on July 23rd, 2009

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