Business Blogging is Like Rowing
No one believes that I used to wake up at 4:45 AM. It's true - as a member of my University womens' crew team, I was dressed and ready to work hard at 5am each day. I'd spend 2 hours on the water and run to my 8AM classes in uniform. From coxswains to consuming complex carbohydrates, I learned a lot about creating quality content from crew. Business blogging has a lot in common with training for race season:
Coxswains are Critical
In rowing, the coxswain (or cox) sits in the back of the boat and yells. Their entire job is to steer the sweating crew of 8 collegiate athletes past the finish line and keep them motivated. They determine how many strokes you need each minute and don't hesitate to ask you to pull a little harder. In the middle of the race, you completely hate them. Coxswains are like keywords, because you can't get very far without them. Keywords give your blog direction and help you stay on track. Even though you may resent the fact that you have to row a little faster or write more content on a certain topic, you just won't cross the finish line without keywords.
You Need Balance
In order to design an effective line-up of 8 collegiate rowers, the coach needs to pay a lot of attention to balance. The rower's weights need to be well-distributed, and the strength of rowers sitting starboard needs to be comparable to the port side. Like a crew roster, you need to balance your business blog. Make sure you're lending enough weight to each topic and type of content with the help of a content calendar. Without balance, you could find yourself tipping over or just going around in circles.
Fuel is Essential
Watching a college fuel team's last dinner before a race is a real treat. Blessed with teenaged metabolisms and endless plates of pasta, we probably looked a lot like the annual hotdog-eating competition in Coney Island. Your business blog, like a college crew team, needs fuel. You can't write great content in a tower, so you've got to feed yourself on news, industry trends and other, well-written business blogs. Portuguese author and Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago described his writing process as "I write two pages. And then I read and read and read." While you don't have to gorge yourself each day on loads of high-quality content, make sure to fuel yourself well for top performance.
Nothing Good Happens Fast
No one ever accused rowing of being a glamorous sport. Early mornings aside, it's repetitive and tough. By the time regional competition rolled around in the spring, we'd lost hundreds of hours of sleep and suffered some pretty serious blisters on our hands in pursuit of glory. Business blogging is a lot like college crew because it's tough. When it comes to business blogging, your content probably won't go viral overnight. You can't hit the snooze button and spend a week sleeping instead of delivering blog content. 60% of businesses who blog weekly have earned a customer through content, but the leads don't start rolling in on day one. You've got to keep on rowing in order to receive the associated SEO boost and dedicated followers.
Business blogging is like college crew because once you're on the water, you can't quit. Putting down your oar and swimming back to shore could leave your whole boat - or inbound marketing strategy - in a lurch. Use keywords for direction, balance your content and fuel yourself well to win the race.
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