A funny thing happens when you start blogging consistently: people don’t consciously notice but they unconsciously respond. Huh?
You’ll find that the longer you put up that blog post week after week (or three times a week or twice a month) the more readers you will get. That’s because they are now conditioned to seeing your notice of a new blog post, whether you send it via email, send it to them via an RSS feed, or post on social media. You’re no longer an interruption; you’re expected. You’ll also find that people will comment and share more. Why? Blogging consistently helps build a relationship. People get to know you and know what to expect from you.
But breaking the consistency is like breaking a promise to a friend. It shakes people’s trust. You didn’t post this week… are you stopping altogether? Did something happen? So, how do you make sure you keep that promise to your readers? How do you keep blogging consistently?
Avoid “Lack of Content” Overwhelm
Sometimes just coming up with ideas for blog posts can be overwhelming: What have you already written about? What do your readers want and need? Do you write what you want to write about or do you write for your readers and are they two different things?
A good place to start is to poll your readers or people in groups/forums and ask what they want to hear about. You can look at your page statistics and see which posts are visited more frequently. I love to get questions from people, either in forums, at live events, or from my email bag, and use those as blog fodder.
You can beat content overwhelm by knowing what you’re going to write about in advance—have a PLAN! If you know what topics you are planning to write about in the next month or two, you can keep an eye out for any articles or even software that relates to your upcoming blog posts. Put the links in a file to use when the time comes and you’ll often find that your blog posts are one-third to half written.
Schedule Time to Write
Yeah, you’ve heard it before (and if you keep reading this blog, you’ll hear it again): You have to set aside time to write or the weeks will just slip by. But scheduling time to write and making it the same time every week helps tremendously when it comes to blogging consistently. Sit in the same place, sip the same drink, use the same medium (pen and paper or a laptop or even a special notebook). By keeping your writing time and space consistent, you are building muscle memory. If you write your blog posts every Tuesday morning at 8 am, sipping your coffee on the patio, then on a Tuesday morning at 8 am, the aroma of coffee and that fresh air tells your brain that it’s time to write blog posts and tells your butt to take a seat for an hour or two. You’re conditioning yourself to write blog posts on demand.
Batch Your Posts
If you’re going to set aside time to write a blog post, you might as well do more than one. In fact, if you can do four at a time and you post weekly, you’ve got a month’s worth of posts DONE in one sitting. Four might be a bit tough, especially if your posts run long. But it seems whenever I sit down to write a post, I come up with material that isn’t a good fit for that post (I do tend to ramble…). I cut the material out and paste it in a new Word doc and I have the start of a new post. It might only be 30 words, it might be 200. Sometimes I go off on that blog post and finish it and the original one gets shifted to the following week.
But anytime you are doing blog posts (or videos or podcasts or billing or-or-or) you should consider doing batches of them. Once you’re in mode, it’s fairly easy to crank out a second or third. It usually takes time to settle into a task and experts say when you’re interrupted it can take up to 45 minutes to settle back down to work. So if you’ve settled in and you’ve found your rhythm, keep going!
The best thing about batching your posts is that you will end up with a nice reserve of posts and you won’t get into that stress situation of having to turn out a blog post pronto.
Blogging consistently is like quitting cigarettes. Each time you try, even if you fall off the wagon, you get closer to success. You may go four or five weeks in a row and then miss a week. Don’t beat yourself up! Just get right back on track. Because I plan out my posts in advance, I feel like I am “wasting” the time I spent on planning if I don’t post. To a certain extent, I have no excuse. I know what I’m going to write: It’s right there in my planner with key points already sketched in. It’s usually just a matter of grabbing forty-five minutes to an hour to flesh out the post and then upload it with image(s) and links.
If you haven’t been blogging consistently, try putting these three tips in place. You’re starting fresh. Let’s see how long you can keep it running!
Love these simple and clear suggestions that WORK. Thanks for sharing, Barbara
Thanks Chuck! You are the blogging master! 🙂