When I survey readers and students, one of the most frequently mentioned blogging goals is posting content consistently, which is (even still for me) one of the most challenging things about blogging. You spend the time filling your editorial calendar, you’re going steady for a week or two, and then something gets in the way, be it life, work, or that little voice inside your head telling you your idea is lame. (Reminder: your idea is awesome.)
So, we need to find a way to stay on track and make blogging a priority, especially if you’re using it for income or as part of a business strategy, and tell that negative voice to shut the hell up.
Create a realistic schedule
I am notorious for having lots of calendars and scheduling everything. If I didn’t have a calendar I’d be running today’s Twitter chat from the dentist office because I almost scheduled my appointment at the same time >_<
So – when was the last time creating blog content WITH a specific post idea made it into your calendar just like work and appointments and due dates for bills?
My weekly calendar looks like this:
Write blog post for Weds
XO product work (blog themes, book edits, etc)
Write blog post for Fri
XO product work
Write Blog Love
Write Monday email
Write Monday blog post
Some days things get flipped around if a client responds quickly or I’m super antsy to write a post, but generally a couple of hours each day are dedicated to these items. Seeing everything laid out this way makes it easier to focus and plan ahead. I write blog posts on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday PERIOD.
I also know how long it takes me to create a post (about two hours if I start with a solid idea), so I’m able to block that time into my schedule. If you only have two hours a week for blogging then write two posts and schedule one post per week, so you are writing in advance and have a few back-ups.
Take stock of what throws you off course
The thing that generally stops me from blogging on schedule is burnout. I’ve spent too much time online, am overwhelmed by the sheer number of bloggers blogging about blogging, or have something like aerial training taking up a ton of energy. This is the time I need a game plan the most and, for myself, it now needs to include a set hour or two for getting away from the computer so I can recharge.
For you, it might be something larger like, if I post consistently and my blog grows then I’ll actually have to go after that dream of leaving my job, which is totally terrifying even though I really want it. Or maybe it’s, if my blog grows more people will read it and they might think my writing is awful and leave rude comments.
Whatever the issue may be, I guarantee it’s not, “I don’t have time.” Here’s a little tough love for ya…I don’t have time either, I MAKE time because blogging is important to me. And no, I don’t have an office job or kids, but plenty of bloggers do and still manage to get it done.
Make it easier to get the work done
Maybe what’s throwing you off isn’t actually writing the content, but making graphics or tweeting. Maybe it’s the fact that you’re tired of shooting photos on your phone and you just want a fancy camera. Whatever it is, fix it, change it, automate it.
I talked about this in The Badass Blog Planner—automating my tweets and creating post image templates in Photoshop to cut down the time it takes to create a post. I also use an editorial calendar and write a quick draft or at least bullet points every time I add an idea, this way I’m never starting from scratch.
And a note about that negative voice
We’ve all got it. It shows up right after Pinteresting or reading blogs. When everyone else seems to be killing it and your post idea sounds LAME. Like no one will relate to it, or understand it, or it’s been done before, or they’ll think you’re stupid and never read your blog again.
Well, let me remind you, that voice is dead wrong! Every time it’s shown up and dared me to stop writing and I ignored it, you all have commented and shared the post like crazy. Next time Negative Nancy in your head tries to shut you down, tell her to eff off and keep going. Have 100% faith in yourself for once and see what happens.
Calculate what you lose when you skip a post versus what you gain from posting
Are you missing out on 500 pageviews, 10 Twitter followers, 20 email subscribers, 3 product sales for every post you don’t have time for? What does that number turn into over the course of a year?
If you skip one post per week every other week, that’s 26 posts. If you lose out on three $20 product sales for each post, that’s $1,560. I don’t know about you, but that’s a good chunk of my bills that I’d love to pay with money from my blog.
For social media followers, pageviews or email list subscribers, that number will increase with every post. So one month a post might bring in 500 pageviews, but the next month, with consistent posting, you could be looking at 700 pageviews. Your reach will increase by a fraction every single time you post and your readers share that content.
Could you have tripled your traffic by now if you can made time to blog?
The TL;DR bottom line is, blog posts generate traffic, get people talking, help me interact with my audience, and turn into clients and sales. Zero blog posts = zero clients and zero sales and zero me being the boss.