Whether you’re just getting started with your blog or if you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve likely encountered the challenge of blogging consistency.
Blogging is a time-consuming endeavor. And while many businesses understand the value of blogging, they have a tough time sticking with their schedule despite having the best of intentions.
If blog post consistency is one of your goals for 2013, here are 10 tips to help you stick with your schedule this year:
- Set a realistic frequency. If you are just getting started with blogging, it’s probably not a good idea to start out of the gate with a goal to publish five times a week. I often tell clients to start small and build from there. So, for instance, start blogging once a week. Once you get into the rhythm of doing that, you can add a second or third day if you choose. That way, you can build on your success instead of setting yourself up for failure by biting off more than you can chew.
- Pick a day or days you will publish (and stick to it). Once you’ve decided how often you will blog, select the days of the week you will publish. You can even build an editorial calendar for months at a time. Doing this helps hold your feet to the fire and it also helps readers know when to expect new content from you.
- Carve out time on your calendar to write.
The biggest mistake many businesses make is that they only write when they have time. Instead, set aside time on your calendar to write — whether it’s 30 minutes every day or a block of time during the week. Make this an important appointment that you keep with yourself and it will be easier to stick with your blogging efforts.
- Eliminate distractions. So you don’t get pulled in a million different directions during your writing time, turn off all the other applications on your computer and put your phone on silent.
Doing this will help you be more focused when you write. And, if you can’t be trusted to leave your email or social networks alone, there are a number of different apps that you can use that disable your internet and email for a set period of time so you can’t be tempted.
- Always have ideas at your disposal. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or newbie blogger, sitting down to a blank screen is very difficult. Instead, you should capture blog ideas as you have them so when it’s time to write, you’re not scrambling for inspiration. Use a notebook, Evernote, bookmarking or a master document to write ideas down as you have them.
- Find someone to hold you accountable. When you’re incredibly busy, it’s easy to find excuses that keep you from blogging. But, if you can find someone in your organization to hold your feet to the fire, you’ll be much more likely to stick with it. Or, if you really need help and guidance, you can always hire someone to keep you on track. (This is one way I help many of my clients).
- Build a blog team. Blogs are often stronger when you have a team of people producing content. Don’t feel like you have to be the sole source of content at your company. Creating a team of people to blog can help spread the load and also bring different perspectives to the table.
- Ignore perfection and publish. Sometimes, you don’t blog because you’re aiming for a blockbuster every time or waiting until your writing improves. Not only is that unrealistic, it’s paralyzing and keeps you from putting your ideas out there. Don’t feel like every post has to be perfect. Just hit publish and continue to tweak and refine your writing as you go.
- Use multimedia. Switching up how you share your content can help you when you’re in a slump and give your visitors more variety in the process. For instance, you can record a short video with one simple tip or you can put together a screen cast showing visitors how to do something. Scared of video? Record audio instead. Or, use infographics, photos or slides as other ways to get your point across.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a post. If you ever miss your blogging schedule (and trust me, you will at some point), don’t beat yourself up about it. Take a deep breath and just get back on the blogging horse.
And, if you’re consistently having trouble sticking with your schedule, you may need to reevaluate how often you post or consider bringing in resources to help you.
Certainly, some of these tips may work better for you than others. But hopefully, following some of these practices will help you stay on the right track with your blogging efforts this year.
And, if you’re looking for ways to make blogging less time consuming, here are some ideas for how to blog faster.
How do you stick with your blogging schedule? What would you add to the list?
Image credit: Joe Lanman