How to Stick to Your Blogging Schedule
One of the biggest reasons company blogs fail is lack of consistency.
Blogs that only publish once in a blue moon are going to have a tough time gaining momentum and building an audience.
Most businesses have the best of intentions and everyone is excited at the start. However, after a couple of months, the excitement wears off, their efforts fizzle out and the blog eventually comes to a grinding halt.
I don’t want that to be you and your business.
Content marketing and blogging is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. It takes time to build momentum and grow an audience.
Become a Consistent Blogger
If you’re committed to building your company blog, it’s absolutely critical that you stick to your blogging schedule. Here are some simple ideas on how to do that.
1. Build a content plan.
Before you break out in hives, I’m not going to tell you have to build a complex editorial calendar.
However, it does help to have a content plan for your blog. This means you should have the major themes or topics of your blog mapped out, a list of ideas at the ready and a schedule for how often you want to write.
That way, when it’s time to write, you’re not staring at a blank screen and scrambling to come up with something. Don’t skip this important step.
2. Set an appointment with yourself to write.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to set an appointment on your calendar to write. You wouldn’t dream of not showing up for a meeting. I encourage you to have the same commitment to your writing appointments.
Whether you want to write every day or once a week, get it on the calendar and stick to it. Not only will this help you keep on track with your writing, but it will also help you develop a rhythm and habit for it.
3. Eliminate distractions.
Email, text messages and social media do nothing but give us an excuse to waste time and procrastinate. Don’t let that be you!
When it’s time to write, eliminate distractions so you can focus on the task at hand.
That means, close out of your email, silence your smart phone and stay off of the Internet. If you struggle with this, there are a number of tools you can use to block distracting websites and help maintain your focus.
4. Give yourself a deadline.
I’m a total perfectionist. I could spend days tweaking and perfecting every blog post. However, all that does is keep me from publishing.
That’s why I give myself time limits and a deadline. I will set a designated time of focused writing and give myself another chuck of time to edit, load and schedule the post. If I don’t do it this way, I end up wasting hours of time perfecting an article instead of publishing.
I’m not saying you should be sloppy with your work. However, I think giving yourself time limits and setting a deadline can help you focus your attention and keep you committed to publishing.
5. Collect ideas and research as you go.
Once you begin blogging, you’ll begin noticing blog post ideas everywhere – questions from clients, articles you read or your every day experiences.
Don’t let these ideas pass you by! Develop a process for capturing ideas and inspiration as you go, so it will be much easier when it’s time to write.
For instance, you could carry a moleskine notebook with you to jot down ideas. Or, you could use Evernote to clip articles, record thoughts or start building an outline.
6. Find the process that works for you.
For instance, you might find that it’s easier and faster to audio record your ideas and have them transcribed than to sit at the computer and write. Or, like me, you might start with a headline and outline and then fill in the blanks from there.
Try different techniques to find the process that works best for you.
7. Work ahead.
When you’re up against a deadline, it seems it can be that much harder to come up with the content you need.
If you’re just getting started with your blog, write 3-5 posts before you start publishing them. That way, you can work ahead without the pressure of having the next article ready in time for your deadline.
And, if you’ve been blogging for a while, carve out a larger chunk of time to write so you can begin to get ahead. This will give you some flexibility with your schedule so you’re not under the gun if something happens and you don’t have the time to write one week.
8. Repurpose your content.
You don’t always have to start from scratch with your blog posts. Find ways to repurpose content that you’ve already created to give yourself a break and get more out of your efforts.
Here are some ideas:
- Load your latest presentation into Slideshare and include that in a blog post.
- Record your webinars or speaking engagements and create a video to embed in your blog posts.
- Pull excerpts from white papers or eBooks to share on the blog.
- Expand on questions on your FAQ page.
- Look at answers you’ve given to clients and prospects via email. That could be a good starting place for a blog post.
- Create a roundup of your best blog posts from the past year.
- Repurpose content from email marketing efforts.
Not only can this save you a lot of time, but it’s also a great way to breathe new life into some old content.
9. Get help where you need it.
You don’t have to go it alone with your blog. If you and your team is struggling to keep up, find ways to get the help you need – whether internally or externally.
For instance, you could outsource some of your content marketing efforts hire a digital marketing firm or copywriter to help you with the writing and editing. Or, if you struggle with loading, formatting your posts, find someone in your office who is savvy with the technology to take care of it.
10. Celebrate your wins along the way.
Let’s be honest – there are going to be times when you don’t want to blog. You will get too busy or you will not see the value.
First, remember why you’re blogging. What are your goals? What do you hope to accomplish with your blog? More traffic? More leads? More sales? If you don’t have your goals written down, do so now.
Then, you need to track your blogging efforts. That way, you can see what’s working and what’s not. And, just as important, you can celebrate your success along the way. It might even make sense to reward yourself or your team for hitting major milestones.
Maybe you treat your blog team to beers after work for getting your first lead or sale from the blog. Or, perhaps you bring in lunch for reaching a certain number of visitors or email subscribers.
Taking the time to celebrate the small victories along the way will propel your team to stick with your blogging efforts, and eventually achieve the results you’re after.
How do you stick to your blogging efforts? What works for you?