Perhaps one of your new year’s resolutions looks something like this:
I resolve to blog more than 17 times this year (even though it’s time-consuming and I feel dry of great ideas and no one is paying me to do it.)
I feel you on all accounts.
Regular blogging is hard and time and energy consuming. And yet, catch-22---if you don’t do it regularly you don’t build an audience. So you can’t wait for inspiration to strike. You have to go and make inspiration happen. So what can you do to make the regular habit of blogging become a little more seamless?
1. Set up an editorial calendar. The editorial calendar for this blog is set up on a quarterly basis. So I know the exact dates I’m blogging for the next three months. I know when I’m writing, when I’m posting and when it goes live. This takes the guesswork out of my schedule. And seeing the exact dates that I’m posting over the next few months actually makes the process feel less daunting.
2. Determine your blog’s key concepts. The topic of your blog can be hyper specific but it doesn’t have to be. I blog here about a range of categories that fit somewhere within social media, impactful messaging, goal setting and creativity. After determining the key concepts of my blog, I then plug those into the dates that I know I’m going to blog. So, the 3rd Tuesday of this month I know I will be producing a piece that fits within the category of “impactful messaging.” This narrows the scope in a big way. Now I just have to determine what I want to tackle within that category.
3. Crank out some headlines within those categories and plug them into your editorial calendar. But know that these aren’t the 10 commandments--you can reschedule or revise later. The most important aspect of this step is just coming up with an idea (or two or three) that you can flesh out later. It’s much easier to come up with a headline within a specific category than to completely start from scratch.
4. Go ahead and draft an outline before you start fleshing out your post. I often write a headline for a blog post a few weeks out, then an outline a few days out, then finally flesh out the entire post the day before it goes live. By working in steps I don’t feel drained of creativity when it’s time to produce a post. And working in these steps gives me a framework for where I’m headed.
5. Determine a regular time that you have a date with your keyboard. Know when it’s time to write. When you sit down to write your blog post you’ve already given yourself the upper hand. You know when you’re writing, what your topic is generally about, your title for the blog post and you’ve even come up with a rough outline. This is the part where you take the ideas that have been buzzing through your mind and give them focused attention. By marinating on your ideas for several days or weeks this part of the process becomes easy. You just connect the dots.
Blogging more consistently is an incredibly worth goal. It’s well-known that content marketing and adding value to your tribe aside from a sales pitch is instrumental in today’s economy. Do you have your own blogging tips? Share below!