We’ve all seen that blog that has three and a half posts and… stops. Even if new posts trickle in occasionally, if you have no idea when or if there’s going to be new content, you don’t bother going back to that site. Sporadic blogs do nobody any good, because nobody takes the time to read them.
Unfortunately, most of us have been that sporadic blogger. I was. So, how do I turn out consistent content now? The full answer is complicated, but here are three simplified tactics to get you going. I share these with my clients at KazCM—they work, and I hope they work for you, too.
1. Stockpile Ideas
It’s hard to write if you don’t know what to write about, so, before you launch your blog, brainstorm at least ten ideas for posts. Even better, do twenty. The exercise will get your creative juices flowing, and you’ll be less likely to find yourself staring at a deadline with nothing to say. Once you are under way, don’t let your list of possible topics get depleted—maintain a good stockpile of ideas. Be ready for ideas to come any time of day, too. I use Evernote to jot my ideas down while they’re fresh.
2. Commit to a Schedule
When I started out, I basically wrote when I felt like it. Unfortunately, I only felt like writing sporadically. You can avoid that fate by establishing your posting frequency at the beginning. I suggest posting once a week (less frequent, and you could be out of sight, out of mind), but don’t over-commit. I’ve seen people commit to posting once every day and end up posting nothing any day. If one blog post a month is all you can do, do that.
Be consistent about when you post, as well as how often. On SportsEpreneur, we post every Tuesday and Friday, usually around seven AM. Sometimes the time varies—the day does not. Your readers know when you will post, Google will know when you will post, and, most importantly, you will know. If you have a schedule, you can organize your time around it, so you’ll always have time for writing. And if writing becomes a regular habit, it will be easier for you to stick to (we wrote an article with one off our client’s on the topic of habits). This is a critical step in becoming a consistent blogger.
3. Share content
Having lots of ideas and a regular schedule is great, but not if you don’t have any motivation. And it’s hard to stay motivated if you can’t tell anyone is paying attention. Even a negative comment can be motivating, because now you get to prove people wrong. But positive feedback is even better. Sometimes knowing just one person likes your work is all it takes to keep you going. And to get that positive feedback, you have to share your work. Share it with one person at a time, or with whole social networks. Just get your work out there, so other people can see it and have opinions about it, and so you can stay motivated to create that next great piece of content.
Writing a successful blog and being a consistent blogger takes passion. It has to interest you and excite you, give you energy, or you won’t be able to stick with it. But passion only takes you so far. You have to have ideas, you have to have motivation, and you have to keep posting regularly, for the project to work. And each of those three things is dependent on the other two—a schedule won’t do you much good if you don’t know what to write about or aren’t motivated. Take care of all three, though, and each supports the other. Then you’ll be able to consistently produce great content, an important tool in this day and age.