6 steps to consistent blogging

Reading too muchSometime back in March, Easton from BusinessBlogWire probed his readers, asking them, “Hey you! What is your greatest blogging weakness?

The results were like this:

…Too much reading…not enough writing…
…I love to read and explore the blogosphere. Sometimes it’s like a good book I just can’t put down…
…lack of focus…
…do much and spreading myself too thin…
…Finishing what is started…

And even for myself, it was “Juggling too many things

While the number of comments on that post doesn’t make up a good sample size for a survey, it seems to me that one very common trait (and weakness) we bloggers have, is that we love to read a lot, and the surfing around on the web can just take all of our time we spend in a working day. We end up writing too little.

In our quest for knowledge, we keep reading and reading, and bookmarking articles (you know, I’ve been reluctant to post another “bookmarks explosion” because it would be like over a hundred links, and would probably take me hours to compose that post!), and yes we do get exposed to new concepts and ideas and we get to know a lot of people.

But at the end of the day when we were supposed to log in and write, we have already gotten so weary with all the reading and thinking, and contributing, and say “I’ll post tomorrow”. Or, we get so caught up in the reading, and then we realise that we have to rush out for a dinner appointment, and by the time we are back, its time to head off to bed.

Does that sound too familiar to you?

Here’s what you can do to start writing consistently for your blog.

  1. Decide how often you want to post. Three times a day? Once a day? Three times a week? You first need to have an idea of your desired posting frequency.
  2. Take ONE day off, and use this time to plan, and think at least one week ahead. For example, if you are going to post everyday, make sure to have at least 7 posts in mind. This is your “buffer”
  3. At the minimum, come up with the basic points for each post. Think first – “What do you want to put across”, then think “How do I go about getting this idea across?” You might want want to just invest in a small notebook (the paper one!) to jot these down.
  4. Everyday, pick from your buffer and just elaborate on your post.
  5. You can still continue to read. This time, don’t just bookmark these posts. Decide on that very day whether you want to elaborate your thoughts on what you read, or do you want to post just a link. If you have anything more than one paragraph to share about on what you read, it would be good for a post.
  6. Continue to keep up with your buffer. You might not keep up with your buffer for a day and you might not “post” on your notepad for that day, but at least, your still can post to your blog, because you can just pick a post from your notepad to write about, since the thoughts for that post has already been organised.

Comments

  1. Haha thanks Kian Ann..

    This post is really useful for me.

    I do spend quite some time surfing others’ blogs. Though it’s a good distraction from some of the boring lectures. (like right now) Haha better don’t let my profs read this.

    But yup, will definitely take note of your advice. And spend more time focusing on the consistency of my blog posts.

  2. Calvin – haha, wha like that also can ah,=

    Kian Ann-Yea its lot of reading and have to plan what to write which is not easy concerning the amount that we feel like writing. Sometimes we feel like writing more, sometimes we have mental blocks, sometimes we just feel like resting. LOL.

    =)

  3. Hi Kian.

    I’ve been having problem with two things: consistent blogging and consistent interactions and of late I’ve been brain storming on how to tackle this problem. Blogging, if not done properly is a big waste of time. It’s like, you are either in, or out (like the under world :-) ), there is no mid-way. I’ve decided to assign days, and timings to particular blogging tasks such as researching/reading, writing and interacting. I don’t read much because I’d rather spend that time writing. Reading is important though.

  4. The buffer — love that idea and wording.

    I often have a buffer of posts in my head — I’ve got 5 for 2 different blogs right now, and I periodically pluck a post idea out of the buffer and write it.

  5. Calvin! Reading blogs during lectures huh! :) Great! :) You know, in computing lectures, the first thing we do when we get into the lecture hall is boot up our computers and start surfing the web! All the time! Haha!

  6. Glenn,

    Yeah, that is the issue, as humans, we all need to rest and some days we WILL have the mental block – no matter how you think, its like the words won’t flow out of the brain.

    So having a few prepared posts on hand is a good ideas to make sure that when you have a mental block, your readers don’t stop reading as well :)

  7. Amrit,

    Me too, I realise that once I start reading, I’ll not stop! :) Assigning days to blog is great – in fact, by assigning days, you would have already thought of the post before the day comes (at the back of your mind!)

    Its true. If you want to maintain a good blog, it has to be in or out. Hahaha… halfways, means you are out. :)

  8. Hey Ted! Great!

    Actually, one thing to note about “buffer” posts are that they need to be timeless posts – not related to the world news or a launch of a product.

    It would sound a little goofy (and very late, for the blogosphere) if I announced things like a major change in say… Google Adsense policies, if the announcement was 2 weeks after the change was in effect! Instead, I could instead craft post on how this change in policy can help my readers increase their Adsense revenue.

  9. These are very helpful suggestions for me, Kian Ann. I like the idea of writing several posts in advance. I need to take time to do this because at the moment I’m working on the fly and, well frankly, it isn’t working. Even if it means having a few days of not posting while I work on a few articles, it will be worth it in the long run.

    Thanks, again.

  10. Hey Rory,

    Heh, yeah, actually I’m still posting on the fly, even though I have ideas written down on what to post in the coming days. I really need to take a day off work and think about upcoming posts in detail. ;)

  11. Pingback: I’m ready.

  12. Pingback: Bob Dylan Is On The Weekest Links - Two Times!

  13. Pingback: Plan for your blog posts using a simple spreadsheet

  14. Pingback: Blogging For Web Designers: Editorial Calendars and Style Guides | professional wordpress themes

  15. Pingback: Blogging For Web Designers: Editorial Calendars and Style Guides | Retail Marketing Strategy

  16. Pingback: Blogging For Web Designers: Editorial Calendars and Style Guides - Smashing Magazine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>