Blog Tip #2: Plan for Consistency
Human beings are creatures of habit. One of the best things you can hope for as a blogger is that your readers make a habit of reading your blog.
Think about your own media consumption. It’s probably full of habits. Maybe you pick up the newspaper from your driveway every morning and read certain sections over breakfast. Maybe you listen to the same radio shows driving to and from work. You probably have certain TV shows you watch at the same time every week.
To facilitate your media consumption habits, the producers of those media have to create and distribute their content consistently.
Imagine what would happen if your newspaper were delivered at a different time each day? What would happen if your favorite TV show was on different night each week? What would happen if your favorite radio show was broadcast whenever the host felt like it? You’d miss articles and shows and your engagement with them would become sporadic.
Consistency is key to the success of a blog too.
Sometimes we think because we can write and publish blog posts any time we like that it doesn’t really matter when we publish posts. Wrong! It does matter. The more consistently we post, the more consistently people will read. Posting on the same days each week and the same time each day helps a lot.
Confessions of an Inconsistent Blogger
I must confess that consistency is one of the aspects of blogging I struggle with most. Fitting that I write this at noon in a post I wanted to have published at 7 this morning. The fact is that blogging is not the most important thing in my life. Other things come up and blogging gets squeezed out.
One of the things that helps me with consistency is planning ahead. Here are… 5 tips to help you blog more consistently:
1) Decide on your publishing schedule. How many posts are you going to publish each week? What days and times will you publish them. If you don’t set a schedule, you’ll never meet a schedule.
2) Pick your topics a week at a time. Instead of thinking each day, “What should I blog about today?” Set aside time this week to decide the topics of next week’s posts. Doing this will also help you choose topics and write posts that flow together one to the next so you can build anticipation at the end of each post for the next post.
3) Write ahead. Try to avoid leaving the writing of a blog post until the day it’s due to be published. Best to be at least a day ahead so when things come up, you still make your schedule. Easier said than done as I write this 5 hours after my scheduled publishing time.
4) Write in your head. Sometimes I feel like I just don’t have time to write a blog post. But I’ve come up with a little trick to make the most of certain times that you might think it’s not even possible to write. Want to know when I do some of my best blog writing? While running, showering and driving. Obviously I can’t physically write at those times, but I can outline a post in my mind during activities that I might otherwise just let my mind wander.
5) Keep a file of post ideas. Get a notebook or word processor file where you can write down blog post ideas as they come to you. Referencing this file each week when picking your blog topics can make that part of the process much quicker and easier.
Now I just need to follow my own advice.
How do you think a bloggers consistency impacts their readers?
What tips and tricks do you have that help you blog more consistently?
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