How to Blog Frequently and Consistently
Oh, blogging. Most of us have a love hate relationship with blogging. The actual blogging part? Strongly dislike. The results? Love.
I’m not here to tell you why you should be blogging for you business, (*cough* high traffic, trust factor, connecting with people and potential customers) because you can find out all about that here:
Related Post > Why You Should Be Blogging for Your Biz
I’m here to give you my tips to get the ball (blog) rolling.
If you want to see results from blogging, you have to be consistent and frequent.
Consistent but not frequent enough: If you are blogging once a year, you might as well just forget about it, because it’s not benefiting you at all. Ideally you should be blogging at least once a week.
Frequent but not consistent enough: If you’re generally blogging once or twice a week but you have no set schedule, you should be posting on the same days, at the same times, every week.
Throw some awesome content in there and you’ve got yourself a recipe for success.
Sure! If you can find the time to write all of those posts in between EVERYTHING ELSE you have to do, or even think of enough topics to write about, seriously, where do the ideas come from?
Trust me, I’ve had plenty of times where I’ve sat down at my computer to crank out a blog post and… *crickets*.
It pays to have a plan, and I’m going to share with you my fav techniques that have helped me blog twice a week for around 8 months now.
Coming up with post ideas:
I find it really hard to come up with blog post ideas on a whim. For a while there I would scramble to find ideas every week, and then when those were posted, stress about not having any ideas for next weeks posts.
Now I put aside time to brainstorm. This sounds like a no brainer, but when you’re caught up in all of your “other” work, the last thing you want to do is commit more of your precious time to blogging. But I’ve learned that spending focussed time here will save you much more time in the long run.
The most effective way to brainstorm is to just sit down, open up a blank document and focus only on brainstorming blog ideas. Write down your blog post ideas and also write some bullet points underneath them if you have any ideas about what to write in the post.
Once you spend about 5 minutes doing this, the ideas will start flowing to you (this sounds a little woowoo but I swear it works!)
There’s a few things I go through when I’m having a brainstorming sesh:
Frequently Asked Questions
We all get ‘em. Sometimes they’re stupid, sometimes they’re the most perfect, most frequently asked question to turn into a blog post. This makes sense, right? People who are already interested in you (your audience) are messaging you asking questions. So you know if you answer them in a blog post, people are going to be reading it.
This is not only an awesome way to think up ideas for blog posts, but it’s also handy when people email you the question, and you can just send them the link to the blog post. Blog Post + Save on email time = amazing!
Blog Post Questions
Same as above. Are people commenting on your posts asking for more information? Has anyone mentioned that you should write a post? Keep an eye on what questions people are writing on your current blog posts and consider these.
I like to check out Pinterest and see what blog posts are doing well for my target audience. Just because someone else has written about something, doesn’t mean you can’t write about it too. My recommendation here is to just read the titles of the posts to gather ideas, but not click into them. Try to write your posts without reading other peoples posts, otherwise you will lose your voice and your personal point of view, and your stuff will just be the same as everyone elses (boring!)
Check your analytics and see what your most popular posts are, then see if you can create some new blog topics on something similar, or even related to that particular post.
What have you learned recently?
Almost everytime I learn something new I write a post about it and teach it to my audience. Whether it’s a new design technique that I turn into design tutorial, or learning a new business software then teaching my readers how to use it. Write these posts immediately after you have learned how to do the thing, because all of the tips, tricks and struggles are fresh in your mind.
Make sure what you’re teaching is appropriate for your audience. If I learn how to do a cartwheel I’m not going to write a blog post about it.
TIP: I always have a running document for “blog ideas”. While I do recommend you sit down and have focussed brainstorm sessions, sometimes you will get an idea on a whim, and you need to write it down ASAP. Whenever you have these ideas, stop EVERYTHING you’re doing and write them down straight away. Because if you don’t (trust me on this) you’ll forget it, and you’ll be kicking yourself.
Finding the time to write frequently:
On the other side of things, people often find it very hard to find the time to write posts. I know a lot of people who have a HUGE list of ideas, and just can’t get around to it.
I totally understand. When you have piles of actual work to get to, the last thing you want to be doing is spending hours blogging.
Especially because it’s hard to see the results at the beginning. Blogging is a huge time investment, and it just won’t pay off for a while. That’s the reality of it.
So many of us are results driven, and because we can’t see the results for a long time, we give up. But I’m here to tell you: you gotta stick at it! Blogging is a long game, but once you see the results it will all be worth it.
That brings me to my first point for finding the time,
You have to make the commitment.
Yup, you gotta put a ring on it. If you’re not committed to blogging, it’s not going to commit to you (aka give you great results).
So, right here right now, are you going to commit to blogging? Because if you’re not, nothing in this post will help you.
If you are, you can start small. One post per week, heck, one post every two weeks. As long as you set a day and time to post these and commit to getting them done, you’ll find the time.
Another point I think that’s important to make is that blogging gets easier. When I first started, I literally had no idea what I was doing and I’m sure my posts suck. And when I look back in a year, this post will probably suck too. But they get better, and you get faster. I can write a 2000 word blog post now in the time it took me to write a 500 word post 6 months ago. The more you do it, the faster and better you get.
Batch your Blog Writing
A big time saver I’ve found is to batch your post writing. If you don’t know what batching is, it’s when you focus on one task for an extended amount of time. The science behind batching work is that your brain gets so focused on the task that you produce work much faster than if you were starting and stopping. Basically you get into a “rhythm”.
Technically, we are batching when we’re brainstorming our blog ideas. By focussing completely on brainstorming and writing down as many ideas as possible, rather than writing them down when you think of them on a whim, we are able to create way more ideas in a shorter amount of time.
By batching your blog post writing you can get a lot done in a shorter amount of time, too. Once you get into the rhythm of writing (which isn’t that easy to get into for a lot of us) you’d be silly to stop!
Batching can be a little bit daunting, for example, sitting down to write 4 blog posts doesn’t sound like much fun. But I promise you, doing it that way will save you much more time time than writing 4 posts on 4 separate days.
Plus, if you do them all at once, you have the relief of knowing you don’t have to wake up tomorrow and write another one.
Scheduling and automating your posts
This goes hand in hand with batching. Batch write your 4 posts, then schedule + automate them to post on the days you have committed to. You can do this all in a matter of hours, and then for the rest of the month you don’t have to worry about blogging or posting your blogs! It’s really that simple.
Scheduling saves you a bunch of time. You can set everything to post on its own, which of course saves you from going in and manually posting...
But it also saves space in your brain. If you set everything up to be scheduled and automated, meaning that you literally don’t have to lift a finger for your blogs for the rest of the week or month, then you give yourself more space to think about other things, whatever those might be.
As business owners, our to-do lists are 3 pages long and our brains are pretty much at maximum capacity, sometimes it really feels like there’s only a certain amount of room in them. So, if we can get rid of “blogging” from our list of things to, and not have to worry about it for a few weeks, sign me up!
Are you a consistent blogger? Let me know in the comments?