It amazes me how many people have blogs these days. I feel like I’m always finding out that people I know have secret blogs where they share their interests on a routine basis. If you’re one of these people who continuously blog, then kudos to you! It’s a lot of fun, but it definitely requires some discipline if you want to blog on a regular basis.
A lot of people want to start blogs, or even attempt to (several times), but can’t seem to make it a routine and stick with it. Before they know it, it’s been several months since they’ve written a post, and they simply stop because they’re discouraged. Well it’s time to STOP DOING THAT. Today, I’m letting you in on some secrets of how I’ve been able to blog without missing one day since I started in August 2012.
1. Create a Blogging Schedule
As you can see in the above picture, I blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I used to do the occasional Tuesday post but decided to stop doing that to make my life a lot easier. You don’t have to blog this often – you can blog once a week, or even less. Or, if you’re crazy and inspired 24/7 like some bloggers seem to be, you can blog every day or three times a day (pretty sure these people are superhuman). Your blog, your rules. I HIGHLY recommend creating a schedule to (strictly) follow because then you have a structure to hold yourself accountable. If I didn’t have my weekly routine, there’s no doubt I would have fallen off the bandwagon a LONG time ago. It helps me manage my time to blog when I’m free.
If you’re just starting out, be realistic. Don’t plan to blog several times a week if you’re a super busy person and aren’t serious about blogging. You might start missing days and get back to the land of discouragement. If you’re really struggling, and have attempted blogging in the past, I recommend starting slower until you’ve learned how to better manage your time to fit in the weekly blog post(s). When you have a schedule lined up, you’re much more likely to be consistent.
2. Write Down Topic Ideas
I wrote about how to never run out of blog topics awhile ago in it’s own post because I feel so strongly about this. I utilize my Gmail account’s Google Drive to frequently update a Topics spreadsheet where I jot down ideas I think of periodically. What do you want to blog about? Have you been hit with inspiration and have a bunch of ideas for future posts? I usually know what I want to blog about, but when I don’t have anything planned, it really helps to have this to glance at for ideas.
3. Follow an Editorial Calendar
This is a strategy I didn’t begin until my second? year of blogging, I think. It blows my mind that I waited so long to set up a schedule for each month. I might post more about how I do this in the future, but for now I’ll just give you a quick intro.
Like my topics spreadsheet, I use Google Drive to frequently update my editorial calendar with what I plan to post throughout the next couple months. Some days are blank up until a few days prior; other times, I really want to remember to write about a specific topic on a certain day, especially around the holidays. In the above image, you can see last month’s schedule. Having this set up is extremely helpful in staying organized.
4. Work Ahead if You Know You’ll Be Busy
It’s simple – if you know you’re going to have a few weeks where you’ll be ridiculously busy, work ahead. I wish I did this more often, but blogging is so time consuming that I don’t like writing several posts back-to-back; it can be draining. However, when you have some extra free time, I highly encourage working on future posts. A few times when I do this include: 1. when someone is visiting us for a week or 2. it’s the holiday season. Other times working ahead is a must for me is when I’m reviewing a product or participating in a campaign of sorts – both of these situations require a LOT more time and effort in crafting the post.
5. Use a Weekly Theme
If you’ve pretty much ever been to my blog before now, you’ve probably noticed I have a weekly favorite things post. When I first started this blog, I wanted to do a post like this every week because one of my favorite bloggers did something similar. Having a themed post like this every week has made blogging SO much easier for me. I prepare for it the entire week (unlike a lot of my other posts that I write in their entirety the night before), so by Tuesday night, I can usually whip together a favorites post with things I’ve been loving or find interesting and want to share.
And if you don’t like things (LIES) or aren’t interested in sharing your favorites, I’ve also seen ideas like coffee dates (where you share what’s been happening in your life lately), or I used to post recipes [almost] every Tuesday. For some reason, having this weekly theme lightens the load of frequent blogging – there’s less thinking.
6. Make It a Priority
If you want to be a blogger bad enough, you’ll figure it out and find time – this requires making blogging a priority though. I’m not talking about a few weeks of being motivated. It’s a continuous project that requires a lot of time and imagination. The amount of free time I have has been severely depleted by the time required to maintain this blog. It actually drives me a little crazy sometimes. So…why do I keep doing it? To me it’s worth it. My love for blogging and inspiring others to be healthy motivates me to keep going.
I’m not going to lie to you – some days I run out of time. One of the worst times that I blogged was when I flew to Illinois and by the time I could write the next day’s blog post, it was 1 am. Somehow I forced myself to whip a post together before going to bed, but having spent all day traveling, I was absolutely pooped and wanted to go to bed. I should have worked ahead but failed to do so. Womp womp. BUT I made it happen anyways. Sure, you can skip a day. It won’t kill you. I do everything in my power NOT to, though, because I fear it’ll become a trend, and I’ll be more lenient with myself and eventually stop altogether.
If you care enough to stay on schedule, you’ll figure it out and find time. It’s kind of funny that I write this blog post today because I woke up at 4:30 am instead of my usual 5:30 because I was absolutely dead last night and could not stay awake to write this blog post. Timing is not always ideal, but if you don’t want to miss a day, you may have to sacrifice some time you were going to spend sleeping or hanging out with people. I’m not saying put your life on hold to work on your blog, but if you set realistic goals (like I talked about in #1), it’s manageable – like I’ve said, it just takes some discipline. 🙂
And that rounds out the 6 tips for sticking with blogging. Whether you’re first starting out or are a seasoned blogger, I hope my advice has helped in your quest to keep your blog going or inspire you to begin one. I may do a part 2 to this later, but for now I should probably finish getting ready for work.
Happy Friday and have an awesome weekend!!