Do you have a blogging schedule? Or are you one of these people that fit their blogging around other things? If you’re the latter then it might be time to consider a change. To put it simply if you don’t have a blogging schedule, your not a blogger, you’re a wannabe writer.
You cannot have one without the other. You cannot be a blogger without a blogging schedule. But never fear this is where this article comes in, trust me it took me a while to put together my own blogging schedule together but when I did everything meshed together and writing articles became a lot easier.
In this article I will explain the importance of creating a rock solid blogging schedule of your own, so you too can master the awesomeness of true blogging power.
So, why create a blogging schedule?
Pledging to write a blog is like the new “I’m going to start a diet to get ripped for the summer!!” of broken promises. Many aspire to take on the challenge and start something new, but ultimately fail to achieve any kind of result and end up calling it day, within a week or two.
So how do the successful bloggers out there do it? Do they hold some divine power that allows them to write better than anyone else? Do they have more hours in the day than you do? Nope! All that separates the successful bloggers from you is a plan, a schedule and a bit of self-discipline.
Trust me, if they can do it, so can you!! So here are my five steps to help you jump start your blog, and more importantly, keep it going once it’s started.
Make a plan
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are great blogs. You can’t just go in guns blazing throwing up any kind of blog and hoping for the best. You need to plan things out from the start to give your blog the best possible start.
Firstly, ask yourself why you want to write a blog? What is its purpose? What audience will it be serving? What problem are you trying to solve with your blog? Once you have the answers to these questions you will be surprised how quickly you can flesh out and start a true plan for your blog.
Next, ask yourself do you want to write a blog to support your business?
What business goals are you trying to achieve with your blog? Are you trying to generate extra traffic, interest and build your businesses reputation, or are you trying to engage with your audience?
Do you want to create an extra revenue stream with your blog? How are you going to achieve this? Are you going to use Google Adsense or manage your own adverts? Are you going to sell products? Have you thought about affiliate marketing?
Who are you writing your blog posts for? Who is your audience? Do you specialise in a specific subject that you could start a niche blog in? Do you have passion within this area (remember you are going to be writing about this subject for some time)? By answering these questions you will be able to build a picture of what type of subject to write your articles about.
Before you race off and start putting together your blog, take your time to collate all of the information that you have gathered. Spend 30mins brainstorming some potential article ideas. They don’t have to be fully fleshed out, just one line, headline or a general idea. Fill up a page or two with all of your ideas and keep them safe, you never know when you’re going to need these again.
Remember a blog is a long-term commitment, you may hear the news of successful bloggers making millions of pounds overnight, but trust me this is never the real truth. They would have been blogging for years before actually “making it big”. In reality, you’ll be writing for years to come, before you can be successful in this game. If the topics you want to cover are so thin and your not sure how to fill months worth of editorial content, then you will need to go back to the drawing board.
How often do you want to update your blog?
Before you can really create a solid blogging schedule you really need to decide how often you want to update your blog and how often you want to write.
Consistency is the key to a successful blog. It doesn’t matter how great your blog posts are if your update schedule matches roughly that of a lunar eclipse. That being said, if you’re just starting out, then it may be better to start slow and get used to the work ahead.
Many first time bloggers burn themselves out by setting stupid expectations on themselves like, “I’m going to write 1500 word blog every day!” (trust me this is a crazy idea!!) they then find themselves with an impossible mission. Once they miss a day or two, they quickly lose all motivation and soon enough they are not blogging anymore.
But making your goal to flimsy can also present you with no challenge. I’ve always found that for beginners, one solid post a week is the pace you should strive for. As for the word count, don’t be slavishly devoted to a set number, but you should always be sure your blog articles are long enough to be meaningful. Short posts can be interesting, however, 800-1600 is a good ballpark figure, plus the longer the post the better the SEO is for your article.
The important thing to remember is to write meaningful, helpful articles that your audience will like to read and make sure that you’re consistent and disciplined with your updates.
Getting started and keeping up that momentum.
Getting started is going to be the hardest obstacle for your blogging ambitions. If you have a steely resolve and ironclad willpower, you can just jump into it and make it happen. For the rest of us, we might need to employ a few psychological tricks to get us started.
For starters, you need to disconnect. You can’t write while your being distracted by your twitter feed every five seconds. So put your phone into do not disturb mode and shut down any other distractions. Put your headphones in and zone out, concentrate solely on completing the article.
Yes I know it is easier said than done, but trust me you must build up a routine of just getting into your zone and getting to job done. Otherwise, you will not accomplish what you have set out to do.
Find a blogging schedule that works for you
Seriously writing isn’t a science. Sure there are tips and tricks that are there to help us get started, but ultimately, writing is a very personal thing, so make sure you approach it in a way that works for you. If you find you’re staring at a blank word document, taring your hair out trying to figure out how to start your new article, just remember that it’s OK to start writing even if you don’t have a clear vision of what you’re going to write.
Find a time of the day that works best for your creative juices to flow. Plenty of bloggers swear by writing early in the morning. However I prefer to write during the evening, you just need to find out what is best for you and get into a routine that suits your needs the best.
To shake things up a bit, try writing in a different space. Take your laptop to your nearest coffee shop, library or heck even the zoo. Just find a comfortable spot, zone out and concentrate on getting your A-game on and getting that article written.
Just remember consistency and determination are two of the most important elements for a great blog that achieves its goals. Figure out what you want to achieve, write a schedule that will support these goals, and stick to it, day after day, week after week. After that, you will be able to look back and see how far you have actually come before you know it you will have reached your goals and you’ll be setting new ones.