You have your blog and it is all shiny new, customized to your specifications. For the first month or two, blogging will be easy. You will have lots of topics to write about and your posts will just fly from your fingers. You may blog once a day or several times a week at least. Then it gets tough. You run out of easy topics. Other parts of your life and business call to you. Blogging becomes less important. Your posts fall to once a week, then monthly and every post seems to start with “Sorry I haven’t update in awhile…”
Every blogger runs into this, even veteran bloggers will have dry spells. Here are 5 steps to keeping your blog updated and consistent.
Decide on a Posting Schedule
How many times a week do you want a new post to appear on your blog? Look at your potential readership and decide how many posts a week (or month) will keep them engaged. You aren’t deciding how many times a week you will sit down and write a blog post here, but just the number of posts that need to be created.
Use an Editorial Calendar
I use the WordPress Editorial Calendar which allows me not only to view at a glance the posts I have scheduled, but also to schedule posts. For example, I like to run a WordPress plugin review on Wednesdays, so I will schedule this ahead and I can look immediately and see where I have posts that need to be written because they are marked as “Draft”:
Looking at this calendar I can see that I have some catching up to do. I need a post for today (Nov. 1), tomorrow and next week.
Write Posts All At Once
I rarely sit down to write a post on the day it is scheduled to appear. I usually have two or three posts already written ahead and when I do have time to write I post another two or three, scheduling them in the future. Today I let myself get behind because I had two weeks of posts scheduled, got lazy and didn’t write anything more or look at my blog until today. Now I have to get caught back up!
The editorial calendar plugin also makes it easy to rearrange posts. If something more timely comes up, I can post that immediately and moved the scheduled post to another day.
Keep a List of Topics
Most of my posts come as a result of either something I’m working on for a client, a new script I found cool and want to share. I put the code snippet and any notes inside its own folder which goes in a folder called “To Blog” on my computer. When I’m ready to blog I look at all of the folders and decide what I want to finalize and share.
I also find topics in blog posts by other people. When I go through my RSS feed (I use Google Reader) I open each post I find particularly interesting and bookmark it in a bookmark folder called (you guessed it) “To Blog”. As a result, when I have time to write posts I have lots of things to choose from.
Find the Time
Blogging does take time and every person’s schedule is different. I work for myself, so it is somewhat easier to find time to blog. I also find it relaxing, so as a break sometimes I’ll sit and hammer out a post or two. Once of my clients sits down on Sunday evening and writes her posts for the upcoming week. Make your blog important and you will find the time to write your posts.
I’d love to hear how you keep up with your blogging! Any tips? Share them in the comments.