Post With Regularity
If content is king then frequent updates are the loyal subjects, the unsung heroes that make the kingdom strong. If you’ve ever read a “sorry I haven’t written lately” post then you have probably noticed that soon after that, the blog that you once followed so eagerly ceased to be. The best thing that can happen to you as a blogger is that you become part of someone’s routine, be it daily, weekly or even monthly. The worst thing that can happen to you is that you break that routine. We are all creatures of habit, and we need to be fed on a regular basis. I’ve read blogs that were updated several times a day, five days a week, blogs that were updated once a week, and everything else in between, but the successful blogs all had one thing it common: a schedule. If you want to write a new post on Tuesday and Thursday, then stick with it and try to have the post go live the same time of day, every time. Have you ever stopped reading a blog because of too many breaks in the routine?
Has this ever happened to you? You’ve booted up your computer with every intention of writing your next epic post, a thousand-plus word missive sure to redefine the subject at hand, make your followers swoon and making you the final authority on the matter, the expert that everyone turns to when a question needs answering. Then distractions happen, and before you know it you’re too sleepy to write, or (if you write in the early morning hours) you find that you’re running late for work, or an appointment. You tell yourself that you’ll buckle down tomorrow until tomorrow happens and nothing gets accomplished. Distraction is something that I still struggle with, and is probably my biggest hurdle to being as productive as I’d like to be.
In my case eliminating distractions means not checking my email until I’m finished writing for the day. It means not surfing the Internet unless I absolutely need it for research on the piece I’m writing, and even then I close the browser once I have the information I need. What are some of your distractions?
Write Down Your Blog’s True Purpose
This will help you to stay on track and hopefully prevent your blog from becoming an unfocused hodgepodge of randomness. Why do you have a blog? Is it to help people? Is it to share a singular passion? What is the main subject of your blog? Your blog or website can be many things, but it must have focus. I have a gardening website specific to the part of the country that I live in, and even though I derive an enormous amount of pleasure from it the true purpose and focus of that website is to help others grow their own organic gardens, and I keep that in mind whenever I write a new post. In fact, I printed out the true purpose of that website and hung it on the wall in front of my desk so that I’ll be sure to see it whenever I start to write something. What is the true purpose of your website?
Carry a Notebook
I treat every idea like it’s the most important thought I’ll ever have, and I write them all down, good and bad, so that I don’t forget them. One never knows when inspiration will strike, so be prepared. My phone has a notepad function, but I prefer the old school method of putting pen to paper. I find that a small Moleskine fits perfectly in my back pocket, so I carry it and a pen wherever I go. Do you carry something with you at all times to keep your ideas from slipping away?
Engage Your Audience
When many of us first start out modesty and/or low self-esteem can lead us to believe that no one will ever see what we’ve written, that we’re fooling ourselves if we think that we’ll ever have an audience. So we write for ourselves and to ourselves. The truth is, if you hang in there long enough your audience will find you, and you need to acknowledge their loyalty by engaging them. Have you noticed that in this article I’ve ended each tip with a question? Asking your readers a question is one of many ways to engage your audience, and one of the easiest. Can you think of other ways to engage your audience?
Reach Out to Other Bloggers
It is extremely unlikely that you are the only person blogging about a particular subject. Not only should you be reading other blogs, you should make an effort to get to know some of the bloggers whose work you admire. Blogging is more about community than it is about competition, but even if you’re highly competitive (like me) interacting with others in your niche will help you to always do your best, and will ultimately help you to grow your audience. If you are of the mindset that there is only so much room at the top then you’re almost guaranteed to fail, because you are practicing a philosophy of scarcity. Think abundantly. Abundant thinking means that there is room for everyone who is good. Can you name at least one blogger in your niche whose work you admire?
Try Guest Posting
Guest posting is when you allow someone else to write a post on your blog in exchange for a link back to their website, or when you write a post on someone else’s blog in exchange for a link back to your website. Remember, it’s more about community than it is about competition, and you can reap many rewards from guest posting, like increasing your readership and boosting your reputation as someone who is both knowledgeable and passionate about your subject. Can you think of at least one blog you’d like to write a post for, or at least one blogger you’d want to contribute an article to your website?