Thirty minutes later, you’ve got a blog!
And for awhile it’s like the first few months of wedded bliss. You’re madly in love with your blog. You give it special attention — day and night — gazing at it, caressing it, and beholding it. You’re in love.
But then, similar to any marriage, the relationship undergoes a shift. Seemingly overnight, the bliss is gone. Your blog doesn’t give you the same joy it did before. It suddenly feels like a lot of work. You’re uninspired. A few days to pass between posts, then a few weeks, and finally a few months, until suddenly, it’s a year later and you haven’t written a single post.
Yet a link to your abandoned blog still hangs on your website’s home page. You make excuses, “I’m busy,” but a hint of guilt still pesters you for neglecting a part of your life that your once cherished.
If you’ve fallen out of love with your blog, there are some strategic steps you can take to revive the bliss. Once restored, move on to these tactical moves to ensure your consistency and motivation.
Make a commitment you can live with
“How often should I post to my blog?” is a common question. The answer is driven by a few factors: your audience, your schedule and your commitment.
Your ideal client profile will usually reveal the best frequency for your posts, so start there. Always consider your blog content and frequency from the perspective of your target audience. Do they have time to read daily blog updates, or will a few times a week suffice?
Also think about your availability to write quality posts. Remember, choosing to write fewer, higher quality posts is better than churning out daily bits of low-value content. Take into account the seasonal fluctuations in your business as well. If summers are usually slower, you can use those months to pre-write several posts that you’ll schedule for publication later.
Now, commit to how many days a week you plan to post: once, twice, three or more times? Do what feels right for your audience and your schedule (not what everyone else is doing).
Capture every possible story idea
The best post ideas can strike you at inconvenient times, like when you’re standing in the checkout line with a handful of groceries. It’s tragic to lose a great idea! To prevent this, have a system for capturing ideas, whether it’s in your smartphone, a digital recorder or traditional pen and paper.
I’ve recently been more diligent about recording my ideas in Evernote. It’s loaded on my iPhone and Macbook, so I can capture ideas as they come to me. I transfer handwritten notes into Evernote by either manually transcribing them into the application or uploading an image of my scribble via scanner. I use Evernote to store relevant statistics, quotes and other news clippings into Evernote for future reference.
The idea is to always have a database of possible blog posts (and supporting data) so you’re never left wondering, “What should I write about today?”
Get organized with an editorial calendar
You know how often you want to publish a new post to your blog and you have a handful of great post ideas. Now it’s time to create a publishing plan. Before you get started, consider these questions:
- What types of post will you write: how-to, case study, quick tips, lengthy thought leadership?
- Can your content be organized into weekly or monthly themes (e.g. Tuesday Tips or Spring Cleaning month)?
- How will your content address the various stages a reader might be in the buying process?
- What general categories or topics will your posts fall into?
- Which day(s) of the week will you publish?
Once you have a clear idea of when, what and how often you plan to post, transfer that information to an editorial calendar. You can create one in a spreadsheet or, if you’re using WordPress, there is a plug-in available that lets you view and schedule upcoming posts in a easy calendar format.
Always leave room for new inspiration and change. This 3-step process helps set a strategic baseline for your blog as you organize ideas into an actionable plan, but be flexible and willing to change the plan if you need to.
Question: What tactical steps help you maintain your commitment to your blog?
image credit: StudioPortoSabbia – Fotolia.com