I hear ll the time from people who to write a blog but struggl with developing the discipline to do it. Everyone will tell you that consistency in publishing is the most important part of a blog strategy, whether it’s once a day or once a week. People crave consistency, ask McDonald’s and the New York Times.
The idea of generating content can be overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be if you follow these simple steps:
1) Write what you know. Mark Twain knew what he was talking about. He only wrote about what he was an expert in; politics, childhood, and riverboats. Let’s face it, if you’re blogging about a topic that you’re not an expert in, whether it’s marketing, flower arranging, extreme couponing, woodworking or struggling to launch a business, then you shouldn’t be blogging, because no one will care. There are 2 caveats to that last statement: you’re funny or a hot chic. Both bring in traffic but both are things that many consider themselves to be regardless of the mendacity of the concept!
If you’re an expert, you will create content of great value, and you won’t have to do too much fact checking!
2) Summarize your thoughts. You’ve been awake for 12-16 hours. You’ve had approximately 230,000 thoughts today. Take 15 minutes to jot down 1-6 things that occurred to you today that would make interesting and relevant topics. You can do this anytime but I recommend doing it right before you go to sleep. Why? The last things on our minds before we sleep are the ones our subconscious chews on all night. This means your inner secretary is working through the night to form thought and opinions, even clear up in-discrepancies. True multi-tasking!
3) Get up and get on it! Plenty of research points to the fact that our minds are most creative and productive first thing in the morning. When you wake up, look at your list. Pick one or to topics you want to cover and start writing. This can happen over coffee, using voice-to-text apps while driving to work or in the shower, waiting to buy a donut, on the train, etc. there is no standard length for a blog post, make it as long or short as you need to make your point. Whether you’re clear and concise, tend to ramble, like lots of pictures, this doesn’t need to take more than 15 minutes.
4) Build an archive. You don’t need to publish every day. You may have multiple epiphanies in a day or have a month-long dry spell. However, if you write every day, you’ll generate a backlog of good stuff to hold you over when you’re stumped or too busy. You can always store them on your blog unpublished or…
5) Stick to a schedule. Blog platforms allow you to schedule the publishing date of a post. I was out sick on Tuesday but already had a blog post scheduled for publication that day from 2 weeks before. My company has a backlog of blog posts to last until next week, which gives me a week and a half to generate another one.
Now, these rules aren’t hard and fast but give you a framework. Perhaps you come up with your topic list in the shower then right on your lunch break or before bed. Maybe you just keep a running list like I do (which, to be honest, I only go back to in emergencies). Numbers 2, 3, and 4 can be modified to fit your lifestyle but give you a good idea how to manage blog writing easily. Numbers 1 and 5 are absolute must-haves for any blogger looking to generate readers.
For those with more time to write, add a relevant photo, quote another blog or source if relevant. Do some research to dig out official numbers, spend some time on dictionary.com looking up alternate words. I did both in the 30 minutes I took to write this, while stopping to talk to my wife about her business plans, dinner, tonight’s TV viewing and getting her input on the post.
2 last things:
I don’t have to tools to write: I call BS! If you don’t have the tools you wouldn’t be able to read this. I’m typing away on my smart phone. Even feature phones can use email to publish to your blog as can any computer with Internet access. Don’t have a blog? WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger are free!
I don’t know how to write. No problem, read a book, a blog, a magazine or a news story. If you can read and speak you can write. If you have trouble forming your thoughts into words, use the resources I just mentioned or just talk it through out loud.
For any bloggers reading this, please share your tips and tricks.
For non-bloggers, feel free to ask questions!