Having an active, frequently updated blog is the secret to success in this business. It will attract visitors and advertisers, providing good content on a regular basis. Although there are people who claim that posting 3-5 articles/day (especially if they’re long) might cause your readers to feel “overwhelmed”, posting daily is still an excellent idea. Still, even 1 post a day can become a burden and it takes TIME and EFFORT nevertheless.
Well, you cannot actually POST DAILY.
No, I haven’t lost my minds. I am trying to give you tips for posting daily and still I am telling you that YOU CANNOT DO THIS. Most of the time you’ll be able to set aside the needed minutes to write your content daily. It’s not a huge deal, especially if you’re well organized.
Still, life happens. You get sick, your wife is giving birth, your dog has died, you’re ready to go to the Bahamas for a week. This means you won’t write daily, but it doesn’t mean your blog shouldn’t have daily updates. This is why it’s good to know some “tricks” to keep it active, even in those nasty days you cannot get close to it.
1. Have a plan!
Create some sort of a time-table: Monday – book reviews / Tuesday – movie reviews / Wednesday – personal motivational stories etc. Of course it can be different than that but, by assigning a topic for each day, it’s easier to get organize and also defeat the ‘writer’s block’. I do try to stick to my posting plan as much as possible and it’s made my blogging way easier and stress free. I have few topics I love blogging about and this makes my content better organized. My visitors can enjoy something new each day, while content creation for me is easier this way.
Instead of just thinking “gotta write something today”, I think “gotta write something today about blogging”. Or freelancing. Or frugality. You get the idea. It’s EASIER to focus on a very strict topic, than just to think about 30 things I might write about, but I don’t know if I should, maybe I don’t feel like it etc.
2. If you’ve got some time today, write for tomorrow!
I do work from home and, even if I have all this time for myself (my job, actually), it can still become pretty hectic. I am online most of the day but, if I have to work on a client’s design, you can guess the client’s deadline is more important to me than my projects. Not to mention we do travel sometimes and, if I’m not at home for weeks (or even months), my entire blogging schedule goes down the drain.
And, even if it all goes well, I might wake up today, feeling stressed I need to write about “web design”. And, while I’m sipping my milk (am not a coffee drinker), I stress out about the time being 10 already and there’s nothing posted and people not finding something to read and so on. And then I start posting, am stressed and the article will turn out bad.
No! This is not OK!
So, what I’ve done for the past 3 months was to actually write my article today and it will get published tomorrow. I have my posting schedule, so today I have the tomorrow’s topic. I can write the post when I wake up, if I feel inspired. Or wait until noon or even evening. I don’t have to stress out with the deadline, since the article will appear TOMORROW.
This helps me focus on my business too and my articles are not “forced”. I don’t write fast, just to publish something in the next 20 minutes. I take my time, get inspired, think about the topic better, maybe even plan a series of posts, reading other blogs etc. Then I write and let the ideas “fall down” on the editing area. I schedule my posts to be published tomorrow at 1:00 in the morning, when I am already sleeping.
There’s another upside to this: if I have a genius idea TODAY for an article, and it has to be published NOW, I just write it. Today I might have 2 articles, which is not a bad idea in the end. More good content for google and my readers. If the idea is good tomorrow and I am so inspired I need to write it now, it will get published tomorrow and what I had prepared will get rescheduled. The scheduling system works wonders and I’ve been using it A LOT lately.
Another tip: of you have time for 5 articles today, write them NOW and schedule them. I’ve done this when we traveled, when I had to attend a relative’s funeral in another city (3 days offline), when I was sick etc. Life will happen and, if we can have some content created upfront, more time to promote the site or just enjoy a blogging free day.
3. Drafts, ideas, a small notebook.
So we have 1. a schedule and 2. the good habit of preparing the tomorrow’s article even today. But where do we get all the inspiration from anyway?
There’s always something happening. You read something new, there’s an event that gets you overboard, you read a good book or saw a good movie. You’ll find yourself walking down the street thinking about topics for your articles. Believe me, sometimes you’re “playing” the entire article in your hand. And it’s GOOD CONTENT.
This is why I have my small agenda with me. A normal one, made from paper, plus a pen. I have 15 ideas AT LEAST and they are all gonna become good articles. If I am online, whenever I get inspired, I’ll open my wp-admin section on the blog and start a new post, create the title and SAVE DRAFT! Nothing more, most of the cases. I just write the title. This helps me remember the idea and I’ll be able to develop it in a nice article. Sometimes I might write down 2-3 sentences, but most of the time, I need just the title.
If I have a new excellent topic for tomorrow’s article, I might start from scratch, but most of the time I revisit my drafts and develop content from there. This article has been in the drafts for 4 weeks already. Last week I almost published it, until I realized I should write about my posting schedule, so that it’s easier to understand everything. So, I re-scheduled it and today you can read it.
Writing GOOD QUALITY CONTENT is not easy AT ALL. Especially when you want to provide your readers constant content, not an article every 2 months. This requires a huge determination and some serious efforts. Even if you have the good idea and you write fast, it will ‘eat’ at least 30 minutes of your time and sometimes you don’t have 30 minutes. This is why it’s good to have a schedule and use your time, when you have it, to prepare in advance.
Working like this has made me forget about “the writer’s block” completely. I don’t know what this is anymore. Because I know what topic I’ll write about and, posting the article in advance helps me manage my time way better. I work on my clients’ designs, I manage the business and, when I have some time for myself, I just work on an idea I’ve kept in my lists. No stress, better content quality, better organization.
Being a successful blogger means a lot of discipline too. I am still working towards success, but my path is very clear now.