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One of the most frequently asked questions my readers ask me deals with my ability to blog consistently. This question is almost always followed up with a stipulation:
How do you blog consistently when you:
- Are so busy
- Have so many kids
- Live a life that is crazy
- Are homeschooling your kids
Consistency matters as a blogger. Your readers need to know what to expect, and then you need to deliver what you said you would. It helps build trust.
But, when life is crazy, consistency can be hard. I do have some tips though! So I thought I’d take some time today to talk about how to blog consistently.
But first, some stats from the blog:
I published my first blog post here on 9/22/2015. In the roughly two and a half years since then, I’ve published 177 posts. This one will be number 178.
That puts me over my target goal of one post each week, because that number also includes all 26 posts in my series (An A-Z Guide to Working at Home with Kids). Those posts were published one a weekday for a couple of weeks last summer.
While I’m not putting out content as often as many bloggers, I am being consistent in my posting.
And yes, I’m putting out content consistently while I’m also homeschooling eight kids, taking care of livestock on the family farm, and keeping the house from falling into utter disarray. And if I can do it, I know you can too. Here’s how.
Blog Consistently Tip #1: Examine Your Posting Schedule
How often do you WANT to put out new content? What’s your ideal number of posts per week (or per month)?
Take some time to think about this. Tied into this question is this very similar one: how often do your readers want to read new content from you?
Do you have a number in mind?
Now do me a favor. Take that number and slice it in half.
This makes your posting schedule more realistic for your crazy life.
So if you think posting once a week is a good number, post twice a month instead.
If you wanted to post twice a week, cut back to once a week.
If you think your audience wants to hear from you daily, post every other day instead.
There’s no perfect number of posts to add to your blog in a given week or month. Each blogger has to decide what’s best. And that number can change over time. But, if you set your bar too high, you won’t hit it consistently.
So don’t think about how many posts you’ll be able to put out on a good week, when everything is going swell. Instead, think about what you’re honestly able to commit to even when life is crazy.
And the benefit of doing this?
Now all of those ideas you have to write about will stretch farther. And your blog will suck less time out of the rest of your life.
Blog Consistently Tip #2: Make It a Priority
No one just magically has time for writing blog posts. I sure don’t!
I have to make it a priority in my life. And so do you.
That means writing a blog post is more important to me than watching the latest episode of Scorpion. It’s more important than kicking back and doing some reading.
If it’s a Tuesday and I don’t have my blog post scheduled already, writing one MUST be my priority for the day. It’s got to get done, because that’s the commitment I made for myself. One blog post a week, published sometime on Tuesday.
So make a commitment to yourself, and MAKE time for writing. It will become easier, I promise. The more often you make yourself sit down to actually write the post, the more of a habit it’ll become.
Soon it’ll be a natural part of your weekly/monthly routine. And you won’t have to think about it or dread it or come up with excuses why you shouldn’t nearly as often.
Blog Consistently Tip #3: Write Your Ideas Down!
If you don’t know what you’re going to write about, it takes way longer to get a blog post published. So keep a list of ideas handy. Whenever you think of something that’d make a good blog post, add it to your idea list.
Then when you sit down to write, you won’t be starting from scratch.
You can find inspiration for your idea list in so many places, such as:
- Scrolling through Pinterest
- Reading the comments on other blog posts
- Skimming your emails for FAQs
- Reading 3- and 4- star reviews about books in your niche on Amazon
- Asking your kids (if they’re old enough to have a basic idea of what you blog about)
- Talking to your ideal readers on social media (or in person)
- Reading your old posts and looking for things you missed or have changed
Don’t worry about fleshing out the ideas. Just write them down. Doing this will allow them to seep into the deep recesses of your brain. And you can think about them as you’re working on other things.
Continue writing down your ideas as they come. Because the more you train your brain to look for ideas, the more you’ll find!
When I first started blogging, my goal was to make sure every post was between 300-500 words. My early posts are all super short.
And I did this for a reason.
I knew if I tried to sit down and create really long posts, when I wasn’t in the habit of doing so, I would fail.
So I changed my personal standards on what I wanted to publish. I stuck to shorter posts for a while. But then something weird happened.
The more I wrote, the easier it was to write longer content. And now, I often sit down and knock out 1500+ word posts in an hour.
I still have my minimum word count in mind. And when life is really crazy, I might need to drop down to it. But if that happens, I won’t be failing. I’ll still be meeting my standards. And that’s okay.
So think about your definition of a blog post. Are you only “counting” posts that reach long content status? Or are you giving yourself some grace to get in the habit of blogging consistently?
Blog Consistently Tip #5: Have a Backup Plan
When something happens, and I realize there’s just no way I can create a new post before my Tuesday night deadline, I have a backup plan.
And that’s to repurpose my content.
You see, I have 177 other posts on this blog that I can reuse. So, I look for one of my early posts that doesn’t have many shares (um…that’s actually ALL of my early posts since I didn’t realize marketing was important…) then I revamp it.
I give it a quick facelift, make some new images, and delete the old one. Then I republish it with a little disclaimer on the bottom about it previously being published on such and such date.
Then abracadabra, I have a post that’s ready to be published with minimal time required from me.
There’s nothing wrong with revamping your content. In fact, it’s a pretty smart move.
Other different ideas for a backup plan:
- Record a quick video and type up some show notes to go with it
- Throw some pictures together and type up a “Day in the Life of” or a “Behind the Scenes” type post
- Share a quote you use for inspiration and type up a quick explanation of what it means to you
- Have blog posts ready to go you can pull from when you need them (see tip #6 next)
Your backup plan needs to be something you can do really quickly, when you legitimately don’t have the time to create the content you normally do.
So spend some time thinking now, so when you’re scrambling after an unexpected ER visit to remove a sponge from your child’s throat (just me? Pica can really make life interesting…) you won’t have to spend any time thinking and can just go.
Blog Consistently Tip #6: Work Ahead
This is my favorite tip, when I can make it happen.
If you’re on a roll writing and really in the groove, go ahead and knock out a couple of posts. But don’t you dare hit publish on them. Instead, get them ready to go.
And then save them to your drafts on WordPress.
You can also schedule them out ahead of time. So write next week’s blog post today. Then next week instead of not writing, write another one. Then schedule that for the next week.
This way you’re always a week ahead. And you have a built-in buffer for when life is crazy.
I like to keep a couple of posts unscheduled, and just hanging out on WordPress. These are my ultimate backup plan. Of course, I already burned through most of the posts I had in this category. So now I need to make more…
Blog Consistently Tip #7: Use Templates
The less time it takes you to write a blog post, the more consistent you can be. So make it easy on yourself and use templates.
I have some templates in Photoshop and Canva I use to create my images. Then it’s just a matter of changing out the text and images instead of starting from scratch.
I have a checklist of things to do before I hit publish. Then I’m not reinventing the wheel every single time.
I know bloggers who have post templates. I haven’t made one yet, but I’m thinking about it…
Every minute you can shave off your post creation time matters. They all add up.
Last week, I had a guest post publish. I did this for a reason.
You see, my teen had a tonsillectomy that Monday. I knew I wouldn’t have time to create a new post. So I had the perfect date in mind to hand over to someone else.
I also had guest posts back in 2017, when my son Bryson was born. Those four posts kept me from having to create content for four weeks.
If you have crazy times coming up on your calendar, start looking for guest posters. Many Facebook Groups for bloggers have days dedicated to collaboration. This is the perfect place to source guest posters. You can also send a memo to your email list asking if anyone would like to guest post. Your audience knows your niche very well, and you may just find the perfect person to write a post for you.
You might even do an article swap, to help get your content out to a new audience as well.
Of course, not everyone who agrees to do a guest post will actually deliver. So make sure you have your backup plan ready in case someone bails.
Blog Consistently Tip #9: Better Late Than Never
I haven’t always put my posts out on Tuesdays. Sometimes, even when I’m trying really hard to be consistent, life happens. We get sick. Or the piglets dig their way out of their pen and I have to round them up again.
And when it does, just get your post out as soon as possible. I’ve published a couple on Wednesday. Or even on Thursday.
This happens more frequently on my other blog…I plan on publishing on Wednesdays there, but it doesn’t always happen that way.
It’s so easy to listen to the perfectionist inside who says, “You stink. You can’t even put a post out when you’re supposed to. Now you shouldn’t even bother to keep blogging because you missed your deadline.”
But you can’t listen to the perfectionist. You aren’t perfect, and neither am I.
And it’s okay to occasionally miss a self-imposed deadline and publish a post behind schedule. Or to examine your life and decide to reduce your posting schedule for a season.
You have the right to change things up. Just communicate the change with your audience and stick to it.
Blog Consistently Tip #10: Streamline Some Stuff
If you’re constantly rummaging through cupboards trying to figure out what to cook, or staring at a mountain of dirty laundry, blogging might not be at the top of your priority list.
When you feel out of control for life in general, consistency on your blog probably won’t happen.
That’s why you’ve got to get some basic routines and frameworks in place. Get to a place where you can consistently carve out time for your blog.
If you try to blog before then, you probably won’t stick with it consistently.
But the good news is, you can get there. If you need help trying to get your day-to-day life figured out to make time for your blog, I can help! I created my course, Balancing Diapers and Deadlines, with YOU in mind.
In it, I share all my secrets for minimizing my decisions and putting as much of the day-to-day operations of the house on autopilot as I can. Because when your brain isn’t overloaded with all those little decisions, it’s better able to be creative and create the content you desire.
If you’re ready to build the framework for your days, click here to learn more about Balancing Diapers and Deadlines.
What Tips Would You Add?
If you’re a rock star at putting out content consistently, what tips would you add to this list? I’d love for you to share in the comments.
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