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Note from Lisa: Are you struggling trying to come up with a blogging schedule that works for you? It can be a challenge to create the content you need to make your blog grow. To help you find success, Vic is here with some great beginning blogging tips.
Take it away Vic!
Remember the five D’s of Dodgeball? Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Dodge.
Every time I watch the film and hear this line, I laugh out loud. Why? Because it’s a tautology — they used ‘dodge’ twice — but it kind of makes sense. It helps to highlight the importance of dodging and the ridiculousness of the situation.
So I’ve devised a similar rule for a blogging schedule. The plan was to trick my brain into remembering certain rules to help me become a better writer and a more successful blogger.
Because the thing with the brain is — it is rather lazy. And it might remember the information more eagerly if there is an emotional trigger attached to it.
But instead of D’s I’ve used the five P’s: Produce, Plan, Prioritize, Promote, Produce.
As you would have guessed, produce stands for write and create. Because let’s face it — the content is the king.
The content attracts readers and followers to your blog, and encourages them to sign up for your mailing list.Your content helps drive your traffic. And this traffic helps to converts followers into paying customers.
And the best thing you can do is to learn to show up for your writing every day without fail. If you don’t, blogging might start to feel like the most unattainable chore.
It does not matter if you blog for fun, to make money or gain writing experience. You need to have content to populate your blog with, drive traffic to, and direct your visitors from social media.
Establish an easy but consistent writing routine. Don’t listen to those who say you must write a minimum of 1000 words per day. We all are different. Find what works for you. If you can only manage 250 words per day — let it be your minimum. And if you overproduce one day — that’s a bonus. But it’s so much easier to create a new habit if it’s an achievable one.
- Establish an easy-to-follow writing routine.
- If you can write 250 words per day, only that’s better than not writing anything at all.
The Big ‘Why’ of Blogging
But before you jump into creating a blogging schedule that rocks, we need to answer one important question: Why are you blogging in the first place?
- Are you trying to make money and leave your 9 to 5?
- Are you hoping to become an expert in your field?
- Is it your passion project?
Write the answer or answers down. Now you know your big ‘why’ which is your big goal. Use it as your North Star, your lightly shining beacon in case daily grind makes you forget your dreams.
My big blogging ‘why’ is to restart my writing routine. Everything that I do feeds into my big goal.
Brainstorm and estimate
But the big goal is just like an empty vessel without tasks and priorities that need to make it happen.
The skeleton of the blogging schedule looks like this:
- Produce content for the blog
- Create content for social media
- Create graphics to go with the blog or social media posts
- Network with the followers/other bloggers/influencers and competitors
- Come up with new blog/product ideas.
Brainstorm all the ideas you think need to happen with your blog. Get it out of your brain and onto paper/digital notebook.
Create a draft plan for 6 months. Why draft? Because things might change, you need to be flexible with your long-term plans but know where you are heading. I prefer to use Google Sheets for my preliminary plans. It’s very simple to use, comes free with Gmail account and allows me to have a good helicopter view of the whole blogging schedule at hand.
Here’s a peek at my blogging schedule:
Once you have your draft plan for six months, create a weekly plan for the upcoming months. Estimate how long each task might take you. If unsure — overestimate. Say, you think a blog post might take you 3 hours. Put 4 or 5 against it, just in case.
And last but not least, write the tasks for each day of the week for the first week only. So your blogging schedule will comprise the following tabs:
- Six months view
- One month view
- Weekly view
- Daily tasks
Remember to include days off! Yet again, it’s nice to be busy, but if you do not plan some time off, your blogging career will soon feel worse than your 9 to 5.
It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?Henry David Thoreau
As you progress with your blogging schedule, use Saturday or Sunday evenings to jot down your daily to-do list for the upcoming week.
- Create a monthly blogging schedule.
- Decide how much time each task should take.
- Overestimate rather than underestimate.
- Use tools to help you plan and capture your to-do lists.
Now it’s time to look at your overall goal and your tasks for the week. Go through your list and decide what is the most important task to complete getting you closer to your goals.
Be brutal and pragmatic. You cannot accomplish more in one day than there are hours available to you.
Life can interfere with your best-laid plan at any time. If you can only do one thing — choose writing. Because one but important task that you finish will make your blogging schedule a success.
- Prioritize tasks that will help you achieve your goals.
- If needed, de-prioritize everything else that is not of the highest priority.
I suppose you know that hitting the ‘publish’ button is just the beginning. No one sees or reads your blog, however insightful and well-written it is unless you promote it or tell other people that the blog post exists.
There are several ways to go about it.
If you are a new blogger, it might be an idea to join several Facebook groups by interest where other bloggers help and support each other. You could share your blogs with groups and hope that some of them might share it with their audience. In the worst-case scenario, you might get valuable feedback from your fellow bloggers.
Some groups offer to read and add a comment to your blog. This helps you to increase your blog post’s view count and drive traffic to your blog. It might also be beneficial for your SEO one day as comments increase your blog’s word count, which makes it attractive to Google.
If you have a personal social media account or accounts, it might be an idea to let your audience know about it. Choose the keywords and add hashtags to throw the net wider. Hopefully, someone who is not your follower might notice you and start following.
For a more established blogger — remember to let your social media followers know about your new blog post. If you have a mailing list — send that email letting your followers know.
If there is a blogger you admire or are a friend with or admiring him or her — why don’t you reach out and ask if they would like to collaborate on something. By doing that, you will increase your reach and get more followers. And the best of all you might gain new valuable experience.
- Join Facebook Groups by interest.
- Ask your colleagues to comment, feedback, or collaborate on something.
- Be active on social media.
- Choose which social media platform to be active on to avoid the burnout.
No matter what kind of day, week, or month you are having — make sure you write on a regular, consistent basis. Even if it’s 200 words per day only, or a few ideas, or just a raw headline — it’s better to write something than nothing.
If you take a break and only write or blog sporadically, you will notice how much harder it is. Because every time you restart, you start from the beginning.
And remember always to prioritize writing. If you feel you cannot achieve your goals for this week — push it all to the next week, but keep on writing.
- Set up a consistent writing routine.
- Show up for your writing, rain or snow.
- Allow for guest posts if you cannot be as active as you would like to.
A successful blogging schedule is easy to create and keep if you know what you are doing and why.
Decide on your ultimate goal for taking up blogging.
Remember the five P’s: Produce, Plan, Prioritize, Promote, Produce.
And everything else will follow.
Thanks Vic, that was really helpful.
For even more help growing your blog traffic, I highly recommend Elna’s course, Ready, Set, Blog for Traffic.