Blogging is hard work. If it weren’t, everyone and their pet goldfish would have a blog and update it consistently month after month. If you’re an online business owner or blogger looking to make a living online, having an active blog is a must. And that’s easier said than done.
Adding “Write blog post” to the 4,932 other tasks on your to-do list doesn’t cut it if you don’t have a strategy in place. Inevitably, your blog post will get pushed to the back burner, and three months later, you’ll realize that you haven’t updated your blog.
To help you remain consistent in your blogging, you need a clear strategy. I have 5 that you can mix and match until you find the combination that works for you. After all, discovering what does and doesn’t help you blog consistently is trial and error.
a guest post by Ardelia Lee
Use the Habit Loop
If you don’t know about the habit loop, you’re missing out on a great way to change bad habits and create new ones. The habit loop is basically the breakdown of the three different stages of a habit.
First, there’s the cue – something that sparks the desire for the behavior. After that comes the routine. The routine is the actual behavior that you want to create or change. Once the routine is complete, you’ll experience a reward, usually a positive feeling (at least for a while).
For someone who goes shopping when they’re stressed, the habit loop would look something like this:
Cue – A stressful event happens (like a big presentation at work or being passed over for a promotion).
Routine – The person goes shopping.
Reward – For a time, at least, the person feels less stressed.
To use the habit loop for yourself when it comes to blogging, all you need to do is fill in the cue and the reward of the habit loop. You know what the routine is – It’s blogging.
First, think about what you want your cue to be. What should trigger your desire to blog? You could use a particular spot in your house as a “blogging only” spot and condition yourself to think about blogging once you’re in that place. Once you have your cue figured out, move on the reward.
Undoubtedly, the reward is the best part of the habit loop. You can choose whatever you want as the reward for blogging. How does a piece of chocolate sound? What about 30-minutes of playing your favorite video game? It’s up to you, but choose a reward that you really want.
It’ll likely take a week or two to get into your habit loop, but the longer you use it, the easier it should be to blog consistently.
Create a Blogging Workflow
If you’re putting off blogging because it takes you 4 hours to write, publish, and schedule a blog post, it’s time for you to evaluate your blogging steps and create a workflow. A workflow really helps you streamline your process and see where you’re spending most of your time.
First, write down all of the steps you go through when you write, publish, and schedule a blog post. Next, circle the tasks that you usually perform together. If you write and edit your blog post all in one sitting, then draw a circle around those tasks. If you create graphics for your post and then format it in your editor, circle those tasks.
The idea here is to create task bundles. You want to have your tasks separated into groups. Then, you can track your progress through your workflow and ensure you’re doing all of the tasks that need to be done before you publish your blog post. Need help creating your perfect blogging workflow? Check out my Blog Post Workflow Cheat Sheet.
Schedule Time in Your Calendar
To really amp up your workflow, schedule it in your calendar. Use something like Google Calendar to do this – it syncs across all your devices, and it’s easy to update in a pinch. Block off time each day to work on a particular part of your workflow. If you only have 20 minutes on a certain day, then choose a task bundle that takes about 20 minutes to complete.
You just need to keep in mind that you need to place your task bundles in a logical order on your calendar. You can’t format a blog post if you haven’t written it yet, so be aware of what bundles you’re scheduling when. Don’t just rely on the time factor.
You may find that you blogging process is spread out across the week. If that works for you, then great. If you prefer that your workflow be more compressed, and you only spend a day or two on it, then figure out how that would work in your schedule.
Find an Accountability Buddy
If you know that you just won’t blog consistently unless you have someone looking over your shoulder, find an accountability buddy. Use the collaboration threads in Facebook groups for bloggers or online business owners to find someone who’s willing to hold you accountable.
To make sure you get the most from your partnership, try outlining your expectations for each other. You can even create a check-in schedule, complete with specific milestones that you’re supposed to have met by then.
If you have a check-in on Wednesday to ensure that you’ve done your first two task bundles and a check-in on Friday to ensure you’ve done the next three bundles, you’ll be more likely to actually complete the work. It’s easier to say “I want to have my blog post written by Friday” but then Thursday comes around, and you realize that you haven’t written your blog post. Cue panic and staying up all night to finish it.
Scheduling out your deadlines for your task bundles can help you stay on track with blogging consistently and avoid pulling an all nighter.
Be Strategic About Blogging
Consistently blogging will have a positive effect in your online business and your authority in your industry. Blog posts are great for attracting potential clients and building an audience that could turn into customers, but in order to do that, you need to blog regularly.
The reward is well worth the effort, and now you can go into your blogging routine armed with 5 different strategies to help you remain consistent.
Ardelia Lee is a content roadmap engineer and copywriter who helps small business owners create and strategically share goal-oriented content that supports long-term business growth. When she’s not scheming with her clients, you can find her reading long fantasy novels and drinking warm coffee. Ready to streamline your blog post process?