Many of us want to be a better blogger. We start off with great intentions and somewhere along the way, our blogging drops off a bit.
Be a Better Blogger with a Schedule
Those of you who are regular readers will know I am a huge fan of scheduling. One of the common pitfalls that many bloggers make is to not stick to a manageable schedule. Many people make vague plans to write a blog post on one day. They then put it back to another day because they were doing something else.
One of the best ways to deal with that lack of focus and direction is to just lay out a blogging schedule so that you can always stay on track. This will really help you with your productivity. Read more about how you can be a better blogger by maintaining your productivity here.
Be Your Own Boss
Often, when working online, one of the biggest problems is giving yourself a sense of direction and giving yourself boundaries. In employed jobs, you have a boss to give you some sort of infrastructure, tasks and guidelines to follow. When you are your own boss, it becomes your job to give yourself some structure in your work day and a great way of doing that is to set a rigid schedule.
Setting a schedule isn’t as daunting as you may think. Many people look at schedules in a negative way and hate to give themselves deadlines to get things done. However, in reality, it’s important to set goals and intentions so that we can follow them. Goals give us a sense of direction and purpose and these will help you to be a better blogger.
When blogging, it’s so tempting to call yourself a blogger because you occasionally write a blog. However, look at any of the successful blogs out there. They tend to have a regular structure that they stick to. This is because they know that it helps to keep writers focused and keeps the momentum of the blog going. As I have said before, many people give up on a blog after a month or two. One of the ways you can give yourself purpose is to know what it is you’re hoping to achieve and when you’re going to achieve it. Ideally.
A common mistake that people make when coming up with a schedule is to be too general. It’s easy to say, “I’m going to write a blog post every day”. You know that’s not going to happen. A great remedy for that is to get specific about what exactly you’re going to do.
I really believe that planning ahead can work wonders for your blog. I use an editorial calendar to plan my content at least 1 month in advance. I also pencil in my 3 month plan. Now I have moved to this method it makes my life so much easier. Well, mainly my blogging life as the rest of it is still a mess!
When you have a fairly long term plan that covers what you are going to blog about, it makes it easier. You can sit down and start drafting a post when you have a spare few minutes rather than wasting those rare minutes by wondering what to write.
It doesn’t really matter what you use, as long as it works for you. There are many free tools available so find one that you like, and will use. I use a Microsoft Calendar to schedule my time. I then use Trello for my specific posts. This works great for me and I am far more productive than I have ever been.
For example, instead of saying that you’re going to blog everyday (which may not be your best idea anyway) it’s important to say exactly what you’re going to do.
You need to get specific and say things like, “On Monday I’m going to research a blog post on Topic 1”, “On Tuesday, I’m going to write the blog post on Topic 1”, “On Wednesday, I’m going to publish the draft on Topic 1 and research Topic 2”.
It’s always a good idea to state the actual topic that you’re going to be writing about and how you’re going to do it. By doing this you give it more credibility. It also helps to make it look like something that’s achievable. It’s much better than just saying you’re going to blog every day.
This will also create a sense of expectancy and excitement for your readers. Plus, it helps you to get some ideas of what you’re going to do next. It’s always great to follow a regular structure that works well for you. Like a normal work life, you can fall into a regular pattern of expectation and delivery that your readers will appreciate also. Just be careful not to publish posts that you know aren’t very good, just because you want to stick to your schedule. That defeats the object.
Bite Size is Best
Something that works really well with so many things is to break them up into bite sized chunks. This works especially well with both chocolate and blogs! Make your tasks more achievable by breaking them down into smaller bits.
It takes time to research a blog post. It doesn’t take 5 times that amount of time to research 5 blog posts. Because you are in the researching frame of mind. Rather than taking 1 blog post and doing the whole end to end process, change the way you work. Research 5 posts or 3 posts or however many. Research keywords for all 5. Draft all 5. Do the images for all 5. You get the gist. Our brains find it easier to do one task over and over than to do different tasks one after the other. Try and change the way you work so you schedule tasks rather than posts.
I know it is difficult when you are starting out and everything is new. Everything seems so difficult and seems to take you ages. You don’t want to spend the time planning when you think you should be writing blog posts. However, you will save time in the long run through a bit of planning. To be a better blogger you need to stick to a regular schedule. Take the first step and create a workable schedule that you can stick to. Do you have any tips to help create an easy schedule? Care to share?