Strong habits that will ramp up your blogging
Producing content and sharing it with your audience requires consistent effort on your part. In this post, I’ll share a few different writing habits you can cultivate and practice.
The more you write, the better and faster you’ll become. If you find writing arduous, rest assured that the more you do it, the easier it will get. Dedicate time to researching, writing, and editing without worrying about the outcome. Think of it as a skill you’re learning and honing.
Consistency is important for posting on a regular basis, but it’s also important for your writing skills. If you set aside a little time each day for writing, it won’t take long to see a great deal of improvement. It’s a bit like exercise to train your body. Daily writing trains your brain to write.
How to Create Strong Writing Habits
Step 1 – Create a goal
Commit yourself to writing a certain amount every day. For example, if you set a goal of writing 200 words per day, you can commit to publishing two 500-word posts per week.
Set a daily goal that’s realistic and achievable, but don’t be afraid to push yourself a little. Whatever your goal, make sure you’re consistent with it.
Step 2 – Hold yourself accountable
If you find it difficult to keep yourself accountable, enlist the help of a blogging partner. The two of you can discuss your goals, then check in at pre-arranged and regular intervals to see if you’re both sticking to your plan. A coach can also help with accountability.
Another option is to tell your social media followers what you’re doing. Announce that you’ve set a goal, and then report on your progress. You’ll then be accountable to everyone you know on social media!
There are also apps and software programs, such as coach.me, to help you create habits and track your progress.
Step 3 – Create a process
List the specific tasks you need to accomplish each week and estimate the time it will take to perform each.
Here is an example of a blogging task list:
- Brainstorm topics using customer data (20 minutes)
- Create titles for those topics (20 minutes)
- Create headings and subheadings (20 minutes)
- Write introductions (30 minutes)
- Write article bodies (3 hours)
- Create or find images (1 hour)
- Edit and re-edit (1 hour or 30 minutes per post)
- Create your social media plan to promote your posts (30 minutes)
It’s best to create an environment with as few distractions as possible, so you may want to turn off your phone, social media, and email notifications during your writing time.
Step 4 – Add your tasks to a calendar
Many people only use their calendars to keep track of meetings or appointments, but highly organized people use them for everything. Your calendar shows you visually what you need to do day by day and week by week. It also keeps you honest, by giving you a complete snapshot of how you spend your time.
In the sample task list above, there are about seven hours of work, which should be distributed over the week. Your schedule might be any of the following:
- one hour a day for seven days a week
- 5 hours per day from Monday to Friday
- two hours on Monday and Friday and one hour on Tuesday through Thursday
Choose whatever works best for your workstyle and your other commitments.
Step 5 – Decide when you will work
For many people, morning is the best time for writing. Even if you’re not a morning person, you may feel freshest in the morning, and this might be the optimal time to use your brain power.
Choose a time when there are the fewest distractions; for example, before the kids come home from school. Some people prefer to blog late at night or before sunrise.
You might choose to break up your tasks into different times of day. For example, you might find that you have better brainstorming sessions at night when all your other work is done, whereas the best time for the actual writing and editing is the morning.
Other Tips to Help You Maintain Your Blogging Schedule
Plan your diet well to optimize your productivity. For example, you may feel that you’re more productive if you eat a light breakfast of just fruit and yogurt. Find out what works best for you and plan accordingly.
Choose the right length of time after waking up to get started writing. You might feel that you’re best at working as soon as you wake up. On the other hand, you may feel that it’s best to have a cup of coffee, watch a little TV, and do some light exercise first.
When you work for any serious length of time, take short breaks to re-energize. When you take a break, physically get up from the computer. You may want to stretch or do some housework or other busy activity to clear your mind so you can refresh. You’ll find it much easier to focus when you sit back down to work again, and it’s better for your body as well.
In addition to developing good blogging strategies, it also helps to develop good reading habits. Get into the routine of reading blogs, websites, and news. Subscribe to your favorite blogs. Save time by using an app that lets you put all of the blogs and sites you read in one place, such as Flipboard or Feedly. Schedule time to read each day to keep in touch with what’s happening in your niche or industry.
You can also use tools like Evernote to keep track of your brainstorming. Whether you brainstorm on paper, an app, or your smartphone’s notes, keep your list somewhere consistent.
Do you have an established blogging routine? Tell us about it in the comments!
Photo © jannystockphoto / DepositPhotos
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