Over the past six years, I’ve literally written and/or posted thousands of blog posts and articles on this blog, employers or friends’ sites and industry publications. At times, I have been sharing and curating 5+ articles every week for numerous months. This can be exhausting and, if not managed well, detract from quality work in other areas of your life.
Fortunately, with help and great advice from peers and friends across the spectrum, I’ve picked up a few tips along the way to make creating content for the blog and social media sites easier. Here are a few of those. Be sure to check out my Better Blogging series of posts for more tips on blogging and social media.
Start writing now
Simply getting started can be the biggest hurdle when it comes to writing blogs. Many people are intimidated by the term ‘blog‘, but may be more willing to write “a few thoughts” on a topic. Put pen to paper (or rather – fingers to keyboard/screen) and just get started. This isn’t English class, your writing doesn’t have to be perfect. There is spell check or tools like Grammarly to help with that. Shorter is often better as online readers’ attention spans become shorter, so utilize photos/video and realize it’s ok to keep your posts brief.
Utilize the drafts folder
Never fails that my mind will draw a blank if I’m facing a writing deadline. Take advantage of a writing prompt when it hits. Jot a few bullet points down and save the item in your drafts folder. Maybe it’s a photo or link that prompts a few ideas. Save that in your drafts and come back to it when you need a new post.
Crowdsource topic ideas
Have trouble coming up with topics for new posts? Crowdsource ideas by monitoring forums, Facebook groups, Quora, Reddit, or look at the search engine leads on your site stats dashboard to prompt for new ideas. Recurring ideas or questions are often a good way to identify topics your audience may be interested in. Chances are if one person is asking, others have questions on the same topic.
Set a schedule
Part of being consistent includes setting a schedule and sticking with it to the best of your ability. My goal is to publish three articles each week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday). Utilize scheduling to create content ahead of time and schedule it to post on your committed frequency. If you miss a day, it’s not a big deal, but do your best to stick to it. Don’t feel as if you must write every day. Once each week can be enough if that is what is sustainable for you. One of the best ways to remain on a consistent schedule is to feature posts in a recurring series (ex. on Wednesday I share a podcast or on Thursday I feature Team Beef).
Utilize various content formats
All your blog posts shouldn’t consist of paragraphs of text. Utilize content from other platforms and briefly write about a topic that was popular on your Twitter of Facebook feed. Feature a photo gallery. Embed a video from YouTube or Facebook. Record audio for a podcast. Invite friends to submit a guest post and exchange for a post on their blog. All of these ideas can help keep content fresh for your readers and prevent exhausting your creativity for consistent content.
One of the most consistent agriculture bloggers I know if Carol Greet. This Wyoming rancher shares a diary of her work EVERY day on the blog and has done so for years. Head over to Red Dirt In My Soul to follow her journey through consistent blogging.
This is far from being a comprehensive list of consistent blogging tips. However, I do hope it provides some food for thought as you work toward your goals in creating and sharing better content.
If you want to go more in depth with blog design and content, I suggest following Social Media Examiner. This group is a great resource publishing content in blog form, podcasts, videos and multiple downloadable resources. To kick off your search, check out this post – 14+ Tools for Bloggers. A great follow on Twitter (@SMExaminer) as well.
What tips do you have for more consistent blogging?
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