While I have only recently started updating this particular blog on a regular basis, I have been blogging for clients for the last 18 months in an effort to spread their marketing message and create organic traffic to their website. During this time period I have completed in excess of 1,100 blogs posts with a word count of somewhere in the neighborhood of 400,000 words. When I first started out it was a struggle to keep motivated and on schedule but I came up with some general rules and tips that I follow in order to keep on track. You may have seen some of these same tips at other blogger resource websites so it’s not just myself who finds them to be effective.
Tip #1 – Write as much content as possible when you’re inspired.
Sometimes the writing process just flows and you’re able to produce excellent content in a very short period of time. If you find yourself in “The Zone”, don’t waste it. Try and create as much content as you can when the mood hits you because you can bank the extra content produced for those occassions where you’re suffering from writer’s block.
When you’re inspired and producing content in this fashion, do as many rough drafts as possible rather then trying to perfect each blog post or article before moving onto the next topic. Simply get the ideas down on paper and once you’re happy with the amount of writing you’ve completed, you can go back and start polishing them.
Tip #2 – Keep a list of interesting articles or blog post titles that you want to complete.
I currently have an Excel spreadsheet that I use to track my daily tasks and freelance jobs. One of the tabs is entitled “Blog Posts” and contains titles of ideas I’ve had over the last few months as well as links to articles that I wanted to comment or expand on. When I am struggling to come up with an idea for my daily blog post, I visit that spreadsheet and pick a topic. The blog post you’re reading at the moment has actually been on the list for a few weeks now and I am finally getting around to writing it.
Occasionally I will sit down and spend some time to brainstorm ideas for blog posts and record them in the spreadsheet. While some of the posts will never be written because they are no longer timely or I’ve lost interest in the topic, it’s good to have something to look to when you need a little inspiration.
Tip #3 – Set weekly goals for content creation.
Each week I set a goal I want to accomplish for my own sites as well as for the client blogs that I am currently maintaining. Personally, I like to set a goal that produces 20% more content or blog posts then is scheduled for the week. This gives me a cushion for when I have an emergency project to handle or I just don’t feel like blogging. If I get too far ahead on any particular blog, it is much easier to take a break for a few weeks then it is to scramble to get things updated.
Tip #4 – Turn off all distractions.
There are so many things that can stall the writing process and cause you to lose your train of thought. The things that distract me the most are my instant messengers, a new Blackberry message or the Outlook notification that I have new mail. I always have the urge to check things instantly rather then leaving things until I’ve completed writing an article or blog post. I don’t seem to have the willpower to ignore these things. If you’re like me its better to turn off all these distractions to keep the writing process flowing.
I hope you found this particular post useful and its given you a couple ideas if you’re already not doing something similar. Do you have a blogging tip that you’d like to share? Leave them in the comment section and I’ll share them all in a later blog post.