There are a zillion blogging tips out there, but this is the most important one. For a lot of reasons: It makes your ideas more relevant, and thus more popular, especially to the power bloggers. It works better than linkbaiting. It helps you form better relationships. It sets your content apart.
And as blogging advice goes, it sounds simple enough. But in reality, it’s a challenge for even the best bloggers in the world. Let’s be honest: creating really great content takes a lot of time, effort, thought research, and creativity. And doing all of this consistently often ushers in writing burnout, especially if blogging isn’t your full time job, and actually, even if it is.
Add to this already challenging equation your workload outside of blogging and finding time for a personal life, and you can see why so many bloggers end up lumping themselves into what Steve Rubel’s dubbed the “lazysphere.”
So how can you balance the need to create relevant, insightful content but at the same time keep a consistent, frequent blogging schedule? Here are a few tips to help you avoid lazy blogging and beat writing burnout.
1. Keep track of ideas. Whenever they hit. Whether during rush hour, at work, during dinner, at a movie, or while watching a political debate. If you’re a deep thinking blogger, you’ll already be making the connections between your subject matter and the things going on around you. So keep track of your ideas to aid your writing process. You can tag things you read online at the office, e-mail yourself reminders, or keep a handy notebook nearby. Whatever works for you, make sure you’re keeping track of your ideas and making connections.
2. Plan your writing week. Take time to plan your writing each week. Exactly what you plan can differ each week. For example, some weeks I select specific topics and specific days to post them. Other times I just commit to set aside time to write on certain days. When all else fails, I have a default plan of posting at least once a week. Just make a weekly commitment to yourself that works with your schedule, and you’ll find that your blogging improves. You’ll feel like you have more time and approach the process with a better, more creative mindset.
3. Have accountability. Since plans fail, often, it’s really important to have other ways to hold yourself accountable for how often and even what you write. When I first started blogging, I had unofficial standards of keeping my posting schedule consistent with some of my favorite blogs that I followed. This works, but you may develop your own patterns and frequencies. So just make sure you have good relationships with other bloggers in your niche who will cheer you on when you’re hitting homeruns or call you out when you’re teetering on the brink of the lazysphere.
4. Find creative ways to multitask. Whenever I do an interview or guest post, I multitask by either re-working my responses into a blog post or creating a post on a similar topic on my blog. Since I’ve already taken the time to research or formulate complex ideas about the subject, this speeds up the writing process and has the added value of serving as related content for new visitors to enjoy. You can also build posts off of responses or comments to other bloggers’ posts. Remember, if you write them, you words and ideas are your own (unless you’ve made another agreement), so feel free to find creative ways to use them on your blog.
5. Create a series or feature. Using weekly features or topical series is a great way to keep your blogging consistent. By having a go-to topic or idea that you can easily add on to, you can infuse establish a cadence to your blogging, which helps beat burnout when other ideas aren’t flowing.
6. Delegate your content. Invite other bloggers you know to guest post at your site. Or, consider asking your readers to ask or answer questions you can use in creating content. When you know you’re going to have a busy week, schedule interviews with other bloggers and let them do the writing for you.
7. Let go of perfection. While deep thinking, effort and attention to detail have are critical in making your writing stand out online, too much of a good thing can keep you from writing often and keeping a consistently engaged audience satisfied. One of my biggest stumbling blocks in blogging is my continual desire for perfection, in content, in strategy, in everything I do to portray myself online. So when you find yourself struggling to find just the right thing to say or the perfect way to say it, start by just saying something. Great ideas aren’t always wrapped inside perfect metaphors or decorated with just the right sparkling vocabulary choices. Focus on the quality of your thoughts first, and the rest will come.