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3 Tips For A Better Blog

Today marks my 588th post on 101 Books.

I say that not to pat my own back but because, well crap, that’s a lot of freaking posts! Other than wake up, go to bed, and hang up on telemarketers, I don’t know that I’ve ever done anything 588 times.

Along the way, I’ve picked up on a few things that have worked for me as I’ve written and developed 101 Books over the last three years. Since these tips have helped me, I thought one or two or all of them might help you.

So here are three tips I’ve used to build my blog.

Plan ahead.

When I started planning ahead, that’s when blogging became much easier for me. I have a full-time job. I’m married, and I have a two year old. All of that gets my attention before my blog.

But I can’t afford to wait until the last minute to write my posts. I can’t sit down on Thursday night and say, “What am I going to write about for tomorrow?”

Does that happen sometimes? Sure. But, most of the time, I’d produce crap with that approach. Plus, I’d burn out on blogging because knowing I have no ideas for the next day’s post just totally stresses me out.

So to combat that, I work about a week ahead. I write the general posts about books first, followed by the book-specific posts. I read and write anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours  on most nights. I spend time on Sunday afternoons scheduling and writing posts.  I try and get most of the content written for each post and then edit and proof it the night before it goes live.

For me, the further ahead I can plan and write my posts, the more fun I have writing this blog. And if you’re not having fun with your blog, there’s no way your blog will last.

Post consistently.

I choose to post five days a week, every weekday. Some people post every day. Some people post once a week, three times a week, or even once a month.

I don’t think the frequency of your posts matters—it’s about setting an expectation for your readers and getting into a routine for yourself. Pick a day and stick to it. Every Monday. Every weekday morning at 7:30. Every 1st day of the month…whatever.

That said, this is much more about getting in a routine and making blogging just part of your everyday life than it is for your readers to know exactly when you’ll post. That’s what subscription services are for.

I’m not discounting the importance of setting a posting frequency expectation for the people who read your blog—that is important. But, more important, is for you to get into the habit of writing blog posts on a consistent basis.

Forget about perfect.

This might trip you up. But it’s something I learned about a year into this project, and it’s entirely true for me. Here’s the deal: Sometimes, it’s okay to put out a mediocre, not-so-great post you’re not really that proud of. It’s okay!

This holds true especially if you’re publishing posts several days a week. You’re going to have an off day. You’re going to feel uninspired sometimes. You’re going to feel like you have nothing to say sometimes.

Sometimes—and I keep saying “sometimes” for the overly dramatic effect of repetition—you’ve just got to go through the motions to get to the good stuff. The proverbial coal that produces the diamond.

Now, if you’re producing what you think is mediocre stuff every day, that’s a different issue—or maybe you’re just too hard on yourself. But if you sat around and tried to “perfect” every single blog post you write, you’ll experience a lot of frustration. You’ll procrastinate. You’ll pass over the great in search of the perfect.

Michael Jordan missed a lot of shots in his career. Not every post will be a 10, and that’s okay. The more stuff you put out there, the more consistent you are about putting stuff out there, the better stuff you’ll produce.

All of this is just from my experience, so it might not work for you. But if you’re wanting to “take your blog to the next level” (cheesy infomercial smile goes here), then you might consider trying one or two of these things out.

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46 Comments Post a comment
  1. Congratulations on 588 – you are a master blogger, and pretty good at book reviews too. Thank you. Nicola

    Liked by 1 person

    April 19, 2013
  2. thebookishowl #

    Your tips are great! I’ll definitely try them out on my blog as mine, unlike yours, is mediocre at best. Thanks!

    Like

    April 19, 2013
    • Don’t be so hard on yourself! But I hope you can put these tips to use.

      Like

      April 19, 2013
      • thebookishowl #

        I definitely will! Thanks:)

        Like

        April 19, 2013
  3. congrats on 588th post.

    Like

    April 19, 2013
  4. Reblogged this on helteo.

    Like

    April 19, 2013
  5. Gwen #

    Great reminders for all of us bloggers. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 19, 2013
  6. Reblogged this on M2wa2 DigiTech..

    Like

    April 19, 2013
  7. Kim #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m working on consistency both in writing and in blogging and this is just what I needed to read today to remind me that my goals are important, and right.

    And wow, congrats on 588 posts! You inspire me 🙂

    Like

    April 19, 2013
  8. “Forget about perfect” really is my favorite thing about blogging. It’s so much more satisfying to write a post, edit it once or twice, and send it out into the world than it is to nit-pick a book manuscript night after night. It’s a nice change of pace to know there’s a typo and to just not care.

    Like

    April 19, 2013
  9. Robert, I’ve enjoyed every blog and if there was a mediocre one, I must have missed it. Congrats on the 588 posts and keep them coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 19, 2013
  10. Thanks for your post. I wondered if you’d advise me on my blog. It’s called Poetry @ Midnight and every night between 11 PM and 3 AM I write a poem and post it. Some days I’ll publish 3 poems, depending on how creative I feel. Yet, I am not seeing a lot of traffic.

    I spend a lot of time nerving about categories and tags. What is your opinion on proper categorization and tagging?

    Do you think every post should have an image?

    If you take a quick jump over to my blog cozyblanketsnowflakerepetitioncompulsion.com I’d love to hear your feedback.

    Thank you for this great post!

    Like

    April 19, 2013
    • I love the idea of posting a poem during that specific time period, but don’t you get tired? I think having an image for every poem would just look weird and distract away from the poem. That’s a different deal than article or regular blog post.

      Like

      April 23, 2013
  11. Thank you for this.Especially the not-so-perfect tip!

    Like

    April 19, 2013
  12. thanks for the suggestions and truly they have been working for me 🙂

    Like

    April 19, 2013
  13. such good advice – regularity! kind of hard with a toddler…but not impossible. 🙂

    Like

    April 19, 2013
  14. Thank you for this post, I carted my blog about a week or two ago and I’ve been worrying about my consistencey and inspiring, this was helpful 🙂

    Like

    April 19, 2013
  15. socalmbutnot #

    Congrats on the 588th post! I try my best to follow these tips and I’m glad you made a post about them! 🙂

    Like

    April 19, 2013
  16. Some great tips! I think the first one is something I need to do a bit more. I often have ideas floating in my head beforehand but I think if I started putting them down well in advance it might help me feel more organised and relaxed about my blog some days.
    I definitely have learned to accept the third point you raise – I have off days for sure with my blog. Then again, sometimes it’s my “off” days which turn out to produce my most successful posts, which leads me to wonder if I should be encouraged or saddened by this! 😛

    Like

    April 19, 2013
    • On point 1, I usually just have a list in my blog admin of possible future posts. I’ll just write 2 or 3 words that remind me of what the post is about and include a link if I have a source or another article that inspired it.

      And on the last point, yeah, my post popular post in this blog’s history took me about 10 minutes to write. Crazy.

      Like

      April 23, 2013
  17. New to blogging and this is great advice

    Like

    April 20, 2013
  18. Thanks for the tips man, I am new to blogging and it still gets me nervous sharing my work so this helps

    Like

    April 20, 2013
  19. Awesome. Thank you for the tips friend! 😉

    Like

    April 20, 2013
  20. Congrats on #588. Your posts are wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    April 21, 2013
  21. I feel bad for my readers – my pattern is post when I finish a book. So it can be tons in a row and then nothing for ages. I really do need to set up a weekly post or something just so I’m not so random. Great advice!

    Like

    April 22, 2013
  22. practical! Thank you.

    Like

    April 22, 2013
  23. El Blog de la Andrea #

    Reblogged this on el blog de la Andrea.

    Like

    April 23, 2013
  24. the undeniable anglophile #

    Thanks so much for this post. I really don’t know what to do about my blog, which nobody even knows about, but hopefully, with this, I can improve a little more…

    Like

    April 23, 2013
  25. Planning ahead is a must! I agree. I consistently write short dot points to myself to try to open the flow of the post inspiration. Thanks for the great read 🙂

    Like

    April 24, 2013
  26. Thanks for this post. Still getting used to blogging….have ideas and it is fun, that’s the main thing.

    Like

    April 24, 2013
  27. Thanks for this post Robert. You write one if the best blogs I read consistently and yr dedication shows. It’s true we can’t always write a 10. Write, write & write again is a mantra of mine even tho I post far less than you do. Appreciate your insights & continue doing the excellent job you’re doing. Your readers will thank you :-))

    Like

    April 24, 2013
  28. thank you for the great advice. Totally worth the read.

    Like

    April 24, 2013
  29. Awesome! I’m feeling this post. Thanks for sharing the advice. Loves It!

    Like

    May 3, 2013
  30. Reblogged this on perpustakana museum sejarah jakarta.

    Like

    June 2, 2013
  31. I’ve only just joined WordPress, and just so happened to come across your blog. I loved your review on The Catcher in the Rye. I haven’t posted that much yet but these tips have given me some guidance, much appreciated! 🙂

    Like

    June 14, 2013

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