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.
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.
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.