Becoming a More Dedicated Blogger

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  • July 6, 2010

The best way to achieve a consistent audience for your blog is to practice consistency yourself. To become a more dedicated blogger, set a blogging schedule and do your best to stick to it.

If you can post every day (or every weekday), do so. But 3 times a week, or even just once a week, is still good as long as you keep it up. A consistent schedule “trains” your readers about when to expect new posts.

For motivation, keep a list of your high-level goals, and refer back to it when your dedication starts to fade. Sometimes you need to focus on the bigger picture, like becoming an authority in your niche, reaching a certain number of readers, or achieving a new dollar level with your advertising. If you can think about the big picture, it can help you get through a slump.

When you blog, turn off distractions for a set amount of time, or until you finish the post you’re writing. Log out of all of your instant messager networks, shut down your email client, and put the phone in another room or set it to vibrate. The better you can focus, the quicker you’ll finish. Distractions not only cause you to lose the time they take, but it can take 2-5 minutes to context-switch, refocusing your efforts on your writing, after the distraction is gone.

Often, creativity for your writing comes at a time when you’re not actually writing. Make it easy to keep track of your ideas by keeping a notebook or a smart phone with you to jot down your ideas or even an outline. Online tools like Evernote allow you to collect and review ideas you have while browsing. In a pinch, just pick up a phone, call yourself, and leave a message for yourself with your idea.

Surround yourself with like-minded people. Nick’s Bloggers Lounge is a great place to find other bloggers, as are the forums on other blogging websites. You might also try to connect with someone else who has similar goals, so you can be accountability partners for each other. A blogging partner is a great way to stay motivated, and has other benefits such as giving you someone to bounce ideas off of, cross-promotion of your blogs, and more.

Set aside one day every week (or every month, depending on your schedule) for a type of post you find easy to write. If you have a design blog, this might be screenshots of beautiful sites that meet a certain criteria. Or it could be a top-100 list, links to articles around the blogosphere in your niche, or a personal anecdote that reflects your blog’s theme. Recognize too that you will have some weeks that are busier than others, so plan ahead for those by writing extra posts in the weeks leading up to the time crunch, or writing an extra “easy post” that week.

Finally, go mobile to help use the time you have away from your desk. For example, my husband and I carpool, and I can often get the gist of a post down during our commute, with only the final polishing left when I get to the office. I’m sure there are places and times you can find to blog – while you take your kids to an activity, while you’re in the waiting room at the doctor, or whatever.

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of stimuli! If you’re a caffeine junkie, sit down to your blog with a cup of coffee. Write when you first get up if you’re a morning person, or after everything else winds down in the evening if you’re a night person. Turn on some music if that helps, or find a location that sparks your creativity.

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About Susan Petracco

Susan Petracco is an e-commerce consultant and founder of NetBlazon, an e-commerce development firm. With more than 11 years of experience, she has worked with companies such as Talbots and Serta on a variety of retail initiatives. She can also be found blogging about e-commerce and small business topics at the DoublePlus E-Commerce Blog.

27 Comments

  • Nabeel | Create Your First Website says:

    Wow neat advice.

    “A consistent schedule “trains” your readers about when to expect new posts.”

    I agree. It is important to do posts which may not be daily, but which are regular.

    “Distractions not only cause you to lose the time they take, but it can take 2-5 minutes to context-switch, refocusing your efforts on your writing, after the distraction is gone.”

    yup this is true. And it happens to all of us (well, at least to me). Therefore it is important to focus on the task at hand, and get it finishes, instead of being everywhere.

    Kindest,
    Nabeel

  • Justin Popovic says:

    Turning off distractions is probably the most important in my opinion. That combined with planning to work in focused blocks of time. I’m sure most people would agree that when you work on something without distraction for a while, you build momentum. This momentum can often allow you to be 10x more productive than you would be if you write/record 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there.

    The challenge for me is that blogging is only a small part of my overall marketing strategy, so the scheduling/planning is key. That way it never gets forotten.

    Great tips cheers!

  • Nasrul Hanis says:

    Nice tips!

    I realize about this matter as this is also my own weakness and currently put my effort to do it right. Quite hard but I believe it’s worth it.

    Thanks for sharing with us, Susan!

  • Onibalusi Bamidele says:

    Really GreatPost Susan,

    You are absolutely right.

    One of the most important things is being consistent and you are right about your point about avoiding distractions.

    Thanks a lot for the great post,
    -Onibalusi

  • Dennis Edell | Direct Sales Marketing says:

    Pwrhaps set aside one day per week to just write, then schedule posts for delivery.

    A couple weeks ago I lost the Internet for about 48hrs. One of the offline tasks I performed was writing; a BUNCH of posts, and it was fantastic!

    Btw, I REALLY appreciate being reminded of Evernote. :)

  • Beth says:

    I really like your suggestion to remind ourselves of our broader blogging goals. I have set a blogging schedule, but at times have had trouble sticking to it. Perhaps if I listed my goals where I can see them from my computer, they would be great motivation to keep to the schedule.

    Thanks!

  • Paul Acoin says:

    well said and nice approach… Thank you for sharing about blogger.

  • Mark Atkinson says:

    I consider myself the chief of procrastination, so this post really got me thinking.

    From now on, I will set out a specific day every week to write my blog post for the week. I will do it without interruption and without procrastination.

    I like the idea of writing “easy posts” every now and again. It’s something I’m bound to use!

  • Steve @Erraticblog says:

    Great post Susan. Getting into a routine or schedule is the hardest part, but once you get into a routine things become much easier for keeping a blog up to date with fresh content. I too have found that writing extra posts ahead of time is key. If you always have at least one post in queue, you can send it out for those unexpected times when you can’t write something.

  • Tushar says:

    i have always felt that i sometimes not dedicated enough towards my blog…this feeling creeps in me sometimes, may be once in a month but the wonderful comments and the increasing traffic keeps me going on…

    but i have learned one thing
    Distracting from blogging is very very easy….you have to be very very concentrated

  • Suzanne Vara says:

    Susan

    Great points here. The accountability partner is definitely I suggest to people. When we set out to blog many set some unrealistic goals that they will have 1000 visitors each day and the same amt of subscribers. When this does not happen it is discouraging. No-one is reading so why bother sets in.

    Keeping at it and having some reinforcers there to keep you moving along and motivated will increase traffic as you are there consistently.

    Great article for sure.

    @SuzanneVara

  • Becoming a More Dedicated Blogger « Knol Bits says:

    [...] Becoming a More Dedicated Blogger The best way to achieve a consistent audience for your blog is to practice consistency yourself. To become a more dedicated blogger, set a blogging schedule and do your best to stick to it. If you can post every day (or every weekday), do so. But 3 times a week, or even just once a week, is still good as long as you keep it up. A consistent schedule “trains” your readers about when to expect new posts. For motivation, keep a list of your high-level goals, and refer back to it when your dedication starts to fade. Sometimes you need to focus on the bigger picture, like becoming an Read ahead [...]

  • Aminul Islam Sajib says:

    I believe time and location is of great importance to write the best in whatever niche. It’s blogger’s responsibility to find out or realize which time and location help him write better or makes him an excellent writer.

  • Keith says:

    I am going to have to disagree with scheduling a post schedule. I prefer to write when I feel creative or have something to say. I think the readers appreciate it more when the content is inspired rather than scheduled as part of a work day…

  • Jorgen @ Personal Branding says:

    Great advice Susan, I always switch of my Internet connection (sometimes even physically) to get writing. And downloading Evernote now, thanks for sharing!

  • Adam Williams says:

    This is an excellent article. As a blogger, I find that there are weeks when I just want to say, “Sorry, I’ve got nothing this week.” But as you pointed out, my readers deserve consistency if I have any expectation of the same from them.

    I have found that having posts ready to go when I have busy weeks is very helpful. Usually I have them about 80% complete so I just have to finish them up. Which takes much less time than writing a post from scratch.

    Thanks!

  • Vinish Parikh says:

    Nice article, above tips will be really helpful to me for becoming a more dedicated blogger.

  • Pritam | Online Jobs says:

    Your article is really motivating for me. I have just create my blog and was thinking about how I have to plan to start posting more and more for the same.
    I get so much ideas from your articles.
    Thanks
    Pritam Nagrale

  • Reza Winandar says:

    Building list, that is one thing to do for me, I never keep my consistency all the time and all I want to do is change that.

  • Carly says:

    Some great tips here. I really need to make a proper schedule and FORCE myself to stick to it.

  • Murlu says:

    I’ve always found that when it comes down to writing, 2 things have helped me most:

    Finding the right “flow”
    Pulling in the real world

    By flow, I mean finding that right time that when you do sit down to write it all flows out without any discomfort or conflict. You can almost feel it in your mind and body because you dig right into it.

    The other point is pulling in the real world. When you can provide real world results and information with your post (not just theory), you’ll be able to easily talk about your subject while infusing your own story and voice.

  • Geoff says:

    Totally agree. I find it essential to set a schedule to post once a week or whatever. It forces me to prioritise doing a post otherwise it slips down the list of priorities. If you can, try to get one post ahead so if you do slip up, you can still keep the momentum.

  • Saturday Technology Reads 10/7/10 says:

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  • Sourish @ Iphone 4 Jailbreak says:

    nice article Susan. Even being a fulltime blogger , i dont feel like writing all the time , and find myself neglecting my social life . A little break and scheduled posts keeps me and my blogs alive …

  • Carol @ Jailbreak Unlock iPhone 4 says:

    It might seem so easy once you say I want to become a dedicated blogger..

    what? I can spend at least an hour a day writing and writing.. this is what I thought when I started blogging.. I really love writing and blogging especially about technology gadgets but I have reached a point where I am so tired or I feel it is an obligation and a Fulltime Job..

    I really don’t want to stop blogging or lower my articles and postings but at the same time.. it is taking alot of my time and I am unsure if I should hire people to write at least 3 articles a week for me… I don’t see it as ethical or more likely authentic..I am kind of lost with all this blogging world lol but I still love it.

    Thanks

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