Not too long ago I received a notice from WordPress that I’d published my 200th blog post.
In case you’re wondering, that post was the 7 Step Old Manuscript Review Plan, and it’s an example of the blogs I love to write. My faves are about being organized, as that’s what gets me in the creative mood to write and to blog.
Over the 4 years that my blog has been online, I’ve not only learned and published writing tips but sharpened my blogging skills, which is why I thought I’d share with you some tips about blogging.
Write About What You Know
It’s a much-touted piece of writing advice, but I’ve found it translates well to blogging too.
All my posts are about what I’ve learned while writing, including topics I studied to strengthen my own manuscripts. Translating that new knowledge into a blog post not only helped me get my head around it, but plenty of readers have let me know over the years that it’s helped them too, so writing about what you know is a win-win.
Of course, if you’re not comfortable/confident writing about advice, you could write about your own work. After all, who knows about that better than you?
Sharing your writing journey can be very inspiring for other writers, or interesting for readers who enjoy knowing how a book or piece of writing is made, so don’t be shy about sharing such things.
Keep An Organized File Of Your Ideas
Much like writing ideas, blogging ideas can pop into your head anytime.
If you’re like me, you’ll note them on pieces of paper or using your phone, meaning those blog ideas are scattered everywhere.
To make sure you don’t lose them, put your notes together in one file. I use Scrivener, but you could use Word, other writing programs, or a notebook.
No matter what you blog about, it’s bound to include various topics, some of which will relate to each other.
For example, my last blog post talked about 5 Things To Do After Getting Beta Feedback. This wasn’t my first post to cover beta reading, and won’t be the last. To keep all of those ideas straight, I use Scrivener to organize my blog ideas into different folders and then categories, such as dialogue, characters, and writing checklists.
Saving my ideas into categories makes it easy to see what topics to write about at a glance and makes it faster to get drafting.
Adjust Your Schedule To Suit Your Life
If you’re going to start a blog and want it to be read, the key is to post regularly. That’s how you’ll build your audience.
Posting regularly can mean anything from every day, to twice a week, to once a month.
When I first started my blog, I posted once a week. When my first book was published last year, I realized blogging every week while trying to promote a book and write the others in the series was no longer suitable and I adjusted my blogging schedule to once a fortnight instead.
This left me with a writing routine where I spend one week working on a blog (and other authoring tasks) and the next week working solely on my books.
It’s less stressful and I get to work on writing and blogging without feeling like I’m rushing/failing at either.
So, if you’re already blogging, or looking to blog, work out how you’re going to fit regular posts into your life and schedule accordingly.
Keep The Format Simple
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might notice I rarely add pictures to my posts. This was a specific decision I made when I first launched.
As much as I love pictures, creating good graphics, and inserting the perfect GIF, if I did that for every single post, it would double the time to put one together.
I also know readers are here to read the info in my posts, so sticking to just text and bold headings allows them to do that simply and efficiently.
Share Your Posts More Than Once
This is something I’m still working on as I’m pretty good at posting about my blogs on the day they’re published, but then never again.
In part, this is because I’m worried about spamming everyone who sees my social media posts with the same thing. In reality, different time zones and social media algorithms stop a good chunk of your audience from seeing your post at all.
If you’ve got multiple platforms, stagger the posting times. You might post to Instagram in the morning, Facebook at lunch, and Twitter at night. You can also use the Story options on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to post about your blogs for a 24-hour period.
If you’ve written good content, you’ll also find others will share your posts, and you can do things like re-tweet their posts on Twitter for longevity.
Over the years, I’ve had some wonderful people regularly share my posts on their social media, and I can’t thank them enough.
Get Into A Blogging Routine
Earlier, I said I work on my blog posts during a specific authoring week, and within that week, I have a routine.
This routine means I get a blog written and published without feeling too rushed. I do this by drafting a blog post on Tuesday, use Thursday to edit it, create graphics in Canva, and format in WordPress. Then on Friday morning, I review it before hitting publish.
I find spacing the process across multiple days suits the way I work and gives me the distance to pick up typos, but find what works for you.
Pulling a blog post together in a day might be that routine. Or so could spending a week writing multiple blog posts so you’ve got content for the next few months (also something I’ve done in the past).
In any case, a blogging routine will help you produce your regular content, and hopefully with as little stress as possible.
Accept That You Will Run Out Of Ideas/Motivation
Even the most dedicated, organized, routine-following blogger will run out of ideas and/or motivation.
Burnout happens. Life happens. When there’s nothing left in the blogging well, take a step back and opt for what is likely to be a well-deserved break.
Let your readers know you’re taking time off and skip posting for a week or two. Sometimes just a slight break from the pressures of creating and posting content is enough, and you’re happy to start up again, rejuvenated.
If the issue is that you’ve run out of ideas, use the break time to look at what content you’ve published, what’s in your idea folders, and brainstorm what future content you’d like to write. Researching the topics you want to cover and planning out what blogs to work on next may be all you need to find that lost motivation.
And there you have my blogging tips!
This is what I do to keep my content flowing, but as with anything, do what works for you and adopt, adapt or tweak anything mentioned here.
If you’ve got a blogging tip of your own, please share it in the comments. I love to hear it!
— K.M. Allan