Today I’m going to do a really meta blog post about blog posts. I’m relatively new to this whole blogging scene. I’ve always helped others with their own projects–-setting everything up, figuring out the formatting, helping to increase exposure with social media and networking–-but until somewhat recently I’d never really had a blog of my own. Now that I do, I’m realizing that there are a whole slew of challenges that never occurred to me.
When you have your own blog, it’s important to post consistently and often–not so often that following your blog becomes a task, but often enough that people feel like they’ll find something new if they visit your blog every week. My own blog needs work here, because currently I’m posting every other week. But still, some sort of consistent schedule is crucial. I keep myself on task by cross-posting to She Writes (like this!) every other week. That way I have a solid deadline and someone else who expects me to turn something in. It’s harder to flake out on a responsibility when someone other than you is there to hold you accountable.
This can be tricky, because we’re all busy (am I right?), and so something like writing a blog post can fall to the bottom of the priority list pretty fast. I like to write my posts at least two days ahead of time. I do it because if I don’t write them in advance, the odds of me actually getting them done get pretty slim. It’s too easy for other things to come up, especially in the summer. You plan on writing it Monday night and then your phone rings and someone is having a barbecue on the beach. You’re not not going to go to a barbecue on the beach. There could be corn on the cob!
Writing posts ahead of time helps with these situations. Most blogging sites (including She Writes!) even allow you to write the post whenever you want and then schedule it to go live sometime in the future, so you can write it and even format it way in advance.
The hardest thing for me is trying to figure out what to write about. My first few weeks, I felt really strong–I had so many ideas built up that I could write about! But now that I’ve done this a few times, I feel like I’m reaching for new topics. Part of the problem is that I’m not working as quickly on my manuscript as I would like to be, and part of it is that I can never think of things when I want to think of them. People will send me articles about writing and I’ll think, “This is so great! I should definitely do my next blog post about it!” And then future me deletes these articles from my inbox for no reason when she’s purging read emails. If I could just be as on top of my blog as I am on my other tasks, I would be in great shape. If only.
So my question to you is this: How do you generate new and interesting content for your blog? Where do your ideas come from? And how do you keep yourself on top of posting so your blog is consistently fresh? Share in the comments below!