You have made the plans and post schedules for the blog. You have great ideas for new posts. You are ready to soar high and make blogging successful. But why does your enthusiasm wane and you struggle to stick to the blog schedule in the long run?
Why can’t you stick to the blog schedule?
Let us discuss why sticking to a blog schedule seem so difficult for you and how you can overcome those issues.
So when things get hard or the initial enthusiasm to blog starts to dissipate it is natural that you let yourself off the hook easily. You start thinking what am I losing if skip once, and end up in a blogging slump before you know it.
Tip: Reward yourself for every successful streak, say weekly. Create a calendar and mark each day you blog on it, and try not to break your streak.
You are not accountable to anyone
Yes, not all of us have millions of monthly readers in our blog. Or maybe it is just your mother and her cat. And they are not gonna judge you if you post once in a month or NEVER.
Before I moved to Elgee Writes, I had had my blog for almost five years and never told anyone about it. I assumed I was writing for myself and that I was blogging pretty consistently. But guess what?
Within a year, I had published more posts than I published in the first five years. The difference? I had begun talking to others (bloggers, friends and even colleagues) about my blog and I started getting regular readers and engagements.
Sure, you can hold yourself accountable too, but has it worked previously? If no, it is better to involve a friend or better, another blogger friend to hold you accountable.
Tip: Announce your next post topic to your readers. Put up an blogging schedule on the sidebar so that your readers would know when to expect your next post and hold you accountable to it.
You are waiting for perfection
I am no stranger to this flaw. I am not perfect and my blog posts aren’t either. But I can wait for the perfect word to flow, the perfect blog topic to spring in my mind and for the perfect time to write it out.
But they rarely come and my blog can’t wait until then.
Starting with an imperfect plan and then continuing to make it better, is so much more productive than to wait for the perfect plan.
Tip: Aim for good, not perfect. Write down everything in your mind or draft an outline, and then you can edit and perfect it.
You are waiting for motivation
You cannot expect yourself to be always motivated and full of enthusiasm. The going will get tough and your initial enthusiasm will definitely wane.
But if you had planned to work only when you are inspired, then you will be working only for about 30% of the days. Following through any plan or goal, needs inspirations but most critically you need determination.
I am sure everyone has days that they don’t wanna work or go to the gym, but only people who step up and do what is needed to be, even when they don’t feel like, become successful.
Tip: Don’t look for external motivations – just hitting the publish button on your blog or being to be able to stick to the blog schedule itself can be motivating enough. And even if it, just do it because you are professional.
You want instant gratification
Often we want to see the effect of our hard work almost immediately. And when that doesn’t happen, it is natural to feel disheartened and we may even want to stop our hard work.
But this lack of patience and attitude towards instant gratification is keeping from being able to stick to the blog schedule.
Tip: When you make plans, get into a mindset that you won’t see any tangible benefit right away. And have a visual reminder to see how many days you stick to the blog schedule to quench your thirst for instant gratification.
So go on, let me know what other blogging challenges do you face? What’s stopping you from achieving your blogging dreams?
It is no secret that many of us struggle with blogging consistently. And many bloggers consider putting out content regularly as a success parameter. Let us talk about why it is so important to have a blogging schedule to ensure that you are blogging consistently.
Blogging consistently: Why do you need a blog schedule
Why do we keep insisting that bloggers should be more consistent? Why is keeping up with the blog schedule so important? Here are a few reasons for you to consider.
Makes you look professional
Having a blog schedule and blogging consistently makes you look like a professional at what you do. And guess what! That means your audience and readers will take you more seriously.
Every time (or so) you add a post or update something on your blog, the Search Engine Gods (aka Google or Bing) make a note of that. And that is a good thing because they understand that you are still relevant and show yours more frequently on the search pages – and that leads to? YES, MORE TRAFFIC!
Builds trust and authority
We only take in advices and suggestions from people whom we trust.
Gaining that trust and subject authority from your readers takes a long time and needs hard work. And that comes from a portfolio of articles you have written on the topic by blogging consistently.
For instance, the index of all my reviews here usually acts as my portfolio for the authors before they ask me to review or beta read their books.
Having more than 200 book reviews somehow helps them make that decision. What do you think?
Keeping your readers happy
Oh we almost forgot the most important reason we are screaming into the void here blogging. Our dear readers!
Having a good number of traffic or ranking high on the Search Engine results would not matter if we are not able to retain the visitors on our site. And we can have happy and returning visitors only when we post consistently.
If you post 20 times in a month and then go missing from your blog for the next three months, chances are your blog readers would forget you. There are thousands of other blogs they might move to, and it won’t be their fault.
Avoid that dreaded blogger burnout
We all have been there. The blogger burn out is real and it is so damn painful. You watch your fellow bloggers posting such creative posts and all you can do is stare at the blank screen.
Well, let us talk about how to finally defeat (or avoid, let’s be realistic here) the blogger burnout – blogging schedule!
Social media is fun and entertaining. Unless you are a content producer or a blogger trying to use it for your business. Well, then it is a chore and is definitely soul sucking. The balancing of your social media presence and your blogging schedule is a constant struggle.
Blink twice if you have tried to balance between your goal to get a huge following on social media, churn out content as your calendar and trying to breathe, and failed miserably. Well, you are not alone and this post especially for you, naïve one.
Balancing Act of Social Media and Blogging
It is hard to balance social media and blogging, when your work and business are mostly online and it is exhausting to say the least. There is no way out, in this age and technology but you can still try to stay sane by following some of these techniques.
With all that is going on in life and your blogging schedule, it gets harder to sit down and do things that require your focus and deep work.
The more your sweat over small things and your routine, the harder it gets to any planning or focused writing done. And that is why it is important to set aside a particular time block each day, away from distraction from the pesky social media messages or Netflix binges.
Use this time to create, write and do things that require your uninterrupted attention. Extra points if they add up to your long term goals.
Create a social media strategy
Keeping up with the news and staying relevant is one of the vital points as a blogger and a business. But doing that all by yourself is definitely impossible.
And that is why you need a social media strategy that includes
The social media platforms that your blog will be active
The number of times you will post per week
The number of hours you will spend engaging, re-sharing and commenting on the platform
What is your goal for each platform – short and long term?
How will you track the progress?
Creating out a social media strategy might seem too pretentious if you are a micro blogger or a small business, but writing out them in detail would hold you accountable and give you more clarity on what you do.
Automate whatever you can
Once you have set your goals and task lists in stone (or paper) automate, automate and automate. Use a scheduler like Buffer or Hootsuite to send out your posts on premeditated time.
You can allocate a specific time to schedule posts for the following week. Scheduling for a week will reduce the amount of time you spend on social media for promoting your blog/business.
Batching similar processes
Another great time saving technique is to batch similar processes together and get them done together. For example, instead of spending time creating graphics or images for each social media separately, batch them out together and do it when you are designing the header image for your blog post.
You may even spend a dedicated time every week (or whatever works for you) to analyse the data and tweak your posts.
Put yourself first
This is the single most important thing I learnt in creating a balance between social media and blogging is putting myself and my mental health first.
How much ever we plan there are going to be days when nothing goes as per our plan and that might overwhelm us. We should have to understand that and keep ourselves prepared for unplanned breaks.
Also, plan for some self care routines into your day and don’t forget to take some breaks.
What my social media schedule looks like
What my social media schedule looks like
As a book blogger, I try to be active on Instagram (though it offers little to no traffic to my blog), Twitter and Pinterest. I also schedule posts on Facebook, but I am not active on FB, personally or for blog promotion.
I post four times on my blog per week and share the posts on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest as soon as the post go or some time on the same day. To be honest, I am not really strict on the time for this process.
Weekly once I spend an hour or two to choose the posts from the book blogger community to reshare on my social media platform during the following week.
Next I spend another 15 to 30 minutes to choose posts from my blog to promote all through the next week.
On Monday I schedule these links (both from my blog and the ones I loved from the blogging community) to publish over Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest at different times with customized messages for each platform.
Every day I spend about 15 to 30 minutes on each platform to talk, engage and make friends. Usually I spend about 60 to 90 minutes on the whole each day.
That is it. This is my minimal schedule to allow me to stay on top of social media and blog promotion and breathe as well.
Well, sometimes these schedules don’t work and that is okay too. I stopped worrying too much about it, because I know I have a routine that works for me, most of the days and I can get back to it soon enough.
The trick to balancing between social media and blogging is knowing what you want and when to say enough.
If you like my posts about social media and blogging aspect of it, you should try some of these related posts.
Last week, WordPress reminded me that it has been four years since I signed up and that got me thinking about the things I wish I knew when I started blogging.
There are lot of things that I wish I had learnt faster, and much earlier. I wish I had given a thought about several things that I did out on a whim, some of which turned out fine and others not so much.
Things I wish I knew when I started blogging
I have been blogging for quite a while now, first at Musings Over Nothing and now at Elgee Writes. I have no doubt there is a lot more for me to understand, to implement and to make my blog better. But I also understand why it took so long for me to reach where I am.
Here I am to spill my wisdom to others, so that you will figure things out faster than me. I am sure there is something for both new bloggers and experienced one alike. Let us get on with it.
Search Engine Optimization is really important if you want your site to be on Google’s first few pages, so the early you start the better. I wish I knew how to do this in the early stages of blogging itself.
Involve your readers
The main goal for most bloggers is to boost the blog engagement. But often we fail to let the readers know what is expected of them. Calling them to perform an action is critical.
This is one of the main things that I wish I knew when I started blogging, because I am spending a lot of time now to edit my older posts to add it.
Blog engagement – Quality over quantity.
Another tip to improve your engagement is by leaving comments on other blogs and open a conversation. Ask a question or make a comment that is valuable to the blogger or the other readers.
When you leave comments like ‘great post’ ‘lovely review’, it doesn’t create a rapport nor adds value to anyone. Think about it.
Being civil and polite never hurt anyone
Of course you want people to remember you, but for the right reasons not the wrong one.
If you disagree with anyone else’s post, be polite and remember it is their opinion in their own space. If you wanna talk about it, do so politely and state your reasons in a civilized manner and WALK AWAY.
Don’t be a keyboard warrior or a grouch. There is enough space for everyone in the world wide web. The sooner you understand this, the better.
YOU be YOU
Try to stay as original as possible. Avoid trying to be everywhere and joining every link up and meme possible. Do not let your blog be driven by the hype and read only the books that everyone is reading.
Or read just the ones that are new and popular. Do just what you want with your blog and read what you want. Do not let your blog change that. At least, not too much.
Do not be hard on yourself
Most of all do not be too hard on yourself. Blogging takes a lot of time and it is not always easy to be the fun cheerful persona you may have taken in front of leaders. But that is okay.
Life happens and everyone understands that. Take a break when you need it and your readers may miss you, but they are gonna be there when you come back.
For some it might be the number of followers or visitors while a few others blog for the free ARCs they receive from the publishers as a recognition. Strive for what you want for your blog.
So there they are. My ten little things that I wish I knew when I started blogging or a little bit earlier. We are all just in different levels of the same game. So if you ever need a patient ear or a solution, feel free to reach out, new blogger or not.
Despite your claims that you want to just blog for fun, I am sure all of us want to have a successful blog, deep down. When I started as a full time book blogger, all I wanted was publishers to look my site and send me free books. That is what success meant to me, then.
Then once in a while, I would come across a post about how someone received 1,00,000 views in a month and I would feel like I had to get me some traffic. Some days, it would be all the engagement and comment some other blogger is getting. Or the number of followers.
Basically I wanted them all and worked towards not one particular goal. Did I reach some of my goals? Maybe. Did I get all of them? Not really. But am I a successful book blogger, according to myself? I still dunno.
What is success to you as a blogger?
When I started blogging, I just wanted to claim a space on the internet to call it a home, where I can talk about things that mattered to me. But as things (and myself) evolved, I wanted to have a successful blog and I had no clue what a successful blog was.
Also what ‘successful’ is to me may not be a big deal to you, or the vice versa. How does even measure success? What are you imagining the success of blogging to look like?
Putting out quality content, regularly
Consistency has always been my pitfall. Publishing regularly and consistently is one of those goals that I used to struggle constantly. I know I set myself to fail when I chose to post four times a week. I succeed in failing often, or even worse, I get those burnouts that lasts for weeks.
So my view of a successful blog was publishing engaging content like a clockwork. I am in awe people who have been blogging about books for years like Cait from Paperfury and Pages Unbound.
Becoming an authority on the subject
If you need to learn about something online, one of the first sites you remember is Wikipedia. That is because Wikipedia is an authority on the subject. Same goes to IMDB or Goodreads for film/book reviews.
Getting to a place where you are known for the type of content you publish is definitely a good measure.
I know I am up for snarky posts when I think of Shruti from This is lit and it is going to some YA related books from Charvi from Not Just Fiction.
Talking about my dream of publishers and authors knocking at my door (not literally, though) with ARCs and book mails, one of the main criteria they look for is the number of followers on your blog and social media.
The more you have, the more successful you appear to be on their radar, and thus on everyone else’s view. If book blogging is a number’s game to you, the follower count is one of the stats that you should definitely be following.
Here is a shameless self promotion plug in: If you like my posts, do follow me here or on any of the social media. And sure, you can buy me a coffee!
Earnings from blog
Many of us dream of earning money from our blogs, even if it means a few cents from the affiliate links. Definitely book blogging is one of those niches that has fewer scope for monetization. Nonetheless, we are working around it.
So it is a good idea to consider the earnings from a blog as a measure to success. And earning doesn’t have to be just in terms of money, freebies and products to review are all some of form earning for the effort and time we spend on the blog.
Generating leads for business
This is something I spoke of on my recent post on how book blogging is not just for fun but a good way to build a portfolio for yourself. And several bloggers, including myself, use it generate queries and leads for our business.
Being asked to contribute to a website or review some product/book related to your niche is definitely one of the telltale signs of a successful blog. It means people trust that you do a great job and maybe willing to pay for it.
Learning a new skill
As the adage goes, there is nothing permanent in life, except change, right? A successful blog is constantly evolving and a good blogger has to keep learning new tricks and techniques.
Do you know more than what you knew last year? Do you strive to keep learning things that might help you and your readers? Now that is a thing successful bloggers would keep doing. Keep it up.
Being a successful blogger is not one number or factor. It can be combination of these factors. We will see more about each of these measures in detail in the following weeks.
While I have mentioned all the different methods to measure success as a blogger, what is it that ticks you? What gets you excited and motivated is your way to success.