How to Write 7 Blog Posts in 7 Days

pencil-sharpnerSo, you wanna blog every day, huh?

 

Sure, you do. Sure, you do….

Ok, before I show you how to write blogs posts every single day, including weekends, let’s back up for a second and look at WHY you might want to do this, what benefits it offers, and also the possible downside to daily blogging.

Creating Rituals

Gretchin Rubin made an excellent point on her blog.

“If you find yourself putting off a task that you try to do several times a week, try doing it EVERY day, instead.”

Running is another example. I find it very hard if I stop and start. But if I jog every day, it’s a breeze.

Why?

For me, it’s because:

  • There’s no decision involved. When I go home, instantly I change, and go out running.
  • It’s a routine. I like to stick to something when I’ve committed to it.
  • It’s more rewarding. Baby steps lead to big results. Running 5k every evening is 25 by the end of the week versus two monster 10k runs that knock me out. And often lead to injuries.

So, decisions, routine, and rewards work for me.

Creating Frameworks

I’m a terrible cook 50 weeks of the year. But, and here’s the rub, when my wife goes back to China for two weeks vacation, it gives me enough time to re-remember how to cook. By the end, I’m not so bad, actually pretty impressive.

Chris Brogan – Get the post up fast, not perfect. You can edit if you have to, later. Perfectionism kills good habits.

It’s the same with writing.

If you write every day, even two hundred words, the following happens:

  • You get more ideas.
  • Your voice emerges.
  • Style, format and presentation improve.

Soon, you begin to get compliments. That’s a nice feeling. Before you know it, you’re off writing again, but now maybe they’re longer articles (notice I say articles, not blog posts) as you gain confidence and have a better grasp of your subject matter, readers, and the tools.

You’re improving by degrees.

Carol Tice found that ‘changing one habit started a cycle of change that moved into other parts of her life.’

Creating an Editorial Calendar

Instead of writing about every idea that comes into your mind, which is fine when you start, develop an editorial calendar.

Why?

An editorial calendar helps you move from amateur blogging to professional writing.

It does the following:

  • Structures your content.
  • Develops themes.
  • Helps build your voice.
  • Keeps you focussed.
  • Allows you to ‘see’ the mix of content you need to create.
  • Protects you from writing re-actively.

Editorial Calendar Resources and Examples

How to write every day

Chris Penn – Blogging daily is the anchor on which I build a whole bunch of other content routines.

Here’s one suggested approach.

  • Get up early. My day starts at 5.45. Work starts at 8. In between on the train or even if working from home, I’ll work on different posts before my real day starts. Others prefer to work late. When I write later, say after ten, the quality usually suffers. When it read it in the morning, I usually have to write it again, which defeats the purpose. Jeff Goins echoes this: Don’t underestimate the importance of a morning routine
  • Find a location. Identify a place where you plan to write. For example, I write on the train every morning. Instead of reading the sports news or whatever, I write a 500 word article. That’s 2500 words a week. 10k a month. Not bad and all I lose is the sports new. Seems like a deal to me.
  • Use a timer. One of my favorite writers is Anthony Trollope. He wrote every morning, starting at six, in fifteen minute bursts. He’d put his watch on the table, give himself fifteen minutes to write 250 words and go. He’d often write 1500 words before going to work.
  • Write in batches. If I have time, say an extra hour during the week, I’ll write three or four articles in the same sitting.
  • Write around themes. When writing in batches, I’ll usually write around the same theme/topic/product as once you get going its easy to write around the same subject. Of course, you need to make it interesting and not rehash things from different angles, but you get the idea.
  • Use Google Drive. I use this for two reasons. One is to see what topics are in the pipe in my editorial calendar and the second is to give me access to working documents, half-finished blog posts and drafts. Other bloggers use Evernote to capture ideas, photos, and snippets. Note: make sure to sync and backup.
  • Schedule the posts. Copy and paste the blog posts into WordPress (or your blogging software) and schedule them across the next few weeks. When I started, I tried to schedule two blog posts a week. One for Tuesday and one on Friday. Brad Campbell suggests that “To stay consistent, all you need to do is plan ahead and leverage the scheduled publishing feature within WordPress.”
  • Vary the blog post length. Depending who you believe short, snappy posts work well – Chris Brogan, Jim Connolly, Seth – whereas others favor longer, thousand plus word posts. See Viperchill. Pat Flynn. Tom McFarlin makes the point  “not to shoehorn blogging into your life. Ideally, it should naturally fit with your day-to-day activities.”
  • Vary the type of content. It doesn’t always have to be words. Use the smart phone. Take a short video, offer some practical advice, and share. The tip is to make is useful. Avoid opinion pieces. Share how-to tutorial type information.
  • Go to writing classes. Seriously, if you can only type ten words a minute, it’s going to take ages. Learn to type faster and double or treble your output. This has a cascade effect as the more you write the more compliments, comments, feedback and hopefully business you generate.

For Joe Bunting the “biggest change is that I started capturing ideas.”

Benefits of Developing a Blog Strategy

For me, it was initially about generating traffic. Now, remember I started back when people used Netscape Navigator and GeoCities (1990s) so this was way back when. Actually, I wasn’t blogging in the technical sense but using HTML tools, such as FrontPage and Dreamweaver. In other words, creating websites by hand. Then came Blogger and WordPress.

At the time, it was obvious that the more I published, the more traffic I got. This meant more sales, so I wrote more. A simple model and it worked.

Then the web got cluttered. With the rise of ‘scraping’ software blog content was stolen and duplicated on zombie accounts, resulting in less traffic, i.e. less sales.

Then Facebook and Twitter kicked in. Their affect was to reduce the number of comments on the blogs – as people spent their energy on social media sites – and also influence search engine results. So less traffic, less customers, less sales.

Ok, so what next?

What I see changing in a shift from short blog posts (with the exception of super-stars bloggers like Seth and celebrities) to longer, more detailed posts.

A bit like this post you’re reading!

The good news is that because there is so much:

  • Low quality
  • Repetitive
  • Automated content

By posting too often, and thus continually replacing the latest post, you reduce the amount of social proof that each post will get. Few people will expend their present effort on yesterday’s conversations.

Here’s Phil Simon making good points on why you should NOT blog every day. Dries Cronje takes up this thread here. See the comments for the pros and cons.

I think what’s changing is that we’re now:

Suffering from information overload

Distracted by multiple social media sites

Can’t find reliable sources of quality information

So, in a strange way, we’ve come full circle. Because the web is cluttered with so much ‘useless information’ there is now a real appetite for:

  • Problem solving
  • Expert level materials
  • Tutorial type content

Note: the type of material people are willing to pay for.

This presents opportunities. But we need to be realistic as regards the effort involved.

If you want to make a living ‘blogging’, you need to look at:

  • How to position yourself so you stand out from the crowd
  • How you can learn and leverage your expertise (we’re all an expert at something)
  • How to build evergreen content that’s valuable in 5, 10, 15 years.

This is what I want to discuss in the coming weeks.

The alternative is to write ‘news of the day’ posts that become obsolete tomorrow.

Summary

One final tip: write something that solves a problem.

You wanted to know how to blog every day.

Has this helped?

If so, please share. Thanks. Ivan

PS – thanks to Anoop for the photo

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