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 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.