I’ll bet that if you answered yes to either, you don’t post very often, or with any regularity.
Waiting for inspiration can be a trap. What if no inspiration strikes, or does not strike with any regularity? When it does strike, you might be busy. You may not get to your computer to develop it, or you might forget. You might write down your idea and then not come back to it. The result: you post nothing, or you post infrequently.
Waiting to have something to say works the same way. What if you don’t have anything to say for several days? Or you fail to develop the “something” when you did think of it.
Did you notice the key word? It’s “waiting.” Waiting is a waste of time. What matters is “doing.”
Blogging regularly takes forethought and a strategy, particularly if you’re a recipe poster. With a little planning, you can improve your blogging quantity. Here are 5 tips on how to post regularly:
1. Establish a schedule and stick to it. What is the right amount? Posting at least once a week is realistic. If you’re more ambitious or have more time, go for more. I post twice a week, and if I hadn’t made that decision, I’d probably post a lot less.
Whatever you decide, be sure it’s an amount that you can handle, every week, no matter what. Don’t start out with guns blazing and then fade out from exhaustion when you can’t keep it up. Be honest about what you can handle, and you’ll be more likely to succeed.
2. Pencil it in. This is an old trick. If you block out the time in your calendar, you’re more likely to get the work done. Figure out what times are best for you. Maybe you only blog at night after the kids go to bed. Maybe you’re best in the morning, before reading email. Figure out how much time you need. Don’t schedule an hour when you need three.
3. Focus. When the time comes, put your bum in the chair and don’t get up until you’ve got a draft. Don’t check email or social media or answer the phone. If you’re still drawing a blank, spend 15 minutes (set a timer so you don’t get sucked in) scanning the net, reading news items or blog posts that might inspire you. If you have the luxury, come back to your draft for a final edit before posting. You’ll always find something to improve.
4. Make a list of upcoming blog topics. It’s a sure-fire way to have “something to say.” Make it long and varied, such as a book review, an event, an essay, and a recipe. List some subjects you can write at any time, and some that require planning. Think of some short posts, a minimum of 200 words. The more you mix it up, and the longer your list, the easier it will be to pick what suits you. If you can’t come up with topics, try keywords. Or write down ideas for a series.
Stick with topics that excite you or that you know a lot about, rather than what you think you should write about.
5. Take photos to inspire you. You might decide to write about a cookie exchange, a dish you found on a trip, or a restaurant meal, all because you took photos at the time that are good enough for a blog post. Use events in your daily life to springboard into a post.
I’m not going to tell you to stockpile posts, because I can’t figure out how to do it. I remember David Lebovitz astonishing the crowd at the first BlogHer Food when he admitted he had dozens of posts in various stages of development. I can only aspire.
Got more tips on how to be a regular blogger? I’d love to know.