Blogging is an essential part of my business, and I can tell you firsthand how difficult it can be.
Believe me. I’ve been doing it for more than 10 years.
Everyone recommends a blog to gain traffic, but maintaining consistent blogging is difficult.
Here’s what happens.
You get all jazzed up about starting a blog. You rush out the gates with reckless abandon, writing on familiar to you topics with energy and verve.
A few weeks go by, and nice things happen to your website traffic and conversions.
And then you start to realize that writing is hard work.
Wow. It’s freaking hard work.
And so you skip a day.
And a week.
And then you struggle to come up with topics, so you skip a few more days.
You kind of “forget” about blogging and feel guilty about it.
Your blog goes dormant, and you curse yourself every day for it.
Sound familiar? It happens to a lot of people. For all the craze over content marketing, there sure are a lot of people who fell off the wagon a long time ago.
I get that. I understand. It’s tough work. It’s grueling at times. It’s thankless. It’s challenging.
And to write an article every single day, day in and day out, year after year? Sounds impossible.
It’s not. And I’m going to tell you how and why.
Here’s what you need to know about what it takes to write a blog post every day.
1. Read more than you write
Yep. I mean that.
I know that reading takes time (and writing does too), but I have a good reason telling you to do this.
The key to writing is reading. The more you read, the more prepared you are to write. Just to write this post, I read over a dozen articles about blogging to make sure I cover every angle and gather supporting data.
For example, most blog articles are shared without even being read, especially on social media. Even when we do read them, we mostly do a quick scan.
Here’s a graph of how time spent reading an article correlates to its social activity.
Sometimes a headline and a snippet are enough to satisfy a reader, which is why these elements are so important for SEO purposes.
The content itself can make a difference in whether or not an article is read, especially with branded content. Brands that blog with a purpose have consistently higher ROIs and perform better in every KPI.
To be sure you’re creating valuable content instead of just parroting what everyone else is saying, it’s important to continue reading.
I’m an expert in content marketing and SEO, but I still read Search Engine Journal, SEOMoz, and other industry publications because even I can’t keep up with everything on my own.
Blogging is a community, and contributing as part of it means you’ll need to read other blogs.
2. Look for inspiration from other bloggers
Since you’re already reading, take inspiration from what other bloggers are doing. Crowdsourcing ideas is a great way to brainstorm. Starbucks, for example, recently found success with its My Starbucks Ideas program.
There are tons of blogs on every topic, and here’s a list of 50 top blogs for every topic imaginable.
See what the greats are writing about. Follow a successful blogger like Chris Brogan to find trends in his writing style. You can even research his site on SEMRush to learn what keywords and landing pages are successful.
By looking externally for ideas, you’ll broaden your blogging horizons, and brainstorming blog topics for yourself will become much easier.
3. Get out and experience life
Like any other business, your blogs will only be successful if they satisfy a need.
The only way to know what people need is to be a person yourself and go out to experience life like everyone else.
For most businesses, content marketing is a relatively new, experimental concept. In a recent survey, only 8% of B2B companies stated they had a sophisticated content marketing program.
Until you find your sweet spot, you’ll need to experiment a bit to see what your niche truly is. Tackling the same topic from different perspectives makes content creation much easier and more streamlined.
4. Aim for two a day
About one blog post every other day is the bare minimum to attract a decent, sustainable traffic flow to your blog.
One blog post per day is a great start, but ideally, you’d want to publish multiple posts per day.
If you can write two blog posts a day, you can quickly build a one-month editorial calendar and schedule enough posts in advance to take a few days off while still publishing that pre-written content on your blog.
The more content on your site, the lower your bounce rates will be, as people will be able to navigate your archives instead of just reading one post and leaving.
5. Make everything else routine
Like I said, there’s a lot more involved in blogging than just writing posts.
Here are a few common problems faced by B2B marketers when generating leads, which blogging is a component of.
Understanding, analyzing, and running all these operational components is vital to maintaining any successful business, and it has to be routine in a blogger’s life.
When you’re routinely pitching stories, creating outlines, and researching, the actual act of writing for your blog becomes much easier.
And as I explain exhaustively in my blogging guides, quantifying the success of a blogging initiative requires quantifiable metrics and KPIs that allow you to set and measure goals.
It’s much easier to write when everything is running like clockwork and you are not running around like a chicken with your head cut off, trying to put out fires.
6. Create an editorial calendar
Most major publications, like Rolling Stone or People, use editorial calendars to determine what content to publish.
An editorial calendar is great for your blogging efforts too.
Like a director’s storyboard, an editorial calendar gives you an outline to work with and the ability to know at a glance where you’re at and what’s publishing soon.
Here’s an example of a basic editorial calendar:
With an editorial calendar in place, instead of being in a constant race to come up with new ideas, you’ll be working ahead, making your blog run much more smoothly and giving you time to correct any issues or changes that may come up along the way.
7. Solicit pitches
You don’t have to do all the blogging yourself. Sometimes it’s nice to offer a different perspective, whether from internal team members or external bloggers.
Many bloggers are happy to guest-post on someone else’s site in exchange for a backlink to their site. By collecting posts from a variety of other bloggers, you’ll greatly amplify the reach of your blog through the power of their networks.
Every post published on your blog is extra content, even if it’s not written by you.
If you prefer to keep your name on every post, there’s always the option of hiring a ghostwriter, who can be found through a simple Google search or Craigslist ad.
8. Respond to client/reader questions
A simple way to produce more content is to write long-form answers to reader questions in a Dear Abby advice columnist format.
Quora, Yahoo Answers, Ask Jeeves, and Siri all became popular because of the ability of users to ask and receive answers.
Recent research from Twitter shows customers prefer companies that actually respond quickly to their concerns on the microblogging site.
If you think of your readers as customers (which you should if blogging is part of your business), you should be catering to their needs, personalizing their experience, and responding to complaints and questions.
If you’ve established yourself as an expert on a certain subject matter, which will be clear from your previous content, people will see you as a trusted resource and ask questions in the comment section.
You can answer in the comments or, if a longer response is required, create a whole new blog post to respond, backlinking to the original question as a resource.
9. Make it a habit
People are creatures of habit, and we appreciate when things are kept consistent. When you make blogging a habit, keeping it up won’t be a problem.
How do you build a habit?
It’s pretty simple, actually.
- Start with a reminder of the task you need to do. An editorial calendar works great for this.
- Follow a routine to complete that task.
- Give yourself a reward.
- Rinse and repeat.
Why does this habit-building process matter?
It matters because blogging matters.
The biggest revenue-generating tactic in blogging is marketing and advertising, which is seeing steady spending from last year to this year:
If you can provide a steady stream of content, you’ll earn a sustainable income through blogging, but it has to be a habit.
The idea of Ernest Hemingway spending his days drinking and being a playboy while putting out awesome writing is nothing more than a fantasy and a caricature of the great writer.
Hemingway was good. He made it look easy.
But writing a post a day isn’t about lolling around and waiting for your muse to strike.
Working writers are working writers because they work. They force themselves to work. And then that force develops into a habit, which makes them writing machines.
Once blogging becomes a habit, you’ll often find yourself writing four or five posts a day instead of just one. You get faster over time, and things get easier as you go along.
The fear of not being able to come up with topics to blog about is a mental wall that exists only in your head.
Thousands of people earn a steady first or second income through blogging despite the fact that coming up with relevant things to say about relevant topics on a consistent basis is a challenge.
More content equals more opportunity for backlinks, high SEO rankings, and more sustained organic traffic.
By involving external resources, continuously researching, and employing solid business practices, you can turn your blog into a daily content mill that generates revenue.
What tactics do you use to overcome writer’s block and continue creating every day?