How to Blog Consistently: 7 Phases to Success
After being a copywriter here in Brisbane for many years, one thing I’ve noticed that can make or break your business…
Don’t do it and fail miserably. Do it and you can win big.
But now take a deep breath, open your mind and get ready to learn how to blog consistently in 7 phases, even when you are:
- Overloaded with work
- Out of ideas
- Dread the task altogether.
And we promise succeeding at blogging is easier than you think!
Read on or use the the table of contents to ‘jump’ to a specific section in the post.
Table of Contents
Phase 1: Mastering Your Mental Game
1.1 Understand Why You’re Blogging in the First Place
Whether you’re blogging to:
- Dominate your niche
- Boost SEO / increase traffic
- Increase brand awareness
You need to know why you’re blogging in the first place to stay mentally ‘motivated’.
Never underestimate the importance of ‘understanding’, because when you seek to understand, then you can be understood (according to Lifehack).
And that means you will craft better copy that appeals to your target audience.
So whatever you do, take the time to understand.
1.2 Set Blogging Goals
Nothing is more important than goal setting. Because as reported by Positive Psychology here, goals help:
- Trigger (new behaviours)
- Guide (your focus)
- Sustain that momentum (in life).
And make sure you write all your goals down, because according to Inc, you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.
Just on notepad is fine and store it somewhere safe.
And never underestimate your potential with your goals. Because no matter how small your blog is now, any goal can be achieved.
Being realistic with your goals makes sense but don’t be afraid of failure as setting unrealistic goals requires:
- Massive change
- Growth to reach them.
1.3 Set Your Standards
Forget about your post:
Because we are talking about the ‘standard’ of your blog posts.
Consistency = results
But high standards = better results.
And you cannot go past Amazon for setting the highest standards with their leadership principles (here).
The setting of ‘high standards’ in the beginning is obvious, but how will you stick to them, hundreds of blog posts in? Maybe when you’re tired, stressed and worn out?
It’s always your:
- Understanding of why you are blogging (discussed earlier)
- Your blogging goals (discussed earlier)
- Your accountability partner (discussed next)
That ensure you stick to your high standards and deliver on those.
Phase 2: Mastering Your Motivation
2.1 Keep an Accountability Partner
This should be someone within your ‘field.’ Someone that you can:
- Connect with
- Share ideas with
- Push each other towards your goals.
And while ‘friends’ and ‘family’ care about what you do, most often they have little understanding. So you may need to ‘network’ on platforms such as Facebook, to find your suitable accountability partner.
And never underestimate the power of networking, because it’s:
- Critical to career success (as reported here), and
- Gives you contacts to reach out to (its main benefit described here).
So go out and find your accountability partner, that may turn into a best friend for life.
2.2 Develop a Writing Habit
Now that you’ve got your ‘accountability partner’ it’s critical to develop a writing habit.
Starting with preparation to write.
And a ‘ritual’ that prepares you and ‘switches’ a psychological trigger in your brain that you are ready to write is a great starting point.
This could be:
- A cup of coffee
- A small meal
- Energy booster.
Psychological triggers work and are the driving force behind all human behaviour according to Neil Patel.
Next, is your writing goals.
Set a goal that you can stick to, like:
- Writing 500 words every day
- Writing for 45 minutes every day
- Writing one 1,600-word post one day of the week.
This will ensure you are working towards a ‘target’.
But to blog ‘consistently’ and succeed, whatever you do, stick to your goal no matter what!
Finally, is the reward phase.
And this is discussed later in 7.3 – celebrate your wins.
But briefly: Every goal reached should be celebrated in some way. This will solidify the writing habit and keep you pushing towards your goals constantly.
2.3 Eliminate Distractions
Productivity is everything. And any distractions will minimise it, which will lower your standards = less likelihood of goals met and blogging success.
Content is king and you can only create such content in a:
- Suitable workspace environment (free of clutter and mess)
- By placing your phone on silent (and resisting the urge to check it)
- Keeping only essential browser tabs open (to stay focused).
As reported by Medium, we officially have an attention problem, but for you as a blogger, it’s about your priorities.
Because everybody on the planet has control over ‘how’ and ‘where’ they spend their time / attention.
Phase 3: Planning to Succeed
3.1 Set Your Realistic Posting Schedule & Stick to it
What’s it going to be for you?
And before you get ‘excited’ and decide on ‘daily posts’ or even ‘twice a week’, take 3 deep breaths and go back to setting your standards in (1.3).
Because there is no point ‘pumping out’ high quality posts (during your initial ‘excitement’ phase) and then low quality posts (all because your posting schedule is too hard to maintain).
Takeaway: When setting a ‘posting schedule’ it’s best to take a conservative approach as frequency can be increased but vice versa is not recommended. So don’t go for ‘daily’ posts, if you will only change it to ‘monthly’, because consistent action creates consistent results.
3.2 Prioritise Set Times to Work on Your Blog
And stick to these ‘times’ no matter what. Because routine creates excellence as it:
- Gives you a head start on the day (detailed here by The Excellence Edge)
- Builds positive daily routine (detailed here by Buffer)
- Creates your best self (detailed here by Goalcast).
So whether it be:
- Blocking out time in your work schedule
- Getting up 45 minutes earlier
- Using more of your lunch break
- Setting aside time on weekends
Just do it, because again, consistent action creates consistent results.
3.3 Do a Brainstorm to Come up with Blog Topic Ideas
Do this brainstorm at the ‘time of day’ when you are most creative. Never do the brainstorm when you a tired, stressed and worn out. You need killer ideas and even hundreds of them.
And do not worry if the initial list you create is not hundreds because it’s always work in progress.
So, at whatever ‘random’ time you come up with new ideas, be sure to add it to the list, and soon you will have hundreds.
Be ready to embrace any idea and never dismiss it. But sometimes a little:
- High level research (in Google) goes a long way because your readers interest in the topic = best results.
Phase 4: Master Creativity
4.1 Map Out Your Blog’s Content Calendar in Advance
Once you’ve done your ‘brainstorm’ and got a list of blog post ideas it’s time to start mapping out your content calendar.
Here, you can finalise your publishing schedule and by ‘writing’ it down it becomes a goal you’re more likely to stick to (more on that here).
Ensure you carefully plan:
- Sequencing (to flow logically / cover a broad range of topics)
- Deadlines (that commit you to bringing your ideas to life).
And ensure you’re being ‘realistic’ with your content calendar by incorporating flexibility. As you never know when a new blog post ‘idea’ might strike you that is a must to put on your calendar.
4.2 Keep All of Your Blog Post Ideas in One Place
Guaranteed to make your life easier. And having one ‘simple’ file is also sure to enhance your ‘creativity’ by allowing you to easily add to it:
There is nothing worse than having to ‘consolidate’ your ideas, so it’s a must to store all blog post ideas in one place.
4.3 Take Frequent Breaks
Never think that taking breaks is a waste of time. Because as CIPHR outlines here, taking regular breaks:
- Helps you process and retain information
- Improves big picture thinking
- Enhances creativity
- Helps you cultivate healthier habits
- Allows you to be more productive.
Breaks motivate you to continue working to achieve the best outcome. And as a rule of thumb try taking a break of 10 minutes for every 60 minutes of work.
And some ideas for breaks? Try:
- Getting up and having a good stretch
- Drinking some tea
- Eating a healthy snack
- Giving your pets some some affection
- Calling a friend for a quick chat.
Takeaway: The best ‘break ideas’ remove all ‘thoughts’ from blog writing to achieve relaxation, enjoyment, and rejuvenation. And this creates a ‘productive’ mind that is primed for best results.
Phase 5: Mastering Working Towards the Big Picture
5.1 Transform Your Thinking to the Big Picture
Although we do ‘sweat the small stuff’ as bloggers we must ensure ‘big picture’ thinking is engrained in our brains.
And for some? This is easy because they are already big picture thinkers.
But for others? More difficult as it’s not.
And if you’re not a big picture thinker now then these 5 great tips from Fast Company will help, but try:
- Learning to think more before taking action (crucial for focusing on the big picture)
- Talking more with your accountability partner (as they can keep you on track)
- Incorporating big picture thinking into your goals (to constantly align yourself with this thinking).
5.2 Identify High Value Tasks
And ‘high value tasks’ for a blogger are:
Because without these there is zero chance of anyone reading the complete blog post.
Takeaway: When you become a ‘master’ of these high value blogging tasks, the rest of the blog post becomes ‘easy.’ Because when you ‘blog consistently’, you will start to craft winning copy on auto pilot.
5.3 Break Down Your Task into Small Actionable Steps
Proven to work.
Because you will achieve your goals faster (as reported by Ladders).
How to do it is discussed here by Facile Things, but mastering this step makes the task feel more manageable (building your confidence for the next step).
And this leaves you feeling like you can conquer any challenge, no matter how big!
Phase 6: Master Productivity
6.1 Work Ahead
No matter how busy you are, ‘opportunity’ will present itself at some stage.
And this ‘opportunity’ will give you ‘enough’ time to create a ‘buffer’ for yourself, by crafting blog posts in advance.
The magic number? Any posts in advance is great but 3 posts in advance is a great number to stick to as this allows plenty of ‘flexibility’ for unexpected life events.
But whatever you do, don’t necessarily stop once you do ‘3 posts’ in advance.
Because although writers operate differently, a writer that finds their ‘groove’ can become unstoppable and produce many high-quality blog posts in line with:
- Blogging goals (discussed earlier)
- Standards (discussed earlier).
6.2 Use Templates
Templates ‘minimise’ the time it takes to craft a blog post and this means you can blog more consistently. And these templates can range from:
- Microsoft Word.
But ensure ‘ample time’ is spent setting these templates up as a poor template can decrease productivity.
Templates work in blogging because they follow the principle of not reinventing the wheel (for each blog post).
Because as Forbes states here, it is better to:
- Select an idea (that is already working), and
- Where the work has been done (for you).
6.3 Streamline Some Stuff
And we are talking about streamlining ‘your life.’ Because if you are:
- Running around all day cleaning
- Constantly attending to your pets
- Just out of control (in your life) generally
It will be impossible to ‘blog consistently.’ So (if this applies to you) take a deep breath and work towards creating a better routine for yourself.
And you can start with: This simple guide by MindValley
And then check out: 12 morning and evening routines by Zapier
Then (finally) go to this resource: How to make a daily routine to become your best self.
Takeaway: Be prepared to spend as much time on this ‘step’ as possible, because life is always the number 1 thing that gets in the way of blogging consistently.
Phase 7: Mastering the Art of Having Fun
7.1 Remember Why You are Doing This
We spoke about ‘understanding why you’re blogging in the first place’, back in phase 1, but it’s critical to reinforce this step.
Because dreams start big (and sometimes unrealistic) but sadly dreams get buried along the way (for many reasons).
To overcome this, it’s recommended that you:
- Read your goals (each day)
- Update your goals (each day if needed)
- Visualise your goals (each day).
Now, reading and updating goals is obvious. But ‘visualising’ them is critical to success.
In fact, according to Jack Canfield, visualisation techniques have been used by successful people to visualise desired outcomes for years.
And the easiest way to do this? Buy a vision board.
Because according to HuffPost they: Create a sacred space that displays what you want to bring it to life.
To get a better idea of vision boards here is: 300+ vision board samples ideas in 2020.
And Jack Canfield demonstrates: How to create an empowering vision board here.
7.2 Maintain Work / Life Balance in Your Schedule
Crucial because we work to live and not live to work.
Because although life is tough at times, overall, it’s meant to be:
And you cannot seamlessly transfer ‘fun’ into your work environment, if your life is:
So, ensure you maintain work / life balance to help blog ‘consistently’ and produce winning results.
Also here are: Great tips from the Mayo Clinic to reclaim work / life balance.
7.3 Celebrate Your Wins
There is zero point in having goals and achieving them if you cannot celebrate them.
Because as Heidi Medina states here, it helps with:
- Thinking positive
- Building momentum
- Attracting more success
- How you view the world.
So take ‘time out’ and celebrate your wins by:
- Playing with your kids in the park
- Going for a nice meal, or
- Whatever activity you choose.
As quoted by Anthony Robbins: “It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.”
Because when you blog ‘consistently’ it becomes a ‘enjoyable’ and ‘rewarding’ routine that leads to blogging success and the making of friends that can lead to even more success.
So go on, what you waiting for?
Make a start, rinse, repeat and begin blogging consistently today!
Over to You…
Do you agree with How to Blog Consistently: 7 Phases to Success? Or is there something missing, or you would like to add?? Would love to hear from you in the comments – any feedback is greatly appreciated.
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