August 7, 2014

5 Thoughts & Tips on Blog Planning


Consistent blogging is hinged on well-thought out planning. On occasion, when I do get asked a blog management question, 90% of the time it's, "How do you keep coming up with continuous content?" While there's a lot I don't do on this blog that the professionals would say I should, I have been blogging on a consistent basis (2-3 times a week) since I started nearly seven years ago with only a couple of blog breaks. Here's what I know works well for me when I write...

Tip #1: Pre-Write Posts in Batches. This is the life-saver tip for me. Once I'm on a roll, it's best to keep that ball going. I can't make myself sit and type individual posts for each day, but I can sit down for an afternoon and crank out three to four (usually on similar topics) posts to use throughout the months ahead. Writing in batches also helps to build in that "brain break" naturally into your blogging rhythm. And in seasons that are crazy busy? I'm still covered because I've worked ahead.

Tip #2: Go Crazy with Brainstorming. Get ideas at the most inopportune times? Write them down anywhere you can. I have whole document on my computer to catch those ideas, phrases, words, sentences, and paragraphs when they come. When I go to type later an actual post I'll go through the document to see if there's anything I use. Sometimes I don't end up using those ideas until months later. It cuts back on writing time generally, and often springboards more ideas and writing later on. I also have made a small large investment in sticky notes.

Tip #3: When it Comes to Series... pre-write the bulk of them in advanced. Plan them out over the course of the month/week as they flow best. Again, this is something I'm a bit more familiar with, and since I do faith related series, I find that doing the research beforehand in advanced is best as well. I usually plan these series three-four months in advanced, then get my hands on books and other material to study on that same topic. For instance, the Deeper Still series from this past January/February--I started planning and writing that out last year in September. This isn't the right way to go about series, just the way I've found works better for my topics. One more thing: When asking others to participate in a blog series or project, be sure to contact them in advance. It's harder for others to jump on board with your plan and idea if you don't give them adequate prep time themselves.

Tip #4: Know the High Traffic Days/Time. After you've got some momentum with your blog you can start to look at its stats to see when (times and specific days of the week) people are reading your blog the most. Make a point to have new material posted on those days and times. For example, Monday-Wednesday are my highest traffic days, while Friday is the worst; I seem to get a wave of readers mid-morning and then another wave in the late afternoons.

Tip #5: Intentionally Live Inspired. For some, the creative process looks a lot like waiting until inspiration hits, or they're like a work-horse; they just keep producing, and then on occasion, something fantastic is birthed from that. I lean a bit more towards the latter; I assign myself a certain number of hours to my blog as if I were turning up for a job. Inspiration shouldn't be hard to come by if I'm doing my best to surround myself with the things that naturally stir that in me. I love how Shauna Niequist put it in a recent interview:
I believe that it's my job to live in such a way that inspiration is avaliable to me every time I sit down and open my laptop... because I don't have the luxery of waiting for it to strike like a lightening bolt... so it's my job to live in such a way that I'm collecting inspiration all the time, so that when I sit down at my laptop it's go time. And it's my job to show up for that time like I'm keeping a dentist appointment. I would never make lunch plans with a friend and then not feel like showing up; it's the same thing when I sit down to write and don't feel like doing it... if I had to wait till I felt inspired... I would never produce a thing.

2 comments :

  1. These are great tips! I really admire how intentional your blogging is. It really shows, too! I really admire that you prepare so far in advance. Sure, it may partly be the teacher in you, but it is very wise and deliberate in making your blog a place where others can come to learn and grow.

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