I get a lot out of inspiring people through my art and love to help other artists by sharing and teaching what I know.
I’ve been blogging pretty consistently since last summer. A friend asked me for some tips on blogging the other day and thought some of you might also be interested in knowing what works for me.
I actually first started blogging in January of 2014. That’s when I started taking my art a little more seriously, and everyone was talking about how you needed to blog to make your business more successful. So I said, why not??
I didn’t have a clear goal for my business or blog back then and just shared things I thought people might enjoy.
Then I started my 365 Day Happiness Is drawing project in April of 2014 so that became the focus of my blog for a year.
Though I was posting my art every day, my blog was just another social media platform for me to share my art on, so I wouldn’t count that as “blogging consistently.” There was hardly any writing involved.
After I completed the year-long drawing project, I knew my next goal was to write more consistently. You might wonder why visual artists might need to write, but I knew I could build a deeper relationship with my audience if I shared my writing more. I also wanted to help other artists with more practical things, and writing would be a good way to do that.
I’ve written a blog post about why I want to write more here if you’re interested! (<– You can reference your own materials when you’ve written a bunch of contents, which is also pretty nice.)
So here are my 6 tips on how to blog consistently:
1. Have a bunch of posts in queue before you start publishing
I have to say this is the best blogging advice I received and follow to this day. So many people want to publish consistently and have the intention of doing so yet have a hard time keeping up.
Why not have a bunch of posts ready to go before you start publishing them? It helps with the consistency and creates a buffer for when you need it (e.g. you get sick, other life events etc.)
It may be hard to fight the instant gratification of finishing something and sharing it right away, but it’s worth it. I like the feeling of not being on a deadline all the time!
When I was publishing my blog article once a week, I had about a month worth of posts (4-5) ready to go. I still have the same number of articles in queue, but since I post more often now, I would like to build up more reserves when I have time. My goal is to have solid 2 weeks in a queue at any given time.
2. Determine the “why” for your blog
Just like having a clear goal for any other creative practice, it’s important for you to clarify your purpose, i.e. your “why,” for writing.
What do you want to accomplish by sharing your writing on the internet? What value is your blog going to provide for your audience? Is it going to help someone? Is it to help yourself? Is it to document your progress with your goals? Is it to share your life with your friends and family?
And when I say value, I’m not just talking about helping people make money. It could be something to make people laugh or cry, stay healthy, find solutions to what they’re struggling with, help them cook a healthy meal for their family, entertain them with your stories, amaze people with your creations, or inspire them to create a fulfilling life for themselves.
You want to find the “thing” for you. And don’t worry about creating something new that’s not already out there…because…it probably is out there already! That’s not the most important point. The important thing is recognizing you have a unique voice and perspectives on things that only you can deliver for your audience.
Having a clear goal and direction for your blog will help you focus on what to write and makes it easier for your audience to find and connect with your contents.
3. Try to write in your authentic voice
When you’re writing to reach people and connect with them on an emotional level, you want your authentic self to show up and not the formal, grammatically correct self (unless that’s your brand personality!)
This is something I struggled with a lot in the beginning and still do especially as an English-as-a-second-language writer. Because I learned proper way to write textbook English growing up, rather than learning it naturally in everyday life, I have a hard time breaking the rules and knowing what’s acceptable and what’s not.
But I wanted my audience to get to know me through my writing, and I want my writing to be friendly, warm, and approachable. I want my readers to have a consistent experience whether they’re reading my blog or looking at my art.
In order to accomplish that, I follow these tips:
- Write the way you speak. You still want to be careful not to be too disruptive with informal grammar or typos, but you want your writing to sound natural when you read it out loud. If you read your sentence out loud, and you’re tempted to say it differently, you might want to consider changing it.
- Imagine you’re speaking/writing to someone you know. I pretend I’m talking to a couple of my close friends when I write. It helps my writing to be more personable.
- I loved Laura Belgray’s 5 Secrets to Writing Non-Sucky Copy! It’s hilarious and helpful.
4. Publish your posts on a consistent schedule
If you want to grow your audience through your blog, publishing on a consistent schedule will help. You want your audience to look forward to seeing your contents and make your blog part of their routine.
When I set my goal to publish a blog once a week, I decided I’d publish every Sunday morning at 7am. There are many statistics out there about when you get a higher engagement for your blog etc. I didn’t really worry about the stats, though, and chose the day/time based on the fact that people tend to have more time to read on weekends.
Earlier this year, I increased my goal to 3 times a week so I can share more about my art and processes on top of my self-help-y contents. I thought publishing on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays would be a good schedule for me.
I wanted to avoid Mondays because it’s a busy day for most people going back to work etc. and your inbox tends to get flooded with emails that come in during the weekend. So Tuesday or Wednesday seemed like a better option. And by Friday, you’re ready to transition from work mode to a weekend mode, so you’re more likely to consume contents for fun and inspirations.
At least that’s how I ended up choosing those 3 days for my blog. I must say these are not scientific facts… 😀
Even if you don’t officially announce your schedule to your audience, having a consistent publishing schedule helps with your own accountability.
And if you do let your audience know and stick to it, they will learn to expect your contents on certain days of the week. For this reason, I would recommend publishing your blog at least once a week. It’s just easier for your audience to track.
5. Schedule time to write consistently
In order for me to stay ahead, I schedule time to write daily. Especially since I increased the frequency of my posts, I’d run out of my reserves if I become lax about it!
On my typical work day, writing is usually the first thing I do in the morning. Your brain is clear of information clutter and I can focus a lot better in the morning. I usually write 1.5-2 hours per day.
I know some people batch their writing, like for example, you can designate every Wednesday as a writing day, and you take care of all your blog writing that day.
I haven’t tried that method yet as that seems a bit much to me. Like making art, I like to write in stages and parts, then leave and come back the next day to add/edit. It helps me to look at my writing with fresh eyes, and I stay more productive that way.
6. Just start writing
If you’re wondering what you should write or if you’re a good writer or worried about what people might think of your writing, just start writing something. Anything.
Oftentimes, you don’t know what you should or can write about until you actually start. And the blank page cant be very intimidating!
Like many things in life, starting is the hardest part. Just start writing about anything, like what you ate this morning and how you prepared it. Or how you’re struggling to start writing and how you’re feeling as you write.
Remember you don’t have to share everything you write! Write for yourself. Start journaling about what you do. And the more you do it, the easier it gets. You will start seeing some themes emerge and you’ll find your voice.
And, if you need ideas and inspirations for a blog post, you can get a list of 62 potential blog topic ideas in this Seanwes podcast episode! It’s totally saving my life as we speak!!
Writing never used to be something I enjoyed. I avoided it for a long time because I wasn’t comfortable. Now it’s part of my everyday creative practice, and I get a lot of satisfaction from it. Who knew??
I’m gonna share my writing workflow and tools I use on my next blog post! Stay tuned 🙂