What probably brought you to the post was something like “how often should I post?”.
I mean really … how often should we post?
Some say you should publish a post every day while others are telling you to do one big piece at leisure. There’s also how long the content should be and what time it should go out.
To hell with that!
I think it should be simple: when you have something good to say.
This means you’re ready to hit publish when the work feels right. You’re not rushing it but you’re also not taking forever and leaving your followers dry.
What I will say is to write every day.
This creates a routine — spurs creativity — and just gives you a ton of content when doing your online business projects. A lot of those pieces will end up in the trash… but a few get published.
You’re thinking “Blahhh, I can barely keep up as is!” and yeah, I feel ya.
It’s not too hard, though, once you get into the groove…
This isn’t about blog post ideas (but we will touch on it for a second)
I’ve already covered blog post ideas:
… and a whole lot of others.
This post isn’t about the ideas – it’s about writing consistently.
You know, getting it done.
This seems to be the biggest challenge (outside of building the site) that site owners have. They come up with a ton of ideas and dump it in a spreadsheet. They sit down to write but nothing comes out. It’s not that they don’t know what to write – it’s that they just have trouble putting words on the screen.
It’s also the commitment.
Sitting down for an hour, two, maybe several, to create a blog post doesn’t sound too thrilling when there are so many other things you could work on with the site and business.
You could use writing services but what if you’re keeping it lean (or just broke)?
You force yourself to write a couple posts, get ‘em scheduled, and it buys you some time…
Before long you have readers wanting more.
Failing to post frequently gets the traffic slipping which creates this snowball effect where you no longer care about the online project. Whomp Whomp.
Alright, so, where was I?
Oh yeah, writing consistently – let’s look at some of the methods that work.
Batching outlines to speed it up and the Pomodoro technique to keep it consistent
These two items have helped me the most when it comes to consistent writing (as in daily).
- Batching – Helps with creating multiple projects based on replicable items
- Pomodoro – Helps with keeping me focused on each of these specific items
Confused? Don’t be, it’s easy.
It goes like this — I:
- Create a list of ideas for topics I want to write about
- Open multiple instances of Word or Google Docs
- Write the basic structure of the article with headers and sub-headings
- Write the introductions for each
Then I wait.
I do this using the 25min on / 5min off flow of the Pomodoro technique (using an app). The limited time forces me to get as much done before the timer goes off. The 5-minute downtime lets me cool off, but it generally has me wanting to get right back in.
Why does it work?
It lets me open each doc and have a working prompt.
I have the basic outline, so I can start right in on the sections that grab my interest vs trying to fill it in from top-to-bottom (see “bouncing” below). It also gives me something to work with – sets a tone – by having the intro which lets the rest just flow into place.
So… I may not get the writing done in one go but it does get done.
Blog “bouncing” so you’re never bored with a topic
My favorite method to write consistently is by always having a couple of draft posts ready for when I get a spark of creativity for that topic.
I purposely stop myself from completing a post for the sake of “bouncing” around.
For example – at any given time I may have a post about:
- Search engine optimization
- User experience
- Affiliate marketing
- Website development
- Motivation & productivity
These usually follow the same route as I do with outlining the content. The difference is that I’ll finish small sections and then move to the next.
Why does it work?
Our minds tend to wander. A fresh prompt gets us excited. Staying on a topic too long eventually gets boring. But… if you “bounce” around – you’re always riding that hype wave.
You come back to the piece with fresh ideas and passion for the topic.
Then… you stop. Quit. Close out.
You purposely restrict yourself so there’s this urge to complete the work. You end up with multiple posts getting completed before long by doing a little of each when the motivation is right.
Free flow writing — data dumping your ideas just to get it on the screen
I remember getting into an argument with an English major about the “right” and “wrong” of writing.
I’m first to admit my writing tends to bounce around.
I’m not too concerned with the grammar – and that’s what ticked them off.
Forget that noise.
Everyone should do a bit of free flow writing if they want to write consistently.
It lets your mind wander and trains your hands to keep up with the ideas. You pour yourself into the words and topic. It’s like freestyling. A lot of times its nonsense and other times its gold.
The point is: get the words down.
You can always edit after.
If you’re stopping mid-sentence to fix your grammar and structure, then you’re sabotaging your ideas. They’re fleeting – there they go. Now you’re having trouble getting back into “the mode”. You get frustrated and so nothing comes of it.
Here’s what I’d do:
- Pick an idea
- Start writing short blurbs – anything that comes to mind
- Fill out the sections that truly interest you
- Sit, wait, let it stew
- Come back to highlight the parts that matter/make sense
- Start freestyle writing again – but expanding on those ideas
Edit after it’s all done (use writing tool to make it easier).
Why do I like this method of writing consistently?
Because it adds personality.
You’re writing how you’d talk with your best friend. Them, sitting across from you, listening intently. You’re keeping their attention because we all tend to talk in circles. We bounce around before coming to our point. A point that – hopefully – gives your reader action.
Habit and grind (because how else will it get done?)
Google AMP pulled good data from WriteToDone’s post on creating consistency in writing by forming habits. It’s definitely a good read – see here – if you want something that goes into all that.
I’d like to do a different take.
More of a lazy way of habit and grind.
I’ve always been a fan of the chain productivity method.
The chain method works in that you have a few, set items you want to complete each day. You link them like a chain and the point is to not break the chain.
It has weird psychological effects.
The further you go – the more you commit because you don’t want to ruin the days, weeks, months, even years of writing consistency you’ve accomplished.
Yeah, sometimes it means you’ll create crap just to make sure you hit your mark… but hey, you’re writing and that’s better than nothing.
How do I do it?
- I keep a weekly planner that has all my writing for the week listed out
- Next to each of the writing tasks I place a small square
- Each day I make it a point to fill in the squares
Instead of being like “I’m going to sit down and write for 1 hour at 5PM each day” it becomes “I’ll do three articles a day (except for weekends)”. You find the time when you work this way whether it’s during your lunch hour or doing writing instead of watching some TV.
There’s one other aspect I’ve added to the chain method:
- Squares = must do’s
- Circles = good to do
- Triangles = if I want
Obviously, this kills some of the chain method (when you’re not counting the squares) but I tend to get the others done since I’m seeing the day fill in. It’s a little motivational boost that turns my consistent writing into something that builds a routine in doing chores, errands, or whatever.
Try it out.
Collab with people to make it easier + you can make writing buddies
Get others to collaborate with content when you’re having trouble with your writing consistency.
Is that cheating?
Your readers aren’t turning away because someone else stepped in to write a section through ghostwriting. Or if you worked with a couple people to compile a post. If it’s good, it’s good.
Fiverr is good for this.
With Fiverr, you can pay someone as little as 5 bucks to write a basic post. The quality probably won’t be too great (though there are always exceptions). The point, though, is you now have something to work off. You’re now an editor that’s adding to the piece vs writing it from scratch.
Another good way is by putting it out there on social:
- Hey, anyone wants to help me with a writing project?
- Could I get a quote from you about XYZ?
People love being included in projects especially if you’re a niche authority. It lets them get in with your good graces and exposed to your community. What’s there to lose? It goes both ways – you gain access to their followers.
The other being blurbs you could toss in through the post.
You could embed a tweet or copy their response from an email.
This works wonders if you’re having trouble with a topic. Pass it off to an expert that explains it better than your jumbled mess of disconnected thoughts.
I’m sure you’ll find your groove
Everyone’s different when it comes to content creation.
This post for example? Pushing over 1,700+ words and it’s taken less than an hour.
It’s a post that’s been on my mind all day, so each section was already there. A couple hours ago I did the outline. I bounced between the subjects while I took mini breaks. Then, I’ll mark it off my list, so I can feel that little boost of motivation from hitting my goals.
You’ll find your groove – you’ll write consistently if you’re trying.
Go on and put one of these methods in effect.
See what works.
You’d be surprised how naturally it comes once you get into the groove. You’ll fill out that content calendar and keep the community happy. Each of those posts grows your site and following. It builds on itself – and that’s awesome to see especially when it feels like writing consistently is a grind.