The Art of Consistency: How to Blog like a BossMar 21, 2021
Let’s face it, blogging is tough, especially when you’re just starting out. First, you’re greeted by the unwelcoming and often intimidating world of SEO, with all of its fancy acronyms, jargon, and keyword kerfuffles.
Secondly, you’re left to navigate the likes of WordPress and other website builders to find a platform that you think will serve as a suitable candidate to deliver your message - and thus, the list goes on.
However, as any veteran blogger will tell you, all of this becomes second nature given enough time and experience.
There are two main challenges that will always persist:
- Keeping your content consistent
- Writing consistently
You see, we humans are creatures of habit, and you can either let that be something that holds you back, or you can let it work in your favour. Allow me to explain:
It’s important to understand that you are writing for an audience, and that audience has tendencies, preferences, and values that you need to get familiar with. Whether you’re a personal blogger or if you’re posting blogs as marketing lead for a multinational company, the point remains.
This means that you must take the time to understand who your audience is, what they enjoy, what they don’t, what their interests are, and most importantly, how to curate content that resonates with them effectively. At its core, blogging is a form of media (albeit an alternative one), which means that your audience expects some level of consistency from you.
Like with any other product somebody would consume, people want to have an idea of what they’re going to get, whether or not it’s relevant to them and their life, whether or not it provides them value, and WHEN and WHERE they can find it.
With that in mind, here are the three key areas you need to keep consistent if you want to blog like a boss.
Tips for keeping your content consistent
● Your voice
Establishing your voice will give you a serious advantage over your competitors. For one, it makes your blog more memorable due to its personality and flair. Secondly, a well-crafted voice fosters audience loyalty as people want to keep coming back to your blog. Why? Well, it’s unique, and they can’t get it anywhere else.
So what exactly is your voice? In simple terms, your voice is the tone in which you present your content. Are you friendly and informative, or are you more serious and frank with your delivery?
Would your blog benefit from an authoritative approach that delivers hard facts to its readers, or would a more opinionated voice with dashes of humour be more fitting? It all depends on how you are as a person, your writing style/skill, and what audience you want to attract and engage.
Whatever your decision, keep your voice consistent at all times. Even if you hire freelancers to write on your behalf, inform them of the style you want them to adopt, and then take the extra time to inject your personal flair into each post. It’s worth it.
If you really want to grow an audience, your blog should have an obvious topic and sit comfortably within a niche. Most beginner bloggers make the mistake of their blog being way too general. One day they write about travel tips for Barcelona; the next day it’s a post about the ten best dog breeds for people with allergies.
While both of these topics are great in isolation, they are almost totally irrelevant to each other, which means your audience won’t know what to expect from you in the future.
Here are some of the main benefits of narrowing your blog down to one niche:
- You gain more trust as an authority in your industry
- You become more knowledgeable in one area
- Your audience knows what to expect from you
- You can build a relationship with your blog readers
- You can build an email list that can be monetised
In general, people who consume media are drawn to the sources that post regularly. Whether it’s YouTube, TV, podcasting, or blogging, people enjoy a steady stream of fresh content that’s up-to-date and relevant.
Many of the most successful blogs have a posting schedule that they stick to almost religiously. However, there is no template for you to follow here.
The best frequency and timing of your posts all depends on several factors such as your goals (what do you want to achieve with each blog entry), whether you will be marketing on social media, and whether you promote organically or with paid ads.
To keep things simple, decide how many blogs you want to publish each month to hit your goals, and then create a system to upload your entries either once or twice per week.
For example, 16 posts per month could mean uploading four articles per week, two on a Monday, two on a Friday.
Tips for writing consistently
Now that you know what your audience expects of you, it’s time to finally put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and get writing. Anyone who’s attempted to write content for a living will tell you that it’s not exactly an easy job, especially in the long run.
Managing a blog is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s all about organisation and creating systems that will allow you to succeed in the long-term. This means effectively managing your time, avoiding procrastination, learning how to navigate writer’s block, and coping with pressure.
With that said, here are some tips to help you keep writing consistently regardless of the challenges you face:
Analysis paralysis - it’s a wicked affliction. You sit there for hours overthinking your blog posts, trying to manifest the perfect piece of content that will go viral and send your blog into stardom. Yet as time goes on, you start to doubt yourself in every area. You change the title, you alter the image, scrap one paragraph, and then another until you end up never posting the article because it becomes too stressful.
If you take away one thing from this article, make it this:
An imperfect blog post that gets published is infinitely more valuable than the “perfect” post that doesn’t.
Remember, perfectionism is not a good thing. If you feel like you have writer’s block, just carve out some time in your day and set yourself a really small target such as “write one line”, or “write the heading and subheadings for my next post.”
For most of us, the hardest part is starting, so once you get going and get that first sentence written, you will almost always find the motivation to carry on.
Give yourself permission to write a bad post - or pretend you’re writing to a friend about why your post is so hard to write.
Capture ideas when they come to mind.
Again, ideation is a tricky aspect for most blog owners. People spend many hours or even days mulling over titles for their posts using keyword research tools and endlessly performing google searches to suss out the competition.
While this is all well and good, it helps to be a bit more proactive with your approach. Write things down as they come to mind. Set up a note on your phone (or record a voice memo) and jot your thoughts down if you get a moment of inspiration.
If you’re really struggling with ideas, there are many wonderful tools out there that help you get the ball rolling, such as AnswerThePublic.
If you can’t write it, try talking it
The wealth of ai-based transcription tools around today means that you can talk your ideas through instead of typing them. Which is particularly useful if you’re from the 2-finger typing tribe. Do a 1-person Zoom and pretend you’re talking to your ideal reader.
You need to plan effectively. That means identifying and organizing all of the tasks that come with blog writing such as, writing, editing, researching, sourcing images, networking, guest posting, link building, and uploading your finished pieces.
The best way to do this is to schedule set times for each action - or at least segment them into suitable categories. This helps you keep your focus on the task at hand, so when you finally do come around to writing, you can produce your best content without any distractions.
Write down everything you want to accomplish in your day/week/month and figure out the best way to divide your time up efficiently to hit our targets. Then it’s just a matter of working through your list as pragmatically as possible.
Hire an editor
And last but not least, we have the bane of many a writer’s life - editing.
Our brains are wired so that we see what we expect to see - not what’s actually there. So your not “dumb” if your posts have typos or gramatical errors. Your neurobiology is against you when it comes to editing anything you write yourself.
Editing is usually the part of the process that causes people the most pain. It refers back to the analysis paralysis point we made earlier. Objectively critiquing your own writing and editing it to a publish-worthy standard is no easy task - and it's not something that your average spelling or grammar checker will fix.
Let’s be honest, some of us are just straight-up terrible at editing, which leads to uploading low-quality content that’s littered with grammatical errors. Others waste valuable time nitpicking over every detail when they could have written a completely new blog post instead.
To get around this, hire an editor to take a look at your blog and then get them to upload it to WordPress for you too. This takes away a huge part of the process and frees up a considerable proportion of your time - time you could spend writing another blog or networking with people in your industry.
Even though it will cost you money in the short term, it’s a fantastic way to increase your blog’s overall success and profitability, and it is an absolute necessity if you plan to scale your project. As the father of management Peter Drucker said;
“Do what you do best, and outsource the rest.”