I recently published my 555th blog post on 35hunter.
As a pure number, this feels like quite an achievement, and assuming a post is on average around 700 words, it adds up to well over 380000 words. Perhaps enough for four or five novels.
This doesn’t include comments I’ve written, which perhaps add up to the same again!
But day to day and week to week, it doesn’t feel like I write a vast amount.
This is a great example of how regular habits – doing a little, often – can build up to surprising volumes over time.
As you may know, I’m quite a fan of habits, and have written about the power of habits and momentum before.
It’s these habits that have allowed me to write what I have on 35hunter so far.
Here are what I consider the five core elements –
1. Write regularly.
These days with family and work commitments I don’t write a new post for 35hunter every day. But I do write on a pretty regular basis – more days than not, and in fairly similar timeslots.
I find it far easier to know ahead of time the writing sessions I’ve committed to, than waiting for everything else in my life to be up to date and finished, then deciding what to do with that free time. Which never arrives.
2. Use scheduling.
WordPress has a handy scheduling feature so you can set the time each post is published – rather than immediately when you’ve finished writing it. I use this extensively so I usually have three or four posts queued up and ready to publish at 48 hour intervals.
Using scheduling means even though I have fairly regular writing sessions each week, they aren’t as clockwork regular as every 48 hours, so it helps me even out these writing bursts to publish on a very steady basis.
3. Capture ideas when they arrive.
My draft posts list is currently around 160. It’s rare that I think of an idea or title for a new post, then sit down immediately and write the remaining 690 words to finish it. As I have my phone on my virtually all the time, I can use it to jot down the idea as a new draft post.
Then when I have my writing sessions, I have plenty of ideas to continue to develop sitting there in my drafts, rather than having to come up with something from scratch.
You will also find that the more ideas you capture, the more ideas it generates. In nearly five years of this blog, I can’t recall being short of something to write about, because I’ve also saved ideas as draft posts.
Here are a few blog post ideas if you’re struggling yourself.
4. Encourage conversation.
Your blog might be purely a platform for your own thoughts and opinions. For me, it’s been fundamental from the start that I wanted 35hunter to be a place for conversation and discussion around the topics that interest me, which of course requires the input of others.
To stimulate these conversations I do two simple things.
First, I ask questions – related to each post I write, so people don’t just read, think “great post” (or “I completely disagree, what tosh!”) and their interaction stops cold there.
Second, I respond, as best I can, to every comment.
I don’t understand some blogs where the comments are enabled and many readers leave their thoughts and ideas, but the author doesn’t respond. I just think it’s arrogant and rude. Why bother having comments if you’re not going to reply?
These two actions keep the conversations flowing after the blog post has been published – and often the discussions in the comments section are more valuable to those reading (me included!) than the original post.
5. Give value.
I understand that the original function of a blog was purely as an online platform for one to share their thoughts, ideas, rants and so on, like a diary in a different format.
But if you have any intention of sharing it with others, and inviting conversation, you need to write in a way that encourages this engagement.
I feel a sound approach is writing about your own experiences, with the intention that others might take something useful or interesting from them.
If your blog is purely about ranting or complaining, and/or just isn’t very interesting, it’s unlikely people will hang around to read, let alone comment.
I hope you find these tips on blogging regularly helpful.
Whether you’ve been reading 35hunter for 5, 55 or 555 posts, thank you for the time you spend here – it matters!
How about you? What keeps you blogging regularly? What do you like best about the blogs you follow that post on a consistent basis?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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