Habits Are Not Just for Nuns

In the last post, I shared some tools I use to help me generate blog posts. This time, we’re going to discuss techniques and habits you may want to consider to help you create blog posts on a regular basis.

Many people are concerned that they won’t be able to think of anything to write about. One technique is invaluable in alleviating this concern. Keep a notebook with a page of topics. Every time something comes up with a client that you think might be useful to others, write it down. When you see an article, blog post, or content on a website that triggers an idea, write it down.

List for Blog Post IdeasAs you start doing this regularly, you’ll find that you begin seeing potential topics everywhere. Once you’re mindful of capturing ideas for posts, you’ll end up with enough to write about for months in advance. When you’re ready to write, just pick a topic and go!

The next issue is about when to write your blog posts. There are several possible habits you can develop here and I’ve seen people use each of them successfully. First, pick a day (or days) of the week and do a blog post every week on that day. I have a few clients who are very disciplined about this. One writes a post every Sunday to be published and emailed to her list Monday morning.

Another option is to create an editorial calendar – that is, plan out your posts for several months and up to a year in advance. Then pick one or more days once a month or quarter, and just sit and write blog posts. For example, you could plan posts out for three months and once a quarter reserve three days to write and edit all the blog posts for that quarter. Once you post them in your blog with the correct future publish dates, you’re all set until the next quarter.

The method I use is a little more ad hoc, but it can work as long as you stay somewhat disciplined. Whenever I get inspired or have some time on my hands, I sit down with a list of general categories for blog posts, see what ideas come up, and start writing. Once I get in the “writing groove”, I can blast out two to four posts in a couple of hours.

This technique is particularly useful if you find yourself with some time on your hands and no internet connection. You can just open your text editor and go.

The danger with this last technique is that you won’t get the time or inspiration frequently enough to post as often as you wish, so a certain amount of awareness of your timeline and how many posts are currently scheduled is necessary so you publish consistently.

Woman typing on computerWhen you actually sit down to write a blog post, there are also techniques to help you structure it. Some people are able to just start writing and when they finish, their post is ready to go or just needs a little polishing. Most of us, though, need to think a bit more about our little article before we start writing.

A technique I learned in high school English class works well for me. (Wouldn’t those teachers be amazed!) When we learned to write essays, we were taught they should be comprised of an introduction, three to five points, and a conclusion. And that’s how I construct my blog posts. One difference, though, is that in high school, each point would be one paragraph. It’s important to have short paragraphs with a lot of white space with online content, so I often divide one point into multiple paragraphs.

I’m able to design the structure in my head and then write it. If that’s tough for you, go ahead and write down an outline containing at least your three to five points. It also can be helpful to wait until the rest of the article is done to write your introductory paragraph and the title. By then, you should have a good idea what your post is about. 😉

I hope you’ve discovered the tools and techniques you need to post to your blog regularly. Comment and share your experiences. What works for you? What doesn’t?