Pro tips for blogging success!
Summer is over (at least in my neck of the woods), which means back to school…and in my case, back to trying to blog more.
I don’t miss much about school, but I do miss the ritual of new school supplies. I was the sort of nerd who loved shopping for new notebooks and binders, covering my books (is that still a thing?), and developing new organizational strategies every year.
In that vein, here are a few tips for how to organize and support your blogging efforts for maximum efficiency. Think of it as your back-to-blogging prep list.
Create an Editorial Calendar
The best way to maintain a regular blogging habit is to come up with a plan and stick to it. Creating an editorial calendar is a great way to commit yourself to regular content for the next however many months. Plus, it’s a lot easier to sit down and write if you already know that you need to post, say, a photo challenge on the second Monday of November, then if you just know you really ought to post something sometime.
An editorial calendar also helps you establish regular features — for example, maybe you post a recipe every Tuesday and a DIY craft project every Thursday. This takes some of the guesswork out of what to post, and it also gives your readers an idea of what to expect.
And if you’re in the zone on a snowy Sunday and knock out five or six upcoming posts, you can schedule them according to your planned calendar, and they’ll post themselves when it’s time.
Use an App
Ideally, every time we sit down to write, we’re seated in a well-appointed library overlooking the beach of a private island, in complete silence, a steaming cup of perfectly brewed coffee near at hand.
In reality, though, if we waited until our surroundings were ideal to sit down and write, we’d be waiting a long, long time.
Phones and tablets make it easy to blog from wherever you are, whether that’s on your commute, at your kid’s music lesson, or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. With the WordPress mobile app, you can blog on your mobile device anywhere. This frees you up from the ‘must be at my desk to write’ mindset, and you might find it also extends your creativity in new ways.
For example, maybe you typically write long, thoughtful posts, but you notice a funny sign or an interesting painting while you’re out and about, so you snap a photo and dash off a few lines about it right there. If you look for inspiration wherever you go, you’ll notice your surroundings more, and honing your observational skills will enrich your writing overall. Plus, you’re less likely to forget about an idea if you jot down a few lines about it when it first strikes you.
If you’ve never tried out the mobile app, download it at home and get familiar with it. Then, next time you’re not at your desk when the muse arrives, you don’t have to tell her to wait.
When it comes to expert blogging, writing is only half the work. For traffic building, it’s just as important to read and comment on other blogs (and just as hard to get around to). To make it easier on yourself, build reading and commenting time into your editorial calendar.
Then, try following some very specific relevant Topics in the reader. For example, if you blog a lot about speculative fiction, you could follow books or scifi to find other bloggers with your interests, but you’ll probably get more bang for your buck if you follow more precise tags, like speculative fiction, alternate history, or dystopia.
By doing this, you’re essentially creating an ongoing reading list for yourself, so that when you have the time and inclination, you don’t have to hunt around for what to read. And remember — you can easily use your Reader in the mobile app, so the next time you’re stuck at the DMV but don’t have the energy to write, fire up your WordPress app and start reading! If you find a post you like, you can like it, comment on it, and follow the blog, all from the app.
I hope these tips will kickstart your fall blogging productivity. If I missed a good one, share it with us in the comments!