5 Smart Ways to Keep Your Content Consistent

If I were really smart, here’s how I’d approach the upcoming Ultimate Blog Challenge and blogging more consistently in general.

1.  Set clear goals and know what my definition of “blogging success” is.

Why are you blogging?  Do you want to generate more traffic?  Find your writing “groove”?  Prove to yourself you can do it?  Create content for an ebook/print book/special report?

Define your goal so you can measure your success and stay motivated.  Many business bloggers give up because they aren’t seeing results–or they don’t think they are because they’re not sure what to measure or how blogging plays into their bigger business and marketing plans.

2.  Brainstorm post ideas now that support my goals.

If my goal is to generate more traffic then I’d look to write the kind of posts that do that.  I’d be planning to really focus in on my headline writing (great headlines = clicks from social media).

If my goal is to create content I can use in an ebook then I’d start by creating an outline of my ebook so I can break it down into small chunks that I can write about a 300-800 word post at a time.

Success may be 31 posts and completing the Ultimate Blog Challenge, but it could also be another goal that you can meet even if you don’t hit 31, or in addition to hitting 31.

3.  Create a blogging calendar to get organized.

Organization is key to success!  I’d print out a month view calendar that I could scribble topics on and plan out my content for the month so I know which days I’m blogging about what.  I might change the plan as I go, but having a plan makes it MUCH easier to get to the goal.

4.  Write at least a few posts in advance, and block out time to write the rest.

If I start now, and save a few posts as drafts or get a couple of posts scheduled, I’ll have a great jumpstart!

Blocking out the time I’ll need on my calendar is important, too.  If I want to write more in July than I did in June, I need to make sure I’ve got the time scheduled.

5.  Put a “fall back” plan in place.

Life happens.  Plan now for the days when things get crazy.

  • Get in touch with a few bloggers who you’d love to feature and invite them to guest post.  Get their guest posts loaded into your blog and ready to publish.
  • Think about a colleague you could interview and write up questions, then send over with an “oh pleeeeease can I interview you for my blog?” email.
  • Browse YouTube or Ted Talks for a couple of videos and  bookmark them or add them as post drafts.

And with those steps done, I’d be ready to go!  Might even have more time to really interact and get to know the other bloggers in the challenge.

Now the question is… I know what to do… how smart am I going to be in my approach to the Challenge this time around?

How about you?  What “smart” steps do you take to help you stay consistent in blogging or complete a blogging challenge?  Do any of the above strategies work for you?  Anything you haven’t tried yet but will?

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64 Comments

  1. Hi Michele –

    After completing the Challenge a few times already (with different sites), this post was a wack on the side of the head! Great ideas to do just a bit of pre-planning! I can see how this will make the Challenge a whole lot easier!

    Thanks for the tips!

    Be Well.
    Paul.
    Paul B. Taubman, II recently posted… WordPress Backups: Yes, You Need To….My Profile

    1. A little bit of advance planning can make it SO much easier to complete. Usually I do plan ahead. Last challenge I didn’t, and it was a real challenge for me! LOL
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Smart Ways to Keep Your Content ConsistentMy Profile

  2. Cool tips Michelle!

    I’ve learned a ton from the last UBC, and the big takeaway for me was focusing on a specific goal for the month. Together with a calendar, I was able to complete the challenge, and manage to create a product out of it.

    Hadn’t thought about the fall back plan. Good idea.

    Dee
    Dee Ankary recently posted… Kindle Publishing: Writing The Sales LetterMy Profile

    1. That’s awesome, Dee! What product did you create? Would love to chat about featuring you in a post showing how that can be done if you’re up for it sometime. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Are You Ready? The Blog Challenge is BACK!My Profile

  3. thanks MIchelle, thats helped incredibly focus me, much appreciated!
    susi recently posted… Damn that ice creamMy Profile

    1. You’re welcome, Susi. Glad it helped.

  4. Oh, these are so helpful. I’ve completed the Blog Challenge two other times. Each time, I had no outline of topics. Well, this has made me stop to plan out my posts for next month’s. I also keep a page in my ARC notebook of topics as they occur to me (oh, yes, I’m old school, pen and paper girl, right-brained musician, with project planning stuff). Sometimes, inspiration hits though and I keep a notebook in my purse as I do errands or post it note pad by as a I workout to write down ideas. Having goals and intentions are so key. Thanks for sharing. Very helpful.
    Lisa recently posted… Your Answers Questioned (A Different Type of FAQ)My Profile

    1. Keeping a notebook to jot down ideas as they hit is such a great strategy. I love that you use paper & pen. I think it connects differently in our brains when we write as opposed to type.

    2. Maybe it’s a Lisa thing but I am paper and pen too! It helps with my ideas too. I also keep a recorder or use the one on my phone/
      Lisa recently posted… Your Husbands’ FriendsMy Profile

      1. LOL Maybe that’s it!
        Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Smart Ways to Keep Your Content ConsistentMy Profile

  5. My problem is I always want to post everything RIGHT NOW. I’m getting better – in fact, I think I had a post come up this morning, but I haven’t checked yet. I’m pretty sure I’ve been setting them for Mon/Wed/Fri. Then I saw a news story this morning and outlined a killer post, but I want to post that right away so “it’s relevant.”

    It used to be that I felt like I didn’t have anything to write about. Now after participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge, I see posts EVERYWHERE! And since I can write them so quickly now (also thanks to UBC), I’m in over-sharing mode. I have found myself in a new conundrum on the totally opposite side of where I started. Thanks a lot!
    :-)
    Michelle Mahoney recently posted… Want to Kill Your Business? Use These 5 WordsMy Profile

    1. Ha ha! What a great problem to have! :)

      I find that my drafts and scheduled posts get moved around a lot to make room for something that feels inspired or current. I’ve got some more evergreen ones that eventually will make it onto my blog but they get tossed aside if I come up with something I want to share right away. Nice to know the others are there when I need them though.

  6. Thanks for the great advice. I’m hopeful to do the challenge this time and this will help.
    Bonnie Anderson recently posted… Something to Crow AboutMy Profile

    1. Hey Bonnie, glad you’re jumping in for the challenge! A little advance prep definitely makes it easier.

  7. 5 great tips that I really need to print off and plaster in every room of my apartment so I don’t forget them. :)

    The only other tip I have is DO NOT stress yourself out with complicated, long posts every time you sit down to write. A long post might be fine every once in a while, but if you do them all the time then you will quickly burn out and people in general do not want to read something that goes over 500 words.

    I had a blog that I burned out on in a week because every post required a lot of detail and research. Every post was well over 1,000 words. If you want to be consistent and capture people’s attention, I don’t suggest writing those types of posts until you’re established. :p
    Angie Schaffer recently posted… Is America the Greatest Country On Earth?My Profile

    1. Such a great thought, Angie. 1,000 words every day is too long for most situations. I rarely have a post that long. Practice writing short! :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Smart Ways to Keep Your Content ConsistentMy Profile

  8. The tools I have used is the calendar, the scheduler in WP & a calendar in WP. I like to see what I have written when I will put it on the blog and to make sure WP scheduler worked.
    shawn recently posted… ForgivenessMy Profile

    1. I love my calendar, too, Shawn. It makes it easier to stay organized.

      Good reminder — it’s important to check up on the scheduled posts and make sure they go live when they should.

  9. No matter how I plan my blogs on a calendar, or otherwise, I often change my mind before I publish. So your tip#4, where I create drafts as ideas show up, works best for me.

    The reason I reorder my drafts is when news or time-sensitive stories pop up that need to go out before the evergreen ones that can wait. I just did that this morning when I saw a story about a 13-year-old who invented a clever cure for hiccups.

    This means that I have loads of half-written stories waiting to be finished.

    Thanks for these tips Michelle.
    Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D. recently posted… Something Bothering You? Maybe You Can Create the SolutionMy Profile

    1. Me, too. My drafts are full of half-written posts… LOL Someday they’ll be right to finish and publish. :)

      Now I’ve got to go find that post — a cure for hiccups!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… The Easy Way to Create Your Own InfographicsMy Profile

  10. These are awesome tips, Michelle! Strategizing my plan of action this weekend and have a boatload of ideas. I just started recently drafting post ideas — only because I have been using my phone a lot lately

    1. Action plans are awesome. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… The Easy Way to Create Your Own InfographicsMy Profile

  11. Thanks so much Michelle…. sharpening pencils & devising some themes & strategies!!
    Definitely looking forward to coming up with some great content :)
    Paula

    1. Woohoo, go Paula!

      I love sharpened pencils – always reminds me of the line in “You’ve Got Mail” – bouquets of sharpened pencils. Great movie. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Smart Ways to Keep Your Content ConsistentMy Profile

  12. Setting your goals about blogging is really important, It not only motivates you to keep working but also excites you whenever you see little success.
    Aasma recently posted… SEO & Internet Marketing Training in Delhi | Rancor InfotechMy Profile

    1. It’s so important to celebrate those little successes.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Smart Ways to Keep Your Content ConsistentMy Profile

  13. Michelle,
    What a great day when I have scroll so far down to comment on your posts!
    This one was timely for me. The calendar was a hit in my mind. The red light if you will. Now I can make some sense of time to write my book and my posts.

    I feel the same as so many others who follow you. I am glad you know us and provide the best tips and resources to help.

    Thanks
    Lisa recently posted… Your Husbands’ FriendsMy Profile

    1. Hey Lisa, I’m glad that was helpful. :) A calendar makes blogging SO much easier for me.

  14. Consistency is very important in writing. No one likes to read a blog that is not well written. That is why it is important to have goals and set aside time for writing. Without time specifically allotted for writing, this allows for inconsistency and distractions to take the lead.

    1. I’ve found the same thing — if I don’t block out that time, I start to get inconsistent. Focused time to write works.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 7 Reasons You Aren’t Feeling Creative (And How to Fix It Quick)My Profile

  15. This will be my first time in the challenge and I appreciate the community and the tips! I usually include custom visuals in my blogs so I’ve been creating lots of icons, visuals and doodles and brainstorming ideas…and revisiting the value things my tribe loves to hear.

    Thanks again for the pre planning suggestions.
    Allison Crow recently posted… 2nd Chakra Goddess and my lady partsMy Profile

    1. Welcome to the challenge, Allison! Visuals are a great addition to any blog post (especially with the popularity of Pinterest!).
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Four Words That Will Destroy Your BusinessMy Profile

  16. This go around I a plan on writing about a specific topic on a certain day for each week beginning with Monday. Maybe Mondays are email marketing and Tuesday is about affiliate marketing… that way I can be on a schedule and have an outline as to what I need to put out. Heck – I can even write all my articles in one sitting and schedule them out.

    Thanks for hosting this again Michelle! I am looking forward to the comments and new connections I make :) Time to get my listbuilding material together :D
    April M. Smith recently posted… 14 Tips to Increase Ranking and Website TrafficMy Profile

    1. Sounds like a good plan, April. :) And yes, it’s a great list builder!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… The Easy Way to Create Your Own InfographicsMy Profile

  17. Hi Mama, thanks for highlighting these 5 smart ways, they are smart indeed, i appreciate your effort, keep posting value.

    1. Thanks, appreciate the comment.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Smart Ways to Keep Your Content ConsistentMy Profile

  18. Michelle, I loved this article. I love your idea about the outcome you want for the blog. What is the goal? I Try hard to schedule my blogging time into my calendar and it seems to be helping me. I appreciate the point about planning even if the plan doesn’t go exactly right you are further along than you would otherwise be. Thanks, Kris

  19. I am SO planning ahead this time! I’ve bowed out of previous challenges for the same reason I haven’t been able to stay consistent in posting on my blog – life keeps happening!

    You’d think, after a while, it would stop already! LOL I’m working ahead of the crunch this time around, though … I will do this!
    Katrina Moody recently posted… Special Needs Causes – A Personal Cause – Jackson’s JourneyMy Profile

    1. Life likes to do that. :) Good planning definitely helps!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Are You Ready? The Blog Challenge is BACK!My Profile

  20. Hello Michelle,

    There were several comments that mentioned the Ultimate Blog Challenge … It’s a great platform for overcoming procrastination and learning how to create content for your blog, without running out of ideas. The relationships you form are priceless.

    Hello Michelle,

    There were several comments that mentioned the Ultimate Blog Challenge … It’s a great platform for overcoming procrastination and learning how to create content for your blog, without running out of ideas. The relationships you form are priceless.

    As always, great content, I especially liked: define your goal so you can measure your success and stay motivated. Whether it’s blogging or some other goal, if you don’t have benchmarks for achieving your success you’ll become frustrated and give up.

    Your #5 suggestion is timely; I had a few guest bloggers back in the day when I didn’t know what I was doing, and in the past couple of days I’ve been thinking I should revisit that. Now, I’m even more motivated to contact a few of my friends.

    Thanks for sharing and caring!
    Adalia John recently posted… 21 Habits of Successful PeopleMy Profile

  21. What I find most interesting about this article is the emphasis on organization and batching your time to create good content. Not many emphasize writing content from this angle. Great article.
    Zenobia Garrison recently posted… Biz Tip of the Week: Go Beyond Setting S.M.A.R.T Goals – Make it Happen!My Profile

  22. Thanks Michelle Shaeffer for some wonderful blogging tips, you are an amazing blogger and I have subscribed so I learn more from you. Keep ROCKIN ;)
    – Daniel Chege

  23. They are really smart Michelle! And organize i might add. The best practices of blogging by far. I like it because they are very practical ideas but works all time. If you want quality content especially if you are aiming that authority site recognition, ultimately, you’re going to write most of the posts which can be very demanding. That’s why it needs discipline and patience all through out. Your fall back plan are effective methods as well. Guest posts comes in handy when life happens.:) Valuable ideas!
    James Martin recently posted… Watch the Olympics live on your MacMy Profile

  24. With all the blogs I have visited in the past few years, you would think we would all run out of things to talk about or share! But I think we are like snowflakes, we are all different so while many of us can discuss the same topic, it will always have a different slant, point of view or insight.

    That is what I love about blogging and how it is an amazing way to reach and connect so many people. Appreciate you sharing these tips Michelle as they are great reminders.

    I also like to go back to some of my older posts and bring those back to life with new titles, keywords and verbiage. Especially for those popular post – because if you have a large number of comments, that means it is a subject or topic your audience is interested it.
    Lynn Brown recently posted… Cracking The Puzzle Of Your Facebook Business FansMy Profile

    1. Isn’t it crazy, Lynn? 100 of us can blog on the same topic but the posts are so different with our unique ideas and viewpoints. :)

      That’s a great tip about using older posts for new content–thanks for sharing it!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Smart Ways to Keep Your Content ConsistentMy Profile

  25. You’re article is very correct! I have been zooming with good idea’s about my blogs ever since I’ve been reading you’re blogs! Its been wonderful!

    1. That’s great, Jake, thanks for commenting.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… The Easy Way to Create Your Own InfographicsMy Profile

  26. Thanks for addressing consistency in blogging. It is very important that our content is concise, creative, and appealing to our audience. In addition, check out my new blog post on saving costs: http://yourlifetube.com/vitacost_coupon_codes.

    1. Creativity is a great quality in content, for sure.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Smart Ways to Keep Your Content ConsistentMy Profile

  27. You always have such great ideas Michelle! This is great information to think about. After reading your post I will now set a goal as to why I am blogging. I’ve recently started blocking out time for blog posts and it is helping that way I stay in the mindset of writing.
    Kim Wende recently posted… Why Should I Learn How To Clicker Train A HorseMy Profile

    1. Blocking out time really works well for me, too, Kim. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… The Easy Way to Create Your Own InfographicsMy Profile

  28. I appreciate your post. After reading this post, now i set my blogging goals. It is important to plan before starting any business. Organization is important to get success.
    Sarah recently posted… Can Sermorelin Make You Young AgainMy Profile

  29. Great post with some awesome content. I will take up the challenge. I have my blogging goals in my mind now.
    Rajkumar Jonnala recently posted… 12 Quirky Habits Most Successful Bloggers DoMy Profile

    1. Welcome to the challenge, Rajkumar!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Are You Ready? The Blog Challenge is BACK!My Profile

  30. Hi Michelle.. I think content is definitely very important especially as a blogger.. There are times that people criticize especially when we don’t have the best or good content for our sites.. Thanks for this!
    Megan recently posted… Jay Robb Protein PowderMy Profile

    1. Yes, and knowing we’re doing our best with our content makes it easier to deal with criticism when it comes.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… The Easy Way to Create Your Own InfographicsMy Profile

  31. Michelle,
    This is my very first challenge. I am hoping I will be true to myself. I was referred here by Dee. I read her posts and in one she had mentioned how taking up this challenge had changed her life and outlook.
    I wanted in and I am glad I signed up.
    I am so very eagerly waiting for you email(s).
    Thank you so much for taking the time to help bloggers understand their potential and for providing a great platform to connect with other bloggers.
    Latha recently posted… Earn Money by Typing in IndiaMy Profile

    1. Awesome! Welcome to the challenge, Latha.

  32. […] Ultimate Blog Challenge is where you commit to writing at least 100 words a day, every day in the month of July. If you […]

  33. Exited to be part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I love blogging and how it generates so many positive outcomes for my business and the people I serve. Great post!

    1. Thanks, Debra, and happy you’ve jumped into the challenge–it’s a blast!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Smart Ways to Keep Your Content ConsistentMy Profile

  34. Actually I get attracted of your chess image on the left and it is really related to your content.
    It’s true that making consistent content is like a game of chess.
    a. Plan, Plan, Plan
    b. Organized Your Thoughts,
    c. Strategize Your Moves,
    d. Maneuver to take advantage
    c. Think in Advance with What to Do in the Future.

    I think self discipline should come first in order to fully implement a consistent those
    steps you mentioned above..
    Ronan recently posted… Neurontin Side EffectsMy Profile

    1. I like that anology, Ronan. It is very much like chess — if we move our pieces strategically, we win. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Are You Ready? The Blog Challenge is BACK!My Profile

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