In the Intro to Blogging course, the lesson Refining your content calendar offers important information about creating an editorial calendar for your content. In particular, there’s one point that’s worth emphasizing to help get your blogging routine established:
Create a blogging routine with a consistent frequency that is realistically sustainable long-term.
There’s a lot going on in that sentence, so let’s break it down a little to help it sink in.
The key words to note are:
- realistically sustainable
These are incredibly important concepts to keep front-of-mind throughout your journey, so, let’s dive into them a bit more.
Consistency is important for any blog for a number of reasons:
- It’s easier for you to get into a solid blogging rhythm if you practice it regularly.
- Your followers will appreciate knowing what to expect and when.
- Search Engines love a blog that is producing consistent content.
It’s important to understand that being consistent doesn’t mean that you’re required to create content at a rate you can’t keep up with. People often mistake consistency for frequency, which we’ll look at next. Consistency is more about when you post and the regular rhythm you establish.
Frequency refers to how often you’re posting. There are no hard and fast rules about how often you need to publish new content. This will stem organically from your goals, your niche, your availability and your audience.
Whether you want to publish daily, weekly, monthly, or even quarterly, that’s up to you! Again, determining what you should do comes down to your specific goals. For example, if you’re hoping to build a large scale news site, chances are that a quarterly frequency isn’t going to cut it.
The trick is to keep your frequency consistent and to make sure that it’s realistically sustainable for you.
This is possibly the hardest part of the equation, especially if you’re starting a new blog or you want to breathe fresh life into an old blog. When everything is new and fresh, our enthusiasm feels boundless. But imagine starting out with daily posts only to realize several weeks later that there’s no way you can keep up with that frequency! Wouldn’t it be better to start at a more comfortable pace and discover down the line that you have the bandwidth to write more?
A realistically sustainable blogging routine is one that you can keep up with naturally. Blogging should never become a chore or a source of burnout. To that end, be honest with yourself about your limitations and set yourself up for success in the long run.
Hopefully, it’s fair to assume that you plan to blog beyond this week or this month. You’re on a blogging journey, and the hope is that it will be a long and rewarding one. But when considering your blogging routine today, try to envision something that will be sustainable for at least a few months. Make note of upcoming life events, or holidays that might cause disruptions, so that you can account for them in advance.
There’s not much point in creating a schedule of three posts per week today, if you already know that in a month or two you’ll be wrapped up in a project that will make it impossible to sustain that frequency.
That’s not to say that you can’t ever change up your blogging routine. You can decide whether any adjustments are needed when you do your site and game-plan reviews. Throughout the Intro to Blogging course, we recommend scheduling reviews about every three months. These are like checkpoints to help ensure you’re still on track for achieving your goals.
Long-term planning, and revisiting those plans, is a valuable practice that helps you avoid burnout or ending up in a random or sporadic pattern.
If you’re trying to build an audience, the worst thing you can do is publish daily for a week or even two, and then not publish anything at all for months. You might be wondering, “What if I’m blogging for personal pleasure and I’m not worried about building an audience?” Great question! This advice might not carry the same weight in your case, but let’s say you blog to keep your family up-to-date on the grandkids’ latest adventures. Wouldn’t it be nice for your family to be able to look forward to regularly planned updates?
Your blogging routine also serves as a kind of insurance policy. If something unexpected pops up, you’re covered because your posts are already written and scheduled! If something time-sensitive happens, you can slip in an extra post, without disrupting your regular schedule.
So, while the term “routine” might sound rigid, it can actually allow for more flexibility in your life. Plus, at the end of the day, you’re free to publish bonus posts should the desire strike! Borrowing from the Refining your content calendar lesson to recap: “Think of your blogging schedule as a framework. An infrastructure put in place to ensure that your blog is kept fresh and current based on a consistent frequency that is realistically sustainable long-term – one that you can then enhance and embellish upon whenever the mood strikes.”
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