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Happy HUMP. I am so confident saying that today, after accidentally saying it yesterday on Instastories fully thinking it was Wednesday. Whoops. I actually then saw quite a few folks thereafter also thinking it was the middle of the week, so at least I’m not alone. 😉 I guess it’s just been one of those WEEKS, amiright? We’ve had so many weeks lately with a holiday or snow day cutting it short, so, like…there’s no way this is a full week, right? Three cheers for making it over the hump today…
NOW. Since everyone and their mom on the internet has been talking goals + resolutions since before the ball even dropped, I think it’s important to note a really hella important (actually, *essential*) piece of the puzzle.
If you’re not consistent, you’re not serious.
The harsh truth. When you’re serious about wanting to achieve X or do Y, you’ve gotta be seriously consistent with anything/everything on the road to getting there.
One of the Q’s I get asked the most from readers is for advice on starting/growing a blog and how to create content. And point numero uno will ALWAYS be get + stay consistent! As a blogger, you’re a content creator…in an endless SEA of other content creators. Sure, you have to be unique – but there’s always going to be someone similar. Some of the biggest bloggers today got where they are from sheer consistency. They attracted some followers, but then they KEPT said followers around by showing up, day in + day out, with something valuable for them. They became addicted to that relationship, and they stuck around accordingly.
Being consistent is the turning point from attracting an audience to keeping an audience.
In the spirit of new-year-better-me (didja catch these 35 ways to be a better version of YOU this year???), here’s how to create content consistently. (Although many of the below are applicable when you’re trying to be consistent in anything, not just blogging!)
10 TIPS ON HOW TO CREATE CONTENT CONSISTENTLY
You know how it goes – “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail!” Right from the get go, if you want/need to be consistent – be that in blogging or ANYTHING in life – you have to plan ahead. HAVE TO. Mandatory. V necessary. When planning, make sure you a.) create a schedule, and b.) stick to it. I’m quite often (TOO often) that girl writing list after list in colored pens galore for everything under the sun…and then not actually holding myself to any of said lists. What the heck good is a to-do list if you don’t actually DO any of the to-do’s?! So planning is twofold. It’s equal parts noting when you need things done by, and
incentivizing disciplining yourself to actually make it happen.
Abide by an editorial calendar
I honestly do not understand for the LIFE of me how anyone can get by WITHOUT an editorial calendar. My editorial calendar is my lifeblood. It’s the literal embodiment of planning as a blogger or content creator. It’s the #1 way to see everything from a birdseye view and gain true inside perspective into your blog, especially as a business. You’ll be more motivated to get + stay consistent with your blog if you can see it as bigger than the one day ahead of you. By knowing what you’ve got going on for at least the month ahead, you’ll find yourself brainstorming content on the go and thinking ahead to get more done. It’s 100% worth it.
Create list of to-do’s/action items
And not just a regular ol’ to-do list. Here, create a to-do list of X tasks that need to be done regularly, for you to be achieving Y result consistently. These aren’t one-time tasks – they’re reccurring, and need to be noted so that we prioritze them often enough to actually get consistent once and for all. For example, bloggers know how much work goes into the backend of getting a blog post done + published. And one of the biggest mistakes that bloggers make when trying to actually, yannno, grow their blogs is not being consistent with it! SO, for bloggers to get a post up consistently, we need: brainstorm post content, write post, edit post, shoot photography, edit photography, create infographics (if applicable), publish blog post, promote blog post on various social media platforms, schedule future social media promotions..rinse and repeat. If even one of those tasks isn’t completed, the final product either doesn’t get done, or doesn’t get done well enough to the point that it would or could be done. You know if you wanna hit the gym consistently, you’ll need the little things in order: clean workout clothes in the drawer, a full water bottle in the fridge, your headphones by your phone, etc. Sometimes having that list actually written out/visible helps get ya motivated in the moment to do the damn thing.
Set specific days/times for specific tasks.
If you’re someone who needs to be by the book with regards to your schedule, this should help! For aforementioned recurring tasks, set aside specific times on specific days to get ’em done. That way, you get in the groove of mentally allocating those timeslots to those tasks. Personally, Mondays are pretty much “admin” days for me. I spend the bulk of the day catching up on anything from the weekend, planning out the week, getting organized, etc. Tuesdays are big content creation days for me, where I try to write as much as possible for the upcoming week. And the list goes on! No need to devote an entire day to entire task set – blocking out time (ie. “I will write from 7-9 pm every Wednesday night”, etc) does the same trick.
Do you watch the same show or program on TV religiously daily? Is there a set time every day that you noticeably zone out and get antsy? Do you always get a cuppa joe at the same time every morning? (I mean, the correct answer is obvi “I get my coffee A-S-A-P” but ya get the gist…) Little things like this can be triggers in your day to get you back on the consistency track, should you falter. For example, if you watch Good Morning America every single morning before work, that might be a trigger to you to make sure your hair + makeup is done and ready to go before the segment is over…since then it’s time to go to work, and failing to do means that you’d consistently show up late to work. Maybe you’re a blogger and you know it takes you a rough three hours to get a blog post written. Your goal is to have posts ready to go the day before publication, and also to be done with the big work by 6 pm when it’s time to dinner prep. So…come 3 pm, when you find yourself at the Keurig for cup numero cuatro, you know you best get to working on that post immediately after in order to stay on track with your consistency.
Create a zone, then get in it
What gets you in the ZONE? When you’re working in flow – that magical state of focus from whence all awesomeness comes forth? Either time stands still or flies by, and you’re just in it to win it, baby. Everyone experiences it a little differently, and everyone’s zone is different, too. Maybe you work best with acoustic coffeeshop jams playing in the background – maybe you need Metallica. Do you need a few Bath & Body Works 3-wicks burning? Coffee or tea? Phone in another room? Whatever your zone requires, make it so and get in it accordingly.
Use the Pomodoro technique
This gem of a method involves 25 minute periods of nonstop work, followed by 5 minute breaks. It works WONDERS. I, for one, am someone who needs an end goal. I am the actual worst at working when I’m just aimlessly working throughout a totally open day, no end in sight. I need a finish line in order to race.
If you’re like me, this technique is fo’ you! Pomodoro keeps your head in the game better since you KNOW that in what’ll feel like no time at all, you get a guaranteed break. I’m at my most productive on the busiest of days, when my schedule is PACKED. Probably because I’m the BEST at utilizing my fringe time (should that be a whole blog post? Let me know in the comments section below if that would be helpful!). But when you have these start-and-stop time blocks to use, you’ll be better at allocating tasks to time. Which, in turn, will help you be consistent with cranking out set work at set times, too.
Make it easy for yourself
If there’s an end goal you’re trying to be consistent with…make it EASY for yourself! If there’s anything at all that can be done *ahead* of time, do it. I am usually the worst at this (or at least have been – working on it right now 😉 ). But too many days of the week, I’d wake up at 6 am, grab my coffee, and head straight to my computer with the intent of doing a blog post start-to-finish right then and there, in two hours max. Granted, it never happened that way. I’d always have things planned out ahead of time, but I’d leave too many pieces of execution for the last minute, thinking I’d just perform better under pressure. Sure, it might be true that I do just fine under pressure…but after time, it takes a toll. It was HARD on me. And it would leave me feeling burnt out faster, and all-around not as good as I could be. Make it as easy as possible for your future self to succeed!
Go with your own flow to get ahead with evergreen content
While you’re in the zone, Pomodoro-ing, and making it easy on yourself…get ahead with evergreen content. Not everything you create as a blogger/content creator is going to be relevant in-the-moment (meaning, something trendy, in-the-news, timely, etc). You’ll want a handful of pieces ready to go that can go up whenever, because they’re timeless in nature and good all year round (hence, “evergreen” 😉 ). When you ARE in flow and really feel in the zone, go with that! Whatever you feel in the zone WITH, use it to get ahead on the anytime stuff. Feeling really inspired to shoot a bunch of photos? Go above + beyond for yourself to get shots that can be used for other purposes. Words flowing like wild? Write more than intended, and get some good evergreen posts in backlog.
Batch content whenever possible
This directly ties into the point right above, but if/when you can batch something, meaning getting a whole lot of the same tasks done at once…DO IT! Whenever I shoot for the blog, I’m basically NEVER shooting just one post at one time. Usually, I’m doing anywhere from 3-8 posts at once, for as far into the future as I can. That majorly helps when times get tough…like when a snowstorm hits and I literally cannot shoot an outfit for the LIFE of me. It also eliminates the excuse of “writer’s block,” because it forces you to think ahead, plan, and have content on hand, ready to go. You should never be sitting there at a blank screen with an equally blank mind! It’s always best to have at least SOMETHING to getcha start, be that post concepts or post photos, etc. Photos, writing, social media scheduling – all can be batched in advance for use down the road when needed.
If you’re a blogger, how can you be more consistent in your own content creation this year?
I know for me, one of my BIGGEST goals is to have things done before *ahem* the day of publication. No final edits, no last minute additions – nada. Just totally DONEZO the night before, so I can wake up, hit publish, and relaaaaaax with my cuppa coffee and just chat with you guys instead of rushing to get ish done.
Hold me to it? 😉
P.S. Make sure ya check out this entire category on CUR for more blogging tips – I’ve gotten quite a few Q’s lately from y’all asking for tips, so definitely poke around there for answers you may need!