There ought to be a public notice when setting up a new blog:
Blogging is not easy. Side effects may include unexpected droughts of inspiration, occasional bouts of blind panic, or the risk of mental breakdown when overwhelmed with the pressures of creating fresh new content.
Sounds depressing, huh? (Boooo! Party pooper! Throw him in the stocks! 😛 ) You want to keep sharing those great ideas, right? Give your unique perspective for other readers to enjoy? Build an audience by publishing new and exciting stuff? Get quality content up as often as possible? Sounds cool, yeah?
But what if you hit a dead end? What if that spark of enthusiasm slowly fizzles out? What if, weeks later, you’re staring at a blank page, trying, trying, trying to come up with something witty or informative or exciting, and you just. Quite. Can’t?
And the feedback you’re getting? Zilch. Nada. Not a peep. No comments. Nothing. Total silence, the soul-crushing stuff that makes 95% of bloggers quit. And you’re probably thinking: what happened? Where are all the readers? Where did you go wrong?
Not fun, right?
And that niggling voice creeps up and whispers in your ear: Told you so. You can’t do this.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Okay, friend. Listen up. Ready? Big, big, BIG secret coming up…
To build your blog with fresh content, the single most important thing you have to do, ever, in the world…
(wait for it)
(waaait for it…)
Sounds obvious, right? Simple? Easy-peasy? But wait, listen up: a whole lot of bloggers don’t do this. A lot of bloggers.
And they fail. Miserably.
But it doesn’t need to happen to you.
Imagine if your favourite TV show suddenly started airing at a random hour, on a random day, on a different channel each and every week. No warning. No prior notice. You’d never know when or where it’s on. Nothing to look forward to, because you couldn’t make plans to watch it.
How much would this piss you off? Would you still bother to watch it? Or would you give up on it and watch something else?
It’s exactly the same for blogging.
Consistency is key.
It means being predictable. It means being reliable to your readers. It means that your audience knows what to expect, and exactly when to expect it. If you get into the rhythm of keeping to a certain blogging schedule, so your readers develop the habit of visiting your blog to check out new content.
Because they know your schedule.
They know when you’ll publish new content.
And they’ll look forward to reading it. Because you can be relied upon.
Remember: if all you can do is post once a month, that’s okay. If all you can do is post once a week, that’s okay. Or once a day. Or whatever. But keep a consistent schedule, whatever you do! Trust me: it works wonders. 😀
So here are some of the ways that helped me keep my blog content fresh and (hopefully) interesting for new readers:
Stick To a Realistic Posting Schedule
For me this is every Monday, without exception. It might be every other day for you, or twice a week, or twice a month. Whatever you decide, announce it publicly to your readers on your blog. Why? Well…
- You’re managing your readers’ expectations of when new content will be posted.
- You’re making yourself accountable to your readers. It’s harder to procrastinate posting when you know there’s a bunch of people expecting to see something new from you on a given day (yay peer pressure! 😀 )
Plan For The Bad Days
Some days you won’t have time to update your blog yourself, or you just won’t feel like it – prepare for those days! Most WordPress platforms let you schedule posts in advance. Take full advantage of it! Write some extra posts when you’re in the right mood, then schedule them to automatically publish on the days you know you’re going to be busy to write something new.
Generally, I try to stick to this rule to prepare a month’s worth of posts way ahead of time and schedule them out, one per Monday. Guess what? Now I’m not racking my brain for new content in a rushed panic, and I can forget about posting for a while since there’s not that pressure to create new content.
Choose Small, Think Big
Need some new ideas to get the wheels rolling? Find something small that’s manageable; something you can easily cover on a regular basis, whether daily/weekly/monthly.
- If your blog covers your life: maybe post something funny/interesting/crazy that you overheard from friends or strangers.
- If your blog covers art/crafts: link to a different image that has inspired you for some reason. Include a short bio of the artist, a link to their website, and some other examples of their work.
- If your blog covers politics: find an interesting news story and write an opinion piece on it.
- If your blog covers music: why not recommend a new song each day and compare it to something people will have heard before?
Remember: don’t overburden yourself. Keep it manageable, keep it small. You’ll find yourself creating much better quality content if you dedicate time and effort to each individual post, rather than rushing through them all just to panic-publish.
Engage With Your Readers
One of the best things I’ve found about blogging is the ease in which people all over the world can respond to what I publish. Since I started on WordPress over a year ago, writing has become much less of a chore and more an invitation to start a dialogue with new, like-minded people.
I can’t stress this enough: your readers are everything! They’re often the best sources for new inspiration, and knowing there’s a real, living person behind a blog develops further interest, reader loyalty and deeper relationships between bloggers.
Include a contact form clearly visible on your blog and actively encourage user feedback and suggestions from your visitors. Make sure you respond to comments, too. Show readers you appreciate their feedback, and encourage more! The idea is to have fun and connect with fellow bloggers. Don’t think of it as a transaction – you do something for someone, and they have to do something for you. Nope. It doesn’t work like that.
Here’s the thing: your readers are passionate enough about your writing to be actively reading your blog. Take their input seriously, whether it’s linking you to relevant content, sharing personal experiences you can write about, or just letting you know that last post you wrote was amazing! 💕
Thank you ever so much for reading! I hope you found this helpful. Like I said at the beginning, blogging isn’t easy. And now we’re at the end…guess what? It still isn’t easy.
These suggestions aren’t a fix-it to all the struggles of trying to produce fresh content on a regular basis. There’ll still be days where you’re staring at a blank page, days when you’re thinking of giving up altogether, days when you just don’t feel like writing. But hopefully these guidelines will make blogging fresh content easier and a lot more fun for you.
Hope you have a fantastic week! 😀 ❤