I think the most important thing you can do to build a blog following is to post on a regular schedule. Sure, content has to be interesting, writing has to be good, but if there is nothing written and posted to your blog then all that doesn’t matter. It won’t take long for people’s attention to wander and for them to move on when nothing new is posted in a long time.
Everyone has a burst of energy at the start of the new blog. That energy has to be channeled to ensure it doesn’t fizzle out after a couple of weeks. Spreading this initial enthusiasm out over a number weeks or months helps to make blogging a habit and, like a fire that’s burning well, will keep itself burning with minimal work.
So a schedule is where it’s at. But what does that mean? It doesn’t necessarily mean posting everyday. You should pick a schedule the works for you. If you’ve got a day job and two kids then twice weekly, or weekly is a more manageable schedule. Something that keeps people interested, but doesn’t kill you or your enthusiasm in trying to keep up.
If you are a person with lots of energy and time, by all means blog daily, or even multiple times a day if you have a tumblr type (short form) blog. Other options include: every other day, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
The other factor to consider in setting yourself a schedule is the type of blog you have. Does your subject matter lend itself to lots of smaller posts or fewer longer, in depth posts? Obviously the longer the post the more time it will take to write. Do you have any research to do for your posts? This too can add time to the writing process. Be realistic in setting your schedule. If it takes a long time to prepare and write your posts then select a longer schedule between posts.
Don’t worry, once you’ve chosen a schedule you can always change it if it’s not working – you’re in charge! But, like exercise, make sure the schedule you pick is regular. You need to make blog posting part of your routine, otherwise it won’t stick long term.
The other benefit of a schedule is the deadline that goes along with it. Some people, myself included, work best when staring down the barrel of a deadline. Given too much time, I’m much more likely to find something else to do. I’m a terrible procrastinator. But given a deadline, I’m focused. I may feel bad for being doing things at the last minute; but rather last minute than not at all.
Once you’ve selected a schedule, write down the posting dates for the next 5-10 posts you are going to do. Note down the specific date you will post on. For every one of these posting dates you can then start to jot down ideas for topics, or divide existing topics up between the posts. As more topics come to you, write them down against a post date. Once you’ve filled up the first set of slots and hopefully written your first post or two, add more dates to the bottom of the list to keep the schedule looking out by about 10 posts at all times. Don’t worry if future slots are blank, you’ll think of something and they’ll soon fill up.
Interested in setting yourself a schedule for blog posting to improve your blog? If so, comment below and let me know what works for you.