I don’t write much about blogging on this site because it’s a bit meta and because I try to focus on WordPress development and related topics.
But one of the questions that I receive from fellow developers who are interested in blogging has asked this question enough times that I thought it might be worth providing a short answer here if for no other reason than I have a place to which I can link them when others ask me.
The Habit of Blogging Regularly
Before I talk about the things I do when it comes to blogging regularly, there are a few points I want to make actually to dissuade some of you from writing.
Why Bother Blogging?
Here’s why: It’s not uncommon to hear “I feel like I should write, but I don’t know what to write about.”
That’s a problem in and of itself that’s content for another post, but there’s something behind that statement that’s important to cover, too. And that’s this: Why do you want to blog?
Sometimes people feel as if there’s this unspoken rule or feel obligated to do so because it’s become very mainstream now. But just because something is mainstream does not mean you have an obligation to participate.
Other times, people feel like they need to wait until the perfect time to get started. There is no ideal time to do it with one exception: Whenever you’re ready.
So if you have a niche topic about which you’d like to write, then do it and do it diligently. It takes time, sure, but it’s worth it. There are reasons why I use the phrase “niche topic” but, again, I’ll cover that another time.
If, on the other hand, you hate the idea of writing. Don’t blog. It’s a labor of love just like any other hobby so if you get more frustration or find that it’s more of a chore than a rewarding experience, don’t do it.
For the rest of you, there are a few guidelines I follow whenever I sit down to write a post. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it has contributed heavily in blogging regularly.
In no particular order, these guidelines are as follows:
- Writing is like a muscle and, like any muscle, you have to excerise it if it’s going to get stronger. I didn’t set out to write daily. I set out to write weekly, then twice a week, then three times a week, then five times a week.
- Inspiration from posts comes from projects on which I’m working, topics related to business that I’m currently facing, events at which I’m speaking, resources that I find useful.
- I usually don’t have a set schedule for the things about which I’ll write. I jot down notes about ideas that I have, but when I sit down to churn out a post, I usually find an album or a playlist that’s between 40 and 60 minutes and aim to complete the post within that timeframe.
- I don’t always do this, but I also try to keep my posts between 500 and 700 words. Anything shorter seems a bit undeveloped, and anything longer requires more time than some people have to read, so I try to stay within that range. Again, it’s not a hard and fast rule, but it’s a guideline.
- I don’t approve all of the comments that I get nor do I respond to all of the emails that I get. Sometimes they are inappropriate, at times they are more interested in pushing a product than they are talking to me, and I simply am not interested in entertaining “conversations” like that.
I’m sure I could come up with a handful of other guidelines and tips that I use, and maybe I’ll do so for a future post, but this is one that seemed almost to write itself.
As such, I wanted to go ahead and capture these points to share.
Again, That’s Just Me
Of course, all of the above are things that work for me. We all have our workflows and ways in which we go about doing similar tasks.
There are some other bloggers in our segment of the industry who I like to read (like, for example, Curtis McHale – just one of several, to be clear) who likely have a different process than I do.
So feel free to leave comments on what your approach is. I don’t know if others will pay attention to it, but I will – maybe I’ll find something to add to my habits.
And, as usual, don’t hesitate to leave any questions you may have about blogging regularly, as well.