Picture this: You’re reading an article about blogging (maybe right here on LadyBossBlogger), and the author says they gained a following by posting every single day.
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the words “you need to publish new content every day,” l have a half a mind to stop right there and give up blogging forever.
I mean, newspapers with teams of reporters have trouble getting out a paper every day, and I’m just one person!
Even if don’t plan to publish every day, or you have a few people writing for you, publishing new content as a blogger is still an overwhelming task.
So this post is here not just to tell you to keep publishing new content, but how to do it as one blogger on a limited budget—no specialized writing team required!
1. Coming Up With Topics That Actually Work
The first step in publishing new content is making sure that you’re not wasting your time on anything less than a 100% publishable post.
It’s not enough to just have an idea and run with it; you have to think about the effect it will have on your blog and whether or not it will engage your readers.
So why am I putting limits on what you can publish if I’m writing a post aimed at helping you get more content out more quickly?
Well, time is money. If you’re going to spend time writing, then I want you to write something that will earn you money.
When I started writing for blogs and the college newspaper, I spent most of my work time thinking of ideas and trying topics out, most of which were tweaked or even rejected by editors. However, the more I wrote, the more I developed a sense of “newsworthiness.”
My newsworthy sensor is now second nature. I can be in a situation or hear a pitch and immediately know if it’s publishable or not.
That’s the point you need to get to—the ability to look around at your ordinary life and see millions of possible posts without trying. Let’s call it “postworthiness!”
In the book Trust Me, I’m Lying, Ryan Holiday shares a chart explaining this concept:
(FYI, if you want to understand the blogging world from a new perspective and learn how to defend yourself against “media manipulators,” this book is a great read!)
For blogging, I’m going to tweak his chart slightly to help you with content decisions.
So whenever something (anything) happens to you—hearing something that catches your attention, reading something that sparks your interest, and so on—I want you to go through that chart. Ask yourself:
- Is it true? Did it happen?
- Do you have expertise? Access to the sources? Personal interest in the subject?
- Is it relevant to your niche?
- Will you readers be interested in it? Does it apply to your target audience?
- Is it shareable? Will people want to re-post it?
At some point this process will become an instinct, and that’s when coming up with ideas gets easy and fast. Ideas will start coming to you rather than you having to sit down and brainstorm them!
You will develop the sense of postworthiness that will enable you to come up with post ideas while walking through the grocery store or conversing with a friend.
Now, once those creative juices start following in your daily life, you will need to move on to getting them down on (digital) paper fast!
Let’s move to the next point.
2. Forming A Structure And Pattern
The key to publishing new content all the time is having a consistent format that you can basically copy and paste for every post.
I know it’s fun to create stunning new graphics for every post and spend a ton of time outlining what your post will look like, but it’s really a lot more practical to have one template or graphic for every post and one method of writing.
On LadyBossBlogger, we have 3 basic formats of post, each with a set of graphic templates.
Every time one of us writes a blog post, we choose one of those formats before starting.
For your blog, you may choose to have just one or two formats, but the method is basically the same.
Pick a topic and plug it in.
We no longer come up with specific interview questions for every female entrepreneur—there’s a format; it works, so we follow it.
So choose the format you want to follow for your blog, and pick one graphic to go with it. It will save you so much time and energy to have an already established format.
Plus, patterns are good for your audience. They like to know what to expect in every post.
It’s a win-win situation!
And speaking of win-win… next point please!
Yes, I really am about to tell you to cheat.
(I know; you love me, don’t you?)
Here’s my cheating tip: steal ideas from other bloggers in your niche.
Mwahahahahaha (just kidding)!
But for real, if want to have more content, go look at bloggers you think are doing well for themselves.
Read through what other people are doing and ask yourself these questions:
- Can I do this post better?
- Can I add something unique to the topic?
- Can I build on their advice, argument or analysis?
If the answer is yes, then take that idea and start writing about it!
Don’t give me that suspicious glance (I came up with this post topic all on my own, I swear).
It’s not actually cheating—I just like to be dramatic to get your attention.
It’s really a change of mentality about the digital world.
Stop thinking of the blogosphere as a competition of who did it first. Start thinking of it as an ongoing conversation where every blog builds off the others, creating the best content for everyone.
Wow! So I just read blogs and write super awesome posts that work everyday? Not exactly.
4. Planning Ahead
Writing a post for each day, on that day, isn’t possible, even if you really have an entire staff of professional writers!
Whatever platform you are using for your blog should have a scheduling option.
The best bloggers plan their content out months in advance.
Planning ahead really helps with staying up to date, because you can work on posts ahead of time while your blog platform automatically and continuously publishes what you have scheduled.
So here’s my advice on publishing new content: include both open and closed posts.
Understanding Open vs. Closed Posts
I define “open” posts as those that don’t have to fit within a specific time frame and are about general, universal topics.
Some examples of open posts are “10 Books Every Female Entrepreneur Should Read,” “My All Time Top Favorite Places To Travel,” or “The 23 Best Recipes Everyone Should Know.”
See what I mean? These could be published any time and still be relevant to your audience.
Open posts tend to be more personal—my favorite books, places to travel and recipes—but they can also be about general, timeless topics. Like being a female CEO, building a business, finding inner peace, and so on.
I define a “closed” post as one that fits within a specific time frame and will only be relevant for a short period of time.
Some examples would include “Review of the Latest Avengers Movie,” “What The North Korea Summit Means For the US” or “What the #MeToo Movement Means For the Workplace.”
What do these designations mean for you?
You need to write both open and closed posts for your blog in order to stay consistent with publishing new content.
When you’re looking ahead, you need to schedule in your closed posts first, and then fill in open posts around them as needed.
You must have a plan so that you write posts efficiently.
This way, you can think ahead for publishing closed posts, which gives you enough time to work on them. And if you have open posts on the back burner, it allows you to move them around as needed.
So you don’t get the post for next Monday done? No problem. Stick in one of your flexible open posts, and you’re good to go! No more last-minute moments of stress that will leave you scrambling.
Finding Where And When You Should Write
Once you have a schedule of what posts go where, you can sit down and start writing.
To do so, find your prime environment and time to work.
I am currently writing this post at Starbucks with cold brew in my hand and headphones in my ears. Choose your place and plant yourself there.
I am definitely a “sit down and write all list posts in one go without stopping” kind of person, but you may not be. Some of my friends write a little everyday. Others write divide their work in 2-3 chunks. Still others write 1 post, break, 1 post, break, etc.
Whatever works for you, schedule that time and place into your weeks.
Getting to a place you can work and planning times to actually write is part of planning ahead for your posts.
Just like you schedule your posts, you also must intentionally schedule time to write if you want to keep publishing new content!
5. Overcoming Perfectionism
Perfectionism in blogging generally appears in two ways:
- Writer’s block (being unable to start)
- Meticulous editing & hesitation in publishing (being unable to stop)
For the first, I recommend (as I stated above) finding a good time and place to write within your schedule and finding a way to start writing that isn’t necessarily related to your blog post.
I know that second tip sounds counter-intuitive, but hear me out.
Try keeping a journal, going through your ideas on a “brainstorm” sheet, or writing for something else you enjoy (like poetry or fiction) to get your brain (and hands) moving.
For the second, I recommend learning when to stop and giving yourself lots of grace!
I am a big fan of editing, but not at the expense of the deadline!
The really good thing about blogging is that you can make digital edits after publication, so there’s no reason to worry about that!
Once you’ve done two read-throughs, you’ve pretty much caught everything you will catch.
Another big tip is to never rewrite if you struggle with over-analyzing.
- If you don’t like something you’ve written, start over on a separate document, and use the stuff you do like.
- Go back and re-read later. Sometimes, you just need to step back or see some other options.
- Once you’ve deleted, you can’t get it back, so try to let your words flow, and then delete at the end instead.
The pressure to publish new content can be overwhelming, but staying consistent with posting is both possible and worth it.
Bethany Peterson is a junior at Wheaton College (IL) studying Interdisciplinary Studies and Journalism with a minor in Spanish. She has worked in blogging for three years first as a staff blogger for 31Women Ministries, and now as an intern with LadyBossBlogger. She serves as Co-Editor in Chief at the Wheaton Record and hopes to go into journalism after graduation.