Most bloggers start well. After starting the site, they have a lot of enthusiasm and they publish content regularly in first few weeks. They take a lot of time and put in a lot of effort trying to make their sites successful. But after this honeymoon period, majority of bloggers fail to keep a regular and consistent schedule of posting new material. This results in their site losing the momentum it had, it slows down the growth and decreases the potential of their site. This then results in the blogger losing the motivation completely, spending less time on their site, spending less effort – all in all a very vicious circle which probably results in the site being dead.
Your content strategy how to guide
Regardless of the size or type of the site you own, you need to have a content strategy for it in order for the above not to happen. Your content strategy will help you to successfully manage and grow your site by keeping you focused and actively engaged with your content. A content strategy is your content action plan. This plan sets out clearly how and when you will create, publish and manage content that is relevant to your site and useful to your visitors.
Before starting on your content strategy or plan, be very clear about the purpose of your site. The more targeted the purpose of your site, the easier it will be for you to draw up your content plan and deliver on it. Ask yourself why does your site exist beyond making money? Who do you want to serve and how? What are your objectives and your goals with your site?
Next, look at how you will communicate the purpose of your site through your content plan. Set up a publishing calendar for your posts and pages using whatever tool works best for you. Plugin like this can help you. When updating your content, think about topics that are relevant to your audience and theme your content accordingly.
What is the perfect posting schedule?
There are plenty of benefits in having a content calendar and a schedule for publishing the content. Content calendar makes you better organized and allows you to plan your content better. Consistent new content builds consistent audience. Frequency of new posts can even affect the search engine algorithms so you may rank higher. The perfect schedule that optimizes the potential of your site and maximizes its growth would most probably be to post one new article every day. Your readers would come back daily, you would have potential to create a lot of buzz and Google would love you. But ability to achieve this really depends on what your situation is and what you plans are.
Your content publishing schedule depends on how much time you have, how much inspiration you have and what your goals are. In the first 2 years or so I published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, never missing a day, not even when I was on holidays or otherwise busy. More recently I’ve switched to a Tuesday and Thursday schedule. I usually publish at 9am and allow my post to be spread throughout the day.
Some writers publish new articles daily, some do it even several times a day, some do it once a month. Anything less than publishing one new article per week is probably going to have a negative effect on your site’s growth potential and will slow down its progress but if you still achieve your goals then it is fine.
Ultimately it is your own decision on how much you publish and when you publish. This decision is based on what is right for you and what is right for your audience. You have to find a schedule that fits you and works for you. You don’t want to stress yourself too much by going for a too frequent schedule that you cannot achieve. Find what works for you. Figure out your goals and your schedule will follow.
Having a look at your visitors data in your site analytics will allow you to see how the traffic is throughout the week. This data contributed to my decision to write in the week days only. My site traffic drops on Saturday and Sunday compared to the week days and automatically picks up again on Monday. I have seen other site and audiences where it works differently so definitely have a look at what your audience tells you before making any decisions.
Why it is important to be consistent
One of the best pieces of advice is to publish content frequently and to try and stick to a recurring schedule of publishing. Majority of your content should be regular and published at same days in the week. This is mostly to build a buzz and expectations around yourself and in that way attract an audience that loves your content and is eagerly awaiting to hear from you next time.
Not updating your content frequently and consistently can give an image of a dead place. It gives a bad impressions if a visitor comes back and finds no updates have taken place in some time and it decreases the chance of visitor subscribing becoming a loyal reader or subscriber. This is why you should be consistent in your publishing schedule:
- Brings a stream of traffic and comments
- Gives readers a reason to check back often
- Gives visitors a reason to subscribe to your site
- Give visitors a reason to follow you in social media
- Builds trust and dependability
- More opportunities for buzz about your content in the social media
- More opportunities for inbound links
- Search engines crawl and index sites that are updated regularly more frequently
- More content means increased chance of getting search engine traffic from different keywords
There are several things you can do to motivate yourself and to make yourself more disciplined when creating new content for your site. Here’s a list of things you can do to improve your posting consistency:
- Use WordPress TimeStamp feature to schedule posts
- Save your article ideas as drafts so you easily can have a topic when you need to write a new post
- Invite your readers to write guest posts for you
- Write posts about topics that interest you and that you have passion for which will make you more excited and motivated
- Repurpose some of your older content in a new format
- Update some of your older content with more information and latest trends
- Set goals for your content publishing and work towards achieving those goals
Don’t be a slave to your content calendar
With all of the above in mind don’t be a slave to your content calendar. Sometimes you just might not have anything to say. Sometimes you may not be in the mood for writing. Don’t force yourself in those situations. Let your procrastination be the natural filter and allow yourself to get back the inspiration to produce content that will make a difference for your goals.
Procrastination is seen as a bad thing. It is frowned upon. We try and find ways to stop the procrastination from happening. We follow tips and advice on being productive. In some way though procrastination is a good thing. Writing is difficult when it is forced which many writers discover after a while of running a site. It is not always easy to write 500 words every couple of days, sometimes it is not possible to follow the rigid schedule. These situations can be considered as a writers block, sometimes they are look at as being unproductive, sometimes they are a procrastination.
Write when you are inspired and when you feel like writing. Procrastination defends you from your becoming a robotic, soulless writer who writes on command and without too much thought or inspiration. I have definitely seen this happen to many bloggers and freelance writers where they end up seeing their post writing as a task that has to be ticked off their long list of things to do. 500 words on this topic by this day, 700 words on this topic by this deadline and so on…
It ends up being too much after some time, it becomes a chore, you lose the will to do it, you lose the creativity and the love that made you start writing in the first place. Your writing and your output become worse and it is felt in the feedback you get and the stats you see in social media and on your analytics. You may be getting money from doing it but all the fun is gone. Procrastination stops this from happenings and lets it all take place more naturally. You write only when you feel like it and you only write about topics that interest you and that you have something to say about. You only write when you have the inspiration and the drive to do it.
So what to do in case you feel like procrastinating? Just let it be. Kind of like the concept of Wu Wei where you just don’t take any action and you don’t do. Instead relax, recharge, do something else, get inspired. One of the things that can be done to get recharged and inspired to get back to the writing is to disconnect from your day to day activities. Get away from your Internet connection and from your computer, do something different today instead of spending majority of the day staring at the screen without getting much important work done.
On the other hand some weeks you might have much more to say and you might not be able to fit it all within your regular calendar schedule. This is a positive problem to have and nothing to worry about either. Surprise your audience and publish it even though it is not on the normal day. Publish even though that will make it 3 posts a week compared to the standard 2 posts a week.
Content calendar is a very useful tool but being flexible and reacting to the environment can be just as important. I’ve changed my schedule many times in the past according to some big events and occasions that have happened. It might be a big event in your field, might be some study that was published, it might be a more mainstream news situation that… be on the lookout and stay flexible.