This post has been updated and republished in The Who, What, Where and When of Blogging.
Your writing focus can be easily lost when things you have yet to do are on your mind. Most often, there is no way to get those things out of your mind so you can concentrate on content creation unless you organize them and schedule them. Likewise your writing focus can also be easily lost if you get caught up in social networking unless you organize, create a schedule and stick to it.
Read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and convince yourself of the value of scheduling your blogging. The best promotion and the best chance of success you can give yourself is to publish quality work on a regular basis. As Pressfield says, “It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write”.
Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. — M. Scott Peck
Only when you value your time and invest it wisely will you be free to
- write freely about what you have a passion for;
- write freely about what you have professional experience or expertise in;
- write freely about something you’ve learned and want to teach to others;
- write freely about something new you are doing.
Part of the appeal of blogging is that it’s personal and interactive. Knowing who your audience is and what they want is the key to developing quality content. Once you know your audience you have a focus for your writing and social networking activity. Instead of thinking each day, “What should I blog about today?” you will have the beginnings of a blogging plan.
The key is in not spending time, but in investing it. — Stephen R. Covey
Who are you writing for?
For your blog to be successful, you must fulfill the needs and expectations of your target audience. Identifying who you are writing for will help you focus your content and what you can do to address their needs and wants.
- How would you describe the type of readers you hope to attract?
- What do you know about the writing and reading skills and backgrounds of the type of readers you hope to attract?
- What is most important to them?
- What are they least likely to care about?
- What do you want them to think, learn, or assume about you?
- What impression do you want your writing to convey to them?
Where is your audience?
Social Media is a fusion of sociology and technology, that transforms one-to-one communication into one-to-many communication. If you’re new social media I recommend Social Media and Social Networking Plain and Simple.
People of all ages use social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus — their interaction is an integral part of their social and business lives. If you connect and interact with your audience by using the social networking sites and tools they are using, then with a single click or tap they can share this with their entire network of friends.
7. How much time do you have to locate similar sites and comment meaningfully (daily, weekly, monthly)?
8. Where are your desired readers currently gathering online?
9. What opportunities do those locations offer for you to build your presence there?
10. How much time do you have to promote your blog via social networking (daily, weekly, monthly)?
You will never “find” time for anything. If you want time, you must make it. – Charles Bruxton
What is your publishing schedule?
The more organized you are, the better you manage your time, and the more effective you can become. Whether you use Google calendar, a wall calendar, a whiteboard, or a day planner – you need a place to schedule your date-sensitive information. Consider a spreadsheet template that lets you print out a planner page for every day of the year, or make one with lots or room for notes.
Set your goals for the month. Decide how frequently you intend to publish on a weekly basis, and determine the tasks necessary to achieve them. Prioritize the tasks. Create a timeline schedule allowing for the time you need for research, content creation, commenting and social networking. Add a little “padding” to your timeline and avoid leaving the writing of a blog post until the day it’s due to be published. Try to be at least a day ahead of schedule, so when the unexpected happens you still make your schedule.