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How-to: Consistent Blogging

At the time this post gets published, I would have been blogging for almost three months. I started with two goals in mind:

  1. Spend the first month planning posts months in advance
  2. Have enough leeway to go back to writing my story

The reason that I pre-plan posts is more personal than for efficiency. I reread my writing a lot and I’m only satisfied with it after at least five revisions. So if I did all this in real time, I would be missing my deadlines all the time. If I write the posts in advance, I can take my time to reread over the course of a few weeks. Then, it’ll go up. I don’t edit after uploading because I want to keep myself accountable. Also, if I start editing after uploading, I’d never stop.

The posting schedule I had planned out was: 1 creative/researched piece on Monday and 1 blog on Thursday. I’d completed a few creative pieces beforehand so those usually only needed editing and formatting. I wanted both days to have consistent content so I’ve been trying to write at least 3 blogs per week. I’m trying to increase it because at this point, I only have a 1.5 months worth of posts pre-planned.
 
There are other blogs out there teaching its readers to write consistent posts in one hour, or less. This will not be one of those blogs. I only have four main things that I do consistently. My process is far from perfect, but I thought I’d share it anyway for anyone starting out. It’d also be interesting to come back to this in a few months or years and compare my process then to my process now. So without further ado:

 

  1. Find what time of the day you’re most productive and work around that time.I find that I’m most productive early in the morning (before 10am) and later at night (after 8pm). I usually wake up around 6.30am and go to sleep at around 12am. That only gives me about 3.5 hours in the morning and 4 hours at night. I try to squeeze these timings with as much writing as possible. That means minimising brainstorming time and maximising word output time. I usually plan a post at least a day earlier before I actually sit down to writing it. Essays such as the ones for my Imagining History through Fiction series take about a week. I also push checking and editing to my non-peak times.
  2. Use schedule interruptions as a motivation to work faster.At the time of writing this, I was taking regular morning driving lessons at 9-10am. I take about an hour to get ready and travel to the place. That only leaves me with about an hour of my morning productive time. I sit down and try to write out at least half of a blog post before class. My blog posts are generally in the 300-500 word range so it’s not that much of a challenge, but I usually write a lot slower
  3. Use technology to help you.If you haven’t been able to tell, I’m often guilty of writing complex sentences. I know that my writing isn’t always readable. I don’t want to spend a lot of time reading through and trying to figure out how to rewrite some of the sentences. So I copy the entire thing into Hemmingway Editor and edit there.

    This isn’t a hard and fast rule. You don’t need to change everything that the app highlights. It’s just that if your entire text gets highlighted, that generally isn’t a good sign.

    Another thing that I use is Yoast SEO, which is a WordPress plugin. It helps you to check for your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and the readability of your content as you’re writing it. Right now, my report looks like this:

    Again, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. I definitely ignore the report when I’m posting a poem or a creative writing piece.

  4. Brainstorm when doing mundane tasksWhen I’m on public transport alone or doing chores, I try to think of new ideas for blog posts. If I already have an existing idea, I expand on it. I tend not to write my ideas down because I tend to get attached to things I document. It’s a lot more difficult to edit points out once I start liking them. This is different from when I’m thinking of story ideas, though. For those, I have to write everything down. I go through ideas so rapidly that I’d forget the older ones even if they were better.

 

That’s it. That’s all that I do to keep a consistent posting schedule. I’m still trying to streamline the process so that I can do more faster. If you have any tips and tricks that you do that you’d like to share with me, I’d be happy to read them in the comments below!

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