Rhythm is Gonna Getcha: Maintaining Consistency in Your Blog

lanuiop

By: Beka Mercurio of reLYME.com

Once upon a time, I used to help bloggers expand their brand online. I watched tiny blogs grow to very big blogs, and very big blogs grow to take over the Web. All the while, I preached the gospel of consistency.

I would tell my clients that you must find your rhythm (frequency of posts, time posts occur, regular features, etc.) so that readers learn to trust you as a respected resource. Little did I know that my advice would come to bite me in the behind, so to speak.

Fast forward a few months, and I was living in a spacious studio apartment in Manhattan. My fashion blog, reLYME, had opened a lot of doors for me. However, in trying to get used to my busy New York life, I’d ended up closing the door on my blog.

I went from humble-and-not-ultra-impressive traffic (about 3,000 MUV, give or take), to having less than 200 monthly unique views. That’s nearly a 93% decrease in traffic for my math people. And how did this happen, you ask?

If you’re one of my fashion blogging buddies, you already know the answer: I disappeared! I wasn’t active in social media, I hadn’t posted on my blog in months, and I simply didn’t care.

These days, I’m burning the midnight oil, trying to post more regularly in hopes that I can, once again, rebuild my readership–and all of this with the realization that I won’t be attending this season’s NYFW

So, my point, fellow fashion bloggers, is this. You MUST find your rhythm! And here’s how:

     

  • You’ve heard people mention editorial calendars. Make one! Stick to it. Decide what you’re going to write about and when. If you’ve committed topics to paper, you’re more likely to stick to deadlines. They’re not written in stone, so if a more pressing piece comes up (or you’re pitched by an amazing brand because you’re getting more traffic) you can just pull an ol’ switch-a-roo. You’re a journalist, so you should act the part.
  • If you’d like to include regular features (link love posts, look of the day, must-have item of the week), choose a particular day you’ll include these features, and stay consistent.
  • Plan a time of day people can expect to see your latest offerings. Do you want to reveal your masterpieces in the morning, in the afternoon? (This is why the automatic post feature that is inherent to most blogging platforms is magical!)
  • Make sure you know how often you plan to write. For some, posting once or twice a day is a lofty goal. So, if you can only squeeze out a few posts a week, by all means, bust a move! But, try to consistently post around the same time every week.
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Finding your rhythm and maintaining your consistency, helps your readers to know that you respect them, and that sharing your knowledge or insider scoop with them is important to you.

It can also open up a lot of doors as far as sponsorships and advertisers are concerned–they will be more likely to invest in a professional blog that maintains consistency.

And again, the more you post, the better your chances are of welcoming many new readers, and building a community!

So, even though it’s tough, and you might have to sacrifice a girls’ night out (or boys’ night out, as the case may be) every once in a while, it’s worth it. Trust me, I know first hand.

image by lanuiop

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33 Responses

  1. Ashe Mischief

    This is go great to hear, especially right now! My consistency has dropped a bit due to real life things, and I’ve been pushing myself not to let that happen. It’s so true about scheduling a date for regular series– it makes my life infinitely easier to know that Mondays I post about this, or Wednesdays this, so if push comes to shove & I need some content, there’s an easy place to look…
    .-= Ashe Mischief´s last blog ..B & LU Review: The Keely Shirt =-.

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  2. jessica

    I though this article was really great.

    I think that consistency and regularity are the two most important components of being a blogger and maintaining a blog. I know that when I come across a blog that hasn’t been updated in more than a month, I am really quick to click off. The sense of trust between a reader and a blog is really amazing and while it sounds selfish as a reader to expect postings/etc. when real life is so demanding, it is still important to deliver. As a reader myself (of course! <3), I know that updates aren't entirely where it's at, especially if the one-post-a-week is a great one – ie, quality over quantity. But, in an ever expanding sea of fashion bloggers (much like myself), it is important to stay fresh.

    I just started my blog this month and have been posting like crazy due to my amazing amount of summer free time. I know that once school starts things are likely to get a bit hairy, but I've taken your advice about figuring out a calendar for regular posts and features. Thanks!
    .-= jessica´s last blog ..WOMEN =-.

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  3. Fajr || Stylish Thought

    I couldn’t agree more! Content is king when it comes to visitors and keeping readership. I’ve lulled a bit in my posting frequency due to real world things (like Ashe as well) but making an editorial calendar helps tremendously. I’ve also noticed that when I brainstorm on Sundays and schedule a post for every day of the week, I post more often. At the end of the day, having a blog takes discipline and keeping it up needs to be consistent.
    .-= Fajr || Stylish Thought´s last blog ..Tag I’m It: 6 Little Things I Love =-.

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  4. Jonathan

    This is very true, just the other day I was thinking that consistency is probably the most important thing in blogging. Great article!

    Reply
  5. Sheena

    This is a great post and great advice! It can be tough to hop back on the wagon after lapsing for a few blog posts, but an editorial calendar can make a world of difference. I had a bit of a lag and I’ve been working really hard to be much more consistent with my posts. I think it helps me stay in touch with my readers and keeps the line of discussion open and makes it easier for me to post when I’m on a schedule.
    .-= Sheena´s last blog ..Chic Chicago =-.

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  6. Jennine

    posting rhythm is so important… i post every day monday through friday… doing the editorial calendar really helps alot. i sit down on sunday and map out what i’m going to post through the week. i used to take me ages, now it takes about half an hour. now i wish that writing posts would go by so quickly…

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  7. Moe

    Consistency is a great two way street. It is a service to readership of course but blogging will also become second nature to the blogger if they are doing it consistently.

    I can tell when I visit a blog that it is probably on it’s way out when I scroll down and repeated see comments from the blogger like “haven’t been here in a while” etc. Those are the ones I don’t add to my RSS.
    .-= Moe´s last blog ..Torrid Skirts =-.

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  8. DWJ

    What’s so funny to me is that we talked about this in my grad school classes for digital publishing. People tell me I’m just really anal about it but my readers know I post Monday through Friday 2 to 3 times a day and most posts hit before noon. Believe me, when I don’t post I get an email! I feel like that’s one of the reasons I’ve had a consistent and steady stream of new readers every month!
    .-= DWJ´s last blog ..Back To School Supplies… =-.

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  9. Beka

    Thank you for the positive feedback, everyone!

    I feel that as bloggers, we’re all in the same boat. Consistency, as I’ve learned, takes discipline. I’m not an expert, and writing this post almost served as a self-reminder.

    Good luck in your blogging endeavors!

    xoxo!

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  10. Retro Chick

    This is something I struggle with as real life keeps getting in my way!

    I tried writing an editorial calendar but kept finding that by the time I got to that day I wasn’t in the mood to write about my scheduled thing anymore! Must try harder :o)
    .-= Retro Chick´s last blog ..Can I wear it? Yes I Can! =-.

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  11. Greg

    Great post. Consistency is the most difficult – and most important – part of blogging.
    .-= Greg´s last blog ..Constructivism hits Media, Advertising =-.

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  12. Dawn

    Great post! I’m going to try to write an editorial calendar for the next few weeks and see if that works out!
    .-= Dawn´s last blog ..Arrrrrrrr… =-.

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  13. Sophie

    Frequency of posts is critical especially for those readers that like to check-in every day or two. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with something everyday so sometimes I’ll spend 1-2 days coming up with content for the entire week and then schedule them out for later on. That’s the great thing about wordpress is that you can plan ahead and schedule out your posts in advance. For those of us that run multiple blogs or a blog network this is the way to go.

    Thanks Beka for touching on this topic. I will say though that sometimes it’s better not to post if you don’t really have anything of substance. Maybe that’s an opportunity to give link love out to other bloggers.
    .-= Sophie´s last blog ..Kim Kardasian Black & White Ensemble =-.

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  14. Beka

    Thanks all for the kind words.

    Try to spend some time this evening or some time this week creating an editorial calendar. 🙂

    I agree, Sophie, WordPress is amazing when it comes to scheduling posts. I’m not sure about Typepad, but I believe this feature is inherent to Blogger and OnSugar as well.

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  15. dreamsequins

    Beka– this is such a great post. Thanks for sharing your experiences! I have an editorial calendar that I try to stick to, but it hasn’t always been set in stone. I try to stay flexible, but now have anchored my blog’s content to a handful of regular features. It keeps me focused!

    xx
    .-= dreamsequins´s last blog ..Designer Profile: Francis New York =-.

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  16. Ondo Lady

    This is a very interesting post and one that bears some thinking. I tend to write what I like and when I like. I started off two years ago by posting at least once a week and now I have increased to several times a week. However it all depends on whether I have something to say. To me the beauty of blogging is that there is no editorial calender to stick to and to me it is all spontaneous. Saying that I have developed a few regulars on my blog; on the 1st of the month I do a feature on a blogger and during the 1st week of the month I do a retro review of an 80s film. I might work on developing a few more, I will see how it goes. Oh yeah and look out for the August Blogger of the month – it will feature a very special lady.
    .-= Ondo Lady´s last blog ..The Noisettes =-.

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  17. Sar.

    Am glad to have read this post – lately I have been thinking a lot whether I should carry on writing my blog as I have a full time non fashion job and family which can often get in the way. It takes longer to research posts and I find myself sometimes with only a post a week if that. Just yesterday I revisited Jennine’s post about the editorial calendar and made a new start on one for myself. Hopefully I will get to grips as writing the blog is just what I want to do…I like the comment Jessica made about quality over quantity..I guess that’s what I should be aiming at..Thanks for this article! <3
    .-= Sar.´s last blog ..insects. nature inspires. =-.

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  18. bilogbilog

    this is very, verrrry helpful! need to plan ~~ make an editorial calendar ~~ aim like pro indeed!

    thanks for this article!
    .-= bilogbilog´s last blog ..ION mall – SG’s newest eye-candy! Part 2 =-.

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  19. suzanne

    Sometimes I’m really good about it. ANd the best is when I get 5 set up on Sunday, so I can post m-f without running out of ideas. But then every now and then I feel uninspired, irritated with thew whole thing, and wonder if I should throw the towel in…

    This week I’ve been very good. Very good posts, all in my topics of music, fashion, and today, I think, a really terrific interview with a stylist!

    http://mommydrinkstyle.blogspot.com/2009/07/21-questions-with-stylist-daniela-jung.html

    Thanks for all your advice!
    Suzanne
    .-= suzanne´s last blog ..21 questions with stylist Daniela Jung =-.

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