There are two schools of thought when it comes to blogging. Blog only when you're inspired, and 99% of success is just showing up. I'm more of the second camp.
Whether you're committed to your blog out of passion, or if your blog brings home the bacon, there are some bloggers who not posting a day is not an option. For example, not posting on IFB on a Tuesday is just not an option (save for natural disasters)… for both passion and “bacon.”
However, it doesn't mean that life doesn't happen. There are things that come up every day for bloggers and sometimes, you'll need to post in a pinch. But how do you throw together a quality post? Where do you find inspiration in a bind? If you're an experienced blogger, you probably have many stories about putting posts together at the last minute to meet your (self-determined) deadlines, but here are a few tactics I've developed over the years to get the job done, gracefully.
1. Practice, practice, practice
When I first started blogging, it took me hours to come up with 100 words. Six and a half years later, I can churn out 500 words in minutes. Practice may not always make perfect, but your writing muscles do need practice to work on command. That's why I believe it's important to write every day in order to build your skills. If you've practiced writing every day, when the going gets tough, the tough can get blogging.
2. Have an editorial calendar ready
Knowing what you are going to post about saves so much time. If you have an editorial calendar, and you're still liking it when the day rolls around, you can just pull your post idea and start your blog post. Also, being in the habit of writing particular features on your blog helps your speed when you really need the time for other things.
3. Keep a list of potential post stories
Say your editorial calendar looked good on Friday, but on Tuesday you're realizing you need more juice. Having a list of post ideas on hand can help jog your brain for something quick to whip up. I cannot emphasize how much this helps even when you're not in a pinch!
4. Keep a pool of “blog sources”
You may have a list, and an editorial calendar, but sometimes you need to take a look at other publications to get inspiration for that big post idea. Your source can be anything from Twitter, to a fashion website, to some of your blog friends. I have a list of publications that I browse on Pulse every day (many not even related to blogging or fashion) for ideas I can transform onto IFB.
5. Create structure for your posts
Almost every type of writing has structure. From sonnets to five paragraph essays, it's ok to have structure in your writing. It helps you flush out your ideas, give them structure so your readers can follow clearly, and it helps you write with greater speed.
6. Use Google Keyword Tool, to get a quick idea for a post
Are you all out of ideas? Check your site on Google Keywords to see how people are finding your blog. Take some of those keywords and see if there is a way to repackage, or find a new angle on a post. This is a good idea because it builds up your SEO, and you probably already have background knowledge on this topic.
7. If all else fails, run a poll
One post type that doesn't take much time to put together, but adds interactivity to your blog is to run a poll. It'll be a great way to see how your readers engage, and will give you more ideas for a future post!
This post was written in 30 minutes using tips 1, 2 & 5
[Image source: Shutterstock.com]