7 Tips for Posting a Pinch

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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]

 

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16 Responses

  1. Sarah's Real Life

    It’ s so funny that you posted this today, because I was just thinking about what to do during finals time (I’m in law school)…Studying needs to come first, but I hate to abandon the blog for 3 weeks. One thing you didn’t mention is what I did – send up a flare for guest bloggers. It’s a win-win, I’ll have something for my readers without having to write it myself, and the other blogger will get traffic from my readers.
    I probably won’t end up posting every blogger that contacts me, but I’ll know who might be willing to do a guest post in the future if I ever need it. (Of course, this only works if you plan ahead a bit – you probably couldn’t get someone else to write a post for you with one day’s warning!)

    ~Sarah of Sarah’s Real Life

    Reply
    • Jennine Jacob

      Guest posts are a great way to fill in the gaps, I will be going on maternity leave this summer, and the IFB has to keep running, so guest posts will be the way for me!

      The only thing is guest posting isn’t always reliable, and if your blog is your main source of income, if it falls through, you’d have to pick up at the last minute. Hence, this post! 🙂

      Reply
      • Sarah's Real Life

        Very true! For me, blogging is just a side project (with a few extra bucks just being a bonus). So the reason I wanted guest posts was just to avoid radio silence and keep my readers coming back (and maybe get some new ones too!)

        Have fun on maternity leave 🙂

  2. Linda Fiksdal Tranø

    I really like these tips, and I actually do try to follow the”only posting when inspired” matra. I do notice when looking back, if I’ve posted just for the sake of it, its more tideous and boring to read, whilst my post written when actually having something to write about, are so much more pleasant to read.

    Reply
  3. Monica P

    I agree with Linda .. I like to post when I feel inspired .. or really want to talk about something or have great pictures .. I can’t just post to post something .. I think that would be boring and a huge ‘I got nuttin’ for ya today’ so here’s this post ..

    Monica
    http://www.pear-shaped-gal.com

    Reply
    • Jennine Jacob

      I guess… it just that “waiting for inspiration” is a slippery slope… case and point, my blog http://the-coveted.com, I post when inspired, and well, it’s been a few months since it’s last post. Treating your creativity like a ritual is a great way to make sure your inspiration keeps flowing, which is why I have to commit to blogging every day. Everyone is different though, and has different goals.

      Reply
      • Barbara

        So so True. You couldn’t have been more right Jenine. I try to flex my writing muscles as often as I can and I must say having a calendar and a list of ideas has been my saving grace and kept me an inch away from no post for a month.
        Did my first series in February and I must say that it was quite tedious but I am glad I was able to go through it.
        I wish I had everything down pat but I shall (no, will) start practising them all and make sure I become a pro at writing in a pinch.
        Thanks Jennine

        Barbara
        http://barbsiesmusings.blogspot.com/

  4. dacy

    glad to know that it’s ok to be flexible, i’ve set up an editorial calendar for myself, but sometimes things come up that will only be relevant if i write about them now. especially love tip #6, will have to try that.

    Reply
  5. Tiffy Diamond

    Excellent! I know I need to create an editorial calendar. 🙁 I’ve procrastinated on that and when I get in a hectic schedule of posts I always wish I had it. Also, this is great because with my work schedule I find it harder to fit in blogging sometimes. This is perfect for those moments I can write a quick post and feel like I’m still contributing to my readers. 🙂

    xo
    Tiffy
    Blog: CuteLA.com

    Reply
  6. LaToya

    It’s a little bit of both for me. I have daily features that I post everyday so this helps guide me when inspiration strikes. The trick for me is when inspiration strikes I tend to not just stop at producing one post. I knock out as many as I can and than save them, and post them later. So I always have at least 4-5 post in reserve that I can go to when I’m busy or just need a break from the daily grind. I do not sacrifice content because I created them when I was inspired. So I am not shortchanging myself or my readers. This system helps keep me sane and as my blog has grown it also frees me up to handle the business and technical side of my blog.

    Reply
  7. Elena

    This post was written in 30 min???? Wow. … Bravo!;) it’s my first year of blogging and English is my second language so it takes me much longer to write;) I agree, practice is the best way so hopefully I’ll be better soon!!! Thank you for sharing !!!
    http://dcinstyle.com

    Reply
  8. Nadya Helena

    I felt a hammer smashed to my face as I read the first and second paragraph, since there were times where I posted as frequently as… once a week or even once in two weeks. Not letting that happen again.

    Nadya
    eyeshadow illustrator
    http://thedillychic.com

    Reply
  9. Hannah

    Your blog should be your main interest. Without a passion for your blog, i believe it is very hard to succeed! Love what you do ..

    Reply
  10. The Science of Happy

    I do most of these apart from #2 (calendar), #6 (keywords) and #7 (poll). I feel that by having an editorial calendar, I am letting blogging consume me. I have other priorities in life that fall in front of blogging and I never want to let it consume me and take priority over what’s important. The keywords tip is fantastic, never really thought about it until now! I’m guessing the poll is a last resort but you tend to limit your finding to the audience that have entered the poll and them only.

    For anyone interested, my MAC giveaway is still running!
    http://thescienceofhappy.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/mac-prize-release-birthday-giveaway.html

    Reply
  11. erikarodica

    Thanks for the tips. I haven’t been writing for a long time and I realized that tip # 1 is definitely a must. Do you happen to know any writing exercises online? 😛

    🙂 Erika
    http://erikarodica.com

    Reply