In all my reading about success and entrepreneurship, something that always stands out is that without question, the most successful, healthy, and productive people are usually the most disciplined. By that, I mean that they have a routine that they follow without fail. They eat the same things every day, they DO the same things every day. The idea is that taking as much uncertainty as possible out of things you have to do every day leaves you free to be creative instead of thinking about what to have for lunch. Sounds good, right?
Easier said than done most of the time – especially for me – but here are some ways you can bring more discipline to your blogging practice, and hopefully more success!
First, decide what you want to get out of your blog; what you want it to DO for you. Do you want it to be your full-time work some day? do you just want to have fun? Do you want it to be part of a larger business? Once you have your goals in place, you're ready to begin.
Create a Blog Posting Schedule
You can call this an editorial calendar if you want, but basically it's an idea of what you're going to post about and when. I always recommend posting every week day because it brings readers to your site more often, and provides consistency, but you don't have to if that doesn't work for you. What you must do, though, is set an expectation for your readers.
And if you tend to post about different types of things, maybe schedule them for the same days each week – like an outfit post on Monday, food on Wednesday and household on Friday.
This not only trains your readers what to expect during the week from your posts, but it leaves the guesswork out for YOU, in that you know when you sit down to write on Monday it'll be an outfit post, not a food post.
Create a Blogging Routine
Don't leave up to chance when you sit down to write, work it into your daily schedule. If you tend to concentrate better in the morning, get up earlier to write before you go to work. Maybe you're a night owl – it doesn't matter when you do it, just do it consistently, get in a habit and soon blogging/writing will become automatic, and you'll be much more productive.
Schedule your Social Media Time
As we are aware, social media can take over your life if you let it. Okay, that's a bit dramatic, but you can get sucked in if you're not careful, or disciplined about your use of social media. I've found it useful to schedule two chunks of time during the day for Facebook/twitter/Pinterest/Instagram: once in the morning and once before I'm done for the day.
Take Maintenance into account
Don't forget about site maintenance, responding to comments, plugin updates, backups, etc. Set a time every day or once a week to do all of these things together so you won't have to worry about whether they're done or not.
Just Do It
No matter what, get your butt in your chair at the same time every day. Create a routine and discipline for yourself so that you can achieve your blogging goals. We always rebel against discipline (or I do anyway…) because we think it stifles our creativity, or it's not “fun.” But the reality is that discipline & routine is essential for success in work & life. And the great thing is that once you've settled into your routine and become disciplined about your day and your blogging habit, you will start to see that you actually have MORE time, now that your time is more organized. More time for blogging…more time for life.
Funny how that works, isn't it?
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]