Can’t Find The Time To Blog? Create A Blog Checklist

Time. There is never enough of it. As sobering as that is to consider, you and I still have the same amount as Michelangelo, Charles Dickens, Homer, etc., an elusive twenty-four hour block.

And if we want to publisher to consider our work, we need to have a platform AND still have time for our books.

Photo Credit: Auntie P via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Auntie P via Compfight cc

I sacrificed my blog this summer to work on my book because I could not find the time. But after revamping my writing goals, I committed to my platform once again. To do this, I created a game plan and tried to write faster by using a blog checklist.

What is a blog checklist? It’s the essential ingredients to most of my blogs.

  1. Strong opening paragraph, just above the posts image. This may sound prideful but it’s the cornerstone for the rest of the post. This is the hook, the question, or the issue.
  2. Solid image. Not something cheesy or overused or confusing. Just a good photo (I use free images from compfight with proper accreditation) pertaining to this post.
  3. Write in 2-4 sentence paragraphs. Keeps it clean, tight, and readable.
  4. Include personal or relative story. I’m a story teller, so it’s only natural I tell something about myself, family, or closely related story.
  5. Include Interlinks, I try to include at least one, this will help readers connect your ideas and get more familiar with your content.
  6. Closing statement, challenge, or call to action.

I put together this post in about forty minutes. A year ago it would have taken about an hour. This comes with practice and making sure you have a system, however, no system fits all.

If you have tips or tricks to write faster content please share below. I hope you find this posts helpful and encouraging. That, I hope, is always my intent.

How do you win the blog versus book battle?

10 Ways To Get Your Blog Back On Track

Blogging can be exciting in the beginning. Then, out of nowhere, we hit a plateau. It’s at this point we can make a decision to either give up or dig in.

Below I list ten ways to get your blog back on track. If you are struggling, try a few of these methods. They also work if you are just starting out.

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Photo Credit: Cappellmeister via Compfight cc

Know who you are. If you are a fantasy writer, don’t write about pollution. If you are not a professional don’t write posts about how to make it. You are constructing your own platform and if you are not true to who you are or what you write it’ll be hard to find someone that will listen.

Know your audience. Speak to your audience’s condition. If you are speaking to the sci-fi fantasy crowd or talking about the joys and perils of retirement, know what is relevant and helpful to that demographic.

Follow the leader. There’s bound to be a blogger who is further along than you. They may even have blazed the trail to exactly where you want to go. Watch them closely. Learn what they do best.

Be consistentpost time, topic, etc. If you are writing a literary blog, don’t talk about Fifty Shades of Grey. If you are writing about gardening, don’t weigh in on the latest about Kim Kardashian. Unless she is gardening and maybe not even then. Consistency is key. If you post consistently your audience will begin to anticipate when fresh content is available and they will be waiting.

Be mindful of details. Recently most fonts were opened on the theme I use. Don’t think that’s such a big deal? I recently read that some fonts are considered prudish and untrustworthy. Yes. Fonts. So, do your research and understand that even the mundane tweak can mean a lot.

Write ahead. If you have a busy life where time can be sucked into a black hole in a moment’s notice, this is key. Look for spots to fit writing in and if you are writing ahead you will be prepared for whatever life event may suddenly arise.

Commit to the relaunch mental battle. Commitment can require us to cast off what is natural. Sleep, time with friend, work, etc. If you are doing a re-launch be sure your mind is ready for the fight. Know that trials will happen and nothing worth doing is easy.

Set personal goals you can reach but are a bit of a stretch.  This will vary from person to person depending on the season of life. You may post once a week, every day, or twice a month.

Set launch a date. Set a hard deadline for the relaunch of your blog. Build it to look professional, write ahead, and then bam, go live. You can tweek the minor things later.

Connect social media widgets and let your friends know! This is key. Find people who can support you. No writer can keep going in a vacuum. We need people. Your friends and family are most likely going to champion your work.

Blogger, get a clear vision, look for ways to improve and then jump. Even if it feels uncomfortable.

Don’t Hate Your Blog

There are times I love to post because it means I get to interact with other writers. I also get to contribute to the wide world of writing immediately. But that might be one of the reasons a blog and a novel don’t get along all that well. They fight for time and one is instant gratification. Which one wins?

I was hot and cold with my blog over the last year, like a teenage relationship.

Blog Bubble“You’re pretty cool, let’s be friends.”

Next day

“You’re gross, I hate you.”

Next day

“Want to get hang out?”

And so on.

Seriously, it was exhausting. I’d write on here for a week straight and celebrate the comments and the stats! Yeah! But then I’d come to the realization that I had not worked on my novel in a week and I’d immediately be crushed. I would stop blogging and shift gears and loose readership along the way.

So how can we end this cycle?

If you are a beginning blogger take this advice, find some rhythm. Find something that works with your novel and your schedule.  Post once a week or twice a week on the same days each week. If your writing time is limited and you are a fiction writer focus on your book during your writing time. You need something to share from that platform once created.

There are many advantages for creating a blog from which you can one day rule the world. It can foster relationships, lead to a book contract and, most importantly, help your mind work on small writing deadlines. But it can also be a distraction from your writing aspirations, so tread lightly!

Write 1000 words on your book this weekend! Seriously, don’t doubt. Do it!

Cheers,

Bob

 

 

 

 

5 Ways To Revive Your Blog

A blog is many things to a writer: journal, mile marker, community, platform, and even a daily proof that you are in fact a writer. I’ve struggled to keep up with the expectations I had for my blog for several reasons. When I sit back and think of the main reason it is because I have not made it a priority.

Time has always been my main complaint because I have so little of it and I like to work on my novel when I find that small window of opportunity. But that complaint is just an excuse. So, I thought, what would I have to do to revive my blog? How can I stay connected to the community I value and share the things I have learned while still keeping that sacred time of novel writing safe? Here are five ideas.

Renovate
Renovate

1. With limited time to spend, spend limited time on it. What do I mean? Sometimes it takes an hour to put together a well thought out blog. For this week I am going to spend only twenty minutes a day on a blog.

2. Go out. I spend too much time on my own blog. Blogging is supposed to be about community. Visit other blogs comment and like, simple as that. It will generate traffic and generate ideas.

3. My blog is two years old and I was bored with it. Sort of like having the same haircut for a decade.  Give your blog a facelift. New theme, new widgets and there you go. A new you er, blog. That’s something to be excited about.

4. Rhythm. Writing is all about it. Work on a novel or article for an hour each month and you will loose the taste for it. The same with your blog. Write once a week, twice a week or whatever works. You will get into a groove and your readers will too.

5. Make a commitment. Like any relationship, goal, job or house, when you get off track or too busy to maintain it, it can fall apart. You have to give it proper time. If it is a priority and it matters, you have to buck up and recommit.

I hope this helps you reignite the blog you once loved. Keep it simple and realistic and you’ll be on you way.

Cheers,
Bob

Making Plans

It’s been a month or so since I’ve written my blog. It’s been a few more since I’ve blogged consistently. This hiatus has been an intentional one, though I have missed my writing comrades scattered across the globe.

What I’ve Been Up To

I dropped my blog for a couple of reasons. First, I was allotting all of my writing time to my blog and commenting while I was in the middle of a dramatic overhaul of my novel. This required nearly all of my writing effort and writing time. I am pleased to report that it is finished and I am doing a final grammar scrub. I hope to have it to an acquisitions editor by my thirtieth birthday on May 19th.

Also, I have written a few short stories and submitted one of them. I’ve been inspired by reading several of Ray Bradbury’s articles on writing collected in Zen in the Art of Writing. They are wonderful. I would recommend them to any writer.

My Plans

I planned on picking a new theme/platform for the blog relaunch but it’s proven difficult to find one I like. I hope to do this soon.

Over the next year, I plan to cycle my novel through a few Literary Agents and hope for some feedback.

Also, I would like to get a short story finished every two weeks and submitted to journals or websites. I plan on submitting to multiple places from literary journals to flash fiction to sci-fi/fantasy. As a writer it is good to stretch yourself and I hope to do that.

Goals
That’s a lot of goals

I want to keep my writing goals realistic as I tend to be someone with way too many plans and not enough time. If only I could figure out how to survive on an hour or so of sleep. If you have figured that out, please let me know.

All of these goals are going to be up in the air come July as we welcome a new addition to the family. My son is due at the end of July!

Overall, it has been an exciting year for writing. I look forward to more submissions and rejections.

How about you?

Have you met your writing goals?

Are you using your writing time wisely?

Cheers,

Bob