Blogkeeping // On Consistency

Blogkeeping // On consistency // Elembee.com

Today I want to talk a little about the biggest lesson I’ve learned in blogging and how it’s been affecting me lately. When it comes to blogging, or probably anything else you do for that matter, consistency is important. It’s been somewhat of an underlying theme here lately. Want to get more out of Twitter? Be consistent. Want to grow your readership? Be consistent.

When I first started blogging, I had no idea what I wanted to do with it. And some days, I still don’t know! But the turning point for me in blogging, which took me more than a year to figure out by the way, was when I started posting consistently — both in frequency and topics. Up until that point, I would skip weeks of posting, and my thoughts were scattered. When I finally sat down and created an editorial calendar, posting on a regular schedule, I was able to define my style, find my voice, and quickly figure out whether or not I enjoyed posting about certain topics. I’m not saying you should post five days a week, or pick a few topics and only stick to those. I’m just saying it’s helpful to make time to experiment and find what works for you, and unless you schedule it in, it’s not going to happen.

This is an important topic to me because I used to be such a perfectionist. I still am to a certain extent, but blogging really taught me that the process is just as important as the end result, if not more so, and you aren’t going to get anywhere if you wait until you can make things absolutely perfect. There’s something to be said for proper planning, and you have to determine at what point you’re holding yourself back because of perfecting something versus making sure you’re putting your best work out there. But if you’ve been sitting on an idea for a while, sometimes you just have to get something out there for it to grow — in fact, sometimes by getting an idea out there, it grows into something better than you imagined to begin with!

I’m bringing up this topic today not only because it ties in with some of the other things we’ve discussed lately, but also because I’ve been struggling lately with the balance between consistency and maintaining sanity. I skipped some blogging last week, because at some point you do have to accept that something isn’t going to get done, and that something might be blogging. And I do think it’s important to recognize when you need a break. But at the same time, once you take a break, sometimes it’s that much harder to keep going!

Maybe it’s because I work from home, but as much as I enjoy blogging, some days it feels like too much extra work. I think I’m going to experiment with posting more frequently again, because I used to really enjoy starting my day with blogging so I was always doing at least one thing creative for myself each day, and it’s actually harder to do that when you’re only posting a few days a week. I still may not post every day, but my goal is to work at least a little on a blog post each day, even if it doesn’t get published that day. We’ll see what happens, I just miss that daily creativity. Thanks for bearing with my little experimenting, and I hope it encourages you to do some experimenting of your own!

How do you balance consistency and maintaining your sanity? What has been your biggest lesson in blogging?

40 Comments

  1. Carrie S. wrote:

    This is really great advice and very true. I was a business owner for 11 years (closed in 2010) and blogged 5 days a week. My blog was instrumental in connecting me to my customer base, creating community and opened up multiple avenues of publicity (in print!) that I could have never found on my own. When I closed, I went back to work outside the home and stopped blogging (I desperately needed a break!). I’ve recently returned to the platform, but on a more personal level and am noticing that it’s hard to get back into the swing of things! My voice is also different now that I’m not promoting a business/product, and have really yet to refine it, or my goals. Thanks for this post; it’s going to help me see where I want to go now. 🙂

    Posted 3.20.13
    • Yeah, it’s funny, when I switched to posting 3 days a week this year, I thought it would make things easier for me. But it ended up getting me out of the habit of making time for myself each day, so the days that I did post seemed more like a chore. I still may not post 5 days a week since some of the things I post now take more time than they used to, but for me, I think it’s important to work on a blog post each day at least a little, even if I don’t publish that day.

      Posted 3.20.13
  2. christin wrote:

    That I can’t do it all. I couldn’t maintain a full-time job, my health and a blog. So now I’m blogging 3x a week.

    Posted 3.20.13
    • I definitely don’t mean everyone should be posting 5 days a week — I don’t even do that right now. I’m just saying it’s helpful to pick a schedule and stick to it, even if it’s just one day a week, whatever works for you.

      For me personally, it wasn’t until I picked a schedule and stuck to it that I started getting anything out of blogging, and I don’t just mean for things like growing my readership, etc. Making time to do something creative for my blog each day spilled over into other areas of my life — I’m now much more conscious of the things I buy because I’ve taken the time to define my style, and I do a lot more creative projects (like repainting my furniture) than I did before.

      Posted 3.20.13
    • Christin – I totally agree with you! With everything going on with a full-time job, a baby on the way, and life in general, two or three posts a week is where I’m at with consistency. And I try to keep these posts at a higher quality level.

      Lisa – What are your thoughts on consistently posting at the same time? Or on the same days? For example, MWF at 7am. I can be a bit all over the place with my days and times. Am I overthinking things or is it helpful?

      Posted 3.20.13
      • I’ve been posting MWF, but my times have been all over the place. Traffic wise, I would say when I was posting 5 days a week, I definitely noticed a difference when I posted later in the day, but when I started posting 3 days a week, it didn’t make as much of a difference, because anyone I missed on one day would just catch up the next day. When you’re posting everyday, I think people are just more likely to skip a post if they miss it.

        Personally, I’ve found it helpful to stick to some sort of schedule, at least posting on certain days, because otherwise I just say I’ll do it tomorrow! And then it never happens.

        Posted 3.20.13
    • Becky wrote:

      Agree with Christin. Also, I’ve always worked in the Emergency Room so posting on a reg schedule is so hard for me esp working full-time crazy hours. I still don’t know how some post 5 days a week working full-time. I’m really working on getting 3 great posts out a week.

      Posted 8.20.13
  3. I used to be obsessed with consistency. Now I am obsessed with quality. But both are important! As a fine artist, I finally realized that its better for each post to be work I am proud of, even if it takes a ridiculously long time for each post. That meant scaling back on frequency, but not consistency.

    Thanks for covering this topic, it is something that I think about a lot, and I like to read what various bloggers have to say about it.

    Posted 3.20.13
    • I don’t think consistency and quality are mutually exclusive. If it takes you a week to put together a quality post, but you do it every week, that’s still consistent! Personally, until I told myself I would make time to post and actually scheduled it in, it was too easy for me to find other things that just had to be done instead, even though I really enjoyed blogging.

      Posted 3.20.13
  4. Jessica R. wrote:

    I used to be so consistent, but I’ve lost some of that as life has gotten crazy. But the amazing thing? My blog readers check on me when I’m gone too long! And that is wonderful.

    Posted 3.20.13
    • Yeah, it’s definitely hard to find balance! I enjoy blogging more when I’m making time to do it regularly, but at the same time, I don’t want to be so stuck on a schedule that it feels like a chore and gets in the way of actually living my life.

      Posted 3.20.13
  5. Joelle wrote:

    This is really great Lisa! I think consistency is so important, but so is finding that balance that works for you. I started sticking to an editorial calendar so strictly that I felt stifled, and needed to take a step back. It’s about creativity, yes, but if you’re serious about blogging, then it is about finding that schedule and consistency that works for you. Thanks for sharing! And I hope you do start to post more 😉 xo

    Posted 3.20.13
    • I did the same thing with my editorial calendar! In the beginning, talking about certain things on specific days was really helpful, but I eventually reached a point where I was forcing myself to post about things I didn’t feel like talking about at the moment. I really think it’s all about trying things out until you find something that works for you, and be willing to switch things up when it’s not working for you anymore.

      And thanks, I’m definitely going to give it a try! I’ve really been missing that daily creativity I used to have when I was posting 5 days a week.

      Posted 3.20.13
  6. I’m only three weeks into blogging and very much still learning absolutely everything. I’ve always been the straight-A student/perfectionist, so giving myself permission to experiment and not be perfect has been a bit freeing.

    That being said, as someone still learning, I really look forward to your blogkeeping posts, because I always learn something from someone who’s work I really respect. So thank you for the lessons and the inspiration. As always, I look forward to reading so many more.

    Posted 3.20.13
    • Thank you so much, Stacey! And I’m totally with you on the perfectionist thing. I think you just have to keep reminding yourself that what you’re doing now will help you grow later, even if it’s not perfect.

      Posted 3.20.13
  7. I so agree with all of your thoughts, Lisa! I’m definitely still working out where I want my blog to go, but I’ve made an effort throughout to post five days a week, and even when it’s felt like extra work, I’ve still be grateful to have built up such an arsenal of posts over only a few months.

    I’ve also found that doing more series-style posts is such a great way to achieve consistency and also kind of give yourself a break — when I need a post for mid-week and am feeling uninspired, I can work on a new post for a series I started and it manages to fill out my editorial calendar and continue that theme of consistency all at the same time!

    Posted 3.20.13
    • I agree — it definitely helps to have a series where you don’t have to think as much about what you want to post, since the concept is already there and you just have to fill in the pieces.

      Posted 3.20.13
  8. I’ve decided, instead of a weekly blogging schedule, to go by a bi-weekly schedule. I think this will allow me to space out my topics and keep me from stressing out about getting a post up EVERY SINGLE DAY.

    Posted 3.20.13
    • That’s great! It’s definitely more helpful to find a schedule that works for you than trying to force yourself to do it every single day.

      Posted 3.20.13
  9. Tyra wrote:

    This topic came right on time. I have not been consistent enough in my own opinion so I bit the bullet and brainstormed ideas for an hour. I’m working on filling in the content behind those ideas as I would like to be at least 1 week ahead! I feel like this would take the pressure off! One question- do you all have anyone wordsmith/ read your draft posts?

    Posted 3.20.13
    • Awesome! If you figure out how to get one week ahead, let me know — I still can’t seem to master that!

      And no, I don’t have anyone else edit my posts. I just try to look over everything at least a few times before publishing.

      Posted 3.20.13
  10. Kate wrote:

    Girl, I feel you. This last month I have really fallen off the wagon with consistency, so this is a really good reminder. It’s just hard when there are so many things that have to be prioritized over blogging, and at the end of the day I don’t want to spend my evening hammering out a blog post after working on client stuff all day. I’m hoping to build up my editorial calendar and be better organized for April… we’ll see!

    Posted 3.20.13
    • That is exactly how I’ve been feeling. Most of my posts lately have been written late the night before or the day of. I finally filled in my editorial calendar with ideas, and if they get published that day, great, and if not, that’s ok too.

      Posted 3.21.13
  11. Consistency is really hard for me. In July I committed (to myself) that I’d post M-F at least 1x a day, but on the few weeks since then that I’v fallen off the wagon, I notice it’s SO much harder to write a post after I skip a day.

    Posted 3.20.13
    • I guess some of us, me included, just do better with routine.

      Posted 3.21.13
  12. I’m trying not to worry about consistency anymore. I used to think posting every day so that people would learn to expect it was so important, but then I realized that I like it when I don’t see a blog every day in my Reader. It’s definitely a “don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” sort of thing. MBG with her once-every-two-weeks is the worst. By that second week, I’m dying to see a post. And I definitely don’t have to worry about letting my blog sit for a while and then not having any motivation to post to it, because I’m way too opinionated to be quiet for long.

    I secretly wouldn’t mind posting a picture a day, but I hate the idea of forcing my readers to have to come up with a “nice job” comment every day. Maybe I just need to install some sort of Like button so I can get the feedback without asking for so much.

    I love how I start a comment to you thinking I don’t really have anything to say and then write two paragraphs.

    Posted 3.20.13
    • Haha, MBG is kind of killing me right now with her teaching us photography tease. I think it’s great you can go a few days without posting and still want to post. I guess I’m one of those people that if I don’t keep the ideas flowing, my brain just shuts down haha.

      I wouldn’t mind seeing a photo a day from you. You could always turn off the comments for those posts.

      Posted 3.21.13
  13. Allyssa wrote:

    I used to be pretty good with the consistency, but lately things have gotten so busy that at the end of the day I don’t want to write a blog post. Maybe I’ll have to try starting the day by writing a post. All I know is that I need to find a way to make it work!

    Posted 3.20.13
    • I think it makes a huge difference starting the day with blogging instead of ending the day with it — at the end of the day it just feels like a chore. I like starting the day with something creative for myself, but at the same time, I have to limit my time, otherwise I wouldn’t get anything else done!

      Posted 3.21.13
  14. Thanks, Lisa! I am currently struggling with balancing my fulltime job, my health, my blog and starting a quality shop with items I am proud of. I feel like I am pulled in different directions and it is hard to focus on my posts like I really want to. I have always wanted to try and do an editorial calendar, I think it is time I gave it a try, it might help me feel less scattered when it comes to my posts! xx

    Posted 3.20.13
    • I think it helps just to get some ideas down, that way you aren’t at a loss on what to blog about when you actually sit down to do it. I don’t always want to talk about what I planned each day, so I just move that topic to another day. It just helps to have a starting point!

      Posted 3.21.13
  15. I just started following your blog and look forward to all of your blogging tips. I’m a stay at home mom and I’ve been blogging a little over a year. It took me about 6 months or so before I finally had a consistent schedule. This Fall I took a challenge to blog daily which was tough, but it helped me in terms of establishing a monthly calendar of posts. I now blog 5 days a week most days, but find I can get burned out so I try to stay a few days ahead of schedule. I’m still trying to figure out the whole blog/life balance. I’m also a perfectionist and have had to let go of some of that or else I would never get anything done. Another thing that has helped me is having weekly columns.

    Posted 3.20.13
    • I did a daily blogging challenge early on as well — it was super helpful in terms of getting used to a routine!

      Posted 3.21.13
  16. Dani wrote:

    I am striving to keep up 3 posts a week which is a lot for me. Because I do everything myself (baking, staging, photography, editing) it takes about 2 days for my recipe posts to be up and about one day for printable and design related posts. I was considering doing more round-up style posts to fill the gaps, but then again I am not sure it fits with my “brand” (it’s still an air quote brand, it will hopefully soon be a real brand 😉 ) Thanks Lisa, for another great article.

    Posted 3.21.13
    • I think it’s definitely important to recognize what you can and want to do — no point stressing yourself out over 5 posts a week when you’re really enjoying putting together 3! I really admire bloggers who post recipes — I don’t think I’d have the willpower to stage and take photos before eating!

      Posted 3.21.13
  17. Chantelle wrote:

    I’ve been blogging for years, but life has kept me away from any sort of consistency. Now I’m putting more time into my blog and trying to be more consistent. I have a habit of trying to do a lot (i.e. too much) at one time and in order to prevent burn-out, my approach to an editorial calendar is counter-intuitive. Instead of posting every day or every other day, I’ve banned myself from posting twice within 72 hours. Hopefully, that way I won’t burn out and will always look forward to posting quality things. I’m unsure, though, because I only started that schedule this month.

    Posted 3.26.13

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