One of the local services that I really like in Halifax, one that I subscribe to and regularly evangelize to many of my friends and followers is a service called GetGifted. If you’re not familiar with it, GET familiar with it. Essentially, you sign up (for free) and once a week (EVERY Tuesday) you get an email with the gifted list. The gifted list is a list of local companies that are offering you something (for free). Get it. Free. Whether it’s a $5 off coupon or a free something or other, the point is that every single week, on Tuesday, I get an email from them and they give me something free. I’ve used this to purchase a meatless philly cheese steak sandwich from Envie and a meat filled Iron Worker pizza from Little Freemans, not to mention two delicious coffees from Uncommon Grounds. But there’s one thing that GetGifted does exceptionally well that may get overlooked. To me, it’s not the free (although that helps) and it’s not the local (although I don’t need Papa John’s coupons, so that helps. It’s the “every Tuesday”.

I work with several clients who are working on developing blogs either AS their business persona or as a supplement to their business persona. We talk about what kind of content. We talk about the length of content. They seem to get those things pretty easily. The one thing that I have trouble explaining the importance of is the “every Tuesday”. You see, readers want regular content. They want to know that every Tuesday there will be a new post up or that every Wednesday they’ll get an email with your new article. They want consistency and regularity. It’s something I’ve struggled with personally for the last 12-15 months (which happens to be the amount of time that we’ve been pregnant with or caring for our second child. Go figure). It haunts me more than any other feature of my blogging. And here’s how most people get it wrong.

“I’m going to write three posts a week. I’m going to launch them on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays”. Fast forward to four months later. You’ve posted a dozen articles, sometimes on a Tuesday, sometimes on a Monday, sometimes you skip a week, sometimes you post something daily. You have failed.

“I’m going to post every Friday.” Unless there’s a holiday. Or I don’t post on that Friday. Then I’ll post on the next Monday. Well, it’s Tuesday. I’ll just post it this coming Friday. You have failed.

The lesson? Don’t look at blogging as what you’ll do when you’re at your very best. Consider what you’ll be able to accomplish when you’re at your very worst. It sounds like a real downer, I know. Believe me. I know. And I’m not trying to be negative. I’m trying to be honest. You’re adding blogging on top of working, on top of family, on top of everything. So what makes you think that it’s going to move to the absolute forefront of every single day of your routine. It won’t. Sure, it should be thought of. And it should be thought of regularly. But do yourself a favor and complete this sentence; “I know that I can write ONE article every X days…” It doesn’t matter if X equals one, two, twelve, or fifty. What matters is that you stick to that statement.

When I started blogging with OneRedCat, I decided that every week I would post three new articles. And for awhile, I did. But then a web project would come up, or my son would not be feeling well, or I would start another project. I would no longer be “at my best” and as such could no longer commit to that schedule. So, I lowered it to two a week. Then one. Then I occasionally blogged. This wasn’t all negative. In fact, some of it was because I was getting very busy with these other projects and blogging took a backseat. And that’s fine. But recently, I was talking blogging with someone and I asked if they had read my most recent post (they usually do) and they said that they’d stopped reading because for awhile there was no new content. There’s a million blogs out there. If you leave your readers thinking you might be dead, your blog will be buried.

So, how do we fix it?

First, make a commitment. Finish the sentence. Here’s mine. “I know that I can write ONE article every SEVEN days.” Going forward, OneRedCat will have a new post up every single Thursday. Without fail.

Second, bank some articles. Lock them away. If you’re on a roll, keep writing. In the past three days I’ve written four pieces for the two projects I write for. But instead of trying to pump them out now, I’m banking them. They will be posted in order, on the schedule I have set for myself. But I’m also not going to rely on them. Great, I have four posts in the bank. I guess I can goof off and not write for a couple weeks. WRONG. I’m going to continue to try to stay ahead of the curve so that when my fingers are broken in a freak accident, they can heal and my blog will roll on.

Finally, take notes. Every time I have an idea that MIGHT make a good blog post, it goes in a note. One sentence usually, or a quote. When I get a spare minute, I look back at those notes. I don’t rely on my memory.

And if you need help with scheduling, content delivery, writing, editing, social media promotion and all stops in between, drop me a line. I’m happy to help.

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