“How can I force myself to blog regularly?”
The investment and wealth managers in my blogging classes often ask this question. I grappled with this challenge during the 2010 Word Count Blogathon, for which I committed to post daily. And now I’m participating in the 2014 Blogathon. So this is a good time for me to share tips with you.
Tip 1: “Set it and forget it.” Most blogging platforms allow you to schedule blog posts in advance. This potentially lets you put your blog on auto-pilot when you’re busy. During the 2010 Blogathon I learned how to take automation one step further. I set HootSuite to tweet my blog posts without human intervention.
Tip 2: Blog when the spirit moves you, whether or not your schedule requires you to post. It’s much easier for me to blog when I’m in the mood. On a good day I can push out three or more blog posts. To help me write regardless of location, I always carry a spiral-bound notebook or pad of paper. It’s worthwhile jotting down blog ideas, not only full-fledged posts. It’s much easier to blog when you don’t face a blank PC screen or piece of paper.
Tip 3: Write posts that are “evergreen” or tied to a future event, so you’ll have material to post when you’re too busy to write. “Evergreen” articles aren’t time-sensitive. Like a pine tree, they don’t lose their attractiveness with the changing of the seasons.
When I participated in the May 2010 Blogathon, I scheduled a bunch of evergreens to run between May 16 and May 31, when I was distracted by attending the CFA Institute’s annual conference and going on vacation out West.
Blog posts tied to events such as the April 15 tax deadline or the August-September “back to school” season aren’t evergreen. But they can be written and scheduled long before a timely date for posting.
Tip 4: Keep it short. Short blog posts are okay. Just pick one point and explain it. This is how I dealt with Jeremy Grantham’s wide-ranging presentation to the CFA Institute’s annual conference. Having trouble writing economically about your topic? Slice it narrower.
Tip 5: React to online articles or blog posts. Notice when you have strong feelings upon reading something. Your passion makes it easier for you to jot down a quick blog post that links to the original article. Links spare you the need to describe the other author’s position in detail. However, it’s kind to your reader to briefly summarize what sparked your blog post.
Tip 6: Hire someone to type your blog posts if you dictate or write your drafts on paper. I drafted this post on a plane to Las Vegas. Later I scanned it for my virtual assistant to type. Or follow the suggestion that Bill Winterberg of the FPPad blog gives in the comments below.
Tip 7: Update and republish old blog posts. I originally published this post in 2010. However, with a few tweaks, it’s relevant again in 2014.
For more tips on blogging, check out my book, Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients.