Someone asked me in last week’s eLearning Freelancer Bootcamp Q&A about how I maintain my blogging momentum. I’ve been blogging since late 2006, and I’m still publishing every week. I have published over 1100 posts (about 400 “real” posts plus 700 posts of curated links). That’s a lot of writing. Many people start blogging but struggle to get past the first handful of posts. These are the methods I use to keep blogging consistently, year after year.
Consistent publishing schedule
Decide how often you want to publish, and aim to stick to that. One post a month consistently is better than 8 posts one month and then nothing for the next 3 months as you recover. I aim to publish every Tuesday morning, with emails going out either Tuesdays or Wednesdays depending on the exact publishing time.
I keep a very messy Google Doc with inspiration for posts. In a post several years ago about where I get blog post ideas, I noted my primary sources:
- Online discussions
- Questions from readers
All of those sources can give you good questions or ideas. Part of the trick is writing them down or collecting them as you come across those ideas. The running document works well for me, but you might find a tool like Evernote to be easier for collecting those thoughts.
Presentations and podcasts
I use the recordings of presentations or podcast interviews as blog posts. That’s the most direct repurposing I do. I could go one step further and add transcripts to the blog posts, which might be helpful for folks who would rather read than listen. (If you’d appreciate that, could you let me know with a comment or reply?)
When I plan a presentation or conference session, I often repurpose content. It goes in both directions: I present on topics I have blogged about, and I blog about the specifics of my presentation.
For example, let’s take my session on Streamlining Branching Scenario Planning and Design. I have given this presentation for two groups (with changes):
- The Online Network of Independent Learning Professionals (watch the recording)
- The Learning Solutions Online Conference (recording available if you were registered)
I’ll also be giving this session again at DevLearn in October.
That presentation drew on several existing blog posts, like 3 Tricks for Working with SMEs on Branching Scenarios and Managing the Complexity of Branching Scenarios. I also wrote some new posts, like Branch and Bottleneck Scenario Structure. That post in particular meant I already had some graphics ready to include in my presentation. So, I got a good topic for a blog post, plus I reused that topic in my presentation. My blog was essentially my first draft for thinking about the presentation.
With planning, consistency, inspiration, and repurposing, it’s easier to maintain momentum in blogging. It can be a challenge to keep writing all the time. I think this applies to a lot of content creation, not just blogging. If you’re creating a podcast, posting YouTube videos, or even just posting consistently on LinkedIn, these tips may make it easier to maintain momentum.