How I learned How To Write Blog Content Consistently
If you want to use your website to generate leads, you must write blog content consistently. There’s simply no getting around it. Marketing in most any form uses the written language in some way, but not in the way online marketing does. In online marketing world, your words become your vessel for your prospects to get to know you, like you, and trust you. Not just your prospects, though. You’re also earning Google’s trust, too. In order to get that trust, you must write, and you must write consistently. I liken this to exercise. With exercise, you have a lot of delayed gratification. You won’t have more energy, or lose weight until you’ve put in a few weeks of work. Likewise, you probably won’t see a single opportunity from your web content for months. If you stop working out, any of the progress you made will regress back to its former state. In many ways, the same can be said about web content. Google (and your audience) want to see consistent, quality content from you and if you stop writing, they will find newer quality content to replace your ranking in-time. Over the years, I have made countless blogs, helped write on many more blogs, and have written what seems like a never-ending loop of web copy. There is always content that needs written, and at times I have struggled with truly getting into the truly consistent habit of writing each day. Usually, I would write with consistency for about 3–4 weeks, but slowly slip back into my non-writing ways. I would always end up with some sort-of excuse, like “I can’t think of anything to write,” or “I can’t find a focus keyword to write my content for”. I knew that something needed to change. How could I become a thought leader in any industry if I couldn’t even get myself into the habit of writing enough content to keep my own blog updated?
I love listening to podcasts while I’m in the shower, or in the car. Listening to interviews of other freelance professionals, learning about their personal struggles they are having has taught me a lot, and given me much perspective. One particularly great day, I was listening to Ed Gandia (he’s a great resource if you’re a freelancer. Seriously, go subscribe to him right now!). Ed recommended the book Mini Habits to his audience during one of his podcasts. My interest was piqued. Immediately, I thought about the trouble I was having with keeping up with my writing needs long-term, so I picked up an audiobook copy and began listening. I was glad I did, because what I read had a profound impact on my paradigm of writing. I realized that I was going about writing blog content consistently all wrong. In the book, the author talks about a paradigm shift he took in his habit forming practices. Instead of pushing himself to do 20 pushups a day, just “powering through it with willpower,” he told himself that all he had to do was 1 pushup a day. His brain (perhaps even his ego) said “one pushup?! Of course I can do just one pushup!” So he did. He hit his goal by doing one measly pushup every day. Why does this matter? Because he was focusing on creating a habit. A habit of exercising. Guess what happened after he was already on the floor, in the “push-up” position? Yep. He did a few more. Then a few more.
The first half of this blog post was written using this mini habit strategy. I have a goal of writing 5 words a day for my blog. There have been several nights where I did nothing more than write a 5 word long blog post title, save the file, crack my knuckles, and roll into bed with complete satisfaction that I hit my goal. Then there are other days, where I feel more motivated to write, so I do. The first 700 words of this blog post were written because I told myself to sit down and write 5 words, but I was already here, I was motivated to write, and found myself frantically mashing at the keyboard in no-time. What makes this strategy work, at least for me, is because it is not about the quantity of content, it’s about forming my blogging habit. It’s all about making my brain more comfortable with the idea of writing every day. Just like any other daily habit, it has become engrained into my lifestyle, and I find myself writing daily with less resistance than I had in the past, but it is still nice to know that I have the failsafe of writing a measly 5-words if my willpower, my energy, or my time fails to allow me to write more. I had little trouble keeping up with my daily writing goal this recent holiday season (I’m looking at you, Christmas) because of this 5-word minimum. I simply pulled up my list of post ideas and jotted down an article idea. Boom. Goal reached. #jobsdone!
Learn to love writing. Engrain it in your marketing. Engrain it in your daily routine. Make it a habit to do a little bit every single day, and you’ll find that it becomes easier with time. Writing is a skill that can only truly be developed by doing, so get to it! It won’t always be easy, but don’t expect me to say “just power through it!” Those words, while true, are cheap and shortsighted. You need more than brute force to create a habit, so stop thinking that way. Instead, focus on a system that makes it as easy as possible to form the habit that will work in your favor in the long haul. Content marketing is not a race, it’s a marathon. Don’t burn out, because you’ll end up losing your progress for stopping for too long. All successful content marketers find their success with a good life-balance topped off with great, well-formed habits. Focus on building those habits, and the content, and opportunities will come your way with time.