Usually, I blog about fiction writing tips, but now I’m going to switch it up. I’ve started some practices that have helped me increase the numbers of blog entries I write as well as me be more motivated in my blog writing.
These tips are not directly geared toward increasing the number of followers who’ll read your blog, but indirectly they can help. I have seen an increase in the number of people who read my blog entries.
So here are some disciplines I’ve started doing that have helped me increase the numbers of blog entries I produce:
- I got organized. In the past, I would write whenever “inspiration” would hit me. As in writing in general, when waiting for inspiration to write a blog entry, weeks would go by because I would forget. But once I got organized, I found myself more motivated to keep up on my blogging regularly.
So what did I do that motivated me? I got organized. Instead of just writing a blog entry whenever, I used Scrivener to organize my blog schedule. If you don’t have Scrivener, you can follow the pattern in the graphic below to organize your folders and files in MS Word or Google.docs or whatever platform you prefer.
I created a folder with named for the year. In the above graphic above, I have named a folder for 2019, and then I’ve gone ahead and created a folder for 2020 since it’s just around the corner.
Within each folder named for the year, I create 12 folders, one for each month in that year. Simple, right? I only have three folders under 2019 because I started this Scrivener document in October.
Then, within the folder for the month you are writing, I create a folder labelled “WIP.” This stands for “Works-In-Progress.” Whenever I think of a potential topic for a blog entry, I create a file and give it a working title. I’ll just give it a name using the subject I will develop later on. For example, I have some files in my December 2019 WIP folder called “Author Interview: Mary Smith” and another called “Writing Fears.” I’ll give these files less generic titles once I write the blog entry.
After I write the blog entry, I drag the file out of the WIP folder and move it to directly under the folder for that month. I place date of the month and day before the title of the blog.
Here’s an example of the naming convention I use: 12.07 Writing Fears
This way, I can see what is coming up and what day. I then copy and paste the text of the file into the blog editing page (I use WordPress). I save the blog entry and schedule what day it will go live on my blog. Of course, at this time, I include any other graphics I may need as well as select the appropriate tags and categories.
- I started batching. Batching your work is a great way to get projects and tasks done in many areas of my life, and I use it when blogging. What I mean by “batch” is doing several blog entries at the same time. I usually use Saturday morning or one weeknight to do several blogs at once, especially the ones coming up for the next week.
For some reason, batching a project saves time.
More specifically, I’ll do similar blog postings at the same time. For example, every Friday, I list articles about fiction writing I’ve read from other blogs. I call these links “Friday’s Findings.”
Whenever I read an article on fiction writing I like, I’ll copy it’s title and URL and paste it to a document in my blogging Scrivener document under a folder called “Planning.” See the graphic above.
Once a month, I’ll create all my “Friday Findings” blog entries at once. I’ll take the links I’ve listed under “Planning/Friday’s Findings” and split them up between four documents I’ve created for that month. I label each file with the date and “Friday’s Findings”, schedule them in WordPress and, presto, I have four blog entries in one sitting.
Batching saves me time and helps me produce more blog entries at once. Try it for yourself and see if it works.
- I started outlining. Like I mentioned earlier, if I came up with an idea for a future blog post, I would just create a file and put it in my WIP folder. I would title the file with the subject. That way I can come back to it when I have time.
The next step is to outline several files in my monthly WIP at the same time. Again, this is the batching method. I may not have time to write a fully developed blog entry, but I could spend 20 or 30 minutes and brainstorm talking points for each subject.
Then I’d come back when I had time and develop one or two of these outlines into fully developed blog entries. Usually, I’ll do this for the upcoming week. I’ll move these developed files out of that month’s WIP folder and place under that month with the date and title using the naming convention I mentioned earlier.
At the end of the month, I move the WIP folder into the next month’s folder. Any topics I didn’t get to finish move along with the folder of course.
I know these tips may seem common sense to some, but for those of use who need a little boost in being organized, I hope they’ve helped. Feel free to list any best practices for blog writing in the comments below. I’d love to hear them.