You cannot know for sure every one your writing helps. Not everyone will leave reviews, emails, or broadcast to the world how your vulnerability saved their life. Some people silently depend on the wisdom of your words, like pieces of salvation scribbled in ink. Some people are thirsty to hear your voice, and they wait for you to gather the courage to wrap them in that red cape we call writing. They are waiting for you to make them heroes to whatever suffering led them here. Not everyone is looking for words that are pretty either, cute, cuddly, and attractive looking. Some people need not be coddled but scorned out of comfort zones and disciplined out of negligence. Writers should keep writing because they are saviors to people they may never know.
One of the many complaints I hear from new bloggers is concerning time. Blogging takes a lot of time. This is true and time is a very precious thing. How we spend our time is a big deal. What you spend time on today can directly influence your day tomorrow or weeks and months ahead. These days, I don’t have a lot of time to blog and I am not mad about it. I have shifted my perspective on a lot of things, one of them being better managing my time. The PBS Blog is still growing and there are new subscribers daily even if I don‘t blog daily and engagement is decent. My posts are shared daily. All of this from not blogging. I am wasting time just talking about it, actually. I am sitting here writing a blog post when I should be doing laundry.
Define Your Purpose
What are you using your blog for? Do you plan to monetize your blog? In other words, get paid for blogging? Do you intend to keep your content free? Are you using your blog to reach more readers? Build an audience? Are you an author blogger or business blogger? Authors use blogging a bit differently than business bloggers. (I recommend Anne R. Allen’s book The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors) How are you using your blog to your advantage? This question is important because it will determine how you spend your time. Define your purpose for blogging. Don’t just say because you like to write or something vague like that. Be specific. Why did you start a blog and where do you want it to go? One thing I love about Dr. Boyce Watkin’s emails is that he has a clear purpose and everything goes back to that. His thing is Financial Literacy and by the end of every email you know that.
Your Purpose Can Change
Your purpose may also change as you grow and that’s not a bad thing. I didn’t know what I was blogging for when I first started. It took a couple years for me to figure that out and to narrow it down. I am here to connect with readers, black history buffs, to coach new bloggers of the WordPress platform, and to build with Independent Authors. Everything I do on this blog will ultimately go back to one or all of those points. I will either be writing, offering information on black history, giving out blog and writing tips or supporting Indie Authors. Everything I do must be consistent with these things. You may say, “but you didn’t say poetry and certainly you write poetry on this blog!” Truth. I also host a yearly poetry contest and I also didn’t mention inspiration though I am always offering words of encouragement. But this all falls under one of my core points.
Connecting with Readers
Poetry, Short Stories, Creative Writing pieces, Music, Testimony, e.g.
Black History Buffs
Black history articles and little known historical facts
Blog Coaching for New Bloggers of WP Platform
Supporting Indie Authors
Book Reviews, Promoting / Supporting other Authors, Writing Tips
Build a Schedule
I cannot speak enough about being consistent and having some kind of schedule can help with that. If you think this is unnecessary, then you should probably reevaluate why you’re blogging. Personally, I don’t want to do anything that does not provide some kind of value. If I am incorporating anything in my life whether it’s a blog or a new diet it had better give me a return in some way. For this to happen consistency is necessary and having a schedule can help.
Consistency doesn’t mean every day. Consistency just means regularly. This can be once a week or once a month. (I wouldn’t recommend once a month. I’d try for at least once a week) You don’t have to blog every day but you do have to know what you intend to get out of it. Again, what’s your purpose? Everything will go back to your reason for blogging in the first place. How you blog, your blog schedule, and your content will all come from why you are here. Once you know that, you will be able to build a schedule around this purpose and decide how much time you want to spend blogging. Consistency builds trust, trust builds value and value builds support.
Decide Exactly How Much Time You Want to Spend Blogging
If you are reading this post it probably means you are short on time to blog. You may be too busy to blog regularly but you do want to keep connection with your readers. Once you know why you want to blog and you have created a schedule for your blog, decide how much time you want to actually spend blogging (which should be a part of your schedule). If you only want to spend two hours on your blog just spend two hours on your blog! If it takes longer than two hours to draft a post, save it for another day. We will still be here.
Choose a Time to Offer Support Only
Schedule some time toward supporting other blogs. This is good because if you support others, others will support you even when you are not blogging. Supporting others can take 2 minutes or 30 minutes depending on the kind of support you’re offering but it doesn’t have to be grandiose. Supporting other bloggers can be as simple as liking their new post or sharing it on social media. It can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be. Since we are talking about managing time, you may be thinking:
“But EC, I don’t have time to spend on my own blog and now you’re saying I have to spend time on someone else??”
Firstly, you don’t have to do anything and secondly, I know and I get it. I must also admit that I need to spend more time on other blogs too. I don’t have as much time as I used to for blogging but supporting others, even if it’s just to retweet them, is something I squeeze in. Stephen King said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.” Likewise, if you don’t have time to be supportive of someone else blogs, why should anyone support yours? Choose a time (even if it’s a few minutes) simply to offer your support to someone else’s blog. Don’t mention your own blog and please don’t leave your blog link in their comments. That’s spammy and disingenuous. Make this time specifically about others and not you.
I read something once on Instagram the other day that applies nicely to this: “You don’t build a business. You build people and the people build the business.” I don’t know who said it but I’d like to apply the same to blogging: You don’t build a blog. You serve the people and the people build the blog. This blog is made up of people. I didn’t build this, the people did. YOU did.
Been a minute since I gave you an EC quote Friday. Today I just want to remind you that it’s hard to beat someone who won’t quit. Whatever you do, just keep going:
If you wrote an article no one reads, write another one. If you sing a song no one hears, sing another one. If you publish a book no one reads, publish another one. If you dance your heart out and no one watches, dance again. The most obvious solution to me in the face of adversity is to keep going. To always try just one more time.
If discipline is a form of self-love then a refusal to correct the things that are wrong in our lives is a form of self-hate. Let’s love ourselves better. Tune into today’s podcast to hear more.
Listen to Discipline and Consistency now on Soundcloud for more and be sure to subscribe for notification of new episodes.
To follow my personal IG page @yecheilyah
Blogging takes up a lot of time. To arrange a decent post takes at least an hour depending on how long the post is. For posts that require lots of research, it can take several days of research and gathering links before actually composing the post in the WordPress editor. Still, we are told that the best way to blog is to do it consistently. For busy bloggers, those with jobs and children and basically a life outside of the internet, blogging consistently is a real challenge.
You Don’t Have to Blog Everyday
The assumption that you have to publish a post every day is not entirely accurate. While posting every day is cool, that’s not ideal for everyone. Keeping a consistent blog is important but you don’t have to publish a post every single day in order to be successful. Be disciplined but do not obligate yourself to other people’s schedules. Just choose 2-3 days out of the week that you would like to dedicate to updating your blog.
Schedule Your Posts
Not every post has to be in real time. One of the biggest time savers for me is scheduling posts. This requires a bit of discipline since I have to get started days earlier depending on when I want the post to publish. For my Black History Fun Fact Friday posts, these are always scheduled days ahead because it requires research, fact-checking, and accuracy. To schedule your posts, here’s what you do:
Dashboard > New Post > Write out your post
Once you have written out your post, added tags and all that good stuff, scroll over to the publish section of the screen. It should be in the top right-hand corner. Next, to publish immediately, click on edit. The calendar will come up and you can choose when you would like the post to publish and the time. Keep in mind that the time will be in accordance with the timezone you have set. I am on USA Eastern Standard Time but my settings are Central Standard Time because I have moved to another state. When scheduling posts, I keep this in mind. (For those of you in the United States, it helps to choose a scheduling time that is convenient for people in other countries too. Scheduling my posts midnight my time means it will publish sometime in the morning in other countries. I have found this to work well).
Publishing quality posts is important but the quality posts usually take up the most time. You may get something good every so often, but not every day. (I have not published a poem in awhile). That’s why I think establishing segments can help. A segment is something special you have going on that occurs at the same time or day every week or every month. My No Whining Wednesday and Black History Fun Fact Friday are examples. I’ve been slacking, but segments like these help to keep this blog updated and it may help you as well. It will give you something to look forward to and if you are a super busy blogger, will help you to be consistent with your posts at least once or twice a week. I find it also helps with branding. People will get used to your segments and look forward to them. They may even follow your blog specifically for that segment alone.
Choose from the most used tags
Tagging your post can be time consuming, especially if you’re OCD like me where everything has to be perfect. You don’t want to just use any tags but you also don’t have a lot of time to publish this post. Well, once you’ve been blogging a while, under the tags you will see something that says “choose from the most used tags.” These are tags you use often.
You can click on these tags quickly to tag your post with the generic tags (like, blog, wordpress, writers, etc.) and then spend the rest of your time adding authentic tags, or tags that are specific to your post. You can also blog from your phone if that saves time, which leads to my next point.
Install the WordPress App
I am not always at home when my posts publish but I am capable of responding to comments quickly and visiting other blogs because of the WordPress app. It took me a minute to actually catch on (I used to do it the long way by just checking my email) but once I did it has made blogging for me easier by cutting down on time. You can instantly see who has commented on your post and who has liked your post using the app. Am I the only one who still pays attention to post likes? Probably so but this helps me to get to know my readers more actually. I know who the active followers of this blog are and the followers who no longer participate. I am aware of those who used to comment all the time and now do not and I know who the new subscribers are who have taken on that role. I even know some of the followers who have been here since day one. This leads to my last idea.
Pay attention to the posts people are really engaged in, the posts they enjoy most and interact with the most. This will cut down on a lot of time spent drafting something no one wants to read. I mean, I don’t spend a lot of time caring about what people will think of my posts, to be honest, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea to think about others from time to time. It’s your blog and you can write what you want and you should but blogging’s not fun without engagement. If you wrote a poem everyone liked, you may want to start to incorporate more poetry into your blog. After all, it’s about being of service to the people and not just in service to yourself.
Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday! It’s been a loonnnggg time!
If you are new to this blog or new to this segment please check out our first NWW post here to learn more about what this is all about.
Guys, we missed our first year anniversary!
No Whining Wednesday was started on January 4, 2017 and we managed to publish a whooping 22 episodes by years end. Who hoo!
Today’s inspiring quote:
“Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. Without commitment you’ll never start and without consistency, you’ll never finish.”
– Denzel Washington
This segment is all about reducing our stress levels by not worrying for an entire 24 hour period and Denzel’s quote is just what I needed. I have not been updating this blog as much as usual because I’ve been focusing on getting out of my comfort zone and today, I encourage you to get uncomfortable and to use it to help you to decrease your stress levels. Here’s an example of what I am doing today:
For this entire day, I’ve committed myself to not using my cell phone or social media (except for blogging). This means I won’t be sharing this post on social media until the sun sets my time (USA, EST). It also means it’ll take me a tad longer to respond to your comments since I won’t be using the super convenient WordPress app. I am doing this in an attempt to commit to something and to remain consistent with it. Sometimes we can be in a good mood but that mood may easily become affected by the mood of someone else. Complaining is contagious. When someone else does it we often feel the need to do it too.
Them: “Man, it’s too cold outside.”
You: “I know right. It is cold. Hope it warms up soon.”
You may not have realized it but you’ve just joined in with someone else complaint. It’s subtle but it’s there. You are both complaining about how cold it is outside, though you do both have a warm place to lay your head at night.
Complaining has become such an integral part of our lives that we do it without noticing. This means we worry or stress as a normal part of our everyday lives.
Today, commit to something that will help you not to worry so much and try to be consistent with it. It can be reading, writing, walking, exercising, anything that will help you to focus on the good and not the bad.