6 Consistent Blogging Ideas for Busy Bloggers

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).

Establish Segments

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

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.

 

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You could be doing this as your post goes live, but you didn’t schedule it!

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Don’t Rob Yourself

They say to beware when a naked person offers you a shirt. You can’t sacrifice for others to the point that you rob yourself because you cannot give what you don’t already own. But if your well does not run dry, if your cup runs over, if you are overflowing, then you can afford to be of service, truly, to others. If you have a love for yourself then you can give love to others. If you are confident in yourself then you can inspire others, and if you are knowledgeable yourself then you can teach others. It all starts with self. To quote Iyanla Vanzant, ‘what’s outside of the cup is yours, what’s inside the cup is mine.’ In order to be of service to others, you must learn to keep yourself full.

10 Lessons My Book Signing Taught Me

  1. You have to learn to sell to a small audience before you can sell to a larger one.

Sometimes social media can give a false perception of success, whereas we think we have to constantly be working and grinding and that we have to have a lot of people support us. The truth is that we really just need a few committed individuals to build with to lay the foundation for where we ultimately want to be. If ten dedicated readers bought a book at $10 and left an Amazon review, that’s already ten reviews and $100. This is just an example and it may not seem like much to start but over time that number of dedicated people will grow. Don’t look to other people to determine what success is for you. Start off giving your best to the few people who are already there to support you.

  1. Don’t underestimate the power of your worth. People will travel for you and go through great lengths to meet you, hear you speak or buy your book.

I was worried that I had chosen a bad time for the morning signing. I knew that not everyone had that day off work and that the noon time slot meant many were still going to be at work. Tyler Perry’s Acrimony also released that same night and I don’t think myself more important than Mr. Perry in peoples list of priorities (they’ll choose him over me lol) However, the traffic turned out to be decent and a few people had traveled to buy a book in person. They came from Florida, North Carolina, and Gwinnett County Georgia.

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  1. It doesn’t matter how much you plan, things do not always go as planned. (and that’s OK)

When things go opposite of your wishes, don’t stress. That’s the plan itself and one day, you will be grateful things didn’t go as you intended. I was late for my own signing but I arrived at just the right time. The original time turned out to be too early for most people anyway but I had not taken into account lunchtime! The one, two o’clock time slot was perfect far as traffic flow.

  1. Genuine kindness goes a long way.

When I explained to people that support was not just financial and that they can take a business card if they didn’t want to buy a book, many of them changed their minds and bought a book. I wasn’t being deceptive, I actually meant what I said and was grateful for the people who did just take cards. If they couldn’t afford a book or maybe they were a passerby who didn’t know me and wasn’t sure, they could just visit me on the web. The fact that I had accepted this as a form of support (just as we do online), people were willing to go the extra mile for me just as my kindness had done for them.

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  1. Use what you got.

Another concern of mine was that I didn’t get the chance to get my poster, my colorful table coverings, and other author swag but I just focused on what I did have and put my energy into that. I didn’t have a card reader but I was at a bookstore, we can just use the register for change. I didn’t have author swag but I did have business cards which was the most important thing. I didn’t have a poster but I did have my voice, I can just speak. I shouted and got silly and communicated with the people. I made them laugh so they stopped at my table. I got up and walked around. Sometimes I was inside the store and sometimes I was outside talking to people who passed by. It’s not about what you don’t have, it’s about what you do have that matters most.

  1. Be yourself

I learned you don’t have to have a million strategies in place; you just have to be yourself. I think one of the greatest deceptions of being online is that things are actually a lot less stressful in real life. I thought I was going to be shy and worried about what to say and how to say it and how I was going to sound but none of that mattered. When it was time, I spoke and I didn’t need to have a long list of “author strategies for a book signing.” Just open your mouth and talk. Let the words come from the heart. Just be yourself.

  1. Embrace the growth.

My life since my last big signing event (2016) has changed dramatically. I am no longer a member of the same organizations and no longer communicate with the same people. I was saddened by the reality of that change and how only a select few of some of the people I considered family was still there to support me. However, when I got the chance to sit down and look at the pictures, it occurred to me that I have an almost entirely new group of readers! Of course, there are still my most faithful readers who will always be there and I am immensely grateful for their friendship and dedication. They are the core and the foundation. When I saw all the new faces, however, it helped me to appreciate them too and to notice my growth. Life is not about preaching to the choir all the time; it is also about bringing new people in and building with them.

  1. Keep writing.

I intended to sell some Stella books. I didn’t have to buy any because I still have some in stock. The reality, however, is that the final installment of The Stella Trilogy released two years ago so most people were interested in my new material (Renaissance and I am Soul). This showed me the importance of staying consistent with my writing and always having something fresh in store for my readers. Again, to sell to large audiences is to first sell to a small one and one way to take care of your readers is to consistently produce. There will always be room for older works but this weekend motivated me to write more. Whether it’s novels, poetry, short stories or blog posts! I want to give my best to those who support me.

9. Black men are supportive.

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There was a surprisingly large number of Black men who supported me! They came in droves and some of them even traveled. It was humbling. When this group of men surrounded me for the picture, I felt power and powerful. And even though I didn’t know them personally, I felt protected in a way. I could feel the energy. I also thought maybe as women we can be more supportive of each other in this same way. Let’s root for one another and support one another without preconceived notions. Let’s fix each other’s crowns without telling the world it even needed fixing. Let us crown each other the way these men crowned me.

10. Relationships sell books.

Finally, I learned that relationships sell books. Some of the people who traveled to see me did so because they had already known me over the years for my work both in publishing and in ministry. I had known some of them for several years and others I was just meeting for the first time, but they knew me because they are familiar with my work. I love to blog and I enjoy keeping up with an email list for this very reason: it helps to build relationships and to cultivate bonds. It makes live events that much better because you get to meet the people you’ve been building with over the course of time but never met. You get to put a face behind the name and verbally communicate in ways far more powerful than texting will do and that is priceless.

For more pictures of this years signing, visit the pictures page of my website HERE. I also uploaded pictures of the 2016 and 2014 signings.

New Author Tip: Don’t Just Write More, Improve as You Write

Indie Author Basics

I’ve heard it over and over again: “The more you write, the better you become at it.” I get it. It’s practice. The more you do something, the better you become at it. When it comes to writing though, I think there is more to it than that. You can write and write and write but if you’re not correcting your mistakes as you write, you are not necessarily going to become a better writer.

My new author tip for you today is this:

Learning and applying what you learn as you write makes you a better writer not just writing for the sake of writing. You don’t have to write every day to become better. Understanding what needs to be improved on and correcting it as you write, makes you better. Otherwise, you’ll keep making the same mistakes and thus, produce the same kind of work. This means that if you’ve been producing mediocrity unless you correct yourself, you’ll just continue to write and produce mediocrity. It’s that aged old saying, “insanity is repeating the same thing and expecting different results.”

I have been writing and publishing books for over ten years. In this time, I have remained true to my authenticity, my morals and values. I have sat down to write what I wanted when I wanted. However, my years in publishing doesn’t mean that I am a better writer. What makes me a better writer today compared to ten years ago is if I have been applying what I’ve learned to the skill. I measure my progress not by how many books I’ve published or how many years I’ve been publishing or how many reviews I have. I measure my progress based on how well I’ve been able to correct the mistakes pointed out to me.

With the help of my beta readers and the WordPress blogging community, in general, I’ve been capable of recognizing and understanding so much more about writing than I ever have in the years prior. While I have a long way to go, the books I published in the years I’ve been blogging are noticeably better, in my opinion than the ones I published before starting this blog. I credit this to nothing except for applying many of the things I’ve learned from others who are more knowledgeable and skilled than I am, to my work. I believe that as authors we have to be very intentional about this and very aware of what works for us and what does not work for us. Don’t just assume that people are always hating on you or don’t understand you or don’t like you. Consider all feedback as constructive to the process.

In these past few months (where I’ve had the opportunity to speak with people face to face, consultants, bookstore owners, and their reviewers,) I’ve come to understand that the more aware I am of my strengths and weaknesses, the better I can build on those strengths and improve on those weaknesses. The more aware I am of what needs to be corrected and the more intentional I am to actually correct it, the better I become as a writer. Not just writing alone, but learning and applying that knowledge to my writing and to the publishing process as a whole as I learn and as I grow.


Be sure to check out more Indie Author Basics by visiting the Writer / Tips and resources page!

Click here.

 

 

Pay Attention

Don’t forget to clean up your environment. Pay attention to how being around certain people makes you feel. Do you suddenly feel drained or negative? Mad? Irritated? Are these people always complaining? Do they reach out to you just to share bad news? Is it always about them? Are they interested in your life at all?  Remember that we cannot grow in the same environment that broke us. Only surround yourself with people who lift you up, empower you and challenge you to become the best version of yourself.

Resurrection

I am thankful for my struggles because one thing they have taught me (the one trait I strive to maintain as part of my character) is humility. I understand that I am flawed, that there were a series of awakenings that ultimately led me to the truth, and that freedom didn’t find me whole, but in pieces. I don’t worry what others think of me because YAH is my only judge and I am allowed to be a work-in-progress. For this, I strive to have as much compassion on others as I can because I don’t have it all together and I will never pretend to. I didn’t wake up automatically understanding who I was. There were stepping stones to this. When dealing with people who may not know what I know, I remember that my resurrection happened in stages.

Why Black Americans Empathize with Michael B Jordan’s Eric Killmonger over Boseman’s T’Challa

Photo: Marvel Studios

Because Eric Killmonger is a reflection of many Black American’s on a much deeper level than T’Challa. In fact, many Black American’s do not know T’Challa. They know Eric. This is why most Black Americans, more so than sympathize with him, empathize with him. They can put their lives into his shoes.

I’ve only seen the movie once (which is only important when talking about a movie nearing $900 million dollars worldwide and is #1 in the World…the world ya’ll…that people have seen two and three times.)

Saying this, I have only read two articles that brought up the real concerning the conflict between T’Challa and Killmonger (cited below). I liked that they put this conflict  in the movie because (as I believe one of the actors pointed out) there is a private conversation among Black Americans concerning the relationship between those who have been taken captive and those who have not. As I’ve stated on this blog time and time again, Africa is a continent with over 50 countries and even more nationalities of people. That said it’s impossible for a people to be called African as nationality because it does not specifically point to a place of origin. Which country in Africa are we talking about? Where in Africa can you claim? Who in Africa would claim you? Herein lies the conflict between Eric and T’Challa.

Here’s the phrase that has captured our hearts:

Bury Me

Movie Quote: Eric Killmonger

Killmonger was left behind, left out and rejected from among his people. He was locked out of the greatness of Wakanda and forced to grow up in the gritty streets of Oakland. His struggle and longing for a place of belonging and nationhood is the exact sentiment of the Black American. This statement (“…bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships…”) is proof that he is a descendant of those who have been taken captive via The Transatlantic Slave Trade; a Wakandian by blood but rejected. Not privy to the knowledge and advancement of his homeland, Killmonger attended instead American Universities and studied his culture from a distance. Having grown up in America, not even Killmonger’s name is a reflection of his identity. His name is Eric which is not as exotic as T’Challa. It does not signify or denote any kind of place of origin. Eric also does not speak with an accent and uses language common to any Black American male growing up in the hood.

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Eric is angry but rightfully so. He has had to watch his people suffer while Wakanda has thrived with resources that could have helped them. Eric wears his rage concerning the mistreatment of his people like a garment and does not understand how to direct that energy in a way that is less destructive. He reminds me of the young black men standing on the corners, full of rage, but without a way to release it in a way that is productive. Given the proper guidance, education, and resources, I believe these are some of the most powerful men the so-called Black community has. While many of us drive by them, shaking our heads and sighing, these boys are absolutely fearless and, like I said, given the proper direction can be the warriors they are descendant from.

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While Killmonger’s temper gets the best of him, his desire to use the wealth of Wakanda as a way to help his people in America is a noble one (just don’t weaponize the vibranium by putting it into the hands of black people with no training in how to use it Killmonger. Train your people first lol.) For all of these reasons, and many more, I believe many Black Americans empathize and connect more so with Michael B. Jordan’s character than Boseman’s T’Challa. For many of us, Killmonger is the hero, choosing to die (symbolically and literally) with his people than to serve among those who have rejected him.

The first article I want to share is: “Are Black Americans Allowed in Wakanda?”

“Every time a Wakandan referred to Killmonger in the film, he was called an “outsider.” Even though he proved he was of Wakandan blood, he still wasn’t one of them. Killmonger grew up hearing stories about a home he’d never been to. He had knowledge of Wakanda’s wealth and culture but he had no access to it himself. While T’Challa was able to visit a lush, African landscape surrounded by his ancestors, Killmonger’s trip to his own ancestral plane led him back to an apartment complex, where he was mostly alone.”

Read more Here: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-doggett-wakanda-racism_us_5a901b35e4b01e9e56baef3e

The second one is: Erik Killmonger Is Not A ‘Super-Villain,’ He Is A Super-Victim Of Systemic Oppression

“I refuse to see Killmonger as a super-villain. I see him as a super-victim of systemically oppressive forces, forces that forced him into a hyper-awareness of his dueled unwanted status in Wakanda and in America, due to having the blood of his mother, who was a descendant of black folks forced into the United States via the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. This two-pronged othering serves as the source of his super-power. His super-power did not derive from radioactive spider bites like Spider Man, or mythological alien strength like that of Superman. Killmonger’s character harbors a super-power more potent than the fictive mineral Vibranium, housed exclusively in Wakanda: Killmonger is the possessor of un-tempered black rage….Killmonger’s black rage is my black reality, and I cannot see Erik Killmonger Stevens as a villain because it would mean seeing myself as a villain as well (and as a black man in America, I have been vilified enough.)

Read more Here: https://blavity.com/eric-killmonger-is-not-a-super-villain-he-is-a-super-victim-of-systemic-oppression

T’Challa and Huey next to Yoruba Tribal ruler in West Nigeria sitting on throne surrounded by elephant tusks.

Personally, I liked both T’Challa and Killmonger for different reasons and enjoyed the Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X undertones embodied in the characters. Marvel’s Black Panther came out around the same time Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and it is believed that X-Men is based on The Civil Rights Movement. Created in 1963, fans allege that Stan Lee wanted to create a comic that showed bigotry and racism via fantasy and that Magneto and Professor X are direct correlations of Martin and Malcolm. In Black Panther, T’Challa and Killmonger also seem to have the same correlation. Those who were fans of Malcolm will definitely be a fan of Killmonger.

Furthermore, prior to Stan Lee’s comic and the organizing of The Black Panther Party, the term “Black Panther” existed already. The 761st Tank Battalion was an independent tank battalion of the United States Army during World War II. The 761st was made up primarily of African-American soldiers, who by federal law were not permitted to serve alongside white troops. They were known as the “Black Panthers” after their unit’s distinctive insignia; their motto was “Come out fighting.”

Now, go watch the movie!!

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