Consistency is the number one goal I hear from bloggers all of the time. And being consistent can be very difficult, but I’m going to talk about what it really means to be consistent and how you can strive to be more so yourself.
So for the month this goes up (August 2019) I will have a total of 43 blog posts go up this month alone, which is over triple my usual amount. Many people asked me how I was doing this, and I would give a semi-joking response of me being crazy. While that is definitely an ambitious thing to strive for, it actually has not been that difficult because I do have fully developed consistency already.
What Exactly is Consistency?
Well, if you ask Google this question you get: the achievement of a level of performance that does not vary greatly in quality over time. Applying that to blogging would be creating content of equal quality at a regular interval. Most probably neglect the equal quality portion of the definition, and really only focus on regularly putting out content. It is a balance or quality and regularity.
And it is not about quantity. I think many bloggers confuse consistency with quantity. Posting a lot is fine if that is what you want to do, but if every post varies in quality it isn’t really consistent.
My Secret to Consistent Blogging
So how exactly do I consistently blog? Easy, I’m not consistently writing.
That’s right, I am not writing consistently necessarily. Mostly, I’m not writing regularly. I don’t have a specific day every week where I focus on writing and making content. I write when I feel like it when I have a great idea I want to get down, and tend to write multiple posts at one time and then don’t write again for days.
What makes me consistent is scheduling. I live and die by my content calendar. I have intentionally set it where every Monday and Friday is a new post day and Guide to Blogging on Wednesday. I rarely, rarely ever break this scheduling system. Even during my 43-posts month, where I was doing a daily challenge for 30 days, I was still posting new content on Monday and Friday. There will always be a new post from me on Monday or Friday unless something urgent in my life takes me away.
Cause here is the thing, consistency with content is not about what you are doing but about what and when people see it. Consistency is much more about the readers than the writers when the purpose of the consistency is blog growth.
Now that I’ve covered what consistency really is, let’s talk about how you can reach it.
I briefly referenced purpose early, and really the point of being consistent is rather important. Because when we are told that we should be blogging consistency, you should be asking yourself “Why?” Why should you be consistent? Why do you want to be consistent?
If your purpose is for the personal writing challenge of it and to get better as a writer solely than you are more so needing to write consistently versus post consistently.
If your purpose is blog growth and getting your stuff seen then this is the type of consistency I am talking about.
And you can absolutely want to do both! And if you do want to do both, you can balance both having a scheduled writing time as well as scheduling your content out in advance.
Not I am going to focus on the two pieces that truly make up consistency: quality and regularity.
Quality takes a while to achieve and I’d argue is subjective in a lot of ways. You develop greater quality through practice and learning. The more you write and the more you learn from other bloggers, the better you get. And you probably won’t see the progress of it all until you look back at old posts. From my first post ever to now, I can see the tremendous amount of growth I have made over the past 4 years. And it came from writing and reading other blogs.
Some basic things you can consider when it comes to quality are:
- well-written (free of typos and errors, accuracy, etc.)
- personal voice (is your content across the board written in your voice)
- unique (this can be unique and new topics and ideas as well as your unique perspective to a trending piece of content)
Quality is also a choice. Ultimately you have to choose to want to write quality content and also define what that is for yourself. Cause to an extent, my definition of quality will be different from yours. I believe that post quality exists on a range and as long as I am in that range I am satisfied. The lower end of my range is the posts that tend to be quick to write, end up being shorter, and probably won’t capture a ton of attention but I still enjoy, are still written well, and offer a break from other posts. A good example of this is tags. The upper end of my range is the longer and more research-heavy posts. They take much more time to do overall and the writing needs to be as good as I can possibly do. Guide to Blogging is definitely aimed for my upper range of quality, as well as most reviews I do.
Working with a quality range helps balance yourself and prevents burnout, at least for me. If I always strived to only do my upper range I’d get burned out pretty quick. You can, if you wish, always strive for that upper range level quality if that’s what you want of course.
Again, regularity is not quantity. Posting one post a week on Thursday is regularity. And there is no shame if that is all you can do. If you stick to that schedule, you’re being consistent.
Regularity is really what you believe you can commit to sticking to. It should be a reasonable and realistic choice, not aspirational. I would love to post every day all year long, but that is not reasonable or realistic for me in many ways. It’s great to have that aspiration and future goal, but if you want to build consistency right now, you have to think about what you can do right now.
In the long run, yes you can change your regularity to better suit what you want to accomplish and can do. And pushing yourself to do more isn’t a bad thing, once you have developed the habit of being consistent. Because that is exactly what consistency is: a habit. It’s second nature and it should be just what you do. And if you don’t have that initial foundation, you’re never going to become that aspirationally consistent blogger.
I Challenge You
They say it takes 30 days to make something a habit if you do that thing every day. Reasonably you can’t accomplish that with consistent blogging. However, I challenge you to be consistent for two months straight. Determine what your quality standards are for yourself, commit to a specific posting date, and do your best. It takes time to develop the habit. And if you miss a day or two, don’t give up. Just go back to your schedule and keep going.
That is my insight on developing consistency for bloggers! If you want to learn more about becoming a better blogger, make sure you keep reading my Guide to Blogging series.