2014… Ah, the year I decided to start my own blog. I knew plenty of people who ran successful blogs, so I thought, “If they can do it, so can I, right?”
Well, yes – sorta. In the beginning, I had lots to say (which hasn’t changed). I was also excited (which did change, but more on that later). My well of motivation was full of dreams … dreams in which my blog was impeccably monetized and brands sought me out, just begging me to write something for them.
If you think I’m kidding, think again: I’m not. “I work in content marketing,” I thought. “I’ve got this.”
The result was Lalafeefee, the unofficial publicist for all of the things I love. I sat down to write the “About Me,” along with my first few posts, and I was energized.
In fact, I made a comprehensive list of all the things I wanted to blog about and promised I’d post twice per week. After all, my expertise in content marketing had taught me that publishing with consistency is vital when building an audience.
But let’s fast-forward a few weeks. My internal cheerleader was exhausted, and the inner monologue went a little something like this: “Twice a week? OK, maybe I was a bit too ambitious. Once a week is just fine. Who doesn’t have time to publish something once a week?”
Spoiler alert: me. What started as a fun passion project soon turned into yet another stressor piled on top of my jobs as content marketer, mom and wife. All of a sudden, my outlet to share the things I love made me feel bad about myself.
Though I never gave myself express permission to stop blogging, I did try to rationalize my lack of blogging. Eventually, I stopped writing entirely – though the feeling of failure didn’t go away.
So, let’s fast-forward to a few Sundays ago. It was Mother’s Day and I was celebrating motherhood by sweating it out in my SoulCycle class. Alongside me was my 68-year-old mother, who is a devout SoulCycle junkie. (Have I mentioned that she also blogs and writes for HuffPo?)
Maybe it was the endorphin rush, but I remembered my abandoned blog again. I also began to think about the brands I talk to every day that face the same struggles with consistent publishing. I can’t count the number of brand blogs I’ve visited, only to discover it’s been weeks, months or even years since they last published content.
The truth is, content marketing is hard. Creating content and then marketing it is one thing – doing so consistently can seem almost impossible.
So, how can we save ourselves from the dreaded “one and done” publishing dilemma? Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way:
- Establish your KPIs. In my case, my blog is a passion project for me to share the things I do, try or love, while making connections with others who can show me new ideas. This means my ideal KPIs are returning visitors and social sharing.
- Create a publishing calendar with a long list of ideas. Even if you aren’t going to create your content right away, you’ll be able to turn to those ideas in a pinch. My own brainstorm list includes a ton of things that I’ve done, tried, ate or bought over the last 10 months, and each idea will eventually become a post.
- Enlist help, both internally and within your industry at large. Make connections so that you can:
- Interview people.
- Solicit guest contributors.
- Encourage social sharing.
- Publish with consistency. When I first began to stray from my publishing schedule, readers noticed. Believe me, your brand advocates will, too. Remember: If someone is reading your blog in the first place, you’re already delivering value. Don’t lose that trust, or worse, break off the relationship.
- Promote your content. If you create a piece of content, it won’t find readers all on its own. You must find an audience using methods such as:
- Strong calls to action.
- Leveraging owned channels.
- Paying for distribution.
- Easy subscription forms and prompts.
- Engage with fellow bloggers. If you want to gain an audience, you must be a savvy audience member first. Follow other bloggers, comment on their posts and share freely.
While these tips will get you started, they won’t magically generate the most important key to consistent publishing: motivation. But whether it’s a SoulCycle class, an interesting podcast or a random business meeting that sticks with you, translating inspiration into creation will go with the flow – if you do.