There seemed to be a common theme at the KLCK Bloggers Network on Tuesday night, as we made our introductions many of the members said it was their New Years Resolution to blog more or to start a blog. My own resolutions include blogging more both on my own blog and on Bloggertone. With that on mind I asked Facebook what their resolutions were and yet again blogging scored high.
But how can we ensure that we stick to our resolutions? How can we be sure that at the end of the year we’ll look back on our plans and wonder what happened? Here’s three ways I’m going to keep the momentum going.
A mind map is a diagram of tasks and ideas structured around a single word or idea. They are a great way of clearing all the good ideas from your head and putting a visual structure on them. I started mind mapping last year and I’ve found it a great resource, when I’m stuck for a blog idea I can simply open up my mindmap and choose and idea to work on from there.
For more on MindMapping read Frank Bradley’s excellent post on the subject.
And for information on getting started with MindMapping I’ve found this article very helpful.
Carry a Notebook
We’ve all been there, we have an excellent idea but we’re so terrified we’ll forget it before we get a chance to write it down that we try and fixate on it, commit it to memory for life pushing everything else out of our mind to hang on to it. I have the best ideas when I’m out cycling, changing my environment and exercising always seems to get my mind working at full capacity and I carry a notebook so that I can write my ideas down leaving room in my head to create more. It can be a bit inconvenient to keep stopping and writing stuff down but I always return with a bundle of ideas. Having a notebook beside your bed can also be a good way to free your mind and allow it to sleep. Instead of churning ideas over in your mind, commit them to paper and you’ll find you sleep much better.
Of course there are alternatives, most phones have voice recording apps now so it’s easy to make a verbal note on the go and as most of us carry our phones with us everywhere you are never without a way to record your thoughts.
Planning can really help you stick to your goals and by creating a content calendar you will always know what it is you are supposed to be doing and when. There are lots of tools that allow you to create calendars but whether you decide to use Google Calendar, a word doc or even write it down in a diary it’s the process of creating the strategy that is important.
I always start by creating a rough plan for the year, think about any seasonal events that relate to your business, think about themes that might carry through specific months.
Next think about the sort of blog posts you want to write. Some will just be general posts like the one I’m writing now. But what other sort of content could you create? Can you include case studies, book reviews, interviews, videos, weekly or monthly round ups of industry news?
The final step is to slot these ideas into your calendar. I would commit to a maximum three month calendar and review it at the end of each month to discover which posts gain the best readership and traction.
Do you have a secret to keeping motivated with blogging? Share it below and I’ll share them on our Facebook page.
Great tips Amanda! I like the idea of a calender too. Like you I now write down my blog ideas as they pop into my head, either as a note in my diary or as a memo on my phone. It’s surprising how many can build up once you commit them to paper. I also have a steady flow of material relevant for my business. For example if I write about weeds there are dozens of posts there in the making.
Thanks Dee, one of the great things about having time off for Christmas is that it got me thinking about new ways of creating content. You will be seeing more posts on Spiderworking.com from now on!
That’s funny – I was going to do a post on a similar topic (bloggers block after the xmas break as it can sometimes be hard to get back into it). I find the notebook invaluable.
Great minds think alike Lorna! Or maybe it because making a list like this helps us stick to our own resolutions?
Shane Carmody says
I use the Evernote app on my mobile to jot down ideas should they come into my head. I can then forget about them for the rest of the day without getting stressed.
I made a similar post on my own blog http://www.logic52.com/2011/12/28/new-years-resolutions-for-the-web-designer/ . My first resolution is to write more. I’m aiming for 1 post per week but this week I did 2 🙂
Good post, well done.
Hi Shane, I really have to try evernote. I’ve heard so many good things about it. Good luck with your resolution, sounds like you’re off to a great start. My blogging resolution was to increase to two blogs a week + my videoblog… and to do more posts for Bloggertone.