Writing regular blog posts isn’t easy. It gets even trickier the longer you blog for. And if you don’t post regularly, you may not get the engagement you’re hoping for. So how do you keep your blog going without getting overwhelmed? Read on for some top tips to set up your blog so it’s doing some of the hard work for you.
1. Re-cycle your posts
This is a simple way to keep generating interest in your posts as any new followers to your blog or social media feeds won’t have seen your older stuff. This isn’t an excuse to re-post the same handulf of blog posts over and over though. In fact this idea works best once you’ve been up and running for a while and have lots of content to pick from. “Evergreen” content (see no.2) is great for this as you won’t need to make too many tweaks before putting it out there (but I’d always recommend a bit of a refresh on anything). Your blogging platform will give you ideas about what’s been popular and therefore likely to generate more hits. Conversely, it will show you what didn’t get many views and could be ripe for a bigger re-work.
Re-sharing can be tricky. Some blogging platforms make it easy but others, like WordPress, don’t. You can get plugins to re-share posts, but only if you’re on a self-hosted WordPress.org site. I find the best way is to re-schedule via WordPress and then (because it won’t do this automatically) publicise the post using a social media tool called Buffer.
2. Make your content “evergreen”
If you’re of a certain age, this may make you think of a song by a my-god-they-were-everywhere boy band. I apologise. I was never a fan but man they were indeed everywhere. Anyhoo, making content “evergreen” basically means removing anything that can overly date it. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with posting about events that are easily dated, but these aren’t going to be something you can easily re-use. So if you can, try to write posts in an “evergreen” way from the off. Or if you’re looking at re-using content, “evergreen” it up so it’s simple to re-cycle.
3. Make your blog easy to navigate
It’s not particularly exciting, but it’s worth putting in a bit of time to make your blog easy to get around. You might not have menus as an aesthetic choice, but personally I think it’s better to be practical than creative. Think about all the times you’ve used websites. Do the pretty to look at but useless to use get you coming back over and over? I’m willing to bet they don’t. It doesn’t have to be massively complicated, but a navigation menu makes it simple for visitors to browse even your old posts. And don’t forget it’s good for SEO too. Search engine “bots” explore your website via links so help them out to post your rankings. Remember to make your URLs user and SEO friendly – so not just a bunch of numbers or random words.
4. Engage with people
One of the best things about having a blog, especially on a niche subject, is interacting with like-minded people. You can make great connections and be part of an online community far bigger than anything you’ll find in your immediate surroundings. And you may even gain some followers. So take some time to reply to comments on your posts and post comments on other blogs you follow. It’s easy to be focused on what we’re putting out more than what we’re taking in, but part of blogging is reading and learning from other blogs.
5. Generate posts with a ‘brain dump’
Coming up with ideas for new blog posts is hard. If you’re struggling, try just “dumping” down ideas. Open a post, type a few lines, or even paragraphs, save it and move on. See if you can get five or six ideas out into the wide world. then go back and decide which ones have the most potential. And if you’ve got anything that you can’t flesh out right now, don’t bin it. Keep it in draft and you may find you can make it work in the future.
6. Write short and long posts
If you don’t blog very often, you may feel you need to do a long post every time you do. You don’t want your readers to feel ‘short-changed’. But quality is just as important as quantity, especially in the rather crowded world of blogging. A short paragraph, a collection of images or even a video can be very effective in distilling the essence of what you want to say.
On the flip side, you may be fearful of writing something that’s too long. People have no attention span on the Internet, right? Well yes TikTok and Twitter show how popular brevity can be, but even Twitter ended up introducing a longer character limit. Studies have shown that people will read long-reads online, provided they’re interested in the content. Again, it’s about the quality of what you’re writing. It does help to break up longer pieces with images, sub-headers and quotes though, something offline pieces do as well.
7. Try blogging wherever you are
Don’t restrict yourself to blogging only at certain times, sat resolute in front of your laptop but without any ideas. Pretty much all blogging platforms will have apps or mobile versions of their sites that let you blog via your phone or tablet, even without a signal. This means you can write whenever and wherever inspiration hits you. Just don’t forget to take a break from the Internet occasionally.
What are your top tips to get your blog to do the hard work for you?