“Be Consistent” – This is one of the most popular blogging success mantras we read and hear day after day.
Today I was writing down some thoughts on the future of blogging, and I realized that one of the major key points for creating a memorable blog is indeed “consistency”.
Many of you who are hobby bloggers or part-time bloggers may be wondering why the word “consistency” carries such significance in the field of blogging. In this article, I will try to help you to understand the anatomy of being consistent, and why you should take this matter very seriously.
What do I mean when I say “be consistent”?
Let’s go back to the offline world, and think about expectations for a minute. We all have our own individual skill sets and our limitations, and we tend to perform accordingly. For example, if you have been consistently scoring 60% in your exams, you are consistent with your scores. If you deliver beyond that expected average, you feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. If you score lower than your average expected score, however, you not only feel that you have under-performed, but people around you begin to question that decline as well.
In the way of a real-world example, I would consider Rahul Dravid from India’s cricket team. Rahul was not one of the top hitters in cricket, but he was very consistent with his scores. At mid-level, he always helped to provide stability to the team, and that’s why he is known as “The Wall of Indian Cricket Team”.
How is this example relevant to the field of blogging ?
Let’s take some examples of a few currently popular blogs/websites:
- Mashable: Mashable was founded in 2005, but gained great exposure after becoming a consistent source of information related to the social media landscape in 2009 and beyond.
- Lifehacker: If you are a long-time Lifehacker reader like I am, you know that Lifehacker has not changed much in the last couple of years. They have the same kind of content, and they are still one of the most popular websites in the world.
- Buffer Blog: Buffer Blog, a Twitter app, started posting about productivity and life hacks, and they consistently did it for months (and are still doing it), to establish a brand value for themselves.
Similarly, most of the popular blogs out there are popular because they offer quality content, but equally as important is the consistency with which they offer new information delivered in a timely manner.
The key here is, delivering relevant, quality content in a timely manner.
How can you integrate the success mantra “Be Consistent” on your blog?
Start by asking yourself how you can integrate the time-tested quality of consistency into your blog. I will add to this important exercise by noting some key points which will ensure that your blog growth is not only consistent, but also capable of creating a good brand value for your blog.
Be consistent with content and relevancy:
One of the most important factors you need to consider when producing content for your blog is the type of content you are publishing. This is especially key if you started as a hobby-blogger and are posting articles from various topics of interest. If you intend for blogging to remain a hobby, then you can simply continue doing what you’re doing. But if your goal is to take your blog to the next level, you should work on publishing your blog content strategically.
This means that your content should be related from post to post, so that a one-time visitor whom you would like to convert to a subscriber will not be confused by missing (inconsistent) content from a particular category that inspired him to subscribe to your blog in the first place.
Here are few key suggestions of ways in which you can work toward being consistent with your content:
- Stick to a niche, and divide it into sub-topics (categories).
- Use an Microsoft Excel sheet, and work on creating a content plan for every sub-topic.
- Publish topics from every sub-topic in a timely manner, (as further discussed below).
Delivery of your posts:
The timing of the publication of your post and how often you post are two important factors for your blog traffic.
In my past five years of blogging, there have been times when I was inconsistent with my blog publishing times, and sometimes I skipped publishing posts on a given day. In addition to the effect of immediate traffic loss , I could see the negative effect on returning visitors due to inconsistent publishing.
In 2013, I followed a different strategy for publishing where my target was a minimum of one post per day, and it needed to be live before 9:00AM IST (Indian standard time). If I ended up publishing more than one post in a day, I counted that as bonus. I took advantage of WordPress’s post-scheduling feature, and worked on scheduling at least one week’s worth of posts in advance. This helped free up more time for education and research, and relieved the pressure of having to write a post every day.
This has worked for me, as I also get lots of guest post submissions, have Srikanth as a regular contributor, and follow a writing schedule for myself.
You need to figure out the best scheduling options for yourself, according to your resources and time availability.
Like me, some days you may feel like you are involved in a writing marathon and you write 4-5 articles in one day, and you would like to publish them as soon as possible. This works for time-sensitive blog posts, but when you are working on your evergreen status or if you are producing articles which are not time-sensitive, you can – and should – create a posting schedule for yourself.
A good place to start is by analyzing the archive of your past posts, and figuring out how many posts you publish in a month’s time. If you publish 10 posts per month, for example, use a gap of 3 days for publishing new content.
Once you are clear about the number of minimum posts you wish to publish in a given time-frame and the posting schedule you will be following, it is time to work on content and relevancy, and complete a schedule based on your content planning. This will not only help you to publish your content in a timely manner, but it will also ensure that you stick to your niche, and live up to your readers’ expectations.
- Recommended reading: 6 secrets to being consistent and creative with your content
By being consistent with your blog you will find the following advantages:
- Trust and branding: Your subscribers will develop expectations, and their trust in your blog will grow. You will see an increase in return visits and you will be creating a loyal readership for your blog.
- SEO: Search engine bots will know when to crawl your blog (if you follow timely publishing of your posts), and your new content will be quickly indexed by search engines.
Remember, consistency doesn’t happen over a day or two. It takes time to become a consistent blogger. Start today to work on these elements of your blogging process, and one day your blog will stand out as truly excellent.
Let me know how you are following the mantra of “be consistent” on your blog. If you have any additional tips or ideas to share, feel free to let me know via the comments section below.
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