More often than not, I have a blog post plan already set in place when I choose what 30-day challenge to complete in any given month. I know what subject I'm covering (ie. Yoga or Gluten-free or No alcohol) which enables me to plan what titles, articles, and overall tone I want to convey way ahead of time.
However, there are some months where posts are incredibly impulsive (ie. Learning Chinese or Stop complaining or Licenses and Certifications) due to the unexpected twists and turns I may encounter. For instance, when learning to speak a new language like Chinese, what was I supposed to write about? I had NO IDEA how to anticipate how many words I would learn, if I would even know how to write in the language, or if I would be able to carry on a semi-normal conversation — at the very least order a beer and ask for sex.
I found that it had some "costs" associated with not being able to plan accordingly.
- Inconsistent Posting Frequency: Some days when I sat down to write, nothing would come to mind. On these days I would often post nothing at all and just procrastinate when I would come up with an idea.
- Quality Suffers: On days when I planned ahead, I was on fire and could pump out a great quality post because that was all that was on my mind for days leading up to it. On days when I was struggling and would feel the pressure to just post something, I would end up posting just some crap to get it out there.
- Productivity Decrease: Much more time is wasted trying to come up with something on the fly than taking the time to properly plan.
- Utter Disorganization: Some posts just flat out didn't relate to the subject matter at all. I had a few reader complaints saying I was all over the place and not focused enough.
The point is, take the time to plan what you're going to do before you do it. I may have an advantage knowing what the challenge is going to be and coming up with content around that subject, but you should have the same advantage also. Choose a topic for your blog and stick to it. You don't even have to create a HUGE plan. Each week, one day a week, sit down for an hour and plan your next 4 posts; titles, subjects, images, format. You'll find with practice this becomes easier and easier.
Comment on Another Blog
This tip is one of the most important ways you can increase your blog's traffic: Comment on a blog — preferably in your niche — that you've never commented on before. [You may want to check out why I missed the internet so much. Spoiler: Because of the Comment Sections.]
Use Google today to find as many new blogs related to your niche as you can find. Add relevant and useful comments to add to the conversation on a post that you genuinely find interesting. Before you do, however, make sure you have to ability to add a link back to your site.
While this seems pretty basic and not that spectacular or groundbreaking, many, many successful bloggers have been about to build their sites just on the back of comments alone.