As I mentioned yesterday, I’ll be blogging every day for the month of November. This is my second time attempting this blogging challenge, and I wanted to share a few tricks I learned the hard way last year. Hopefully they will help you complete your blogging challenge without giving up on your social life or missing out on fun November activities!
1. Use Your Minutes When They Come
When you have to develop content (and sometimes photography) every day, you’ll want to take advantage of your extra minutes here and there. It may not always be feasible for you to dedicate an hour each evening to preparing the next day’s post, but you can absolutely jot down the ideas in your head for the week while riding the bus to work on Monday morning. You can snap photos of your meals, cute things you see in store windows, and even a photo of your lunch while at work. (Trust me, some days you’ll have to be more creative than others. It doesn’t hurt to have a photo of your lunch just in case.) Look for inspiration and ideas in your normal life, and soon you’ll have a lot of blog ideas to build from.
2. Your Smartphone is Your Friend
If you aren’t already using the WordPress app (or Blogger, or whatever blogging platform you use), you should probably download it now. Beautiful blog posts can be written entirely from a smartphone: You can snap a photo with your iPhone camera, edit it with TypicPro or another photo-editing app, and post the photo along with your written content all using the WordPress app. When you haven’t prepared your post for the day and find out at the last minute that you won’t be home in time to get it done, using your smartphone will get you through. You can also use the WordPress app to check your blog stats, respond to comments, and otherwise maintain a friendly atmosphere on your site. It’s a great tool to have in your toolbox.
3. Plan ahead
For me, if I start the work-week without at least one spare post prepared, it’s going to be rough getting through Friday without dropping the ball. Ideally, I prepare posts for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday on the weekend. This allows me to take Monday off from the blog and then spend either Tuesday or Wednesday evening preparing for the rest of the week.
When I first started blogging, I had no idea about the Schedule Post option — when I found it, the way I blog completely changed. To use the Schedule Post option in WordPress, click the “Edit” button to the right of “Publish Immediately.” It will give you the option to set the date and time your post will be released. If you know your week will be incredibly busy in advance, you can even sit down for a few hours on Sunday afternoon and schedule posts for the entire week.
4. Start at least one weekly themed post
Thirty days of content is pretty overwhelming, but if you put together some routines that take away a few of the surprises, it isn’t quite as intimidating. Here’s some ideas that are used on blogs I read that you can mold into something that works for you:
- Meatless Mondays (for foodies)
- What I’m Loving Wednesdays
- Wordless Wednesdays (photo-posts only!)
- Thankful Thursdays
- Five-Minute Fridays (five-minutes of free writing)
- Five on Friday
If you pick one or two days per week to do weekly activities, it will help ground your blogging, keep you on-theme, and take a little pressure off. Even better, when you find blogging networks who are doing this all along, you may have the opportunity to connect with new blogging communities.
5. Don’t give up if you miss a day or two
I missed my first daily post about a week in last year. I’m not great at failing things, and so when I knew I couldn’t get a “perfect” month anymore I considered stopping the challenge altogether. I ended up sticking with it, and I’m very happy I did.
The NaBloPoMo challenge, at least for me, isn’t about hitting “Publish” thirty times as much as it is about really committing to this whole blogging thing and pushing yourself to prioritize writing among all of the things in your life. Missing a day or two in the mix isn’t a big deal. Be patient with yourself, post twice on Saturday if you feel the need to catch up, and try to have a little fun.
Okay, those are my five tips for making NaBloPoMo a little easier! If you have any tips or suggestions for making this month awesome, feel free to share them below.