How to make sure I blog regularly

Do you start a blog and write few posts in the beginning and then let it go into Limbo? Many of us do and I too have done this to numerous blogs.

With the new reboot of Blogial, I need a system which keeps me blogging regularly. For that I have a few rules which I plan to stick to as much as possible. You can also try these rules/suggestions for your improving your blogging.

Publish only one post everyday

I intend to publish only 1 post everyday – not more than one. Some may think why only one? Why not publish as many I could write? That was what I used to do whenever I started a new blog – try to publish as many times as I could. But I find it is not sustainable and it leaves many gaps (and sometimes abandoned blogs).

Also as I am not going to write about breaking news, I want to spread out the posts so that I don’t end up publishing 10 posts in a single day and then take a break for a month. I want to build up a small but great community of readers who want to read what I am going to write about today. Also this will free up my time for other projects I have.

Calendar_IconFor this, I am going to follow a something similar to Jerry Sienfeld’s “Don’t break the chain” technique. I have a daily calendar (the physical calendar, where one tears off yesterday’s page every morning) in front of my desk. I will tear each day off after that day’s post is published. I will also try to write as many posts whenever I have the creative juices flowing and set it to publish in the future so that I can enjoy my vacations without having to worry about the blog. Even this post was written before and set to publish in the future.

Write at least 5 blog post titles everyday

The hardest part of writing blog posts is to come up with an interesting subject to write about. If the title is done, almost half of the post is done. And if I think of at least 5 titles every day, I can think up of enough blog posts to fill a year in just 73 days. Of course it won’t be that simple to come up with 5 titles every day, but making an effort to record all ideas is what matters.

I have a notebook in Evernote with notes for each topic and writing down a list of all titles I think up. I even have written down about 12 titles already. Maybe it would help storing all the titles along with some outline of the content as drafts in WordPress itself. I need to try out both methods and see which is better and will stick with one.

Have a Regular Schedule

I want to try writing at the same time everyday. I still haven’t fixed a time of the day, but right now it is in the night after 11:30. I am a night owl and I can spend more time writing and fixing the post after everyone’s asleep. Of course, thinking about ideas would be done the entire day and writing the titles would would take maybe a minute or two.

Avoid looking at analytics and tinkering of themes/plugins

I don’t want to waste time looking at analytics and trying to perfect the themes or plugins. At least in the beginning, as long as the blog works and can push content I write, I am OK with it. Having a blog with great content that looks mediocre wins hands down over having an mediocre blog that wins design awards. This is called the 85% solution which needs a total change of mindset that helps improves your efficiency and I will explain it in tomorrow’s post.

This is the action plan I have right now for publishing regularly to Blogial. Do you have any other technique that works best for you?

The plan going forward

In the last post I talked about the history of Blogial and the mistakes we did. Now in this post I will talk about the future.

I don’t want to give up this site and domain as I love to write. I just need to realise that blogging and creating a community or blog network would need lot of time and effort to be invested.

So I am going to start out fresh with a completely new blog with 0 posts (if you count the last post: 1 post). This will be based on WordPress just like the millions of other blogs around the world. Writing good content today is better and more important than trying to build the perfect blogging application for tomorrow. Even if it meant not having an easier way to allow contributors on the site.

This blog will be about things that I am interested in – Entrepreneurship & Startups, Technology, Web, software programming, productivity, personal finance, etc.

There won’t be any posts about any acquisition that some big company made yesterday or the latest gadget that is going to be released next month. I don’t want this to become a news site, as there are plenty of alternatives already.

Instead there would be posts about how to write great software, building startups, marketing your products online. In general, I will write about how to becoming more successful, whatever be the definition of success you have.

The blog would be split into few topics like startups, productivity, money, etc. Not everyone might be interested in all the topics, so they can choose to subscribe to only topics that they want to. Creating new topics are simpler than creating a new blog in the old method and also less maintenance overhead.

So this is the start of a new blog with completely new content. I suggest you to subscribe to the RSS feeds for regular updates happening on the blog.

What went wrong with Blogial

Almost 5 years back I started Blogial along with couple of friends. We wanted Blogial to be a single place where anyone can come in and read and write quality content about any topic that interested them. No need to maintain a separate blog which most probably will end up being a zombie with no updates.

We thought when we reach critical mass with Blogial, there would be enough content published everyday that even occassional writers will want to write something. And the readers would also be able to subscribe to just the topics that they are interested in.

The way we setup the blog was by using the multi-site option in wordpress and a separate sub-domain for every topic that we were interested in. So we started by creating programming.blogial.com, india.blogial.com, oz.blogial.com, etc.

We did write blog posts, but whenever we wanted to write about a new topic, it was a pain in the ass to create a new blog, map a subdomain to it and make sure that there were enough content published in that new blog regularly. Soon we ended up having more number of blogs than contributors.

Things went into zombie mode on blogial as all contributors stopped contributing and spam commentors started flooding the posts with medicines which can make your body parts grow.

Blogial Django App tasksI wanted to solve this and began writing a custom blog application using Django. I designed it so that a blog post will be published into separate sub-domains which are based on the tags it is posted into. So if you tag a blog post as programming and web apps – it would be accessible from both programming.blogial.com and webapps.blogial.com.

I didn’t get a chance to finish the application as I ran into a problem of avoiding duplicate content being indexed by google which may decrease the search engine rankings.

Recently there has been a few other similar social publishing platforms like Medium or Svbtle which provide a common platform for multiple contributors to publish their content. I prefer the way Medium has solved it and makes it a great place to publish even if you will write only one or two posts in your entire lifetime.

Thinking about all that has happened the first mistake we did was not to continue blogging and creating enough content, as good quality content is what brings in visitors to a blog. And in the later half, I was too fixed on designing the perfect blogging platform instead of writing more posts.

Second was not marketing it properly and bringing in more quality contributors. At least with a few more contributors and a good community, we would’ve made sure that we didn’t let the blog go brain dead.

Anyway, I am going to reboot Blogial and have setup a very simple plan for it. I will post about it in the next post.