Hey there everyone! One of the blog topics that I saw a few people were interested in from the feedback form I sent out was about blogging advice or tips. I’ve always found it both fun and challenging to do blogging advice posts because I don’t think I’m anywhere close to being someone who can give advice to others about blogging (as I’m still very much an amateur blogger). However, it’s still a fun thing to do because I think you can always reflect back on your own experiences and learn something new. So today, I’m going to be kicking off my blogging advice series – 10 posts all centred around blog-related advice or tips, that will all come out hopefully before the end of this year (or just in the start of next year – I haven’t quite worked out the timetable yet).
Now today’s post is quite fitting because for the second time in quite a while I didn’t have a blog post ready the day before. I know, shock and horror. But things are a bit all over the place at the moment with the new national lockdown, and with online teaching being up in the air, everything changing last minute and my first two big assignments due over the next week so eeek!
Sometimes you don’t always have a post ready to go, but you still want to write something and post it. How on earth can you get a good, last-minute post done then? Writing a blog post is quite a task, and believe me, I know how stressful it can be trying to do them last minute. There was a time when most of my posts were last minute because everything was just too crazy, and I didn’t have the time to plan ahead (much like right now). Thankfully, there are a few tips to whipping out a blog post last minute that can help and have certainly helped me, so today I’m going to share them with you!
Jot your thoughts down throughout the day
Any thoughts you have can be an inspiration for a post. Don’t let those little pearls of wisdom wisp away into nothingness when they could be so helpful to you! Any time you have a thought or idea that could somehow link to a blog post, write it down. It may not be what you want to write about today, but it could be the start of an excellent post for next time.
Let writing a blog be a positive thing
The one thing that can put a damper on anything, especially something creative, is when it feels like a chore. If you’re tired after a long day of whatever you do and say now is the time to write a blog post, well that can be quite challenging not to think of it as a chore if a blog post stands between you and finally being able to put your feet up. That’s why a fun idea is to try and associate writing a blog with you time. Try to find a way to make it therapeutic, like it’s your opportunity to unleash some creativity after a long day, or just relax and type up something you feel passionate about (which is a lot easier to do when you make blogging a positive activity). Remember – your whole world shouldn’t revolve around your blog. Your blog is meant to meld around your world and make it better. If things aren’t gelling right now, they will later so don’t let blogging turn into a chore when, at the end of the day, it should be easy, and fun and something you look forward to.
Look at old posts – ones you enjoyed writing
I have got so many blog posts waiting to be written … easily over 30 going all the way back to when I first started that just haven’t come out yet (which is a little heartbreaking, but they will emerge and have their time in the digital sun eventually). Sometimes, inspiration can hit by looking over that list of ideas, because they wouldn’t have made it onto the list if I didn’t have something to say about them, or didn’t love them in one way or another. The excitement is still there, and sometimes I know that it’s time for one of those ideas to be turned into a post. Another way of getting inspiration is by going through old posts that you enjoyed writing. Maybe something will spark from there – you have more to say on the topic, that idea could spin off into a new one? Old posts can be surprisingly inspirational, so don’t just forget about them once they’re published.
Got any drafts lying around?
You would be surprised how many half-written drafts of blog posts end up in different places that you may have forgotten about. When I scoured through my laptop, I found so many incomplete blog posts, posts I still love and can’t believe I never finished, and I was blown away. Finding something that’s already partly written can feel so amazing when you’re struggling with inspiration and don’t know what to write – it’s as if fate was smiling on you for that moment. You may even find a completed blog post that just never got published, and if that’s the case, then lucky you!! Your blog post is already done, and you didn’t have to type a single word today.
Draw up a quick plan
Whenever teachers used to say “draw up a quick mindmap before you start your essays”, the groans were so loud I can still hear them ringing in my ears, and I finished school two years ago. I know that the idea of planning or creating mindmaps just doesn’t appeal to some people. If you don’t work well that way, then I completely get it, but I’ve always found having a plan to be such a lifesaver, particularly when I’m short on time. Just sketching out a small mindmap, or a short list of points that you want to talk about, may not seem very helpful, but when you are in a rush, that plan can keep you on track and help you write faster. What I like to do for blog posts is to try and plan what my subheadings are going to be, and I’ll jot down any really interesting points that come to mind. What this does is it helps me keep my thoughts and creativity focused in the right direction – so I don’t have to think about the main ideas I’m writing (the ideas are already there), and it keeps me on track by not letting me go off on a tangent when I don’t have the time. You’ll never hear from me an instance where planning was not a good idea, so I thought I might as well make this a tip for today’s post. Try it out – you might just become a speed blogger with the help of a quick, well-constructed plan.
Don’t think – just unleash your thoughts and trust yourself
Linking up with my last point, what I’ve found slows me down so much is when I stop to think and question what I’m writing. I think about it, and how maybe this isn’t quite the right point, or how I’d like this to be better and before I know it, I look up, and it’s been two hours, and I have made zero progress. Yes, thinking about your posts and what you’re writing is important, but while you’re writing is not the time to stop and question yourself. One of the key things I’ve learnt from writers about writing is to “write hot, edit cold”. Which means that when you’re writing, the only thing you should be focused on is getting words onto the page. Just unleash your thoughts and creativity and trust yourself and your writing. Once you’re done, then you can edit and make changes, and I’m telling you from experience doing it like that often ends up being faster, and you’re happier with your writing because you’re not stopping your creative flow. Plus, deep down, you know exactly what needs to be written – trust yourself.
Scan, edit, pretty and post!
The writing is the hard part. Once you’re done, it’s literally three quick check stops before you can hit publish and you’re done. For me, my time distribution when it comes to creating posts is about ⅔ writing the actual post, and ⅓ doing everything else, because once the content is there, it’s essentially just a little polishing, making sure there are no glaring spelling errors, adding a few pretty touches to take it from an essay to a blog post and voila you are done! When you have finished writing, I recommend scanning through it again, making sure that it reads clearly, and check yourself for any errors (thank heavens for spell check because sometimes when I’m typing too fast, I see words where I question my ability to English). Then, just add a few pictures or a few nice touches, and you are ready to post. See? Once the writing is done, everything else follows quite quickly.
Don’t force it
Last, but especially not least, DO NOT FORCE IT!!! Sometimes I end up writing a better post when I put some pressure on myself and know that the one I’m typing is the one that has to go up today. If you know that that sort of pressure is helping you to be productive and produce good content, then that’s okay. But, if it’s gotten to a point when it’s so last minute and you can’t think of anything to write about, or you keep getting stuck, or you just feel like this post isn’t working the way you want it to, you should take a step back and rethink. This is definitely not me saying you should give up, but maybe you need to take a break and walk away for a little while, or re-evaluate your blogging schedule so that you have more time to write posts. Don’t just write and publish for the sake of it because if it feels like you’re forcing it, your readers will feel that too and plus it just takes all the fun and joy out of it. Switch directions, change gears, maybe write about what you’re feeling right now instead of just putting something up (oooh that’s a good idea actually … I’m going to write that down). Don’t force yourself to write if you aren’t in the right headspace. Instead, just take a deep breath, go for a walk or make a cup of tea and try to come back to it with a clear head. This is your blog – unless you’re 100% (okay that might be pushing it I’m not sure anyone is ever 100% happy with the work they create) happy with it, you don’t have to hit publish, and that too is absolutely okay!
And so there you have it!! What did you guys think of my first post in this blogging advice series? Did you like the tips I gave? Have you got any tips of your own that you’d like to share? Also, are there any specific blogging topics or blogging advice that you’d like me to include in the series? Let’s chat in the comments section!
That’s all I’ve got for you guys today though … until next week!
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx