How to Pick Up the Blogging Habit

As people, we’re creatures of habit. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, start a blog or train for your first marathon, to be successful in that goal, you must develop the habit of actually doing it. The habit of running, of eating, of finding that time to write and publish blog posts. And that takes practice.

I write a lot – for multiple blogs, multiple times a week. And in order for me to get that blogging done and still be able to run a business and take care of everything else that needs to get done, I’ve had to adopt the blogging habit. If you’re having trouble committing to blogging, here are some tips and tricks that have worked for me. I’d love it if you’d share what works (or even what doesn’t work) for you.

1. Schedule time: One of the most common sources of pushback when I encourage small business owners to start blogging is that they don’t have the time.  I understand that. But you have to schedule in the time, the same way you schedule in time to pay your vendors, to manage your online reviews or even to restock your inventory. Without scheduling those things, they probably wouldn’t get done either. But you do them because they’re important to your business.

Do the same with your blogging. Find an hour or two a week that you can dedicate to writing content. Maybe it’s in the morning before things get into full swing, maybe it’s on Sunday while you grab a coffee and catch up on the world. Schedule the time.

2. Keep an idea log: Get in the habit of recording ideas for blog posts, and you won’t believe how easily they come to you. Keep track of  bloggable questions (as I discuss in my post on Outspoken Media), the conversations you have with customers, the issue that got you really worked up, the new use for that old medium you’re considering, etc. When you’re immersed in your business, your brain is constantly thinking, evaluating and trying things out. Jot down those ideas and write about them later. It’s when you don’t catch these thoughts in the moment that they’re lost forever when you sit down to face a blank screen.

3. Put a blogging structure in place:: Whether you think you are a professional writer or a complete hack, you probably have a writing system. You think of your topic, you do your research, you store the links you want to mention, you craft your headline, etc. Use this system to help keep you on track with what you’re supposed to be doing. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel each time you sit down to write. Know what you need to do and how you need to do it; then, just get it done. Streamline the process as much as possible.

4. Write in batches: If you’re feeling inspired and the juices are flowing, don’t just write one post, write an entire week’s worth or two week’s worth. Not only does this help you to plan out your content and schedule posts ahead of time, but it also lets you take advantage of those natural moments when you have something to say. Don’t stop writing until you’ve gotten it all out.

5. Use one piece of content many ways: Before you write a piece of content, think of all the different ways you can recycle that content. Maybe you can expand on that blog post and turn it into an article series. Maybe you can turn it into a presentation to give at your local chamber of commerce event. Maybe you can build an interview series off it. If time is sacred (and when isn’t it?), make sure you’re getting as much mileage out of each piece as you can.

6. Keep doing it: To build a habit, you need to live the habit. Keep following the rules above until you don’t even realize you’re following them anymore. Once blogging begins to feel like a natural part of your business, you’ve adopted the blogging habit. Congrats.

Above are a few tips to help you pick up the blogging habit and get yourself on a path to creating authoritative content for both users and the engines. What’s worked for you?

More in: 28 Comments ▼

Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

28 Reactions
  1. Phil @ Startup Resources

    Some great tips I find writing in the morning works or me I tried to write at the end of the day for years but jobs always came up. I find if I say I cannot start anything else until I get a blog post done it helps me get the post done.

  2. Thanks for the tips i always struggle to keep up the blogging habit i always have a few ideas either i don’t write them down or i write them in a book and forget to post them and even writers block on what to write so i get discouraged sometimes and don’t even bother. thanks again for the tips will put them to practice and watch the results

  3. If you’re one of those people who can type on a phone as fast as a keyboard (I mean you, super texters) you should consider blogging from your phone when you have a few minutes of waiting time. Just send yourself an email with your post and then push it to your blog when you get a minute.

  4. o ok thank you Robert for your suggestion will look into it.

  5. Great idea to blog on phone while waiting. I”m always antsy anyway!

    I put together a downloadable workbook to help new bloggers learn blogging best practices while actually getting a lot of it done. It’s 38 pages and has lots of links for the most reasonable and supportive blogging tools. (Animoto rocks.)

  6. Suzanne where can i download the workbook?

  7. This is very timely; I am putting together my first blogging attempts, and I will take some of the suggestions and make them work!

  8. Great post!

    I especially like that you touched upon the idea blog. I started doing that when I began blogging and now I have a couple hundred ideas just waiting to be crafted.

    Some days I feel like writing on certain subjects and in certain styles. By having a list of ideas from all different categories, I can pick the one that works best for my particular mood.

    Again, great post!


  9. Hi Suzanne, can you share the workbook with us?

  10. @Anson i have a question to ask you, is it a good idea to write in batches and schedule them say a weeks worth of post or a months worth of post and just check to see the activity?

  11. @Andrae,

    A lot of people write blog posts and then schedule them to post at a later date. This is good because it ensures that you will be continuously releases content and if something were to happen in the game of life that stopped you from writing for a bit, you would still be able to release content.

    I personally cannot do this. When I finish writing an article I like to publish it right away because I want it to get indexed as fast as possible. I use a plane flight as an example… If the plane takes off with 20 empty seats, the airline will never recover those losses.

    If I have finished a blog post and people search Google with keyword that would show my blog post but I decided to wait until publishing, then I’m missing those hits and can never recover those specific hits again!

    If you do, however, decide to schedule posts to publish in the future, I wouldn’t necessarily just sit back and check them periodically. I would, first off, continue to write. Also, it is important to engage your readers. Respond to their comments, connect and network with them in social media and continue to be as active as possible on your blog!

    Hope that helps clear things up a little for you!

  12. @Anson Thanks for the help it did clear up things a bit. One thing i struggle with is finding stuff to blog about since i’m a music producer and i love music in general still struggling with what fits in with me any help on finding a niche?

  13. @Andrae I actually wrote a post on this a few months back. A huge misconception about idea generation is that people think coming up with the ideas is the problem. In fact, I’m sure you come up with plenty of ideas every day but don’t remember to write them down or don’t realize that they would be a great topic for a blog post.

  14. Great tips. I write 2 blogs every week: and
    I listen to what my peeps are asking me, talking about. I also share stories of my clients successes and challenges (anonymously, of course.) And I pay attention to which blogs get the most comments–because then I know I’ve touched on an important issue.

    Believe you are an expert and share what you know. Give it away. Your blog is a way for your peeps to get to know you, trust you, like you, want to do business with you.

  15. @Anson thanks for sharing that post it really put things into perspective and thats what happens to me most of the time because i always have things i think about and talk about with my wife but i never write them down thanks again for sharing.

  16. Great tips Lisa! I especially resonate with the going with the flow. When you feel really creative, it’s easy to blog. Writing a few posts in this state is much better than banging your head against the wall when you’re just not feeling it.

    I also always have something with me (whether a smart phone or a note pad) where I can jot down ideas on the go. You never know when inspiration for a post is going to strike!

  17. Thanks for your advice.. Now, I still endeavor to fix my schedule time. 😀

  18. Great Info Lisa! I’m encouraged to see that blogging is here to stay, at least for now. It’s an invaluable tool for small businesses, especially. One thing that has always worked well for me with writing is to start by just getting my rough ideas onto the paper (or computer), even if it’s fragemented. I later come back to it and make revisions, usually with a fresh set of eyes. Working on my writing in an iterative fashion makes it less stressful for me to finish it, and it generally produces more creative and valuable content in the end too!

  19. Great ideas! I keep a spreadsheets of ideas I get; when I have writer’s block I always refer back to it.

  20. Great advice for a new business blogger. I have about 50 blogs in my bag ready for posting with your advice. When the juices are flowing. Write!

  21. I never though of keeping an idea log. This is a great post.

  22. I have a few blogs, all of which I haven’t updated in a while. It’s not that I don’t have the time. I can make time. What I lack is the enthusiasm. This is not to say the blogs aren’t in topics I don’t have an interest in either.

    I tend to post when the mood takes me, which really varies. Perhaps getting into a posting schedule will help.

Win $100 for Vendor Selection Insights

Tell us!
No, Thank You