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As a writer, it’s sometimes hard to put pen to paper (or your fingers to the keyboard).
You may be fantastic at what you do – and have loads of great ideas for your blog posts – but that doesn’t automatically make you a pro at pumping out content.
In fact, consistently producing well-crafted content is often the hardest part of blogging.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
With the proper writing routine, sticking to your writing schedule can be smooth sailing.
12 tips for a successful blog writing routine
It took me a while to figure out the most successful way to produce consistent content.
Luckily for you, I got all the trial and error out of the way!
I’ve discovered that these 12 tips help me stick to my writing routine – and they can help you too.
1. Set specific goals
To create a successful writing routine, you must set clear goals for yourself.
You can start with a big goal – such as how many blog posts you want to publish per month – and then break that goal down into smaller goals and tasks. Your goal could be writing for a specific time limit, writing a set number of words, or researching five kickass new blog topics.
And, you need to make sure your goals are realistic too. If you expect yourself to publish a post every day, you might not reach your goal. (But you’re an absolute badass if you do!)
If you only have an hour or so to write, you might not hit a 2,000-word goal for each day. In general, I think 500 words per half hour is a good measure. And, I wouldn’t recommend writing a whole blog post in one sitting.
So, maybe one day your goal is to research blog topics and create an outline for your post. Then, the next day you write freeform for 2 hours. Yet another day, you can schedule to polish the piece, and source photos to add to it for pins and social media posts.
Breaking your big goals down into smaller, attainable chunks will help keep the work flowing.
I like to use Asana to keep track of my tasks. And, it’s super satisfying to check off tasks once you’ve conquered them. (Bonus: You might even see a unicorn fly across the screen.)
2. Designate a writing time
Now that you have some specific goals in mind, it’s time to get writing. Try writing at different times of the day – and for different lengths – to learn when you have the most motivation and best creative output.
I love to get my work started early in the morning when my mind is fresh. For my night owls out there, you may work best in the evening, after everyone else is sleeping and your world is free from distractions.
And, I know not all of us have the luxury of picking out our favorite time of day to write. We all have commitments outside our writing routine. So find something realistic for yourself – and stick to it.
3. Make a writing calendar
If you’re going to commit to your writing routine, you need to pencil it in.
It’s important to physically block out your writing times in a calendar or planner – so the time is set aside. Think of this scheduled writing time just like you would any other important meeting or appointment. You have an obligation to keep it.
And, you don’t have to write for hours every day. You want this writing routine to be realistic – so you can actually stick to it without burning out.
How much time can you carve out of your schedule? Can you fit in 20 minutes here and there? Or, do you need long periods of time to focus on your task? Do you need to write every day, or is every other day more realistic for you? Should you schedule some breaks for research and social media days?
Whatever schedule works for you, make sure it is written down – and non-negotiable. That way, if your friend calls to ask you out for lunch, you can tell them you’ve got a previous engagement.
4. Give yourself some buffer
Sometimes, life gets in the way.
Sometimes you’ll really want to take that lunch date. Sometimes an emergency will pop up.And sometimes you’ll just have writer’s block! It’s important to schedule some extra time for yourself before deadlines. None of us do our best work when we are up against the clock.
And, it’s hard to create a consistent routine when you are always scrambling.
I know I tend to procrastinate, so it’s important for me to schedule at least a 24 hour buffer into my schedule.
When you give yourself an extra day or two of wiggle-room, you’ll be able to look at your work with fresh eyes before you hit publish.
5. Find a dedicated writing space
Something many writers find helpful when establishing a writing routine is creating a dedicated writing space.
Your writing space could be a full home office, a chair in the corner of your room, or even your favorite cafe. But, it’s important to make sure it is a place where you won’t feel distracted. And, you want to make sure it’s a place you feel comfortable – because you’re going to be spending a lot of time there.
Turn your writing space into a sanctuary that helps you concentrate on your writing.
If you can, close the door.
If your space isn’t quiet, put in your headphones.
You can train your brain to associate your writing space with productive writing. And, you can even add in a little routine to get started. Maybe it’s making coffee or tea, or starting off with your favorite playlist. These little habits can help you create a writing routine you will stick to.
6. Make writing a habit
If you always think of writing as work – it will always be a chore on your to-do list. But, if you can turn writing into a habit, it can become as easy as brushing your teeth!
To make writing a habit, I like to use a “loop list” of actionable tasks. Each item in the list should take around 25 minutes to complete – and I’ll explain why later.
These tasks should be small, repetitive tasks in your blog writing process. They could include (but are certainly not limited to):
- Sourcing blog topics
- Doing keyword research
- Coming up with crafty headlines
- Writing a blog outline
- Crafting an intro or summary
- Writing an item or two in a numbered list
- Freestyle writing 200-500 words
- Working on your publishing schedule
Doing a task on this list won’t get you all the way to publishing, but it will help you do a little work every single day.
If you’re stuck on one item in the list, simply move on to another.
Just start writing!
7. Take breaks
Sometimes you need to take a breather. In fact, I recommend that you do!
Set a 25-minute timer, and work on your goal until the timer goes off. Then, take a 5-minute break. Get up, stretch, drink some coffee, whatever you want so you can come back invigorated and ready for more writing. Then, set another 25-minute timer. After you’ve done this 4 times, you can have a longer 20-30 minute break to give your mind a rest.
This break-taking technique is called the Pomodoro technique, and it can be hugely helpful to your writing routine. If you know you’re only going to power through for 25 minutes, it makes your work seem so much more manageable.
It will make you more efficient – and keep you from being overwhelmed by your workload.
8. Remove distractions
When you have a lot of work to do, you need to focus. But, in the age of the internet, it can be difficult to shut the world out. If you find you’re distracted easily while you write, try turning off your wifi, or shutting off your phone.
If you schedule your research day separately from your writing day, you shouldn’t need the internet to get the bulk of your post finished.
Check for other distractions as well. Are you drinking too much coffee? (Guilty!) Are you too full (or too hungry?)
Find what your distraction is – and try to remove it.
9. Keep your loved ones in the loop
One of the biggest distractions in a writing routine is people!
Friends and family members could vie for your time – especially if you write from home.
To keep your loved ones from always popping in when you’re on the perfect blog breakthrough, keep them updated on your writing schedule.
Just like someone who is in the office from 9-5 and unreachable, tell your loved ones your “unreachable hours.”
Of course, pets won’t understand these rules, but that’s a distraction I can certainly live with.
10. Research content that will help your audience
We’ve been focusing on you, you, you. But, you’re writing for your audience. So, it’s important to find topics that speak to them!
You don’t want to waste anyone’s time – least of all your own – on a piece no one wants to read.
Take the time to schedule in blog topic research and keyword research. Take a look at some of your competitors and see what topics are working for them.
You can also pop in to answerthepublic.com to see what people are searching for. That way, when you write your blog posts, you will already have an engaged audience.
After you’ve found some great blog topics, the next step is making sure they are visible. You do this by making sure your posts are SEO optimized.
When your blog posts are reaching the intended audience – and creating quite a buzz – it will inspire you to stick to your writing routine.
11. Integrate social media marketing
We all know writing is just the tip of the iceberg.
Many of our viewers will come to us through posts they see on social media – so social media is something that cannot be ignored.
You don’t always have to be pumping out original new content to drive traffic to your blog.
Actually, about 70% of the work you do on social media can be retweets or re-shares that you can add your own little something to.
That means only 20%-30% of your social media outreach needs to be your own blog posts and offers.
This will help free up more time in your writing routine – so your content is less about quantity, and more about quality
12. Automate your publishing schedule
All your hard work is useless if your posts don’t get published!
Setting up an automated publishing schedule can help keep you on task – and ensure your words are reaching the world.
Ideally, you should always be a few blog posts ahead of your publishing schedule. (Remember that buffer we talked about.)
My favorite blog publishing app is _________.
Having all my posts set up and ready to go helps take some of the stress out of my writing schedule. And, by adding this step to my writing routine, I know my words will consistently reach the intended audience.
Ready, get set, publish!
With all these tools for a successful writing routine, you’ll be publishing consistent content in no time flat.
And you may even look forward to writing time. I know I love curling up with my cup of coffee and tucking in for a productive workday.
Once you’ve created the writing routine that works for you – in your own space, at the right time of day, with your mind focused and ready and the calendar laid out before you – there’s nothing you can’t achieve.