Blogging: The Art of Maintaining Momentum

I’m back from a few days off and….

Shock horror, look what’s happened!

Quel Désastre!

Nobody has added anything to the Brain for a whole week!

No Recent Brain Waves

Better

Recent Blog Post

So OK, we set higher standards than most for post frequency, but the problem that afflicts us all has kicked in.  Posting has just been pushed down the agenda a bit.

What are your tips for maintaining the posting discipline? (I’ve done the fierce tantrum bit already)

(P.S. I’m going to be talking about the SEO impact of blogs as part of the forthcoming New Media Breakfast on blogging.)

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14 thoughts on “Blogging: The Art of Maintaining Momentum”

  1. Allan Barr says:

    I’d love to tell you I have the answer to this one, but I’m suffering the same problem. I spend too much time working on client’s blogs and no where near enough on my own. I’m finding Posterous is helping, but still. (Having 2 children under 2 doesn’t help either!)

    • Tim Barlow says:

      Hi Allan. You’ve alluded to my favourite topic on this subject: FrictionAnything that makes blogging more difficult than jotting down a few thoughts on an e-mail will decrease post frequency. Particular peeves of mine:- images (finding, formatting uploading),- tags (having to add them, having to make sure I use the right ones, categories as well – crumbs)- having to be bit politer/add a little more context than you’d usually do in a email to a colleague or good friend (e.g. one of the aims of the Attacat Brain was just to share links – but I end up having to get all flowery rather than just posting the link e.g. http://www.attacat.co.uk/brain/link-dont-let-seo-get-in-the-way-of-good-design/nPosterous helps, but for my liking, there is still too much friction.

  2. I agree with Allan. It’s forcing yourself to take the time out after you’re done with work to focus on your own ‘work’. However, when it comes to the company blog, a more rigid structure and timeline are important. Make a list of items you want to write about over ___ weeks and try to stick to it. Even if you’re on a roll and write three or four in one day – blogging platforms allow you to schedule your posts, so this can help keep your blog regularly updated.nnI’m very do as I say not as I do on this!

  3. Jools Stone says:

    I’m still at the stage where I go all warm n fuzzy around me washboard when I get a non-hit n run comment meself (and even the hit n runs give me a mild tingle, hell I’ll approve a spammer on a really bad day) but it’s a very good question. How effective is twitter for getting blog clicks, let alone comments, from twps whose radar you’re not on really already? Jools

    • Tim Barlow says:

      (Context: Jools responded to a Tweet I put out to ask for people to comment on this post. It was a tip I got form Gordon at FatBuzz over the weekend, so I thought I’d try it out)nnI don’t think it will work for people not on your radar. I purposely directed the Tweet at folks I know are prolific commenters who I’ve had online debates with in the past. Initial results suggest it has worked very well – it just needs to be one you use sparingly.

  4. Barry Dewar says:

    For me itu2019s simply about assigning it the correct degree of importance in the hierarchy of your daily tasks. Unless itu2019s up there with answering emails and making the coffee then thereu2019s no reason to maintain it when you get a bit busier. Once itu2019s got the correct priority then you wonu2019t feel so bad about scheduling it. The key for me in terms of frequency is not rigidly having a target number of posts per week, rather a minimum number and then just making sure you donu2019t fall behind the curve.rnrnRemember also that even though you want to add a bit of extra value around the links you share, this doesnu2019t mean that you have to write War and Peace for each update. The trick is to have the topic in mind before you come to drafting the post. This makes it easier to come up with just a line or 2 if required. It neednu2019t take more than 5 minutes.rnrnIf itu2019s the links/topics themselves that are the issue then reading the blogs of your own commenters can often lead to things worth sharing. Failing that, a well stocked RSS reader never fails to come up with the goods.

    • Tim Barlow says:

      “itu2019s simply about assigning it the correct degree of importance in the hierarchy of your daily tasks”nnThis is right, but easier said than done. It’s very much part of my role, so it’s up there (well may be not quite with the tea drinking, but certainly the e-mail responding). The “company culture” is getting close to being there – everybody knows they got to do it and usually do. The periodic lapses only get noticed when we all lapse at the same time! Really ingraining that culture still requires work (like I said – tantrum ;)nn”If itu2019s the links/topics themselves that are the issue then reading the blogs of your own commenters can often lead to things worth sharing. “nnNot a problem for me at any rate. I have an e-mail folder called “Blog Ideas” that could keep me occupied for months.

  5. Mike McGrail says:

    As my blog is a hobby I don’t feel major post pressure, however I don’t want to keep the readers waiting too long. I have a policy of original content, no regurge, so sometimes I do struggle to post once a week (which is what I aim for).

    • Tim Barlow says:

      Thanks Mike. The “post if have something interesting to say” strategy has a lot to be said for it. And by adding Barry’s idea of “inspiration by feed reader”, finding something useful to say, shouldn’t be too challenging.

  6. I like the idea of asking for people to comment. It’s soul destroying for an irregular blogger like me (@barrydewar #isapostinghero) to finally post something and then feel like no one is reading it. In a round about way – it’s actually something I have blogged about over the weekend – obviously, not posted quite yet but drafted #notetoself:prioritiseblogpostingyetagain. nnMaybe we should start a Blog Support Circle & Hashtag #BCW (blog comments welcomed) or something similar.

    • Mike McGrail says:

      The feeling of getting a comment is great. Apparently if you get 10 comments in a row, you have 1/5th of an orgasm. Or is that sneezing?

      • Tim Barlow says:

        Mike, please don’t make me have to blog about moderating comments 😉

    • Tim Barlow says:

      Well it certainly works! Though there is a limit to how many favours you can pull in. nnCertainly most forums etc start off with a core of friends who do 99% of the posting/commenting.nnI bet there will be something similar to what you suggest. I’ll have to digg around.nnWhat I think works well though is to simply work with half a dozen other bloggers and read and comment on each others posts as regularly as possible. Work together and rise together.

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