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Plan the Blog; Blog the Plan

This guest post is by Tricia Lawrence of Realbrilliant.com.

Oh, it’s a love/hate relationship with New Year’s Resolutions, isn’t it? If you’re feeling a bit dismayed at your lack of resolution to blog better in 2011, you’re not alone. But I’m here to help.

How can you get that resolution back on track?

1. Revisit your plan

What did you decide to do this year? Blog more often, guest post more often, add sponsors, or get involved in the comments? You can pick yourself back up again. It’s only February, and there’s a lot of 2011 left.

So, where did you lose heart? What made you trip? Was your goal too much? Did you set too high of a standard? Did the new season of American Idol suck you back in? (Steve Tyler is like a train wreck; you just can’t look away! His jowls. Randy’s shoes! Yeah, I got sucked in.)

2. Reconfigure the plan

So, how can you get back to it? Do you need some more soul-searching? Do you need to research? Write a few emails that you’ve been avoiding? Ask the hard questions and push past the block. You can do it!

3. Schedule yourself into the future

How do you intend to accomplish this plan for your blog? Set up a schedule. If you have to write your blog posts at Starbucks to feel like you’ve made it, then do it. The carrot and stick method works. Bait yourself and get a reward.

4. Find your resources

Whether you’re using Darren’s book or blogging ebooks to build a better blog in 2011, dig them out from wherever you’ve stashed them, and use them. Set limits on how much you’re going to do each day, but do something each day. Don’t we all just work better when we stick with it? Little by little, we’ll eat that elephant.

5. Keep track of your progress

Believe me, you keep at this blogging thing in 2011, and by 2012, you’ll want to look back and see how far you’ve come. Keep a blog journal and note how many things you attempted, what did work, and what didn’t. This is not a competition. This is a learning process.

Twelve months is a long time. Even if you’ve dropped the ball and really got off track in the past weeks, that doesn’t mean you can’t get back to the top of the pile in the next five weeks. Give yourself a break, sip the latte, and go to it!

Tricia Lawrence is an author, teacher, and speaker, helping the publishing industry, specifically authors, position their blogs and books to sell. Tricia’s book, The Social Network(s): A Field Guide for Writers will be out on Kindle in March and she’ll appear at several tech and writing conferences in 2011. Sign up for Tricia’s biweekly eZine, Please Write Like You Talk at http://www.realbrilliant.com/blog. Tricia is on Twitter @realbrilliant.

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Comments

  1. LuAnn says:

    Diggin my calender out. *lol*

  2. liz says:

    Excellent and timely points … many thanks. I like all the points and number 3 particularly appeals – Schedule into the Future with a carrot!

    I just did a barter for a Mac Air so the carrot will be to find great cafes with free wifi and write write write on this beautiful laptop.

    I also liked the idea of thinking beyond the next week and really viewing the process with a long view … steady and consistent work throughout 2011 and reap the rewards for the effort.

  3. Rison Simon says:

    Thanks for this incredible post. This will be a help to all bloggers who took amazing resolutions at january 2011, but forgot about it along the way. I think keeping track of your progress is the best tip.

  4. Tricia,

    I find planning to be one of the tippy-top most important aspects of success. I hate the word, “resolution” because it is often tied with failure. People will decide they want a resolution and go off half-cocked. them the first time they run into a speed bump in their plans they say they failed and quit.

    your ideas are great. These are all the hallmarks of a good plan as opposed to a half thought out “resolution”. To succeed you need actionable steps with mini goals. anyone who can follow your five steps and create a real plan has a very good shot at success rather than trying to achieve some ephemeral, “resolution”

    Thanks,

    Steve

  5. musicblog says:

    I just go for plan for next week. When to write,sleep, what time go for excercise, lets see what happen!

  6. Brilliant post, I’ve always tried to plan ahead when it comes to my to my blog!

  7. Stuart says:

    Plan your dreams, reach your obstacles. Keep moving forward, even if you have to charge at an angle. And never doubt that the end is in sight. It always is :-)

  8. I like to think that I am a very good planner. I’m new to blogging and the challenge has me motivated. I enjoy keeping track of my progress. Almost like an addiction.

    Mr MakingUsmile

  9. Yes, Liz!

    Sometimes blogging can wear us down a bit. I love how “big-picture” planning always gets me back on track!

    Keep it up, Musicblog!

    Great job, Stuart!

    Keep at it Mr. MakingUsmile!

    Thanks for the responses, everyone! I’m with ya! I love blogging!

  10. Praveen says:

    Well done! Good Guest Post.. I haven’t lost the track of my resolution. Suppose if I lose it, I will take your advice :)

  11. Tricia,

    As far as keeping a general plan and having goals to keep yourself on track, I agree with you; planning is essential. But I also think that planning can be poison. If you over-plan, it can make it difficult to adjust to things that come up, and it can even stick you in a rut.

    Planning is tremendously important, and useful, but it needs to be used the right way.

    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Hi, Praveen, keep at it. Good for you!

    Hi, Dave, YES. Great addition. My post was for the people who made a New Year’s resolution and were falling behind. That said, overplanning without action is so harmful and can stick you in this “I am so far behind, I can’t get out” rut.

    Great point. Thanks for sharing it!

    Trish

  13. Ritournelle says:

    I started blogging last summer when I was looking for a job and since I started working and moved to New York, I have gone from a post every 4 days to a completely irregular rythm. I now plan to post at least once a week so I can work on my blog during the weekends. I love your idea of rewarding oneself after posting. It’s a great motivation method!

  14. InspiroHost says:

    Wow! Such tips are what I’ve been looking for. Now, I do have a resource and so excited to create my own blog and then in a matter of time upgrade so that it will not be out of track.

    Thanks

  15. It’s like writing an online task pad or journal, so plan won’t go to waste and maybe someone who reads your blog can remind you of the stuff you wrote for your plans.

  16. I’ll pull out a cliche here. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.

    Tricia, I have a plan, but its not world domination ;-) Just to provide experienced, insightful, practical tipd for graphic designers who want their design business to thrive. I’ve written a bit of a link post (Thanks Darren for teaching me that!) outlining the ‘plan’ for a new series on my blog and I’ll be writing to that plan.

    How To Start Your Own Profitable Graphic Design Business http://bit.ly/emkvKm

  17. Joey says:

    BoMB Content to Keep me on my toes! My main problem is: I write a TON of stuff on paper, and struggle to keep up with typing it all out. I am soo Old School! And it is Hurting me in the long run.
    ~Joey

  18. Jon Becker says:

    I find it so hard to set-up a concrete schedule, like I will be insanely motivated start writing what I think is a brilliant post.;) Then that tapers off after about an hour, short bursts of enthusiasm then I spend the next couple hours reading ProBlogger and getting lost in information.

  19. Lewis says:

    Yeah it is good to keep track of your blog! At least you should have a regular posting on a weekly basis.
    anyway nice article!

  20. Well, it seems I have to start by making a plan first!

    Thanks for the great advice, it certainly will help if I have a firm plan for 2011!

    Read Aloud Dad

  21. Jules says:

    Aahhhh more things to know about blogging BEFORE you start :) Thank you!

  22. Meagan says:

    Great article! I’m doing well so far sticking with my goals and accomplishing them. I took my yearly goals and broke them down into monthly goals. From there I plan my month around how to accomplish the goals I set for it. It really helps me to get everything accomplished.

    I love what you said about the carrot and stick method…writing your blog posts at starbucks. I think you need to find what motivates you to get the job done, then do it! Thanks!

  23. This post was a great reminder for me. I have a plan in place for my blog for this year, and even though I am fairly close to being on track, I need to tighten up a bit and narrow down the plans for the next quarter. I have an e-book launching and then beginning on an online workshop, so I need to lay out those steps for progress.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Bernice
    10 steps to learning for life

  24. Hi, everyone.

    You should know, I am the planning QUEEN. (I was born on Martha Stewart’s birthday, so there’s no hope for me; save yourselves!) But planning is so important.

    Keep it up, Ritournelle and Spencer. Great series, GraphicDesignBoss! Go, ReadAloudDad! Jules, not much more to add though. Just outline a few posts, see if you have a theme (sometimes it takes some “journal blogging” to get to that theme), and go. As you continue, don’t be too rigid to the plan, but try to figure out what you like to write about most and what your audience seems to want you to write about. It takes a lot of experimentation, but look where Darren is today! Worked for him!

    Have a great day!

    Tricia L.

  25. Peter says:

    Good points – I think its especially important to journal what you have done so you can look back and see where your valuable time has gone. I try to do that daily

  26. Over the last several weeks, I’ve been scheduling blog posts and newsletter emails to go out days in advance. I can’t begin to tell you how comforting this feels! I don’t have to rush to wake up in the mornings and publish things. Instead, I know that everything is scheduled to go out and that I have content for the week ahead. Sure, it takes some work to get it all done and scheduled, but it’s well worth it and feels entirely good to get organized that way!

  27. Guy Hogan says:

    I’m okay. I’m okay for two reasons: I don’t make resolutions for a new year and I’m addicted to blogging. So, I’m okay.

  28. Hi, Peter, go for it! GREAT job on keeping track.

    Ricardo, that’s FANTASTIC. I bet you love the pre-scheduled feeling. You can set it and forget it.

    Guy, ROFL. I’m laughing over here. That is hysterical. Glad you are okay! I think you are okay, too!

    Trish L.

  29. And I’m missing comments right and left!

    Thanks to everyone who participated in this conversation! I appreciate it!

    Remember, Plan the Blog, Blog the Plan!

    Trish L.

  30. If you are the type that has trouble finding something to write about go to ezine articles and find the top authors of your topic or niche and rewrite the article in your words.

    Also add your ideas to it as well. When you are done with your article ask yourself the question so what as you read each line. Whatever does not make sense just get rid of it due to the fact that this is a relationship business and you want people to return to your blog on and on, just like they would want to have a second portion of a good meal at your house!!

    Lawrence Bergfeld

  31. Jeff Goins says:

    I appreciate the word, “This is not a competition.” Amen. I wonder, though, what does a blog journal look like?

  32. Good thoughts, Lawrence!

    Jeff,

    Mine is a Word doc with themes for each month (I’m a Type A; what can I say?). But you could also carry some sort of physical notebook if you work better that way.

    Write down thoughts, what you like about your blog or others, what your goals are, what you want your blog to look like in a year. Keep it simple. I like to brainstorm blog post titles in a batch, so I put those in.

    Hope this helps!

    Trish

  33. Avadhut says:

    Useful one. Doing something everyday adds to the big work and gives you sense of confidence and achievement. That feeling, at the end of the day, is great.

  34. I tnink that one of the most parts here is to plan from where we are going to take information. With other words to find resources. Of course we have to put this point in our plan in case not to let pass something.

  35. Cathy says:

    Thanks for the reminder! I haven’t been posting as much as I should this month, although I have a lot of ideas coming to mind. I have a couple on unfinished draft and I wonder why I’ve been giving up so quickly this time. ;) Anyway, thank you for reminding we can always get back up. I guess, I have to really make myself a schedule and be more disciplined. ;) Thanks again!

  36. Simon Turner says:

    It’s good to get this encouragement – thanks. Blogging is great fun, I love it. But sometimes it can be a drag when you have a post to write but there are other things needing done.

    I have actually surprised myself this year in that I have managed to keep my daily posting going along. What I do struggle with is taking all the good plans and ideas I have to improved my blog and putting them into place.

    Easy = planning

    Hard = doing

    But I have been spurred on by reading thist post. Cheers.

  37. Thanks for sharing! Glad to help.

    Keep on! Have a wonderful blogging 2011!

    Tricia L.

  38. Kyle Logue says:

    Sometimes it’s hard to have a plan. I try to take a break once a month to reflect on the past 30 days and see how far I’ve come and how much farther I want to go. Still early in the blogging experience though. Successes await :)

  39. sunny says:

    ya need to edit post everyday is it right? edit pages and review altime

    i plan my blog to advertise is it right?

  40. Michael says:

    Reminds me of the planning that we used to do in the military. As we say, “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.” It’s all about mission and objective planning, what you plan to make happen, etc.

  41. Jerrick Yeoh says:

    Get back yourself what the purpose you blogging? You need to plan your goal your mission , your goal maybe the same but need more different vision to archive it. Plan is important so you do not lose what the purpose you blog and what you want to blog about.