Blogging isn’t easy. Whether you struggle to find ideas to write about, put them to paper or worry about the reaction of strangers it can be a long an painful process.
Of all the advice I’ve heard to help improve my blogging, and writing in general, the worst I’ve heard is “just push publish.” There’s so much more to it than that.
Some of my most popular posts on this site, and most impactful writing in general, has been the result of not pushing publish for weeks or months. Whether I’m writing about WordPress, privacy or tech in general it is the posts that I spend time on that offer the most to my readers.
That isn’t to say I don’t write a number of fast posts just to “get something out there” but the quality of those posts is evident here, as well as in most blogs, right from the start.
Instead of following “just push publish” here are a few things I’ve learned that help me write consistent and helpful posts. I will never win an award for my writing, I’m fine with that, but these tips help me write the best content I can for both myself and my readers.
Keep a topic list
First, keep a list of upcoming post topics. This helps prioritize what works together as well as helps you plan on what actually be worth writing about. I keep mine as a to-do list in Apple Notes that I check off as I actually finish the post. This ensures I can can keep topics moving and focused without letting everything get too random.
Research your topic ideas
When I’m not writing I’m often researching the things I write about. This post, for example, has been on my topic list for over a month. In that time I’ve read about and jotted over a full page of notes to flesh out my thoughts and which of these “ideas” is actually worth adding to the post. When I added the topic to the list I could’ve added dozens of tips that, in the end, really weren’t as important as I wanted them to be. Spending time on researching and thinking about the topic, as well as blogging in general, has lead to posts I’m happier with and, I hope, y’all find more helpful.
Post on a schedule
Rather than “just push publish” I would say “just write” about the topics you care about. Still, when you think you’re done, don’t just throw it out there for the world. Save it and read it at least a day later. It’s amazing how many of the posts I’ve written lately have been edited to the point of replacement. Before I moved to a blogging schedule I really didn’t understand this. Today most posts aren’t published for at least a week after their first draft. I like to think it shows in both style and content of what you actually read.
In the end what it comes down to is “just write” is good but “just push publish” is not. Take the proper time to flush out your ideas and your writing will be all the better for it.