Kick-Starting Your Blog

Do you struggle to regularly post to your blog? Would you like to blog more consistently?

If so, setting yourself a challenge to write and publish 100 words a day for 100 days may be helpful.

Today is my last day working towards this challenge. When I hit 100 words on the counter (and press the Publish button) I’ll officially have completed my challenge to write 100 words a day for 100 days.

It’s not easy. 100 words a day doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’re trying to come up with a brand new post every single day, one that will be interesting to your readers, it requires a lot of discipline (you really need to follow the B.I.S method… 😉 )

[Editor’s note: you’ve reached 112 words!]

On the other hand, it has been easy. 100 words is a tiny amount. Unless you’re writing poetry or ultra flash fiction where you have to carefully consider every single word. I knew I could write 100 words a day as I’ve done it before while writing the first draft of Fallen Warriors.

Perhaps it seems too easy. Not worth your while? Consider the traditional newspaper columnist who has a limited space. They will have been given a topic to write on, each and every day. Maybe some of those columns are longer than 100 words: 200, 300, but regardless, they will be unable to go over as there is only so much space on a page.

Now, I’ve not limited myself to only writing 100 words. My longest post–10 ways to fail at publishing and marketing your book–came in at 2,172 words. My goal was to discipline myself to regularly publish, not to keep within a word count.

You could take this challenge further and try publishing exactly 100 words for 100 days, but I would recommend being clear about why you would want to achieve that.

You must have a theme

I probably have had too many themes over the last 100 days. I wanted to break down the 100 posts into ten categories in the hope I would find it easier to find topics to keep posting on. Having pre-thought themes has helped. Those have been churning away at the back of my mind throughout the last three months.

Yet I think I would have done better sticking to one theme and building on that throughout the challenge. I’ve seen wild fluctuations in views for each post as I’m targetting a different readership with each one.

Know your target audience

The most popular posts on this challenge have been writing related where I’ve offered useful information to fellow writers:

1. Making sense of chaos with Scrivener 501 page views
2. Amazon Academy The Detail 136 page views
3. 10 ways to fail at publishing and marketing your book 78 page views

Ultimately though, I want to find readers who will want to buy my novels and when I get round to completing them, my other books.

But, if that is my aim, then probably a daily blog is not the way to go. I’m seeing limited success with my limited marketing efforts and increasing marketing is more likely to result in increased sales than continuing a regular blog that few readers are finding. It wouldn’t make sense to focus on advertising this blog so I can find readers for it, when what I want to do is sell novels.

Spend time planning in advance

One hundred days is a long time to commit to a new project. As I’ve posted before, I haven’t always managed to write 100 words towards this blog each day. What I have managed to do is publish at least 100 words each day. I’ve done that by trying to plan out in advance what I wanted to write and by building up a buffer of scheduled posts.

Set a specific time to write

I’ve found over the hundred days that when I know in advance when I will be writing and stick to that, keeping my commitment is a lot easier.

Schedule in rest days and holidays

I originally planned to write two posts each Saturday so I wouldn’t have to blog on a Sunday. I wasn’t able to keep to that every week and sometimes ended up writing on a Sunday.

But, I believe that we need time off each week to recover, to be renewed, to allow our creative reserves to be refilled. I would encourage you to plan in time off each week for those reasons.

Also, be aware of the time of year you are planning to take on your 100 day challenge. I took mine over the summer and had a full week away at one point and a long weekend afterwards. It really helps during those times if you can switch off completely, but in order to do that, you will need to have a sufficiently full buffer of posts ready to publish.

Choose your pictures

It’s generally accepted that people are more likely to write a blog or online article that is presented with a relevant image.

I’ve not managed to be as consistent with that as I’d have liked, but I’ve started to become more comfortable using sites like Pixabay that offer a selection of free searchable images. Just type in the theme of your blog post or relevant keywords and you’ll get a range of images that might be suitable to use. Like the one at the top of this page. I searched on keyword: kick and ended up selecting this photo by nuzree. I edited the photo to add some text and then set it as a Featured Image which means it is automatically displayed when sharing your post to certain social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Final word

If you want to kick-start your blog, then taking up the 100 words a day for 100 days challenge may be helpful. Why not give it a go and let me know how you get on.

2 thoughts on “Kick-Starting Your Blog”

  1. Thanks for that, Mark. Yesterday I wrote a tentative table of contents for my dissertation and today I’ll start writing 100 words a day which will give 200 days writing plus plenty of time for proof reading, editing, etc, and help me avoid the usual panic to write 1000 words before midday on submission day!

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