The other day, I was stalking a person who I didn't really like, but is still fascinating enough to be in my Stalk List.
I went to her blog and read her posts. Every single post -- spaced around 2 months apart -- started with an excuse.
"I was busy with BLABLABLA and didn't have time to blog." And then she went on to talk about whatever it is that was happening in her life.
I rolled my eyes so extremely that Hollywood should just cast me for a remake of The Exorcist. How the heck does she think that her REPEATED excuses would justify her inconsistent blogging?
The issue isn't in the inconsistent blogging. It's in the excuses.
If she wanted to start every blog post with an excuse, she might as well craft an original one every time. Turn it into her thing, ya know?
"Onions got into my eyes and I couldn't type through my tears. Or "My dog ate my laptop" (That's a re-imagined classic)
At least those excuses would've been amusing. If you can't be amusing, stop making excuses when you blog inconsistently. It's insulting to your readers.
Stop making excuses because nobody's interested in whatever "important" thing it was that prevented you from blogging.
Hey hey, I get it. Life happens. I've skipped my blog posts more times than I could count. In fact, this is my first blog post after a 4-month hiatus. (Yup, I'm a hypocrite. Holla!)
But just because your excuse sounded important to you, it doesn't mean that anybody cares.
As a blogger, you're the one who needs readers. You're the one who wants readers. Your readers aren't affected if you don't blog consistently.
They know that if you really wanted to be a blogger, you'd be publishing blog posts regularly because it matters to you.
They see right through the excuses. And frankly, it's insulting that you think your excuses matter to them. It's like you're saying, "I'm being super generous by gracing you with my presence." Your readers are the ones gracing YOU with their presence. Get it right, man!
Stop making excuses because the last thing you should do is declare to people that you're not committed to your blog.
Life happens to other people too. Did you think that your readers have been monitoring your blogging activity closely, like some kind of surveillance agents?
They haven't. They have other blogs to read. Other, more-consistent bloggers to follow. Unless you're a really popular blogger -- and in which case, this post doesn't apply to you -- your inconsistency has gone unnoticed.
So stop shouting about your inconsistencies in every single blog post. You're ruining your readers' perception of you allllll by yourself. It's like you're INFORMING them that you're not committed and undisciplined. It's not a smart move.
Stop making excuses because they won't make you feel any less crappy.
People make excuses because they're feeling guilty. They WANT to be blogging consistently and have fresh blog posts ready every week. They KNOW they're supposed to be consistent to truly be a blogger.
So they feel guilty and crappy every time they skip a post. And when their feeling of guilt and crappiness reaches the apex, they'll publish a post.
But that's it. They'll behave one week, but go incommunicado the next week.
So that "busy" excuse that they make? They're feeling insecure. What if the only readers I have think that I'm flaky??? I'm just gonna put my excuse right here so that... Um... I'll just put this here.
flaky, noun: An unreliable person. A procrastinator. A careless or lazy person. Dishonest and doesn't keep to their word. They'll tell you they're going to do one thing, and never do it. They'll tell you that they'll meet you somewhere, and show up an hour late or don't show up at all. (Source: Urban Dictionary)
Here's a billboard for ya: YOU'RE ALREADY FLAKY.
Yup, flakier than fresh croissants. So what are you gonna do now?
Get yourself and your blog under control with an editorial calendar.
Look, you can do whatever you want with your blog. Blog, don't blog, it doesn't matter.
But if you're sick of feeling crappy -- and I think you are -- I'll tell you something. Blogging consistently will always be a problem. Don't think that you can solve it, because you can't.
But that doesn't mean you should totally give up. If you want to give up, you might as well delete your blog now and let somebody else use the URL.
So if your blog still means something to you and you want to get yourself under control, take steps to HELP YOURSELF.
Inconsistency comes from lack of control of your own actions and the events in your life.
How do you take back control? By planning your blog posts in advance using an editorial calendar.
No more relying on "inspiration" and "motivation" to blog consistently. (Because we all know how that turned out.)
This fancy-sounding editorial calendar helps you assign specific blog posts to specific dates (that can't be postponed).
Even magazines use this editorial calendar to plan out articles for their issues. If people who have to juggle multiple posts every week can use one, why can't you?
When you plan in advance:
- You give yourself time to prepare whatever it is that the blog post requires. (Like buying ingredients to try out, buying tickets to an event).
- You give yourself time to write. When you already know what the blog post is about, you can spread the actual writing across several days.
- You can genuinely make progress as a blogger. When you're more consistent than before, you have more opportunities to improve your writing, post structure and blogging personality. It ain't gonna happen if you're flaky.
How to use the editorial calendar
- Print out the calendar and write the month at the top.
- Brainstorm on the types (tutorials, round-ups, reviews) and topics of your blog posts.
- Note down public holidays and events from your personal calendar.
- Start assigning one blog post to each week. (Please don't overestimate yourself by assigning more than one) Assign complicated or long blog posts to weeks when you have the most free days.
- Keep the calendar where you can see it. Or better yet, post the calendar on social media so that you'll feel more pressured to NOT be flaky. (A trick also known as 'public accountability')
The editorial calendar isn't some magic powder you can sprinkle. The real blogging has to come from you.
But it helps. Instead of making empty promises like I'll try to post more from now on to yourself and your readers (seriously, why do you keep doing that?), take REAL ACTION. Plan for REAL.
I'll reiterate your options.
- If you want to continue being flaky and making excuses for the rest of your blog lifespan, just delete your blog.
- If you want to be a real blogger, stop making excuses and start planning your blog posts. Do the dang work.
Don't you get tired of the constant guilt and disappointment in yourself? Make it all go away using Option 1. Easy. No commitment anymore.
Or go with Option 2. It's harder, but you might actually feel proud of yourself. You can look back and see all the blog posts you worked hard for.
Surprised by the snarkiness of this post? This is my first post in my Whoa, Harsh! blog post series.
If playing nicey-nice doesn't work in getting us off our butts -- and taking our blog and passion seriously -- a kick in the butt always helps.
This blog post series is meant to be kicks-in-the-butt that you and I have always needed. Like a straight-talking friend that you just want to hate but can't. OK maybe you can. A little.
Everything you read in this series are all inspired by my OWN shortcomings. Yup, even this post!
If the post doesn't sting me, I won't publish it. You have my promise. I'll be as harsh as I can. 😉