Setting Your Blogging Intentions

At this time of year it’s traditional to be looking at the year ahead, deciding what you want to achieve, and figuring out what you need to do to get there. Once upon a time I’d have set New Year Resolutions, but not anymore. Resolutions seem so set in stone, so absolute, that if I set one and then deviate even slightly, I end up feeling like a failure and give it up altogether. So now I set intentions and goals. It’s the same principle, but I find words can be powerful motivators, and the words ‘intention’ and ‘goal’ seem to give me more lee-way for veering off course, or changing course altogether if I find a particular goal doesn’t work for me. And all without making me feel like an out and out failure. Each year I make sure that I set some blogging intentions. I give blogging the importance and priority I know it needs if my blog’s going to work for me. Blogging intentions aren’t just about writing. They’re also about how you’re going to generate ideas of what to write about; getting clear on who you’re writing for; deciding how often you intend to publish your posts; and working out where you’re going to publish your posts. Last year my Blogging Intentions centred around getting clear on who I’m writing for, getting into the habit of publishing once a week for The Write Angles blog, and figuring out what my personal blog is all about. I haven’t set my intentions for this year yet, I’m still formulating them. But in terms of People, Objective, Storycupboard, True To You, and...

The Benefits Of Blog Week

At the beginning of December I held the very first Blog Week. Blog Week is an intensive taste of Blog Club; a chance to try it out, and reap the benefits of Blog Club for a week, for free. When you run something like that for the first time, you don’t really know how it’s going to turn out. I had a vision of how I thought the online community could work, and what I thought the benefits of that community would be for all of the Blog Week Bloggers. So you can imagine my relief when that vision came true, when people got stuck in: posting their intentions, chatting about blogging in the Blogging Parties, and sharing their blog posts. Everyone was very supportive and encouraging of each other, and people used the energy of others’ blogging to spur them on to blog. They all benefitted from having a community that answered their questions and gave them the help they asked for. They got to see people’s different approaches to blogging, and learn from them, and they had a supportive group of people to read their blog posts. And most important of all, they blogged their socks off! There were many realisations and revelations, individual and collective, throughout the week, and the three that stand out for me are: Blog Posts Don’t Have To Be About Something Brand New You don’t have to look for a brand new idea for every post that you write. In fact, you help people to choose you by writing about the same things, just in different ways. It’s rare that someone who comes across your...

The Thirty Minute Blog Post

Write a blog post in thirty minutes. Impossible right? Wrong! It’s actually quite easy when you get down to it. Last week in Blog Week I posed this challenge to the Blog Week bloggers and they took it up in spectacular style. Many of them didn’t believe they could do it, but as one after the other proved to themselves and everyone else that it could be done, more and more proved it possible too. There are three key components for a successful thirty minute post: a timer set for 3o minutes time; a simple framework on which to hang your post; and some focus. A buddy can also be helpful: you can encourage and time each other, and keep each other accountable. Timing yourself is probably the easiest part! Set the timer on your phone, or the cooker, or download one of those timer apps for your computer. Having a simple framework makes lighter work of all your posts, whether you’re writing them in 30 minutes or not. Resolve to write about one thing, and then sketch out the three key things you have to say about that one thing. Top and tail with an intro and a call to action, and there’s your framework. Focus is easier for some than others. I get distracted easily, so I close my Facebook Window, and if I’m in my office I switch on Coffitivity or Brain.fm, both of which help me focus. The fact that I’m timing myself also helps me to focus on the task in hand! There are certain types of post that particularly lend themselves to the...