Three Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers

Pro tips for blogging success!

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Summer is over (at least in my neck of the woods), which means back to school…and in my case, back to trying to blog more.

I don’t miss much about school, but I do miss the ritual of new school supplies. I was the sort of nerd who loved shopping for new notebooks and binders, covering my books (is that still a thing?), and developing new organizational strategies every year.

In that vein, here are a few tips for how to organize and support your blogging efforts for maximum efficiency. Think of it as your back-to-blogging prep list. 

Create an Editorial Calendar

The best way to maintain a regular blogging habit is to come up with a plan and stick to it. Creating an editorial calendar is a great way to commit yourself to regular content for the next however many months. Plus, it’s a lot easier to sit down and write if you already know that you need to post, say, a photo challenge on the second Monday of November, then if you just know you really ought to post something sometime.

An editorial calendar also helps you establish regular features — for example, maybe you post a recipe every Tuesday and a DIY craft project every Thursday. This takes some of the guesswork out of what to post, and it also gives your readers an idea of what to expect.

And if you’re in the zone on a snowy Sunday and knock out five or six upcoming posts,  you can schedule them according to your planned calendar, and they’ll post themselves when it’s time.

Use an App

Ideally, every time we sit down to write, we’re seated in a well-appointed library overlooking the beach of a private island, in complete silence, a steaming cup of perfectly brewed coffee near at hand.

In reality, though, if we waited until our surroundings were ideal to sit down and write, we’d be waiting a long, long time.

Phones and tablets make it easy to blog from wherever you are, whether that’s on your commute, at your kid’s music lesson, or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. With the WordPress mobile app, you can blog on your mobile device anywhere. This frees you up from the ‘must be at my desk to write’ mindset, and you might find it also extends your creativity in new ways.

For example, maybe you typically write long, thoughtful posts, but you notice a funny sign or an interesting painting while you’re out and about, so you snap a photo and dash off a few lines about it right there. If you look for inspiration wherever you go, you’ll notice your surroundings more, and honing your observational skills will enrich your writing overall. Plus, you’re less likely to forget about an idea if you jot down a few lines about it when it first strikes you.

If you’ve never tried out the mobile app, download it at home and get familiar with it. Then, next time you’re not at your desk when the muse arrives, you don’t have to tell her to wait.

Follow Topics

When it comes to expert blogging, writing is only half the work. For traffic building, it’s just as important to read and comment on other blogs (and just as hard to get around to). To make it easier on yourself, build reading and commenting time into your editorial calendar.

Then, try following some very specific relevant Topics in the reader. For example, if you blog a lot about speculative fiction, you could follow books or scifi to find other bloggers with your interests, but you’ll probably get more bang for your buck if you follow more precise tags, like speculative fiction, alternate history, or dystopia.

By doing this, you’re essentially creating an ongoing reading list for yourself, so that when you have the time and inclination, you don’t have to hunt around for what to read. And remember — you can easily use your Reader in the mobile app, so the next time you’re stuck at the DMV but don’t have the energy to write, fire up your WordPress app and start reading! If you find a post you like, you can like it, comment on it, and follow the blog, all from the app.

I hope these tips will kickstart your fall blogging productivity. If I missed a good one, share it with us in the comments!

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  1. I am very bad about not reading other blogs. Obviously I try to, but you are absolutely right about making it just as much of a habit as writing.

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      1. Well, because of your post, I got the idea to do it whenever I eat breakfast or maybe anything else for that matter. Its what I’m doing right now!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. David, this is just my 2 cents, but my original goal of blogging every day quickly blew up in my face. First of all, who has the time? Second, and most importantly, it’s stressful and overwhelming! I felt like I always had to have something clever to say and when I didn’t, I got frustrated. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t stick to it and re-evaluate as needed. After all, this is supposed to be fun!


    1. I’m trying to set aside 30-45 minutes 3-4 days per week to read other blogs. After all, I can hardly expect people to read mine if I don’t return the favor, right?
      Best of luck with your novel…and yes, print a copy! I don’t always trust technology either. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I always loved buying school supplies too. I actually still get excited when I go in the stationery store and see all the choices.I’ve been out of school many years but its still fun to me to pick out all those supplies.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I find the editorial calendar method quite difficult, I rarely get enough time to finish more one post at a go. Unfortunately I tend to lose my train of thought and end up with an unfinished post somewhere in my drafts until I work up some enthusiasm.

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  4. Thanks for the tips. I am new to this world of blogging and am trying to learn all I can. I definitely need to start reading other blogs and leaving comments. And you are right about using the app. That is my primary means of accessing WordPress and it is very convenient as I both work and go to school full time. Doesn’t leave me much time for my library with a scenic v sand perfect coffee moments.

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    1. You have a nice writing style. I will check back to see some of your travel posts. When you have a spare minute maybe complete your About section and introduce yourself (I see you did that in your first post, but as you post more that will drop further down and people may not see it). Good luck with school! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Like jabinhawkins, I struggle to find the time to read and comment on other blogs … what with my own blog, guest blogs, and writing my next book (which hasn’t been touched in weeks), there doesn’t some to be enough hours in the day!

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  6. “Ideally, every time we sit down to write, we’re seated in a well-appointed library overlooking the beach of a private island, in complete silence, a steaming cup of perfectly brewed coffee near at hand.” ~ Bwahahaha!

    Seriously, this is very helpful – thank you! You didn’t mention though that if you blog by way of the mobile app – be sure you’re posting to your own blog and not, say the Blogging 101 page! My 6 AM commute post was removed because it was in the wrong place. My bad since I was new to using the app, but it could be helpful for some other newbie to know you can post to the wrong place by mistake if you’re not familiar or not paying attention.

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  7. There are some really helpful points here and I shall try and incorporate in my blog. I have attempted to try some of them before but also get caught up with over things, but hopefully I can give it a go this time 😀

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  8. I would go nuts following your suggestions. And — I’d probably give up blogging because it would suck all the fun out of it.

    I’ve been posting daily for two years. I’ve never had a schedule, a plan, a specific subject I wanted to beat to death — or done anything but write and post my photography.

    Everyone has his or her own way of doing things. Your plan might work for someone, but for others, this would strangle creativity before it has a chance to be born.

    Baby bloggers take this kind of advice WAY too seriously and often give up in the face of rigid requirements they cannot meet. Just saying.

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    1. >>>Baby bloggers take this kind of advice WAY too seriously and often give up in the face of rigid requirements they cannot meet. Just saying.<<<

      probably true, people need to find their own motivations for blogging or else they soon give it up regardless of the quality of advice. There is a lot of diverse advice being given by the Daily Post and discerning people can take what appeals to them and skip the rest.

      I found regular features to work for me, as I figured a way to use them to – paradoxically – bump me out of my old ruts. Also my mind works in spurts of ideas and enthusiasm followed by lulls of laziness, so writing a bunch of things at once and scheduling them has also worked. Reading and replying to other blogs is useful as they often give me post ideas and warm fuzzy feelings of kinship whilst widening the readership (my blog is niche so readers are not easy to come by).

      rigidity can be a boon to scatter-brains 😉

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  9. Keeping a schedule is definitely the most effective way for me to stay motivated to post regularly. I find it’s always good to have a couple of spare posts written out or planned from when you’re overflowing with ideas so that you can fall back on them when creativity and inspiration dry up!

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  10. Thanks, this is timely for me. I have just started adding features to my blog in hopes of creating a calendar for myself. So far, I have one weekly feature and one semi-monthly feature. I’m thinking of adding a weekly feature based on daily prompts but maybe not that day’s prompt and a monthly feature for social commentary pieces.

    How much time someone should schedule for reading and commenting compared to creating own content? I am struggling to find a balance, I suspect I sometimes use commenting/reading other blogs as a procrastination tool.

    Oh and kids still do cover their books, they sell cool t-shirt book like covers now.



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    1. Your “Summer Ends at Fenway” post was terrific. I am in mourning over Jeter’s retirement (yes, I’m a lifelong fan of the evil empire). I always feel a certain melancholy at the close of baseball season.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! What’s funny and great about the rivalry is the love hate relationship, we love to hate each other but each organization and their fans have respect for each other. You see it on days like Sunday for Jeter’s Farewell or last April when they were singing Sweet Caroline in Yankee Stadium.


    2. >>>How much time someone should schedule for reading and commenting compared to creating own content?<<<

      when you're at the beginning probably a lot more than later on, as you might be trying to get traffic. Eventually you'll strike blog friendships and your blog friends – and sometimes their readers – will start checking your blog often. But it depends on what you want. Do you want a lot of traffic? Do you want a lot of engagement and comments on your posts? Do you just want to blog for your own pleasure and traffic is unimportant?

      when I started blogging a year ago I only did it because I felt the urge to write about things that interested me. I also only read and replied to other blogs when I was super passionate about a subject. But eventually traffic increased – I'd say 80% if not more due of engaging in conversations on other blogs – and now I'm in a position to re-evaluate what I want with the blog. Sometimes my decisions as to what to review are directly linked to what I think would get traffic and that would have never occurred to me last year.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. 😉 you can use your procrastination bend in your favour – just go on a reply binge when you’re reading instead of posting and that will yield traffic! win-win situation.


  11. I have some of these in place, it’s going to be the accountability factor that I will have to ramp up. Thinking about actually putting assignments on a calendar, homework style, for help. Also, I wish we had snowy days here in NOLA 😉 We had a few last year but they were really frozen rain, deadly streets, awful weather days. Ha. Thanks for the info & inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sam,
      I looked for an About page on your blog- do you have one? That’s usually where I look first for a blogger’s intro and background. Also, maybe add a few short tags to your posts (i.e., beauty, fashion, make up for your most recent post).
      Karen 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. “seated in a well-appointed library overlooking the beach of a private island, in complete silence, a steaming cup of perfectly brewed coffee near at hand” — What you don’t have that too?


  13. On commenting on other blogs, checking my stats I find that often they do not come to check mine out. Sometimes a comment gets a lot of interest, and I have had 25 clicks from one comment in the last month, but often I get none. Then again, sometimes I get clicks from comments I made in 2011.

    Sometimes disagreeing gets more clicks than coming from the same side. Polemic can bring in the punters.

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  14. Thank you for this post. Creating a calendar and sticking to a schedule is something I have resisted, but need to implement. I can see now how helpful it can be. I love the freedom of using the mobile app as well!

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  15. i have an issue with the second point — the app — at least the android one — has some interesting bugs (or at least misfeatures); it’ll never be a substitute for a real text editor (and a real keyboard, but that’s not the app’s fault).

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  16. I have just started seriously blogging a week ago with the intentions of going pro. I’ve made my calendar, but really need to read and comment on more posts! I’ve read about doing that many many times… Just can’t seem to do it. Putting it on my calendar is a good idea though {duh!!!}Thanks!


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