Consistency is the non-plus-ultra if you want to grow your brand. No matter what kind of content you create for your brand or which platform you use, showing up only once in a while won’t do it. You have to invest yourself and produce new and high-quality content on a regular basis. But I bet you know this already. Since you know how important it’s to be consistent why are you struggling so much? What exactly do you need to do to be consistent?
What’s keeping you from being consistent?
Let’s say you want to publish one blog post per week. And for the first few weeks, you’re right on track. But then something comes up or your motivation hits a low and you kick your plan to the curb. “I’ll write a post tomorrow”, you say to yourself. And tomorrow you decide to push it to the next day. Suddenly you realize it’s been a month since you last posted. So what happened?
I can tell you what didn’t happen. You didn’t take the 4 key actions to actually be consistent. It took me a long time to realize that continuously creating content and sticking to my schedule had nothing to do with motivation. Of course, if you’re motivated it’s easier. But you can’t count on motivation to always be there, day in day out, year after year. So how do you get things done when you’re not in the mood or when things get crazy and you can’t find enough time.
Let’s start off by admitting we can’t do it all. Unless you have super powers or a time machine (if you do please let me know). What happens usually is that we put way more tasks on our to-do list than we can handle. In theory, it all sounds great. Reality looks different. We keep adding things we should do. And perfectionism plays a huge role here but it’s also the best excuse for doing nothing at all. If you’re pushing blogging aside because you want to update your header image or change the post layout, you seriously have to ask yourself what’s more important.
The first step to being consistent is to learn to prioritize. Not everything is equally important. Define your goals and take into consideration which role content plays in your business strategy. When you understand the importance of content creation you’re more likely to invest time into it. It’s time to put it on top of your to-do list.
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Planning is a key action you need to take. Nothing keeps you more from being consistent than if you don’t have a plan in place. And when I am talking about a plan I mean a calendar. You need to know exactly what you need to do when if you want to publish content on a regular basis.
The magic solution here is having an editorial calendar. This calendar should tell you when each piece of content needs to be ready. And more importantly which tasks you need to put on your list to make this happen. It will be easier to stay on track or even be ahead of your schedule with a plan. Because if we want one thing, it’s not writing last minute blog posts anymore.
An editorial calendar also helps you to develop a real content strategy. When you plan your month in advance you can integrate special days like holidays or product launches and create content around it.
This brings us directly to the next key action you need to take. Having a process in place will seriously change your content game. With a process, you break down each step you need in order to create one piece of content. For a blog post, this could be idea generation, research, outline, first draft, editing, graphics creation, and scheduling.
Having a process eliminates the guesswork. You always know where exactly you are in your process and what to do next. Separating one huge task into several small ones also makes it easier to act on them. You will feel less overwhelmed when all you have to think about is the one step in front of you. You can easily batch content creation e.g. write several outlines in one sitting. Whatever works best for you. Because a process should work to your favor. Writing is a task which is hard to schedule. But once you find out when is the best time for you to write it can quickly become a habit.
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If everything else fails, you need a huge dose of persistence. You’re in it for the long run. This means, on some days, you won’t feel motivated or inspired. It will be hard. You’ll fall behind. You’ll feel like giving up and running away to Mexico. Being consistent is never easy. That’s why so many people struggle with it.
But you’ll get back on track. Just make sure to take the key actions more often than not and you’re already consistent.