Let’s play a game of the imagination.
I want you to imagine into existence what your favorite TV show would be like. Imagine the story, the actors, everything.
Now, imagine that they stream a new episode every Monday at 7 pm. They do so, without fail, week after week. You can’t wait for Monday to arrive, so you can watch next week’s episode.
Now, at some point, they start misbehaving.
They stop releasing a new episode for a couple of weeks, then they release two episodes on the following Friday. Nothing for a couple of weeks again, and one episode on Sunday at 3 am, but on a different streaming platform.
They don’t even let anyone know about it.
Also, more surprisingly, is that they have changed the plot, the actors, and the style in which the show is filmed.
My question is, how pissed would you be because of this?
Well, that’s how much consistency matters.
Listen to this article:
Consistency Matters to You
Consistency matters because it allows you to:
- Build a daily routine around blogging.
- Become more effective and productive.
- Develop a distinct writing style.
- Become aware of the recurring themes you most enjoy writing about.
If I were to give you a piece of advice on blogging, writing, life, love, money, getting in top physical shape, or anything else, it would be this: it is more important to be consistent, and by definition, persistent, than it is to be anything else.
That being said, the vast majority of people are not going to become so obsessed with blogging from the very start that this will propel them until it becomes a habit.
Which takes me to my main point: you need to focus on being consistent in order for blogging to become a habit. The act of writing your posts, doing the necessary research, interacting with your audience, and all that.
If all you can do is a post a month, that’s okay.
If all you can do is a post a day, that’s okay. Or two posts a day. Or whatever.
I am a big fan of simply putting a great volume of work out there, which increases the chances of getting noticed but also improves your skill significantly, and it’s a great tool for those of us who have been born with patience deficiency.
At the same time, however, I am well aware that it’s more important to develop a rhythm that can be sustained over long periods of time.
So you have to think about how often you write and publish content without going crazy. Or neglecting your family or job or both. You need to think real hard about it, because it is so damn important.
Consistency Matters to Them
Being consistent means being predictable.
It means that your audience knows when to expect new content. Your audience knows exactly what type of content they can expect from you.
If you switch topics over and over again, if you change your writing style, the way you format your articles, even the type of articles you write (be it long essays or how-to guides or listicles), then you are going to struggle to build an audience.
The neat psychological gimmick is that as you develop the habit of blogging according to a certain schedule, so do your readers develop the habit of visiting your blog according to this schedule to check out the new content.
Clarity of Purpose
Tell me. What is your blog all about? Can you define that in a simple sentence? Why are you blogging? Can you offer a six word answer to that?
Why do you write what you write?
What is your blog’s purpose?
How often do you blog? Do you stick to the same days, hours for publishing new content? Do you invest the same amount of time, day in and day out?
I am asking you all these questions because you need to plan. You need to write down lists of the topics you will write about.
You need clarity of purpose.
You need to know what you what, what you are doing, why you are doing it, and what are you going to get out of it.
If not, you’ll feel lost and confused, and you’ll be easily disappointed and defeated by the many obstacles that will inevitably come your way.
Clarity of purpose helps you:
- build a reputation within your niche
- build authority with your readers
- turn your blog into a destination for those who are seeking answers, a bit of comfort, or an escape from boredom
- transform your blog into a source of knowledge
You need to figure out who you are as a blogger.
If your blog tells more stories about your life than reports on the news and world around you, then it’s a personal journal or memoir.
If your blog reports and comments on politics, it’s a political blog.
If it only reviews products and services, it’s a review blog.
If it’s a place to showcase photographs, it’s a photography blog.
If it has more music than text and pictures, then it’s a music blog.
The content on your blog indicates the purpose of your blog.
The clearer the purpose, the better it is for your readers to quickly decide if they want to follow you or not?
When labeling your blog, take a serious look at its content. As your blog evolves, the value of your blog comes from the content you build over time.
Consistency And Continuity
If you create an expectation of content on your blog, readers return expecting to find similar content.
If you switch one week from blogging about gardening to blogging about what you did last summer, you’re are going to disappoint all those who were expecting a post about gardening. If you switch from personal stories to writing about cars, readers are thrown off and their expectations aren’t met. Odds are they will not return for more.
In this world of blogging, predictability is anything but boring. Predictability builds loyal readers. They know you are the expert on this subject and that you are the source for information. Meet their expectations when they return.
Unless you have a clear vision of what your blog is about and why is it about that, you will never be successful as a blogger.
Engagements level will fluctuate, readers will come and go, and it will feel like an uphill battle.
Predictability up to the minute is recommended. Just like a TV show that airs new episodes every week, at the same hour, and on the same channel, and it’s about a plot that arches over entire seasons.
Your blog should tell a bigger story than what is written within the confines of 500 or so words of the individual blog post.
What is your blog all about? What is the big picture about? Where are you going and why?
If you do not know the answers to all these questions, I suggest you find out. Fast.
I once read in a gentlemen’s guide of sorts that one can only cancel a meeting for just one of two reasons:
- They die.
- There’s a natural disaster of sorts.
I’ve applied this rule to my blogging. If I’m breathing and the earth is not being shattered to smithereens around me, I punch the damn keys.
Focus on consistency and quality at the same time. One is king, the other is queen.
And just like in the game of chess, the king determines whether you win or lose, but the queen is the one that protects the king.