How to write consistently for your blog

I’ve written a series of articles for Immerse Journal describing a digital ministry philosophy for youth workers. The first article, called “Be Consistent” brought a lot of questions because I spent all 800 words talking about “why” to be consistent and it left many struggling readers with a burning question, “How can I be more consistent in this area?”

Here’s my process for daily blogging

  1. I’ve made it a daily habit. To put it in Christian terms I’ve added it to my daily devotions. I consider writing a major discipline of my spiritual life. It’s a daily exercise for my brain. I belive it’s one of the ways the Gospel works its way both into my life and into the lives of the people around me. Since its part of my daily routine I don’t find the time to blog. The time to blog has found me.
  2. I constantly capture ideas for blog posts. I have two distinctly different methods for doing that. Everywhere I go I have a journal and my iPhone. If something comes to mind, a sentence or thought or paragraph, I capture it. (If you spend time with me you may have seen me do it, though you may have thought I was just checking my email.) Sometimes its a visual sketch that I draw out or write out. But typically, its any idea that pops into my head or flows from a conversation and I capture it. (I use Evernote for that. Synchs from my phone to the cloud to my laptop.)
  3. I have a list of blog posts for future writing. Periods of inspiration come and go. So I maintain a list on Evernote called “blog posts” — Just a raw list of things I want to blog about at some point. Right now, that list has 11 posts titles/concepts. Sometimes it has as many as 30 and sometimes it has as few as 5. Each morning, as I sit down to write, I open up Evernote and decide if I want to write about one of the things on my list or something else that just came to mind. (It’s about 50/50)
  4. I write on a timer. Since I ride public transportation to work I have a firm departure time from my house. If you could see  the time stamp of most of my blog entries you’d see it is right around 8:00 am Pacific. DING! That’s when I have to leave for work. So my blog post has to be done even if it’s not perfect. I start at around 7:00 am and I have to press “publish” by 8:00 am. That means I have to write, edit, do artwork, publish, and push the links out to Facebook & Twitter in that hour.
  5. I process concepts in outline form. That may sound weird but it is how my brain is trained to work. If you were to look the concepts I capture on Evernote you’d see a formula: Concept; list of supporting items. That’s why so many posts are often lists or bullet points. I’m starting with that and wrapping an intro and a conclusion. If I have more time each supporting item may be a paragraph. But typically, like this post, those supporting items are bullet points or numbered points.
  6. I allow myself to slip in other posts. Each day I have my “main blog post.” This is the one I get up and write in the morning. But if something pops up and I want to post it later in the day, I do it. Typically, that drop-in post takes me a few minutes instead of an hour. It’s a thought or image or video or life nugget or reaction to something I read. But I’ve found allowing that to flow allows me to have still have that consistency of one thing I’m writing each day.
  7. I don’t punish myself for days off. I don’t have a scheduled day off from the blog. But sometimes, typically a weekend, I just don’t post and I don’t worry about it or force myself to write two on one day to catch up. Or sometimes I’ll skip the morning ritual to take the dog for a walk and in the process of walking him I will generate 3 new ideas. It’s also typical on weekends that I don’t have a “main post” but I’ll just push out two drop-in posts of quick thoughts, videos, family updates, etc.
  8. Blogging isn’t really always on my mind. I’m not sitting there, having coffee with a friend, and thinking… I’m so blogging this. This process actually allows me to NOT do that. It frees my writers mind to be fully present in my daily life. That’s hard to explain– but I think I’m just wired to write and writing in the morning kind of gets it out of my system so I can be productive in my day without thinking about things to write.

So, that’s how I do it right now.

My process is one-part analytical, one part self-discipline, and a pinch of artistic desire. You could even call it a little bit manic.

And if I’m really honest with myself. Part of the reason this process works for me is that it brings order, control, and discipline to my scattered mind– writing a blog is more for my benefit than yours.



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42 responses to “How to write consistently for your blog”

  1. Matthew McNutt Avatar

    This is something I need to be better about – it’s been driving me nuts that I’ve been quiet on the blogging front lately because the rest of life has gotten too crazy. Especially since it’s one of the ways that helps me unwind and process things!

    1. adam mclane Avatar

      Totally understand. Writing brings me peace. It’s an amazing way to start my day. Little bible, some coffee, some writing. Now I’m ready to change the world.

  2. Chris Avatar

    These are good ideas, and I need more of them. I have a hard time blogging regularly. Actually, an hour commute on public transportation would help a lot!

  3. Dave Luke Avatar

    I’m 2 parts artistic desire, 3 parts water and 5 parts stark raving mad.

  4. Ken Avatar

    “All that work” for my two readers….

    I do know that if I write more consistently (what, you mean nothing in the last 9 months isn’t consistent enough for you?!) I’ll build an audience. And I have had days where I’ve gotten more legitimate hits than random google searches.

    Definitely something I’m considering going back to. Thanks again for the encouragement Adam!

  5. Jeff Goins Avatar

    Well said. I agree with all of this.

  6. Gary Molander Avatar

    Adam – Thanks so much for letting the rest of us in on your creative process. Love that “the time to blog has found me”. That’s so beautiful and true. And while this process will look differently for everyone, you’ve given me some new ideas and techniques to implement quickly and easily. Thank you!

  7. […] Some people do blog daily, like my online friend Adam McLane who has even written a post about how to blog consistently, which I highly recommend. His article has some great tips on ways he is disciplined in his […]

  8. […] Blogging will cause you to be more observant of the world around you. I think most bloggers would agree that the toughest obstacle to your blog is writer’s block.  ”What am I going to write about today?”  But once you begin blogging, you will be constantly on the lookout for new things to discuss in your blog.  The discipline is not only in looking out for these things, but remembering to write them down.  I use the generic “Notes” app on my iPhone to write things down as I get inspired.  Usually this is just a one sentence topic, but it gives me a place to start.  Check out my friend @mclanea (Adam McLane)’s post on how to stay inspired. […]

  9. Susan McKenzie Avatar

    Wow, and I thought blogging twice a week was challenging! You are inspiring – thanks!

  10. Andre Avatar

    Bullet points. Bullet points are sure to help me write better. I like your technique and I am going to try to utilize it myself.  So often I find that there are things that I want to write about, but once I start I begin to lose focus.  From what you are saying I am remembering the structure is highly important.  I need to utilize the building blocks in order to be successful.  It’s the manic panic that leads me to not wanting to post because sometimes I feel like I am to broad and not specific enough.


  11. Prasad N Avatar

    this is a very helpful post specially to learn about discipline and structure to the writing process. thanks.

  12. Mike Avatar

    Some powerful insights, thanks for sharing your knowledge. Mike

  13. technology Avatar

    check it plz

  14. Segun Aminu Avatar
    Segun Aminu

    As a new blogger, I find this post very insightful. Thanks for sharing your knowledge

  15. Justin Kavanagh Avatar

    I’m also new to blogging, i run a fitness blog in Ireland and i am already using some of the things you have discussed. Oh and it’s a good ideas to keep my iphone handy everytime i have an idea. 🙂

  16. auldman Avatar

    Well written Adam. It changes your life once you realise what it takes to make a habit and how much habits shape the outcomes of your life. If you make yourself to do (or not do) something everyday, eventually you’re so used to it, it just comes naturally. Whether it’s a daily run, flossing, blogging or not drinking. Thanks for the tips. Willem

  17. DL Munsey Avatar

    Great post. Very informative. I especially liked tipped number one. Well said.

  18. Manage That Money Avatar

    Thanks for writing this post. I feel great knowing that I blog every day. Sometimes a mope and groan about it but I get it done.

  19. Bill Templeman Avatar

    Thanks Adam, now I see that blogging is like brushing teeth, taking vitamins or getting a daily workout. It has to become a habit. That’s a challenge for me…

  20. […] this point writing in the morning is such a habit that I don’t even have to think about it. (I have more ideas than I have time to write.) My suggestion would be to pick a specific time, go to a specific place, and write for one hour. […]

  21. […] Blog consistently. […]

  22. […] night, as I was just about to turn off the “devices,” I stumbled upon this post, by Adam McLane. My plan was to start winding things down for bed, but instead I felt so energized […]

  23. Kara Avatar

    Hi Adam,

    I just stumbled upon you after searching for ways to increase blog traffic and I found you via a post written by Jeff Goins, and he referred to this post in regards to consistency. Upon reading this. I felt a personal connection, because I, like you have to hit that “publish” button by 8am so I can be BISAW (butt in seat at work) I love writing and blogging, but I’ve got lofty (and at times unrealistic) goals I wish to achieve each morning before 8am. I’m not quite sure why I think my time is so finite 🙂

    At any rate, thanks for putting a little fire under me, Reading this post made me remember why I started blogging– to write for the sake of writing, and I hit publish by 5am. What a great way to start the morning.

    Thank you!

  24. Joanna S Avatar

    Hi Adam! Your ideas are so good, especially for a new blogger like me (I must say I’ve found your blog by accident, as I googled some tips about increasing traffic). I have a blog about motherhood and babies, and I’m not sure the niche is a good one. I ‘ll appreciate some advices, if you want to, of course. This is my blog:
    Thank you!!!

    Joanna S

  25. […] 5.Write blog post in smart way and consistently. […]

  26. Harrison Avatar

    This is a very good strategy I have been applying it and it has been working for me.
    Hey writers, bloggers try this it will help you a lot

  27. […] Blog consistently. […]

  28. jennekerose Avatar

    Thank you for this post! I’m fairly new to blogging and am still trying to figure everything out. 🙂 I appreciate the tips and will definitely keep them in mind!

  29. Mike Walsh Avatar

    So good. I love this.

  30. joyfulmomof8 Avatar

    I am just getting started in my blogging adventure. Thanks so much for the great tips!

  31. Shanna S Mathews Mendez Avatar
    Shanna S Mathews Mendez

    This post is incredibly helpful. You are so right about blogging finding time for you, instead of vice versa. I typically do a lot of writing late at night, so when I get home from a long day of mothering and teaching I pour my scattered thoughts into order in my blog. But I love the idea of writing first thing in the morning as a way of clearing your head for the day. Maybe I could push out, like you said, an image, a quote, a quick thought for the day to get my writer’s juices flowing, then sit down for the long haul at night. Good food for thought. Thanks.

  32. Rajan Arora Avatar

    Great Post! I’ve seen many people making blogging a daily ritual. But some days are really hard to write and I think no matter how much hard we try but if it is not coming on keyboard then we must leave it there inside our mind to develop. Blogging should be fun, right?

  33. Juliet Elizabeth Petersen Avatar

    Great post! I’m just getting into the habit of writing every morning, but I haven’t had the courage to post every day. Crossing my fingers that I’ll get there someday, but once a week is enough of a challenge for now! Thanks for the tips!

  34. Roli (@roliedema) Avatar

    I loved this! Useful tips but natural, engaging tone. I totally agree with what you said about how writing helps you organize your thoughts and collect them in a disciplined way. I would love to increase the number of posts I write each month. I too have a notes section where I write down my post ideas – it certainly takes care of half of the work!

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