Learn how to come up with article ideas and stay consistent

β€” 9 minute read

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consistent /kΙ™nˈsΙͺst(Ι™)nt/

Acting or done in the same way over time, especially to be fair or accurate.

This will be a personal, opinionated article, as this will be my vision on consistency and coming up with ideas.

But let's sketch the picture first about what it means to be consistent as it's sometimes misunderstood.

What does being consistent mean permalink

Being consistent is about two main pillars for me.

  • Time
  • Effort

Pillars of consistency

With these main pillars, we also get some side support as in:

  • Tooling
  • Planning
  • Goals
  • Celebrating
  • Inspiration

Let's set two golden standards:

  1. Writing every {time} period = consistent
  2. Putting in the same effort in every article = consistent

If you get to uphold these two standards, it means you are consistent.

However, many people will fail for various reasons, including:

  • Life gets in the way
  • The schedule is not working and stressing you out
  • Content doesn't get traction
  • Effort drops over time
  • Writer's block

These are some reasons why people have problems being consistent in writing. And with this article, I hope to guide you to becoming consistent bloggers because everyone can be one!

Why consistency is so important permalink

Before we dive into how you can become that consistent blogger, it's important to look at why we should care about being consistent.

And there are various reasons why it's essential to be consistent as a blogger.

  • Readers love fresh content
  • Readers love to know when to expect content
  • You build an authority
  • More keywords over time
  • It's a good habit to build
  • Consistent blogging can de-stress you

There are more reasons we can think of, but these are the most important ones to me.

Especially looking at how consistency can de-stress one is the primary win for me. It can get very stressed out, and having a fixed schedule works wonders. You might think having the stress of a time frame is limiting and stressful, but it's the other way around for me.

Becoming the consistent writer permalink

For you to become a consistent writer, we need to work on various aspects of blogging:

  • Set a realistic time

Setting a realistic time is super hard. As you can tell, my time is "every day". That is quite a crazy commitment for most people, and it doesn't need to be just that.

Then what might be a good time? It all depends on what time frame you can truly commit to. It might be one of the examples below:

Every Monday Every first Friday of the month Once every two weeks On the 12th of each month

As you can see, I would strongly suggest picking a max of a month. This is not a hard standard, as if you want to do it every three months, it's also fine. However, under a month is a time frame readers can relate to and get used to.

Motivate yourself

  • Motivate your effort

When it comes to sticking to the committed time frame, motivation plays a huge role. Motivation is not always there, and that is when discipline may have to take over. There will be times where you might think the previous blog didn't get many views. Better stop now. And that is precisely the time to go on! You might be on the verge of a hit article.

Discipline is all about mentally putting yourself over the no-feeling, and it works towards creating a habit, resulting in consistency.

  • Plan ahead

After we determine the time you are sticking to, but these days in your calendar. You can even go ahead and set reminders so you know when to work on them. You can also plan the titles of these articles, as this will de-stress you once they come closer.

Planning gives you a good overview and feeling of being in control, which you are!

An excellent way to go about this is to plan 6/7 articles, so if you set every month as a goal, plan six months. If you set every week, pick six weeks.

  • Set realistic goals

With everything in life, setting goals is an excellent way to overcome obstacles. Goals can help motivate you and give you a reason to celebrate.

Goals also hold you accountable and reminds you of what you are working towards.

The important thing with goals is that you need to write them down! It's not optional. Write down your goals. This truly works in visualizing them and helping you achieve them.

Celebrate all the wins

  • Celebrate every win

Celebrating is fun! And you deserve to celebrate. Wondering why? You have put in a lot of work to be the consistent writer you are now. Ss a win, you can celebrate even the most minor wins

Of course, we'll celebrate all our goals, but even small wins must be celebrated!

Think about:

  • 100 readers
  • 25 newsletters subscribers
  • Article got reposted or shared
  • And so on

Celebrating them can be a variety of events. Perhaps you want to post about it on social media, your writer group, or on your blog itself! And if your anything like me, you surprise yourself with a sweet cupcake 🧁.

  • Inspire yourself

I find that being an inspiration to myself is one of the most powerful things to unlock.

Bear with me, as this might sound a bit hippie-dippy at first.

To inspire others, one has to inspire themselves. And you do this more often than you think.

As developers, we write fantastic code and often are surprised by the cool thing we just created by typing code on a computer! That right there is an inspiration. You can take that feeling and write about your achievement.

Another way to go about this is to distance yourself from all distractions and just read some articles or listen to music. My brain goes wild in sessions like that, sparking inspiration after inspiration on what would make a superb article.

And that brings me to the last point:

Notion blog tooling

  • Use tooling!

Yes, tooling. I'm a big fan of Notion. I keep a massive list with article ideas. Sure, some might never actually be written, but it sometimes inspires me to write something related to the idea.

When you use tooling to help you note down ideas, you might even get sparked with other ideas, and don't hold on to write them as they come!

But tooling is bigger than that:

  • Join a writers group
  • Join a blogging community
  • Join a writing discord group
  • AI writing helpers
  • Mindmap tools
  • Attending events
  • Mixing in discussion on social media
  • And many more!

The main key being, don't limit yourself to all the tooling and help you can get.

Coming up with content ideas permalink

Coming up with ideas

You are probably thinking, well, good story Chris, just come up with a content idea every day...

And you're right, it's not easy, but once you unlock the skill of inspiring yourself, you'll see it's easy to come up with an immersive list of ideas!

If you are, however, struggling with unlocking that. (And no shame in that! It took me about six months to get in the flow) you might want to try some of these techniques and ideas:

  • Write about your struggles

What did you struggle with in your last project? How did you solve that? Perfect points to write an article about as I'm 100% sure someone else has the same problem.

  • Write about your knowledge

You finally mastered {X}, superb, and congrats! Now take that knowledge and write it down in your words so others can learn from you.

  • Write about experiences

Did you have an interview recently? Or perhaps you had a fabulous PR experience. It's well worth writing about these experiences as they are super valuable content.

  • What's the last thing you googled?

I use this a lot because if I need to google something, I don't know the answer from the top of my head. It might even be super simple, but writing an article is a good way of remembering it.

  • Something keeps you up at night?

You have these issues at work that keep you awake, your brain is doing overtime, and even if you didn't solve it, it might be a good idea to write about the struggles you have.

  • What tools do you use?

Writing about tooling is opinionated but can be a lifesaver for others as they might not even be aware of particular tooling! I, for one, got many of the tools I use through opinionated articles of other bloggers.

  • The last event you attended

It might be difficult with the current event state, but writing about events and what you learned, liked, or disliked is always a good topic!

  • Books you have read

What's the last book you read? Why not summarize what you thought about it and why people should or shouldn't also read it?

  • Advice for you, but five years ago

This is a cool one. Pick a topic, and think about what you would tell your five years younger self about that. It might be about how to use Git or how to manage something.

  • Inspirational thoughts

This might be for a specific type of person, as it can be hard to write down inspirational thoughts, but this article might have inspired you to change something in your blogging routine. Well, why not share that so others can learn from it?

With this article, I hope I gave you some insights on being consistent and how you can generate an endless supply of article ideas!

You can find the presentation here.

Thank you for reading, and let's connect! permalink

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