People are generally surprised when I tell them my blogging routine involves posting daily and even more surprised when I tell them how long I’ve done it.
This Thursday marks an anniversary of sorts.
It’s not necessarily the day I came up with the idea, but it’s at least the day that idea — whenever I came up with it — began its current run.
That idea is posting daily here on this little blog.
On January 5, 2013, which is about 1,458 days ago if my math is correct, I wrote what would be the first in a string of daily posts that has continued to this date, just shy of four full years. (I don’t anticipate breaking that streak between now and Thursday, by the way.)
When people find out I blog daily, they generally ask one of three questions, so I figured I’d answer them here.
Are you crazy? Isn’t that a lot of work?
Taking the second part first, yes, it can be a very daunting task. There are days when it’s very difficult to come up with post ideas. There are also days, like this one, in which I’m already about five posts ahead as I write this one, which gives me more time to spend on this post without the deadline pressure that would otherwise be pointing me to speed through the next post due.
Taking the first part second, I’m not entirely crazy, but I have my moments.
How did you plan for daily posting when you started?
The plan involved “theme days” and “theme buckets,” something I’ve written about before. I started with some core categories, which, for the most part, are still the core categories. (Check out the main menu at the top of the page or behind the menu icon if you’re reading this on mobile to see what those categories are.)
The plan, essentially, was to use “theme days” — Monday for blogging, Tuesday for grammar and so on — to plot out the content I was putting into “theme buckets.”
The “theme buckets” concept was something I first heard from Mack Collier, who moderates the #Blogchat Twitter chat. You write posts based on specific topics. Each topic is its own bucket. You might write five posts on the same topic — let’s say it’s grammar — before you write a post on any other. But you take those five posts and drop them into that figurative bucket. When it’s grammar day, you grab one of those posts and schedule it as needed.
When you’re ready to move on to your next topic, you already know you have grammar covered for a while, so you can either come back to it or wait a while and focus more attention on other areas.
This works, incidentally, even if you have a narrow niche blog. If I were to use a popular example I’ve used before, one of a Food blog, one topic bucket could be labeled “Recipes” while another could be “Kitchen Tools” and a third could be labeled “Shopping for fruits and veggies.” You might write three recipe posts, keeping them in draft until you’re ready to post one before you write a post about how to find the perfect pomegranate or how to select the best knife set.
The theme bucket strategy represents a certain kind of freedom from a regular, recurring format. You can write in the order you want to write based on the urgency of the point you want to make, then you schedule based on the timeliness of the message. (Or on which day’s topic comes next.)
Don’t you worry that you’ll run out of things to say?
Yes and no. I worry that I might feel I’ve covered a topic enough that little more needs to be said. But then there’s always some new development in any subject that could warrant a new and useful post, even if you end up using the new development as a further argument for your point of view or if you were suddenly able to become convinced that your initial opinion might be due for some reconsideration.
It has happened before.
There’s one other question that’s worth asking and answering:
Would you have ever believed you’d reach a fourth anniversary of posting everyday?
Absolutely not. You would never have been able to convince me posting without missing a single day would happen for even a solid year, much less four.
But now I’m too stubborn to break up the set.