By Ryan Healy – For the past six months I have been maintaining my blog, Employee Evolution. At this point I realize that the decision to start a blog is hard, but writing regularly is harder. So here is a list of tactics I’ve used to maintain a full-time, corporate job along side a full-time blog.
Before I started Employee Evolution, I did a little research and realized four posts was a minimum. I also realized there was no way in hell I could maintain a 45-hour-a-week job and create a successful blog without completely stressing out.
One night during one of many career conversation with my good friend Ryan Paugh, I had one of those “ah ha” moments. I asked if he wanted to create a joint blog, and he immediately agreed. Now I can write four posts a week, but two is sufficient if it’s a busy week at work. Being realistic before starting has allowed my blog to continue growing six months later. And I am stress free, kind of.
Know when you are the most creative
Coming up with ideas for blog posts takes a good amount of creativity. I have my creative moments, but I would never be mistaken for a creative genius. This lack of creativity has caused me to pinpoint the times when, for whatever reason, I am able to tap into my right brain.
I usually have great ideas in the shower. I’m not sure if it’s the water waking me up or the clear head from a good night sleep, but some of the best ideas seem to come in the shower.
The shower is great, but nothing beats a long run to get my creative juices flowing. The time from when I stop running to when I walk into my apartment is like a one-man brainstorming session. I realized this about two months ago, and ever since I have increased the length of my runs so I can stop about a mile from my apartment. Often I forget half of everything by the time I stop sweating and grab a pen and paper, but half of those interesting ideas are always better than none.
Creating deadlines is crucial to getting blog posts completed. I have been unbelievably lucky that I have a weekly deadline for Brazen Careerist. But if you aren’t accountable to someone else, it can be easy to slack off. Create your own deadlines and hold yourself accountable. Sure it takes some self control, but it’s good for you. I make sure to have at least one post finished before Monday morning roles around. If it’s not done, I skip Entourage and write until it’s done.
Another option is to ask someone to create a deadline for you. Because I know the value of having a weekly deadline imposed by someone else, I am able to push my partner, Ryan Paugh to complete one post by Sunday night as well. This is a self imposed deadline by him, but he also feels accountable to me. And no matter who you are, it’s much easier to get something done when someone else is relying on you.
Don’t forget why you’re blogging
Everyone starts a blog for a different reason. Some start a blog to share their subject matter expertise on a given topic, some start a blog to share all their crazy ideas with the world and others of us blog about a subject because it could lead to new, exciting opportunities. I fall in the latter group, and I constantly remind myself of this.
It’s okay to skip a day
We all have times we simply cannot write well or are to busy with work to write a good post. Don’t put up a bad post. Quantity is good, but quality is king. Chances are your readers won’t even notice a missed day. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into a pattern.
Ryan Healy’s blog is Employee Evolution.