How to Form a Blogging Habit

April 10, 2012By

We all have habits.

Good and bad.

Good: We brush our teeth twice each day. We lock the door before leaving the house. We call our parents every Sunday.

Bad: Each of us has our vices. We eat ice cream at night on the couch. We sip an extra glass of wine after dinner. We walk add just one more piece of trash on top of the bin before changing the bag.

If you’re like most people, the good habits seem to take work while the bad habits seem to just appear. The truth is that every habit takes lots of practice to actually become habit; something we can do without much thought or even effort.

A recent article in The New York TimesCan’t Help Myself, The Power of Habit – inspired me to write about habit and how forming a blogging habit is really what every business needs.

How to Form a Blogging Habit

The article above is great. It’s worth a minute to read the preview of the book. It’s a book I’ll have to check out. I’m a big fan of psychology these days and am always interested in human behavior and how it can change.

Now, let’s talk about how to form a blogging habit.

The 30 Day Rule

I’ve actually heard the 30 day rule is a myth.

Even if it is a myth I still think there is value in putting in effort to make a planned change to one’s habit. I’m a golfer. I’m a believer that enough practice on a specific golf movement will eventually yield the practicing golfer the ability to make the move without thinking. This is the ultimate goal of any golfer. The ability to not think about swinging and instead thinking about just playing golf leads to the best performance.

To form this habit it takes practice and I’ve found that whether it’s 30 days or 30 hours of work, it takes time and effort to create something that becomes second nature.

For blogging, I believe habits can be formed. In my experience most blogs will start to fail after just one month. Businesses and new bloggers become excited at the prospect of blogging. They have five immediate ideas for posts. They write the posts. They realize it’s a lot of work. They publish the posts. They feel successful. No traffic comes and the blogger eventually starts to blog less and less.

In order to give your blog a full chance of becoming habit, I think it’s necessary to plan to blog for at least one month steady. This means one post (at minimum) for an entire month. This will allow the initial excitement to pass and you will find out if you are still excited enough to blog. If you are and you can do it for a month the chances of you forming a blogging habit become better.

It’s going to take longer than a month to find success with blogging. I just feel that after about a month you’ll start to fall into some habits that are good with blogging. You’ll learn how to structure posts. You’ll learn how to write phrases and sentences that are interesting. These are all good blogging habits that lead to a good overall blogging habit.

The Danger of Habit

On the flip side, it’s also good to break bad habits. I’ve had a few bad blogging habits over the years. Today, I try to break those bad habits by focusing on forming new habits.

One of the habits was for Country Music Life. I found myself, after a few months, to simply be sitting down and reviewing new country songs. This was great. I was able to churn out some good posts that caused views and interest among readers. They also generated ad revenue.

The goal was to grow, though, and in order to do that I had to change things a bit.

Now, I write featured stories that are deeper in thought and longer in word length. These posts have longer lifespan and seem to have generated some interest among a different type of reader.

In order to write these posts I had to commit and force myself to form a new habit for the site. I needed to commit to writing for about a month consistently of publishing these new posts.

Now this new format seems to be second nature just like the new country song reviews (which I still write).

Having a blogging habit is good. It allows you to publish consistently without working as much (after you move past the first month).

But be careful of falling into the habit trap. Look for ways to form new habits.

It’s all about balance.