The biggest challenge in blogging is the sheer amount of content you need to produce. Of course, it must be at least good content, preferably even high-quality content, but even if you produce the best possible blog post in the world for a keyword, you will never rank with just a handful of articles on your blog.
And the biggest challenge with producing a lot of great content is staying consistent with the process.
This is what I’ve learned about this important topic over the years.
Why you need to produce a lot of content
The days of the successful mini niche blogs that created passive incomes with 30 articles are long gone. Today, every niche, every corner of the Internet, is someone’s turf already. It is more competitive than ever, and you need to battle it out for almost all the good keywords.
And often times, this means fighting with some big authority sites.
Building authority in the eyes of Google and other search engines, and even more importantly, your audience, takes a lot of time. That’s just how search engines work. But even more than that, it takes a lot of content.
Because today, with so much competition, and a lot of it being pretty determined, it is almost impossible to present yourself as an authority without a lot of content on the topic.
Now, that’s not exactly a one-to-one correlation. A lot of bad content will not do the trick. But also, the less content you have, the smaller your chances of being an authority on any of them.
So, this isn’t a hard and fast rule, and maybe isn’t 100% true in theory, but technically it’s very true, and is probably the best estimate to what helps you prove your authority and expertize.
More content roughly equals more authority.
Over the years, I’ve observed two basic ways of going about producing a ton of content. Only one of them works.
The “gung-ho” content production method
I’ve noticed this overly-enthusiastic approach in many bloggers, and new and inexperienced bloggers are more susceptible to it.
And of course, I’ve fallen prey to it myself a few times.
So, let’s see you come to the realization that you will need to write at least 90 good blog posts to build a strong online business. How do you go about it?
New bloggers tend to overestimate what they can do in a day, and of course, underestimate what they can do in a year.
They start strong, and go all out on the first day. They may even write three articles, and maybe two of them are even top-notch.
But the next day, they are massively burned out.
They try to replicate their previous day, but of course, they only get half of the work done.
The next day, they get half of the previous day done.
You can see how it is easy to lose heart and quit by doing this.
Luckily, there is a better way.
The “don’t break the chain” content production method
As veteran bloggers may tell you, the only way to win in this game is to hit that publish button every single day.
And I agree – that is one of the most stable predictors of blogging success.
But for new bloggers, that may not be a good north star, simply because they may not have the skill and experience in place yet to truly publish good content daily.
That’s why I recommend a lot of new bloggers to apply the “don’t break the chain” method.
In case you are not familiar with the term, it involves a calendar where you put an X for every day you successfully complete the task you’ve given yourself (the term comes from the TV show Seinfeld I believe).
Your daily goals need to be measurable and actually achievable. For new bloggers, “working on my blog for 4 hours” is a better goal than “publish an article”. For intermediates and advanced, the latter will probably work better, as it is more result-oriented, although if you’re building a large and comprehensive resource that takes a lot of research and work, you can still put an X for that day even if you didn’t manage to publish that high-quality content piece.
In short, the “don’t break the chain” method is a habit hack, that helps you establish a very productive routine by leveraging your fear of losing your investment, aka risk aversion. This is roughly how it works:
- you define a daily goal
- you start working on it
- for every day you complete the task, you mark an “X” in the chain calendar
- after about day 3 or 4, you have an unbroken chain of several successful days
- on day 5, even if you don’t feel like working that hard, you only need to look at your unbroken chain and you are immediatelly reminded that you will have to start over if you break the chain
- typically, you find the time/energy/will to not break the chain
The first few days are probably the hardest, because your chain is not really big and you don’t have a lot to lose. I recommend relying on willpower if necessary for the first few days (you will thank yourself later, when you have a successful business running).
Currently, I’m using a chain for my nutrition plan, and I’m so deep in it that I already know I will run the course. It’s such a powerful tool that I recommend it for everything you want to do that requires intense focus over prolonged periods of time, like blogging or any entrepreneurial journey.
I’m a pen-and-paper guy myself, and I prefer crossing out the days with a pen (it gives me some weird satisfaction for some reason).
You can use digital calendars if you prefer. Check out the links to the Google spreadsheets I’ve prepared with some pre-made chains that you can start putting Xs in (you can download the spreadsheets or make copies of them to use them for yourself):