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How To Create A Monthly Article Writing Schedule
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I’ve told you previously how consistency is key with article marketing, and it is–while you don’t want to go overboard and submit gobs of article in a short span of time, you do want to submit 1 to 8 articles a month, steadily over an extended length of time.

The challenge that I find myself and many other authors running into is being steadily creative and productive with my article writing month to month. If I’m left on my own with no planning at all, I may do well for one month, but then the next month life seems to “get busy” and I slack off on my article writing efforts.

I know that sometimes unavoidable things happen in our lives that make us put our marketing efforts on the back burner, but many times what holds me back is a lack of planning, of just thinking “Oh, I’m sure I’ll get those articles written somehow, sometime, somewhere this month.”

Time and time again, I notice that when I get very specific about when, where and what I’ll write, then I manage to stay right on track with my writing with minimal effort.

The opposite is true when I decide to wing it and write articles on the fly!

Small business owners like us who are trying to market and drive traffic to our sites feel especially motivated to learn how to consistently write and submit articles, because that means we’re consistently marketing our businesses and websites.

Everyone knows that marketing is intricately tied to any business’ success, whether your business is completely online, like mine is, or whether you have a brick and mortar business in the “real world”.

So, I know we’re all busy, but I know when I slack off on my article writing, I’m also slacking off on marketing my business–which is not what I’m going for!

How’s that for a motivator?

This is why I’ve really applied myself in learning some easy ways to be more consistent with my marketing efforts, to have a goal in mind each month that I want to achieve and a plan on how to get there.

I’ve found that creating an article writing schedule is a major key to being able to get into a groove. This is a new thing that I’ve been doing, and I’m amazed at how much easier it’s been to consistently write and submit articles these last few months.

I’m happy to share my method on this:

1) Decide how many articles you’ll write.

At the beginning of each month I commit to writing a certain number of articles. It really helps to have that number in mind, instead of saying “I’ll submit as many as I can as I have time.” How’s that for vague???

Being specific about the number of articles you’ll submit gives you that motivating goal, and then at the end of the month you have a really pleasant feeling of accomplishment when you’ve reached that goal.

I’d like to caution you to not be over-ambitious your first months–pick a number of article submission that you can really do. It is discouraging to set a really high goal for yourself and then fall short, so be realistic–can you really write 6,7,8 quality articles this month? If so, then go for it, but if not, then there’s no shame in setting your sites a little lower.

Right now, my article submission goal is 4 articles a month–I have other writing projects (like this blog) that I do, so at this point in my life I find that 4 articles is a reasonable goal. I’ve been accomplishing this pretty easily for the past few months, so I might want to set my sights higher in the coming months…or not. The point is that this writing goal is completely flexible and can change from month to month.

The only thing is that I pre-decide on how many articles I’ll submit–that is key!

2) Create a writing schedule.

I actually bought a dry erase board with a calendar on it to plan out my writing schedule. You can do that or you might just want to use a regular calendar–whatever works for you as long as you have some way of determining beforehand which days you’re going to write articles.

This month I’ve decided that I’ll write articles on Thursdays.

My specific time that I write during each Thursday is always first thing in the morning. I’ve told you about this before–I discovered that a trick that professional writers use is to write bright and early in the morning, rather than waiting until the afternoon or evening. I took this tip to heart and have been writing first thing in the morning too, with excellent results!

I find that writing in the morning:

a) Helps me accomplish a major goal for the day first thing (which eases any stress about getting the writing done and eliminates procrastination)

b) Allows me to approach the article with a “fresh brain”. I’ve heard professional writers refer to the afternoon as “mental dead time”, and I know that’s true for me too! Â In the morning I haven’t had a chance to get caught up in the drama and distractions of the day, so it’s easier for me to concentrate.

c) It’s quiet, because the rest of the household is sleeping (I write very early in the morning before anyone else is up!)

And I just like the feeling of reaching 9am and feeling like I’ve accomplished something major for the day.

Everyone has their optimum writing times, but if you’ve been writing at night or in the afternoon, you might want to try and see if there’s any difference in your efficiency if you wrote in the morning–it doesn’t hurt to experiment!

For more info on this, please see:

How To Schedule Your Writing Time Like A Professional Writer and

Learning to Write First Thing In The Morning

3) Brainstorm article topics

There is nothing worse for an author than sitting down to write and not having any idea what to write about. This is why we’re brainstorming at the beginning of the month so that we can coast through the rest of the month and feed off the creativity from our brainstorming session.

What I do is just grab a notebook and start jotting down ideas–I think about what sorts of questions customers have been asking us recently and try to transform questions from customers into article ideas. I also think about what I need to teach prospective customers before they get to the point of being interested in my article distribution service.

As I told you before, sometimes I find it really helpful to do a series of articles that are all on specific areas of one general topic. That is a favorite technique of mine, and I come up with my series ideas in a brainstorming session at the beginning of the month.

You may have an especially productive brainstorming session, but what I’d like you to do is narrow your topics down to strongest ideas. I find it helpful to write my ideas for articles in the form of article titles.

If you want to, you can even decide what order you’d like to write the articles, or if you like to have some freedom of choice on the day you’re writing, then don’t put the topics in any order. (On the day you’re writing you can choose from your short list of topics depending on what strikes your fancy that day.)

Let’s say you have 12 really strong article ideas, but your goal is to submit 4 articles–this is just fine. You may be able to keep writing off of this one brainstorming session for a few months!

4) Make your schedule visible.

Post the list of article topics beside your desk, or put it along with your calendar that has your writing schedule on it. I keep my writing schedule right next to my desk, and each day when I sit down to work, I look at my writing schedule to see what/if I’m supposed to be writing.

I have found a decrease in stress with having that schedule visible to me–it is almost like a map that I follow through the month, and I know that if I stick to my map each day that I’ll reach my desired destination at the end of the month.

5) On the day you’re scheduled to write, write!

This step is almost too simple–when you look at your calendar and see that it’s a day that you’re supposed to write an article, look at your list of brainstormed article topics and pick a topic to write on.

For myself, this makes the writing process infinitely easier, because I don’t have to play the “What should I write about today?” game. I know what I’m writing about–it’s on my list. When I write that article I cross it off the list.

Notice, I’ve left very little room for wondering what time to write, wondering what to write, and wondering how much writing I’m supposed to be doing. While it may appear to be constricting to have everything spelled out for you so that you don’t have to think about things in the moment, I actually find this process very liberating!

I don’t know about you, but if I know I should be writing and I’m not sure what to write about, I’ll procrastinate, which we all know is a waste of time.

But, if I know that my topic is already decided, and that all I need to do is sit down and write about that specific topic, then it’s like a weight is lifted off my shoulders and I can devote all of my energy to writing a really top notch article.

This really is a simple writing productivity formula, but it works!

Set Writing Goal => Schedule => Brainstorm => Write

How about you guysdo any of you have any really productivity or time saving techniques you use so that you can steadily submit articles each month?


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16 Responses to “How To Create A Monthly Article Writing Schedule”

  1. John McRae says:

    Great advice. Finding the time to write an article is the hardest part for me.
    I really like number 4. That should help keep me motivated as well as organized.

    Thanks
    John

  2. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks so much for chiming in :-) Yes–organizing the time seems like the most challenging part, but yes–motivation is the key!

  3. Crystal says:

    Hi Steve,

    Thank you for this wonderful blog. All signs point to me writing again and getting started has been challenging. This will help me map out my writing so I can be energized by the process.

    Have a blessed weekend and thank you again!

    Crystal*

  4. Darren says:

    writing articles is one of the greatest promotion methods for targeted traffic – can be time consuming at first but improves over time

  5. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for these tips. I have to admit that there are times when I lose my inspiration and so creating a firm schedule would be help me to maintain my focus and productivity.

    As you said, when you’re not writing articles you’re not marketing your business. The more articles I have in circulation the greater my returns and so I’ll certainly put your tips into ACTION!

    Best wishes

    Nickolove

  6. Dean Shainin says:

    Thank You Steve,

    Great info. I’m going to forward this to my writers so they can stay on target because with outsourcing articles getting them done on time is a big deal to me.

    Cheers,
    Dean

  7. Elda Titus says:

    What wonderful pointers. After writing several articles, my greatest challenge is to think of what to write about that would be new. Brain storming and starting with titles is a new idea for me. Thanks Steve!

  8. [...] How To Create A Monthly Article Writing Schedule – guide for creating a writing schedule, which makes it much easier to get your momentum going and stay ‘in the groove’. Also covers how I personally brainstorm topics for my articles. [...]

  9. Kasia G. says:

    Thank YOu for this great article!

    It has summarized and whown me a clear road on what I was trying to do by myslef since a while.
    I particularly like the part about idea finding – being quite new to the online arena, I am never sure if to write always about the same topic or if to write about different things … coming back to my topic and proposal just in the bio part.

    I sincerely do want to thank you , I have printed a plan for me now and the only amendment I have started making is writing little notes next to the articles on my calendar, all concerning the topics to cover, ideas of what to write about. So when the day to write comes I just get the idea or topic and can concentrate on the writing itself.

    Thanks again and all my very best regards from Austria
    Kasia

  10. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Kasia,

    Thank you–Great to hear that!

  11. [...] Here are some pointers for creating a monthly Article Writing Schedule. [...]

  12. Julia Gray says:

    This was a great article. I must say that I have gone through all of the phases that you mention in the article and at this point I have got to get back on track and re-focus. Thanks for the push.

  13. [...] How To Create A Monthly Article Writing Schedule – guide for creating a writing schedule, which makes it much easier to get your momentum going and stay ‘in the groove’. Also covers how I personally brainstorm topics for my articles. [...]

  14. Johnson.S says:

    It’s really valuable advice..sometimes the thought of writing really drags you down if you have got nothing to write about. But a schedule will really help..and if you commit the schedule to someone else, man…you’ll really get it done 90% of the time. And this will really make a difference.

  15. Jen. U says:

    Thanks, Steve.

    I have only managed a blog to start up with. I like writing about subjects people care about or are interested in. Just reading comments from others in blogs and forums is a good indicator for article writers to have their fingers on the pulse, so to speak.

    Making up a schedule is probably the smartest thing to do, especially when you have divide your available time between posting comments, reading emails, visiting links, and marketing your business.

    Thanks.

  16. Ricardo A. says:

    I guess this beats waiting for inspiration to strike!

    Feels more professional!

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