8: NaBloPoMo Best Practices

 I am doing NaBloPoMo this month. 30 blog posts in 30 days. Come join me. #nablopomo2021

photo credit: @nickmorrison via @unsplash

Here we are, a week into NaBloPoMo and you’re losing steam. What now?

First of all, know that this is not uncommon. Most people feel apprehensive at the thought of having to post every single day. Even for us seasoned NaBloPoMo-ers, it happens. My friend Tobia, who’s been tackling this challenge with me for the last few years, mentioned something to that effect last week and I admitted that I still feel the same just before November. 

Writing for 30 days straight feels daunting, even stressful. Why would anyone want to do that? In my case, it’s not like I don’t have a regular posting schedule (on average 3x/week) and could just keep plugging along at my own pace.

I think, I just like the challenge and the structured routine and I look forward to it once a year. And you know what usually also happens? The month flies by faster than I thought and I end up with more post ideas than I was able to use in the 30 days. 

I’ve learned a few tricks over the years and I thought I’d share them with you (so you hopefully feel a bit more confident going forward).

Get organized in advance

I know, I know, this tip comes a little late as we’re already well into NaBloPoMo, but as I mentioned in my introductory post on November, 1, I’ve been planning out my November blogging month a bit in advance. I will be posting every day in November, but not every word has been written on the day that it will be posted. I usually prepare a little outline for the month and jot down post ideas for as many days as possible in advance. Drafts are your friends. This leads me to my next tip…

Keep a running list of blog ideas

If you’ve been blogging for a while, you probably have had ideas for blog ideas at the most unexpected moments and in the strangest places. My best tip is: write them down immediately (I keep a list on my phone, as I usually have that with me and can put down a couple of bullet points regardless of where I am.)

Write when you can

If you have a few minutes to work on your draft, write a few sentences. If you sit down and feel like you can knock out a couple of blog posts because the words are pouring out of you, do it. If you’re on a roll, you have to take advantage. Get it all on (digital) paper while you can. You don’t have to wait until the next day. As a writer/blogger, you know, writing happens naturally most of the time and can’t necessarily be forced.

Keep a buffer

Another thing that works for me: I try to stay ahead of NaBloPoMo by keeping one or two ready-to-post blog posts in my drafts folder for “emergencies” (hence the ‘write when you can’-advice). While I try to sit down and write/post every day in November, I know that some days will be so busy that I won’t have a lot of time to spend on blogging. For these moments, it’s good to have a blog post waiting in your draft folder.

Use your regular feature posts

I have a few regular post formats that I use every month, (e.g. What I read, Monthly Link List, Currently, etc.) and of course, I keep up with these posts during NaBloPoMo.

Borrow from other bloggers

If you come across a great post idea on someone else’s blog – borrow the idea (and give credit when appropriate) and post your own version. Because this is what bloggers do – we inspire each other and share great post ideas!

Keep it flexible

Leave a little flexibility in your blogging schedule for days where you feel inspired to write something spontaneously. I never know when exactly that is going to happen, but I usually come up with a handful of posts in November that I hadn’t planned/thought of before. Sometimes I want to share something that happened or something I thought about.

Last but not least: Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day

This is something I should definitely keep in mind. While it’s my goal to meet the challenge, the world is not going to end if I skip a day. Nobody is keeping score and you’re not going to be punished. After all, NaBloPoMo is just an opportunity to get into a blogging habit, have fun, and connect with other people.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Anything else you’d add to the list?

  1. Yes to every single point you make.
    Running lists and buffer posts are my best thing to make this challenge a successful one. Just today I came up with a unplanned post idea though which is published tomorrow. And I need to work on some more buffers. I am too stress im when there is nothing for emergency.

    1. I am glad you agree with my approach and have been implementing these things in your blog planning as well :)

  2. You’re obviously a NaBloPoMo pro! It’s funny because last week did feel easier than this one. But that’s why it’s a challenge, right? I made a large calendar page for November and penciled in all the normal posts I would do each week- weekly rundown, monthly coffee date, etc. i also have a running list of ideas. ALSO, I’m (loosely) borrowing an idea from Tobia for tomorrow’s post! This is fun!

    1. Looks like you’re setting up a good NaBloPoMo routine for yourself already! Good for you! ;)

  3. Also, just a shout-out that all these “best practices” are pretty awesome advice for life, too!

    Plan a buffer. Have things stashed away in reserve (freezer meals, extra gifts, some white space in the calendar for last-minute to-do’s). Fit things in when you can. Get help/inspiration from people you admire. Keep lists. Be flexible. Be kind to yourself. Get organized.

    Such an awesome list for NaBloPoMo but, since I’m not participating this year…I’m going to extrapolate to life :)

    1. I love this take, Elizabeth. So very true and applicable to life!

  4. Thank goodness for being able to copy other people’s ideas, right? I have a calendar of blog post ideas for the month, but I just know I’ll read another person’s post and have to do my own!

    1. I think it’s the best about the blogosphere – that we can all inspire each other :)

  5. I love all of these tips and tricks! Planning out my month in advance has been really helpful as I know I’ll never be scratching my head for what to write on a given day. Plus, I already had two blog posts pre-written so that helped take some of the pressure off. Next week will be the real test! Haha.

    1. So glad you love the tips. Although as a seasoned and very regular blogger, you probably were using most of these already. ;)

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