Last May I attended the CopyBlogger marketing event in Denver. The speakers were great and the information was valuable – but the one piece that came up over and over was the idea that consistency is king.
Consistency has been a struggle for me over the years. Creating and maintaining habits has never been a strong suit. Trying to post consistently to a blog has had periods of brief success followed by long spans of randomness. This blog has been just another example of inconsistency ruling my behavior. Even so, I still strive to improve. I know consistent behavior creates a sense of dependability and that is important to me. But even when consistency was not happening in this part of my business life, it was happening elsewhere.
When I looked back on 2015 from the perspective of my knitting world I discovered that I was very consistent. My instinct was that I had been, but until I really looked at the numbers, I wasn’t completely sure. Then I took a look at some of the metrics. What the experts at the conference said, panned out — consistency increases readership.
But what it told me was even more important – I could consistently produce and deliver content over the long haul, not just for short bursts.
As I looked back over last year I uncovered three factors that were key to maintaining consistency.
- Stay ahead of your calendar. My travel schedule has always been a problem; I am rarely able to get much work done while I am on the road. Sometimes it has to do with my schedule, but I have come to realize that the extrovert in me just needs the time with people. Working in my hotel room has no interest or draw. This year I focused on watching my calendar purposefully and planned ahead accordingly. A little planning can go a long way!
- Have a back-up plan. Even when you are trying to stay ahead, unexpected events may get you behind. Know what options are available to maintain consistency in delivery, even if it occasionally means not doing what you had planned. Options include:
- Re-post old content. This is particularly valid if you have recently added a significant number of followers. Almost no one reads through old content, so if it is still valid, there is no problem with reuse. Just make sure to note that’s what you’re doing.
- Use a ghost writer or guest blogger. In my case I have been able to utilize the services of my virtual assistant. She is familiar with the industry and has her own insights, so letting her share her point of view occasionally actually makes good sense. But after working with her for years, I also know she could ghost write a piece for me if the need arises.
- Create a link list. If you aren’t comfortable using a ghost writer, link lists are much less personal. This is a particularly good option if you already work with an assistant who can easily pull the list together and post on your behalf.
- Only commit to what you can realistically accomplish. This can be difficult because we want to believe we can do more than we actually can. It is better to set an “easy” goal and meet it consistently than to over-extend. Once that goal is established you can add another element. Better to do one or two things well than several things poorly.
So now that I have consistency figured out in one area, I am expanding into another. Of course, consistency can only be proven with time – so time will tell the tale. But I know for myself, adding the three factors above will make a huge impact on the final outcome.
Is consistency an issue for you? What techniques have you found that have improved your consistency? Please share in the comments below.