Once again, National Blog Posting Month (also known as NaBloPoMo or, in my brain, NaBloPoMoFo) is upon us. Although you can technically participate in NaBloPoMo in any given month, November is traditionally the month during which “everybody does it”. (You can sign up on the BlogHer website and possibly win something, plus you’ll find lots of like-minded individuals and maybe some new bloggy buddies!)
How does one participate in NaBloPoMo? One blogs every single day. For thirty days in November. That’s it. Sounds easy, right? Yes and no, depending on what else one has going on in one’s life and how badly one might be suffering from writer’s block at any given moment.
To be completely honest, I was going to dig my head in the sand this year and pretend NaBloPoMo wasn’t really going on even though I participate every year but all of a sudden my friends started making the commitment and, well, I can’t NOT do it.
If you think it would be too difficult to get through a month of posting every day, I can tell you that it really isn’t (honest!), especially if you have a plan. Here are some tips for surviving–and even thriving!–during NaBloPoMo any month of the year.
1. Use your draft folder liberally. When you have an idea for a post, put it in your draft folder, even if the idea isn’t totally developed. I often start a draft with half a thought in the title, click save, and come back to it much later. I have created about eight drafts this week alone.
2. Create an editorial calendar. This is not something I do on a regular basis (Yet! I plan to! Eventually!) but during November you can bet I’ll be filling in the calendar as I come up with post ideas. Seeing the plan on paper (or on screen) can do wonders for morale when it’s November 15th and you realize you still have two weeks left BUT LOOK AT ALL OF THESE GREAT POSTS YOU’RE PLANNING TO WRITE!
3. Schedule posts in advance. There will definitely be days on which you have very little or no time to work on a post. There will also be days on which you have extra time (maybe?), so use it to work up a quick extra post and schedule it to automatically publish on one of your busy days.
4. Take shortcuts. Don’t be afraid to post just a picture; there’s no shame in that. It still counts! Vlogging is great too, because it takes less than five minutes to record a message or a story that you can publish. Your readers will love to see you in action. Hopefully.
5. Make liberal use of daily memes if necessary. If you’re really worried that you won’t have thirty days’ worth of stuff to share, plan to do things like Wordless Wednesday, Travel Tuesday, Throwback Thursday, Follow Friday, and others in the same vein. (My friend Mrs. 4444 does “Friday Fragments” each and every week. Try it!) I have friends who do weekend posts that either summarize what they wrote about during the week or share great things they’ve read during the week, or a combination of those. Memes are also great because you can use the corresponding hashtag on Twitter or Facebook.
6. Use writing prompts. BlogHer provides daily writing prompts specifically for NaBloPoMo (every month, even!), but you can do an internet search for “writing prompts” and come up with gold.
7. Blog a response to what someone else has posted. If you read something interesting (and, if you’re fully participating in NaBloPoMo you’re probably reading a lot of posts, too!), you may be able to provide a different perspective or share a story that relates to it in some way. Be sure to credit and link to the source of your inspiration!
In case you need some writing ideas that are more specific:
8. Take a walk down memory lane…or just around your house. You can find all kinds of things to write about just by looking around. Go through old pictures and when you find one, write its story. That knick knack you picked up on vacation ten years ago that looks so pretty on your shelf? Tell your readers about it.
9. Share a recipe. You may not be a food blogger but that doesn’t mean you can’t blog about food! (I do it all the time!)
10. Interview somebody. Family members, friends, and other bloggers make great subjects. Chances are that you’ll make them feel pretty darn special, too, just by asking to feature them.
11. Uh, hello! Thanksgiving is in November. Surely you have family stories you can share…don’t you? (Like the time the inside of the turkey was still frozen when you started carving? And by “you”, I might mean “I”. But you get the idea.) What are you thankful for?
12. Pop culture provides a wealth of writing prompts every day. What are your favorite new television shows? Which singer is overplayed on the radio? Which celebrity would you like to meet for coffee and why? Endless possibilities here.
13. Where do you want to be in ten years? Twenty years? What will the world be like? Are you scared about it? Excited? Show off your imagination!
14. Are you an expert at something? Can you share helpful tips on anything having to do with the household, interior design, crafts, travel, parenting, organization, or anything else? Write about it! (I’m doing it RIGHT NOW! And you’re reading it! In fact, I probably should have saved this post for November 1. Darn it.)
Hopefully I’ve given you enough help to boost your NaBloPoMoCo, or your National Blog Posting Month Confidence. If you have any tips of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments.
Now…LET’S DO THIS, YOU GUYS. Let’s kick NaBloPoMo’s butt, together!
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Holy crap, this is so good.
Aww, thanks! You’re sweet.
Lots of good suggestions.
I have one and I don’t have a blog, when you have removed the paper from butter and you are baking and need to grease your pans us the wrap from the butter and then flour the pan. Happy Baking
Good one, Mom! 😉
This is great. I’m an occasional blogger and decided to participate to step up my blogging game. Now I’m a little (well…a lot actually) terrified that this month is going to eat me alive. Thanks for the helpful tips- hopefully I’ll come out fine on the other end!
You’ll definitely come out fine on the other end. Nothing to be scared of, but it honestly does become a little mentally taxing in the second/third weeks if you’re not blogging a lot now. Just keep plugging away and before you know it the month will be over and you can slap that badge of honor on your sidebar! 🙂
I’m excited. This is my first year participating and I can’t wait. I already made a plan and hopefully I stick to it so I don’t get writer’s block. I’m definitely going to take your advice and when I have extra free time write a few extra posts. That’s great advice especially with five kids running around.
YAY! Vlogging counts…I have two ideas for videos. So now I need 28 more. lol 🙂
This almost makes me want to do it. Almost.
I did NaBloPoMo last year and wanted to die by the end.
I didn’t really want to do it this year. This almost makes me want to. Almost. Maybe if I can prewrite 30 posts by the end of the night tomorrow 😉
But for real, good list. I could have used this advice last year!
This post has really given me the UMFP I needed to start a blog.
I’ve wanted to for quite a while and now that YOU broke it down (months, days, a few topics, etc.).
It doesn’t seem quite as overwhelming as I thought it might be.
So thank you and Happy Halloween!
This is a terrific post, my friend; I feel I may have gone insane (to be saying this), but I have decided to jump on board (for the first time). Thanks for the inspiring post. My favorite suggestions are #8 and #10. Thanks, too, for the shout out! Given that tomorrow is the first day of NaBloPoMo, I’m adding this link to tonight’s Fragments-Thanks!
This is really good!
These are really good tips! It’s a relief to see that even someone who has participated in the NaBloPoMo several years still struggles with writer’s block. This post was really encouraging.
Love this! I have some ideas, but 30 days is a lot. I’ll definitely be saving this. Thanks! 🙂