Every now and then I return to a blog that I haven’t visited in a while and find one of these statements, “I’m taking a break from blogging for a while. Stop back sometime soon.” Unless you’re a die-hard fan, I’m guessing that becomes the last time that you visit that blog
The “I’m not blogging” statement reveals something profound: successful blogging is hard work and not everyone is up to the task.
Cultivating a durability over time is only one challenge that bloggers face. Here are a few more as well as some strategies for overcoming them:
So you’ve got yourself a steady stream of RSS subscribers and maybe even your Adsense is generating some dough- now what? Boredom settles in and you ask yourself why you’re blogging in the first place. Tim Sanders of SandersSays has written agreat article about blogging passion, he writes that your choice of posting can mean the difference between feeling charged up or blogged out. For me, I blog to express ideas and slowly build enough material for a published book. I blog to connect with an audience. And, I blog because I like a good challenge. How about you?
If you don’t watch it, statistics can overtake your life. On the other hand, if you don’t watch stats, you might be missing out on some key connecting points with your audience. Make a decision to check your stats regularly but not to the point where you are skipping meals or losing sleep. You get the picture.
Lack of creativity
This is a particularly significant challenge that all bloggers experience at one time or another. What do you do when you’ve run out of things to say? Push through and realize that it’s part of the process. Keeping lists handy with new ideas and writing “drafts” of your seminal concepts is a good way to keep the ideas flowing as it provides a place to go back to when you’re low on inspiration. Having the right capture tool at the right time will make sure you don’t lose any of those great ideas along the way.
Seldom talked about, but nonetheless very real is the jealousy that up and coming bloggers can find themselves feeling towards the big guys. It can be frustrating watching larger blogs seemingly attract success with their every move while a smaller blog struggles. Rather than making the mistake of trying to copy everything that they do, learn from their success but follow your own path. Every blog needs its own niche, own voice and own style, but having said that it’s also important to learn the lessons that the bigger blogs have to offer – about how to format content, how to tailor it, how to leverage a subscriber base, how to innovate and so on.
A good strategy to help you in this regard is to find a blog network – even if its not a formal one, and start chatting with bloggers at the same level of where you are now. You’ll not only find bloggers your own size are more amenable to helping each other, but you also have a chance to grow together, share new ideas and leverage each other’s strengths and audiences.
This occurs when you find yourself blogging about things that are totally off-topic. Without self discipline and confidence in your desire to blog, straying can overtake even the best of bloggers, leaving readers confused and ultimately even out the door. It’s far better to have a clear, coherent topic and stick to your message, even become an evangelist for whatever you are about! For me, work-life balance and productivity are at the top of my list. Fortunately the topic is a broad enough circle so that I have enough space for variety but without going out of bounds too often.
Lack of personal routine
The challenge of personal routine – or its lack thereof, generally shows up within the first month of blogging. Without the discipline of blogging each day or even several times per week, a blog can lose steam and demoralize the author. The best bloggers post often and provide good content that’s creative and fresh. I try to blog each morning, first thing when I wake up. It works for me and leaves my readers with a confidence that the message is still important and alive.
Readers can smell a phony, so be appreciative of their time and energy to connect with your blog. They can go anywhere else in the world but are choosing you – figure out why and thank them for it. I provide a weekly downloadable resource free of charge, just as a thank you to readers. There are plenty of weeks when I would rather take the easy way out and bypass the creative process necessary for this resource but, knowing how important those readers are, I persevere.
Whatever the challenges that you face as a blogger, be yourself and be honest about why you’re spending the time to blog. If it’s energizing and fun, you’re probably in the right place.
This post was guest blogged by Mike St. Pierre is the host of The Daily Saint, a productivity blog focusing on work-life balance
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