Love it or hate it, consistent blogging is the only activity I know of which helps you to both practice your writing skills, and to sell your writing.
That said, it’s easy to get discouraged with a blog, and just phone it in — to write posts for the sake of it. It seems as if everyone’s blogging these days; it takes time to build a readership, and you can feel that since no one’s reading, you might as well not bother.
Many bloggers have a “Why bother?” moment. They’ve lost their original inspiration, and blogging seems too much trouble. If this has happened to you, step back for a moment, and think about your goals.
Your goal for your blog isn’t “to blog”.
No one blogs for the sake of blogging. Well, I did, 15 years ago, but that was long before most people knew what a blog was, and it didn’t work out too well. All of my early Blogger, LiveJournal, ExpressionEngine etc blogs fell by the wayside years ago, although they did teach me a lot, and I got readers.
Have a goal for your blogging. Your goal might be: to improve your writing processes, to attract clients, to sell ebooks, to sell affiliate products, to test ideas…
Your goals can change over time, and that’s fine. For example, you may start out blogging to attract writing clients. Then you start writing ebooks, and your primary goal for your blog is to add readers to your mailing list.
It doesn’t matter what your goal is for your blog, as long as you have a goal in mind.
How the top 5% of bloggers get results.
Orbit Media Studios surveyed over a thousand bloggers, and came up with some insights. If you want to be in the top five per cent of bloggers, here’s how:
- Put in the TimeJust 5.5% of bloggers spend 6+ hours on a typical post.
- Go DeepOnly 4.9% of bloggers write 1500+ words per post on average.
- Flood the ZoneOnly 4.7% of bloggers publish daily.
Tip: You Don’t Need to Be in the Top 5% of Bloggers.
While being in the top 5% might be a very good thing, it’s only good if you’re meeting your goals for blogging. So keep your goals in mind. They’re all that matter, and you should be able to achieve your goals with a small, but loyal readership which you serve well.
When All Else Fails, Keep Blogging.
Every few weeks a blogger asks me whether he should delete a blog. His goals have changed, he wants to stop doing something or other, and do something else, so he intends starting a new blog. It’s your blog. You can do whatever you like with it – but NEVER DELETE it.
It’s rarely necessary to start afresh. It can be a bad thing to do, too, if your name is attached to a blog. Just start blogging about your new interest, on your blog. If you feel you need a new blog, post a final message on your old blog, directing readers to your new one.
Keep blogging. Even if you think there’s no point, since you have few readers. Your readership will grow. You’re writing, which is always a good thing.
Remember the “Don’t Quit” poem:
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.
If you’re not getting the results you want from your blog, the Orbit Media Studios survey may give you some fresh insights. Set your blogging goals, and keep blogging.