I haven’t written on the subject of blog motivation and commitment before and now seems a good time. After three years of blogging and posting three articles a week, I’ve learned what keeps me going. Here’s what I know:
Find your passion.
Writing regularly requires passion. If you don’t have enthusiasm and interest for your material, writing will be laborious and you’ll resent putting in the time.
I’m naturally curious and I enjoy researching and writing. This combined with my love of life stories makes producing for my blog a delight – well most of the time.
Finding your passion is easier said than done. Here’s a clue. What is it that you love and can’t wait to do? What do you find yourself doing when other more pragmatic things require your attention? For more on finding your passion click here.
Know your audience.
It’s difficult to come up with material if you don’t have an audience in mind.
When I started my blog, my focus was split between the hobbyist doing life stories and the professional personal historian. It didn’t work. After several months I knew that the people I wanted to write for were like me – professional personal historians working at their craft full-time.
So ask yourself, “Who are the people I really want to talk to?”
Think Outside The Box.
Coming up with fresh original material week after week can be challenging. One method of sparking article content is combining apparently non-related subjects. For example, I used my cat to come up with 6 Lessons My Cat Taught Me About Time Management. Betty White became the inspiration for Want to Know What Betty White Can Teach You About Your Personal History Business?. And my garden provided fodder for What Gardening Can Teach You About Growing Your Business.
Other sources I go to regularly for inspiration are newspaper and magazine articles, movies, other blogs, forums, Facebook, and Twitter. After a while your radar is alert for potential blog articles in the most unlikely places. Coming out of my neighborhood bank one day, I saw a sign that led to this post, Are Your Clients Extremely Satisfied With Your Service?
Remember what Woody Allen said, ” Eighty percent of success is showing up.”
If you’re going to be consistent with your blog posts, you need to be disciplined. It doesn’t matter whether you write one post a week or five. What matters to your readers is that they can count on you being there. Consistency demonstrates that you take your blog seriously.
Schedule blog time in your work week calendar making certain to book an uninterrupted hour or two. Try to select periods in the day when you naturally have more energy.
Avoid distractions. Close your Internet browser, let your answering service pick up your calls, and close the door to your office. Don’t get up from your desk until you’ve spent at least 30 minutes researching or writing.
If you have something to say and you want to build a readership for your blog, you’ve got to work at it. Don’t expect immediate results. It’ll take a couple of years before you start to see the fruits of your labor.
When I started out three years ago, I barely averaged 6oo viewers a month. Today I reach over 4,000 viewers a month. True, it’s a small number when compared to such mega star blogs as Zen Habits and copyblogger. Then again, the personal historian niche is small and so I’m pleased with my progress so far.
For other blogging articles that I’ve written you might want to check out Should I Have a Business Blog? and What Everybody Ought to Know About a Successful Blog.
Photo by Mike Licht
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