9 Questions Before You Become A Blogging Statistic


'Blog', courtesy of cortege9, Wikimedia Commons

‘Blog’, courtesy of cortege9, Wikimedia Commons

Are you tired of blogging?

I am.

I know that’s sacrilege to admit on your own blog. The stress of moving, illness, and the fact I haven’t posted consistently has me questioning my commitment to blogging.

Am I really getting a return on investment of the time I put into blogging?

Shouldn’t I be focusing on ‘real’ writing?

My blogging journey started almost three years ago. I researched for three months before taking the plunge, thinking about my goals for my blog. I didn’t want to start something new and shiny, to later run out of steam. (I have a tendency to do that.)

I liked sharing and meeting new people. Researching and writing about creativity, blogging, and social media fascinated me. And I loved sharing my write anywhere adventures.

But lately blogging has felt like a burden, a deadline that looms over me and highlights my penchant for procrastination. I’m considering taking a break, or a complete reboot. Should I start over? Will anyone care?

It’s easy to get into this frame of mind, especially when there are millions of blogs vying for readers’ attention.

Why blog?

Because you have a unique voice.

Because what you have to say will make a difference in at least one person’s life. Even if it’s just your own.

Maybe you’re like me, and your love affair with blogging has grown cold. Or possibly you’re considering starting a blog.

Here are 9 questions to ask if you’re considering blogging or re-evaluating your blogging commitment.

1. Why do I want to blog?

This is the big one. Do you want to blog because you want to quit your job, stay in your pajamas all day, and make oodles of money? Think again. Become famous? You’re more likely to become famous making YouTube videos of your cat. But if you want to blog because you feel like you have something to say, you want to commit to a regular writing practice, chronicle a journey, inspire others, or have a creative outlet so you don’t pop a gasket, those reasons are better to keep you going when the going gets tough.

2. Am I willing to study to understand basic blogging tools?

Many people give up before they’ve gotten any traction as a blogger because the technical aspects of blogging are intimidating. Realize there is a learning curve for most people. If you are a complete newbie, you don’t have to commit to purchasing your own website or learning to write code. Try a free platform. I recommend WordPress, but use whichever platform you find the most comfortable. Online tutorials can teach you what you need to create the blog you want.

3. Am I ready to commit consistent time to blogging?

Blogging is a commitment. Whether you post daily, weekly, or adhere as I do to a philosophy of slow blogging, you have to make the time to gather ideas, turn those ideas into coherent written posts, and do the actual technical work of posting your writing to your blog. You won’t last in the long term if you are blogging when you ‘find time’. You have to make the time. What amount of time, I leave to you. Ask ten bloggers how much time you should devote to blogging and they will have ten different answers. The point is you have to schedule blog writing time to keep blogging on a consistent basis.

4. Am I willing to commit consistent time to social media to help my blog grow?

Here’s one that folks either love or hate. Many bloggers have the mindset ‘if I post it, they will come’, and then are disappointed when they have three subscribers. The primary way to get blog readers is to share your posts in social media. Whether you decide to share your blog post links on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or all of the above, how much you commit to broadcasting your post will determine whether you expand your audience. A regularly expanding audience encourages consistent blogging.

5. Am I willing to put in the work to make my blog excellent?

If you want to keep a diary or journal, content is built into your focus. If you’re blogging about your interests, passion or expertise, writing excellent content is important to gaining and keeping a readership. If you take the time to plan, craft, and edit your blog posts it will make the difference between mediocre and excellent.

6. Am I willing to work on writing that I won’t be paid for?

Most people don’t make money blogging. Many ‘experts’ insist you can make thousands (if only you take their course, use their platform, buy their book), but those that do make a full time living blogging are few and far between. If you want to be a full time PAID blogger, you must write compelling content or offer a product that convinces people to part with their hard-earned money. Good content may attract other blogs that share your niche or interests to offer you small compensation to write a guest blog post. This in turn may end up getting you some paying gigs at bigger blogs. Otherwise, you will be writing for yourself and for free.

7. Do I have the social skills and intestinal fortitude required to interact with a wide range of personalities and opinions?

Everyone has an opinion on the internet. The ease and anonymity of typing one’s immediate thoughts and reactions has created a Wild West atmosphere in many blog comments. Are you comfortable allowing others to express their opinions? Do you have the ‘people person’ skills to redirect the conversation if it starts skidding into offense or personal attacks? Will your self-esteem plummet if someone disagrees with you? You need to have a thick skin or make the decision to turn off blog comments.

8. Do I like researching new information and sharing it with others?

People who read blogs are consumers. The products they consume are knowledge, inspiration, or entertainment. To write the posts your readers are looking for, you may need to do some research.

9. Am I willing to keep a positive attitude?

Are you writing what you really want to write or what someone said you should write? Passion gives you positive momentum, so write your passion. Are you focusing on your lack of readers, tearing down your own writing? Choose to be your own best cheerleader. A positive attitude will go a long way to keeping you posting consistently.


 

After answering these questions, you might decide that blogging isn’t worth it for you, and you’d rather devote your time to other pursuits. Go for it.

Maybe you’re already blogging and you’re a little bored. Focus on a new subject. Tweak your widgets or color scheme. Try different micro platforms like Tumblr, Instagram or Pinterest. Experiment and ignite your passion again.

If you’ve been blogging, and you’ve decided you don’t want to blog anymore, own it. Give your blog an end. There are millions of orphan blogs out there that slowly fizzled out. Don’t let your blog be one of millions left to die on the roadside with no eulogy.

As for me, despite my setbacks, I enjoy blogging. I enjoy the interaction and the challenge. I like how it helps me with my writing skills. So I’m in it for the long haul. You’ll be seeing some tweaking here and there on kristin nador writes anywhere and I’ll be working hard to get back to a regular schedule.

What keeps you blogging? What are your strategies for continuing through ‘tough times’?

18 thoughts on “9 Questions Before You Become A Blogging Statistic

  1. I’m happy to see you back, Kristin, and it’s so interesting to read this post at this time. I took time off this summer, and I wasn’t sure whether I was giving up my blog or not. I wrote a post some time in May and talked about transition, change, not knowing where The Reflective Writer was going. Then a few weeks ago I “showed up” and posted because I missed the space, the people, the words. I can feel myself returning.

    I’ve made some professional changes, adding some new dimensions to my coaching, and I believe I needed the time away to process, reconfigure, open the door to new directions. Even if things don’t look dramatically different to others, I feel different. I understood that it was a risk to stop blogging, and I stayed open to the possibility that I would not return.

    Just last night I found myself starting a blog post. So your post today could not have been better timed!

    Welcome back!

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    http://JudyStoneGoldman.com/blog

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  2. These are excellent points regarding blogging as I’ve been doing it for almost 10 years. I’ve done all the things you discuss to make my blog successful, yet haven’t earned a cent for doing so. I do enjoy sharing information, my readers write to me telling me know I am missed when I’m quiet. My one issue is feeling so exposed when sharing personal thoughts with my readers, many of whom I do not know..

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    • Wow, blogging for ten years. Congrats on being so tenacious! I agree about feeling exposed when sharing personal thoughts. It’s seems at times the personal posts are the ones I get the most response to, but also the ones I am most afraid to write. But those issues we think our only our own, usually end up being things that everyone is dealing with on one level or another. I guess we have to ‘do it afraid’. 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

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  3. In practical terms, when life gets full, it’s the unpaid deadline that gets missed. And missed again. It’s SO easy to fall off the blogging bandwagon when everything else is piling up.

    I’ve been blogging on and off in some form or fashion for a long time, but with many purposes and directions over time. “Why am I blogging?” is the very least of what every blogger needs to think about. Thanks for the reality check here, Kristin.

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  4. Thanks, Kristin, for a great post. I enjoyed thinking about your 9 things and I have reblogged this post on my blog cicampbellblog.wordpress.com
    I’ve been blogging for about a year and a half and I still love it.
    When I’m too focused on my ‘real’ writing (my novels) to post new content regularly, I love to have a good post like this to reblog to keep my readers reading. X

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  5. Kristin, I enjoyed your blog, as I always do. I was also pleased to see so many of the replies mirrored my own thoughts on your blog. Thank you for the information and help with my own, flailing blog; and I also want to thank your readers who replied. Their replies helped me realize I am not the only one who is in process, a little leery of sharing my personal thoughts, and showing me that wanting to blog to connect and see what others think about their passions too. Thank you Kristin, and your replies or ‘ers?’.

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  6. Hey, Kristin – I know I’m a bit late to the chat, but it’s a topic that’s dear to me because I can so relate to the struggle you described. Blogging has allowed me to stop talking about writing and write. I find the act of doing it sparks more ideas/more creativity and results in a discipline about writing that I never had prior. Every once in a while, on a flat-line day (I look at the numbers way too much) I wonder why I’m spending so much time on this. Then I get a comment that lets me know somebody benefited from reading or (on the Fat Bottom blog) was lifted up or laughed in spite of going through a rough time – and I realize I’m doing (with my humble numbers) exactly what I’m suppose to be doing.

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