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Blogging Step Seven – Staying Motivated

Posted by on Nov 27, 2010
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Seems it’s been a little while since I wrote my last “blogging step”. Of course, if you want to see the other steps you can click on the blogging tips at the top of this blog, one of the special pages I created to highlight when I write about blogging specifically.

In this case, it’s the topic of staying motivated. The one thing I hate seeing is a blog that was going along fine and suddenly there’s no more posts, or else a post once a week, once a month, etc. Actually, I don’t have a problem with those folks who only post once a week, but anything less frequent almost begs the question why you’re bothering.

There are usually 3 main reasons why people stop writing a blog:

1), they can’t think of what to say

2), they’re not getting much feedback and thus are discouraged

3), they’re tired

Let’s take this last one first. There are some people who have written for years, and they’re just plum tuckered out. I have that feeling every once in awhile. Maybe this blog is only about to celebrate its 3rd anniversary, but my other blog is more than 5 years old. I still have plenty to say, but you know, there are times when my mind just feels really tired. Some big time bloggers quit in 2010, though I can’t recall any names as I’m writing this. They announced it, then moved on. There’s really nothing to do with those folks except thank them for their service and try to move into their slot.

The next two are workable, though. Let’s start with not being able to think of what to say. To me, every day there’s a new topic of something to talk about. But this isn’t a niche blog. I’ve often cautioned people not to make their niche so finite that they have nothing to talk about anymore. Dead blogs are embarrassing, and blogs that only have a post every 3 to 6 months aren’t worth anyone’s time.

Almost any topic lends itself to something else one can write about. Almost, that is. Early this year I was writing a blog for a chiropractor in another state. I knew that if we stuck with just that I’d be out of topics within a week. That’s a topic where it probably takes a chiropractor to find new things to talk about that keeps it fresh. However, what I was allowed to do was write about controversial medical subjects as well as maladies people suffer that could be addressed by a chiropractor. This opened the world to many possibilities and I wrote about things that I’d heard about but never had a reason to research before. It was pretty fun, and it’s too bad it only lasted 3 months.

Also, there are no real rules in length of posts, and nothing saying you can’t divide a long post into two posts and link them to each other, which I’ve done with other blogs on occasion. No one is going to beat you up for that; it’s all about figuring out ways to be creative, both for yourself and for others. If you feel something, you’ll be able to express it and show it, and your readers will feel it as well.

Now, this brings us to the last point, which is getting feedback. You folks who visit here hear this over and over; blogging is a community. This isn’t Field of Dreams; if you build it, they’re not just going to come. We all need to show others that we care about them as much as we hope they care about us. Yes, blogging takes time, but it doesn’t necessarily take work.

It’s not work if you’re visiting blogs that offer something you’re interested in. There are wonderful writers out there writing on your topic, as well as off topics you might not have considered before. If you need to find blogs on your topic, go to Google, click on “more”, go down to blogs, type in your topic and you’re good to go.

Or join a blogging community of some sort to find blogs to read. I belong to both BloggerLuv and P50 Allied Bloggers. Not that I needed to join a community but it was both a fun thing to do and a way to expose my blog to some people I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

And, by the way, let me dispel this old saw you’ve probably heard. Just because a blog might not have any comments or no indication that it’s not well visited doesn’t mean it has no value to you. Every blog you want to comment on has value of some kind. One good comment can earn many more in return. You might even get someone to write a post thanking you for being one of their early commenters.

Remember, everything you see or do is a potential blog post, possibly on your main blog topic. Just be alert and willing to see things as a story unfolding before your eyes. And work on engaging with others; we all love that.

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35 Comments »

Jessica Sieghart:

Unfortunately, my blogging enemy is time. Sometimes there are just days on end where I have post ideas running through my mind and simply no time to write them. I really like the blogging communities. I have found some super bloggers through those sites! I think commenting has really cut back since a lot of people use readers of some sort. I don’t and don’t intend to. I like commenting and I know firsthand the work that people put into their actual blogs beyond just the writing. I think each blog deserves an actual visit ;)

Mitch Reply:

Jessica, time really can get in our way; same happens to me. But when I think about it, I also realize I waste a lot of time, although, to be fair, I also recognize that I don’t relax enough, and maybe if I did I would focus more of other things.

November 27th, 2010 | 10:12 AM

Great stuff, Mitch. I wasn’t even aware of blogging communities (I thought WordPress was a community). I guess trying to learn these things is like doing the laundry — it’s never finished. And you don’t know what you don’t know until someone points it out. Good thing you’re around!

Mitch Reply:

I do what I can, Charles; you make us laugh, I find ways to drive people to you so you can make them laugh as well.

November 27th, 2010 | 11:32 AM
Dean Saliba:

Ah motivation, this is the reason I am not making as much income online as I should.

I have plenty of ideas written down, but making me sit at the PC and turn them into posts can be virually impossible.

The only thing I find that works for me is to take a break from writing, I then return in a couple of days ready to write again … until the next time.

Mitch Reply:

Dean, whatever works for you, go for it. I probably could use a break here and there, but man, I’ve got stuff to do! :-)

November 27th, 2010 | 3:22 PM

Hey Mitch,
I bet you got tons of motivation because I can see your post frequency increase lately.

Many people who start blogging don’t know too much about SEO, link building and all that stuff they just want to express their thoughts and feelings or talk about their interests hoping to draw in a crowd. But after a couple of weeks with no responses they lose their motivation to keep coming and posting, which is a shame because those people with real passion about what they write are the ones that provide great content. Maybe everybody should have a friendly neighborhood SEO guru.

Mitch Reply:

Alex, I’m not sure the SEO is what they need coaching on. I write often that blogging really is a community, and that means going out and meeting people in the blogosphere and letting others know you have a blog. That’s what they need coaching on, writing, then working it.

November 27th, 2010 | 5:54 PM
Carl:

To be motivate is probably the most important part of success in online business, but motivation must come from the heart, not a motivation because of money.

November 28th, 2010 | 6:21 AM

Always solid stuff Mitch. Even though I’ve only been blogging for a couple of years now it seems the few bloggers I talk with on the phone, etc. all say the same thing. The lack or inability to stay motivated ends up killing some excellent blogs.

Mitch Reply:

Thanks John. Even though I’m fairly motivated, I still feel like I need to step my game up a lot more.

November 28th, 2010 | 8:31 AM

Blogging has ups and downs. Sometimes you’re motivated and full of topics for the weeks to come, sometimes you feel empty. This doesn’t mean your adventure’s over. It’s just a matter to relax and find a proper inspiration and time of the day to write down your thoughts.
I totally agree that you shouldn’t make your niche so small to cause you problems in first place. I think everyone has got tons of topics to write about, maybe it’s about having the guts to translate them into words and move on with it.

Mitch Reply:

Great stuff Gabriele. I’ve run into people who are scared to offer their own opinions on things, which is anathema to my way of thinking because I believe everyone has something in them they’d like to get off their chests, and even if it’s controversial there’s nothing saying they have to state their opinion in an offensive manner. But staying motivated to do something is always important, no matter what it is.

November 28th, 2010 | 3:24 PM

I’m with Jess; time is my biggest impediment at this point. I have tons of ideas – I carry a notebook with me always so I can scratch out at least the bones before I forget them – and these ideas tend to be all over the map concerning topics. Many don’t really belong on my main blog, but I have other places for them.

You once mentioned that you enjoy speaking before an audience. I find that particular experience very uncomfortable, but I do enjoy having an audience, and sharing what I know… maybe entertaining them for a few minutes. I enjoy doing my radio program, writing for magazines and blogging. Especially blogging *because* of the community aspect. Because of the feedback, because it opens chances for me to meet new people by following their links back to their blogs and learning about their passions in life.

I find all of this very motivating.

Thanks for all you do, Mitch.

Mitch Reply:

Thanks Allan. Yes, I love public speaking, which is odd because I’m not necessarily a guy who likes being at parties, and often finds a place to sit and be by myself or just with my wife for a little while. And I think all of us struggle at some point with time.

November 28th, 2010 | 3:43 PM

I think that some people perhaps have lost touch with it all Mitch. For me it’s all about the joy of writing, something I didn’t know about until I started a blog. As long as I’m enjoying myself I’ll keep blogging away.

Pf course there have been times when my style of writing has pissed Google off, but if I have to change what I do just to keep them happy then I may as well give it away.

What keeps me motivated is not knowing how people will receive my next post. When it works I’m as happy as Larry, when it doesn’t it just makes me more determined to succeed with the next one. I try different things and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but heck, that’s life.

Mitch Reply:

Good stuff, Sire. Of course, you have multiple blogs, and you’re most motivated with Wassup. When’s the last time you wrote a post on your science blog?

Sire Reply:

Just had a look, it was on June the 14th. Must say I was a little shocked about how long ago it really was. Still, it just goes to show you need to pick a topic you know something about or are interested enough to research. Reckon science isn’t my cup of tea :D

Still that is also a business related blog so I could write more stuff about that.

Mitch Reply:

Yup. I mean, today scientists came out saying they’ve found a lifeform on earth that doesn’t follow traditionally believed means for life; that would be great for your science blog.

Sire Reply:

But there’s no cleavage!

Mitch Reply:

Cleavage isn’t science; it just is. lol

Sire Reply:

That’s not necessarily true, some of the best cleavage out there is all due to science ;)

Mitch Reply:

You’re killing me! And then you’ve changed your picture, and I’m in shock because I’m trying to think of the last time I saw you without sunglasses.

December 2nd, 2010 | 2:37 AM

Never a dull moment when I’m around Mitch, you know that :D

BTW, you should check out this post and get in on the action.

Mitch Reply:

You got me there, Sire, and I’ve already submitted one of my posts. Let’s see what happens.

December 3rd, 2010 | 12:47 AM

I block out time for blogging, so that’s usually not my problem… getting bored with my own writing is sometimes… getting out doors or to an art museum or something to break my own routine seems to be my answer.

Mitch Reply:

Thanks for sharing, Anne. You’re right, getting out of the house to just do something or see something can spark some pretty good blogging ideas.

December 6th, 2010 | 12:35 PM

Hey Mitch, I can attest to the fact that once you go all out and put everything you’ve got into creating a blog that eventually you do start to get drained. Either by disappointments, lack of perceived success, or the fact that you just get burned out. I have lost my gusto for all three of those reasons at one time or another. The trick is to be able to come back to it again after you take a little break. That’s where passion comes in. That’s where internal motivation comes in.

I always tell my weight loss and fitness clients that the #1 reason why they fail on a program is lack of motivation. Then they look to me for motivation. And while this external source can help keep people motivated to continue to work towards their goals, no one will get very far without the necessary internal motivation necessary to carry them all the way home. That’s key.

December 6th, 2010 | 12:58 PM

Motivation becomes a very crucial factor in blogging world. It’s the power that stir the brain to think. Writer’s block syndrome sometimes come but we have to do our best to avoid it. My key to avoid writer’s block syndrome is reading motivational books like a success story of a successful person. It works for me so far.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Good stuff Andrew. I get motivation from daily things often; there’s a lot of strange stuff that happens every day that can become a story.

June 5th, 2011 | 11:32 PM

I’m quite new to blogging, but I just hate the idea of stopping…So I have already started to actively build my motivation and keep barriers away. Thanks for providing some ammunition for my fight, lol.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I wish you luck on it all Dan.

June 6th, 2011 | 11:46 AM
Matt:

Burn out is easy when maintaining a blog. Putting aside the time, brain storming posts and writing something which you, and your readers, will find interesting can take its toll.
I find scheduling a series of posts, some of which can be pre written, is a real help as for those times when you just can’t be bothered to write – for whatever reason – you have spomethin in reserve.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Exactly Matt. I think most people have a period where they’re just a bundle of inspiration, and they might as well take advantage of those opportunities.

June 7th, 2011 | 5:13 AM

The main factor which determines the success of our blog is how motivated we stay for posting new content. Your article is a motivating factor Mitch!! Thanks for posting!

July 8th, 2011 | 9:07 AM