Tag Archives: blogging tips

Blogging Step Seven – Staying Motivated

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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Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home






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Blogging Step Five: How Often To Post

It’s been almost 3 months since the last post of the blogging series, so, before I go further, let’s list the other four:

Step One: What To Write About

Step Two: Where To Create Your Blog

Step Three: How To Create Your Blog

Step Four: What And How To Write

So, if you want to start at the beginning, and if you want to think about it some more by reading this post, we’re ready to move onto the next part.

A question that’s often asked is how often someone should write. Kelly McCausey, substituting for Alice Seba as she has a baby, wrote on Alice’s blog that she recommends to her coaching clients that they write at least 2,000 words a week, and finds that clients seem to not only appreciate the advice, but end up writing more often.

I subscribe to a lot of blogs, and I find that there are some people who will post 3-7 times a day, some who try to write one post a day, and some who try to write 2-3 times a week. Occasionally there’s one who writes once a week, and if they write less than once every couple of weeks, unless they’re friends of mine, mine, I don’t stay subscribed for long. When I’m home, I write one post a day on this blog. Actually, let me clarify that; I make at least one post a day. Sometimes I’ll only post something, like a video of something that’s caught my fancy, even if it’s something old and odd:

Okay, I watched that when I was a kid; I admit it. 🙂 Anyway, you may not know this from reading this particular blog, but in my real life I’m an independent consultant, so there are times when I’m out of town a lot, like right now. I stay in hotels, and not all of them have the best internet service, so posting something daily becomes problematic. So, right now, I post more on the weekends, yet still try to get at least one post in during the week. If you’re hoping to attract visitors, and keep those visitors, then you need to post new content on some kind of regular basis to encourage people to keep coming back. If you write once a month, no one’s going to remember to come back, but if you write regularly, and you’re entertaining or informative, then people hopefully will come, and keep coming.

Then, if your purpose is to show you have some kind of knowledge that will help you get contracts or work later on, or your purpose is to make money with your blog, you’ll have better chances to do both. And, let’s face this fact; why have a blog in the first place if you’re not going to write anything to begin with?

Oh yeah, let me be clear about my terms. What’s in this particular post, for the most part, is writing; the video is just a red herring. Some people post only pictures; some videos, and some others post sound files. In a way it doesn’t matter as long as you’re consistent, but in another way it does matter. If you’re posting videos, one has to hope you also have something to say, and that every once in awhile it’s you in the videos saying something because you hate typing. Videos can be nice, but if that’s all you post, people won’t like it too much because watching videos takes time. The same can be said for audio; great stuff every once in awhile, but they take time to listen to. Posting pictures goes the other way; if that’s all you do, it gets boring after awhile because you’re not really giving something of yourself. So, there has to be a mix of media if you’re going to do it at all.

And there you go. I hope some of you have read the series and taken to blogging on your own. I’d love to know how it’s working out for you thus far. And I’d like to highlight someone else who writes a great blog on blogging ideas, and that would be Barbara Ling. She offers a lot of great stuff.

Happy blogging!

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Blogging Step One; What To Write About

A blog is an online journal of either personal or business ideas that people want to share with other people online. Some people write to get things off their chest. Some people write to journal their day. Some people write to give their opinion on things such as politics or religion. Some people write to show off their expertise in a particular field. And some people blog to make money; nothing wrong with that.

blog topics

Before even starting a blog, you should take some time to decide what you want to write about. Many people come up with a quick idea, think it’s cool, and decide that’s where they want to go. But if you’re going to blog a long time, or if you have a purpose other than just ranting, you shouldn’t skip this step.

At the same time you’re thinking about what you want to write about, you also have to decide if you’re going to try to make any money off it by adding things such as Google’s Adsense, Clickbank, or any other affiliate or PPC (pay per click) types of ads. It’s an important decision because it helps you to determine whether you’re looking to write a fun blog, a business blog of some type, or a personal blog. If you’re going to use a blog more as a diary and you’re hoping to make money off it, the ads that come up probably won’t help you much.

So, say you want to write a business blog, and you’re a financial counselor; I’m going to use this one because I’ve seen this topic fail a lot. Think about how much you could write on a consistent basis on just that topic if it’s your business. Think about who you might be aiming your posts at. If you’re only looking to talk to people who might use your services and you’re trying to highlight your expertise, you might find yourself starting to struggle for something new to say pretty quickly.

However, let’s say that you want to do that, and talk about financial matters in general. If you’re ready to give your opinion on the status of the stock market, the price of oil, the trading of commodities, CEO compensation, or whatever the latest bit of news is that’s out there, now you’ve given yourself a chance to succeed for a long time because every day there’s something going on that’s fodder for your commentary. Broadening the area of the topic you want to focus on is a key to longevity.

I met a guy a few weeks ago who said he wanted to write a blog, but didn’t want to give opinions because he didn’t want to lead people one way or another. Blogs are either for opinions or dissemination of news; everything else ends up as articles, white papers or tech manuals.

If you want people to consistently come to your blog, you have to not only give them information, but there has to be a level of entertainment. You have to be interesting; think about which teachers were your favorite in school. In history class, did you want a teacher who just gave you what came straight out of the book, or the teacher who would intersperse stories that helped bring situations and people to life (having fun memories of one particular history teacher right now)?

So, in review, decide what you want to write about, pick a topic that’s broad enough to give you enough to talk about for a long time, and be interesting. Oh yeah, one more thing; have fun with it, and think of it as fun, because if you think of it as work or as a necessity, you’ll crash and burn quickly. Even with business blogs, you’re allowed to be irreverent every once in awhile; I know I certainly am.
 

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