9 Ways to Stay Motivated to Blog
Disclaimer: Please note that IXiiV Records, LLC now goes by IXiiV Artist Consulting. You can email us at email@example.com.
This topic was recently suggested to me by one of my Twitter followers who needed help staying motivated to write new content for his blog. I thought it was funny he turned to me for advice considering I often find myself struggling with the same problem. Not going to lie, it took me several attempts to write this (oh the irony!). We all start a blog with good intentions to frequently publish new content, yet so many of us quickly end up abandoning this plan leaving our blogs untouched and collecting dust for weeks, even months. Why does this happen?
Finding the Time
It’s easy to say “I’m going to start a blog,” but to actually sit there and consistently produce new content can be overwhelming, even for the most experienced writers. Like anything we commit to- jobs, relationships, health- running a successful blog requires time and energy. Not only do you have to summon the brainpower to write interesting content, but you also have to flex your promotional muscles to drive traffic to your blog. Unless blogging is your full-time job, it can be extremely difficult to fit it in to your already packed life.
Finding the Endurance
Besides time and energy, blogging also requires confidence and persistence. As a blogger, you put yourself on a pedestal to express your views and opinions to the world, which makes you vulnerable to criticism. To deal with this, you must have faith in yourself and your writing abilities. If you are like me, you may agonize over every word before hitting the publish button, hoping that you created a flawless masterpiece that will incite positive responses. Then, if you receive negative feedback or none at all, you can easily become discouraged feeling like all your efforts have gone to waste. This dismal feeling is enough to make anyone throw in the towel, but when the blogging gets tough, the tough get blogging!
Finding the Solution
IXiiV believes that with a little organization, planning, and self-discipline, any blogger can fight through these hurdles. Below are nine ways you can stay motivated to write your blog. Have you tried other techniques? What works for you? Please let us know in the comments.
Set goals– Before diving headfirst into your blog, you must decide how often you will publish posts (daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly) and what you want to gain from these posts (subscribers, followers, comments, publicity). Setting clear goals will keep you on track and give you something to work towards.
- Make short-term and long-term goals.
- Be specific.
- Write your goals down and keep track of them.
Dedicate specific time- Once you decide how often you will blog, look at your schedule and determine when you can set aside time to write your posts. You want to treat writing your blog like a job. Give yourself a schedule and stick to it.
- Put the time on your calendar.
- Setup meeting/event reminders.
- Don’t allow yourself any distractions during this time.
Keep a running list of topics- Sometimes simply choosing the next topic to write about can be difficult. Instead of going one post at a time, write down topics as you think of them. This way, you always have a stash of topics at your disposal, which will definitely come in handy for weeks when you have limited time.
- Make a Google Doc or a Word Doc and save it in Dropbox so you can access your topics at anytime.
- Organize your topics into different categories. Try to mix it up and choose topics from varying categories every now and again.
Make a content calendar- One of the best ways to stay on track is with a content calendar. It is your publishing holy grail. This schedule will allow you to plan ahead by selecting topics and setting deadlines for your future posts.
- Use Google Docs or Excel to create a spreadsheet. Again, use Dropbox if creating in Excel.
- Plan at least a month ahead.
- Give yourself deadlines for multiple drafts as well as a publish date.
- Set deadline reminders on your phone or calendar.
- Consider incorporating the categories you came up with in your topic list to create a weekly or monthly theme for your posts.
- Keep the calendar updated. Unfortunately, it’s not going to update itself.
Create an outline- Attempting to write an entire post in one sitting is like trying to record a song in one take with no rehearsal. Instead of trying to power through your post, take some time to make an outline. It will arrange your thoughts into a logical manner and keep you focused on the topic. In the end, you will save time writing.
- Break up your post into introduction, body, and conclusion paragraphs.
- Use headings and subheadings to organize the content.
- Don’t worry about forming full sentences at this point.
- Explain the topic in the introduction.
- Make supporting statements or arguments in the body.
Fight through writer’s block- Even the best outline is not always enough to defeat a blogger’s worst enemy- writer’s block. I have suffered many headache-inducing bouts of this that left me either blankly staring at a blinking cursor or rewriting the same sentence for hours. Don’t let this happen to you.
- Take a break to clear your head by watching some TV, taking a nap, or going for a walk. Just don’t let the break become a permanent one.
- Change your environment. Get some fresh air and write outside or try writing at a desk instead of on the couch.
- Get inspired by reading other blogs. They can spark an idea for your next topic.
Reward or discipline yourself– Ok, I know, planning and organization isn’t always enough to keep yourself motivated. You might need an extra incentive to keep yourself going. Depending on whether you are a lover or a bit of a masochist, this incentive can be positive or negative.
- Treat yourself when you make a deadline with a celebratory drink (or two…or three), a nice dinner, or a night out with friends.
- Set consequences for when you miss a deadline, such as a long workout, chores, or writing an extra post.
Use an accountability buddy– If you’ve tried all the above tips and still can’t seem to get your blog going, get an accountability buddy. They can support you through the process by giving you encouragement, or a good butt kicking, when you are slacking.
- If you don’t have a business partner, use a friend, family member, or co-worker.
- Tell them your goals and deadlines.
- Let them know when you need an extra motivation boost.
- Incorporate them into your reward or consequence. Make plans with the person and only follow through if you complete your blogging tasks.
Don’t give up! It takes awhile for any blog to develop a following. I’ve contributed to and seen blogs that post frequently to a large readership but still can’t manage to drum up a single comment. If you’ve just started your blog, remember to devote enough time to actually promoting your hard work. If you’ve been blogging for a while, try some new strategies in both content and promotion.
- Mix up the content to keep yourself and readers entertained. Vary the length, topics, and moods of your posts. Utilize different media such as audio clips, photos, and videos.
- Use social media to your advantage. Tweet about your blog. If you have a Facebook Page, link to the posts or use an app to integrate your blog. You can also make promotional YouTube videos.
- Get involved in the blog community by attending networking events, subscribing to other blogs, and commenting on them. Many bloggers will return the favor.
A blog can expose your music to a large audience and set you apart from the competition. Whether you are starting from scratch or already up and blogging, IXiiV can help you get the most from your posts. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.