It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you start a blog. And while there are ways to not get so overwhelmed in the beginning – as a blog owner, now you need to actually keep writing. And you can get just as jaded about doing the actual writing and keeping it going. Here are a few tips to keep yourself on the straight and narrow when maintaining a blog, and some food for thought for those of you that are considering starting one.
Don’t doubt that writing a blog is a time-consuming venture – especially if you want to do it well and hope that people other than your parents will read it. Perhaps one of the most important things is time management. Do you work full time? Have an active social life? Well, that needs to be taken into consideration when setting goals for how regularly you are updating your blog and writing new articles.
If you wish to maintain a happy work-life-blog balance, then you need to be honestly realistic about how much time you can commit to keeping up a blog.
Don’t tell yourself that you are going to be writing something new every day, but know in the back of your mind that you aren’t going to be able to. Then a month later when you’ve only written sporadically, you’ll be disappointed and more likely to give up on the writing all together. Whereas if you set realistic goals that you’ll be able to write two or three times a week and then a month later you meet or exceed them, you’ll be much more motivated to continue. In this case, then, it’s better to underestimate yourself and be realistic than be too ambitious. Ambition has its place, but not when it comes to setting goals for a blog.
Know Your Content
This is another problem that people who go into a blog without a plan run into. They don’t know what they’re going to talk about – so they spend hours searching the web for a lightbulb moment and never find one, thus continuing the cycle of disappointment and lack of motivation. Go into your blog knowing that you’re going to talk about cute cat videos trending today, or local events, or current international politics. Whatever. Have a narrow focus – if you get too broad and generalized the massive amounts of information available on the web will just swamp you and you’ll drown.
If You Can, Get Involved
So much of blogging is about the community. The community of the blog itself is a huge part of it (for which there is no ‘can’ you really must get involved with your blog audience on the website itself to have a successful, fulfilling blog). But now, there is also various social media networks – new ways to make connections – and getting involved in these spheres are a great way to get inspiration if you’re running out of fuel – questions that people may ask of you, or things that they’re curious about. You never know what inspiration you may find from your audience.
The Only Constant Is Change
Recognize that your blog probably isn’t going to turn out the way you expected it to. Maybe you’ll end up posting more frequently than you expected, or not as often. Maybe an unexpected topic will catch your eye and you’ll end up getting more involved in that community. Just go with it. Don’t be so obsessed with your original idea that you don’t see the opportunity that you’re heading towards. Especially in the digital world, if you can’t change with the tides and advance with the technology, you’re old news as fast as gossip spreads in high school.
Don’t forget that you actually have a life. Go to the movies, hang out with friends, read the newspaper. It will keep you happy, and from a more clinical perspective, when you get out and experience the world there are always new stimuli for your brain – which triggers inspiration and ideas, which can translate into a much more interesting article for your blog. And if your blog is about your life – what’s a life of sitting in front of a computer waiting for someone to comment on your blog? Not one, that’s what.
So keep all of these factors in mind when you’re balancing your work-life-blog situation and you’re definitely taking steps to have a successful blog, or at least enjoy what you’re doing and successfully integrate it into your life.
This article is written by Jessica Meyer. She is a freelance writer, frequently working with the French version of the online reputation management platform Reputation Observer. Writing is her passion, and the internet her chosen platform.