Are You Sabotaging Your Blog?

Correct me if I’m wrong: you know you should write a blog post. After all, it’s been a while since you last hit that publish button. Yet, somehow, without you realizing it, you spend hours on Twitter and Facebook “working,” only to wonder later what happened…

You comment on other blogs, telling yourself you’re “networking,” nevermind that none of those comments actually lead to anything.

You have a growing collection of books and courses promising to teach you all the secrets in the universe, but they have been labeled “to be read” indefinitely.

In the back of your mind, you know you can do better. Technically, you even know what to do.

But something inside you refuses to let you, and every day you struggle with whether or not you should just give up or find some other shortcut.

You know how I know this?

Because I’m just like you.

The realization that changed my (writing) life

Most bloggers/writers do this: they wait for inspiration to hit them.

They wait to feel like writing, and it’s then that they write. The rest of the time, they find a bunch of excuses: not enough time, too much to do, too tired, to angry, too this, too that…

But about 1% of all bloggers/writers do this instead: they know that if they start punching those keys, sooner or later, the feeling will come.

Yes. This works both ways.

Fantastic, right?

Even when you don’t feel like it, if you force yourself to start, and you keep doing it… you’ll feel like it. You’ll actually feel inspired, and you’ll enjoy the process of writing just as much.

How to stop holding yourself back

Truth is, when you know your work is great, but feel you don’t have the recognition you deserve, you’re arrogant too.

You don’t have to walk with your nose high to be arrogant. I mean, isn’t it arrogant to think just because you’ve created something good, you deserve to be recognized?

This was a hard one for me, but eventually I realized doing good work is only the first step.

Less talented people will always get more recognition when they hustle harder to get their name out.

You can’t rely on, nor should you expect, your readers to do your promotion. It’s not their job to make sure you’re seen.

Instead, adopt mindsets and systems to improve your output and expand your reach.

And stop doing silly things. Here are some of the biggest offenders:

1. Not taking your blog seriously

“I have to write for this other website.” “I’ll write when I’m a little less tired.”

I tell myself these things all the time.

But if you want to be successful, you have to realize they’re just excuses. They’re reasonable, yes, but they’re excuses nonetheless.

The reality is successful bloggers take their blog just as seriously as their day job. It’s that important.

Yes, you have to eat and sleep, or you’ll keel over dead, but you don’t have to watch TV for hours every night, check your email every five minutes or get sucked into the social media vortex. So, stop screwing around with all that stuff. I’m serious.

You HAVE TO be the first person to respect your blog. If you don’t, how can you expect others to respect it too?

This means spending long, sweaty hours at the anvil banging out headlines, refining your storytelling skills, and magnetizing your calls to action.

It means stalking your competition to near obsession, so you can predict their every move, and beat them at their own game.

Is it a lot of work? You bet your ass it is.

But it’s the only way.

2. Thinking you can work without a schedule

There are two kinds of schedules:

THE WRITING SCHEDULE

The writing schedule is all about the creation process.

When your workload increases, saying you’ll create “when you feel like it” is the same as saying “I want to never have time for anything please.”

Instead, block out times for you to work on your different writing projects, and set deadlines. The point of a writing schedule is to create as much as possible in the time you allow yourself. You’re won’t always be satisfied, but the only way to polish an idea is to pull it from your brain and put it on the page, no matter how much it writhes, kicks, spits and swears at you.

Ideally, you want to get into the habit of writing a set amount of words every day.

Learn your rhythms. Edit when you’re critical.

No doubt, you’ll be walking through spider webs at first. But underneath it all you’re training yourself to be a helluva good writer.

THE PUBLISHING SCHEDULE

Just because you write every day doesn’t mean you have to publish every day.

The whole point of the writing schedule is for you to create a volume of work while refining your skills.

Your publishing schedule curates the best work to your blog.  Some blogs are only publishing only one or two extremely useful articles a month on their own blog.

When you take your writing seriously, and you put yourself on a schedule, you don’t have any choice but to produce a large enough volume of work that’ll grab people’s attention.

Not everything has to make the final cut to your blog, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used somewhere else. And if you commit to publishing on a schedule, both on and off your blog, people will notice.

3. Trying to make everything perfect

Set a goal for how long you’ll dedicate to a single article.

If you plan on writing one article a week, only spend a week on it, don’t go over. If your limit is 3 days/article, make it the best it can be in 3 days time, then move on.

Even if you’re only writing one article a week, by the end of the year you’d still have 52 articles. (if you’re publishing on your own blog once a month, you’d have 40 articles left over to publish in other places.)

4. Reinventing the wheel

Originality is a sin.

There’s a reason why every Cosmopolitan’s headline looks exactly the same.Those headline templates sell.

There’s a reason that every popular blog within a niche formats their posts similarly. It’s easier to read.

Does that mean you have to be a copycat?

No. Don’t think for a second that borrowing someone else’s format means you skimp on individuality.

For example, imagine your content is an apartment. The floorplan might be the same as every other apartment in the building, but you change the furniture, paint, and decor to make it your own.

Content works the same way. You take the framework and adapt it to your own individual style.

The result?

Less guesswork. Faster content creation. More traffic.

Speaking of traffic…

5. Promoting your blog only sporadically

Promoting your blog is a marathon, not a sprint. One good guest post every few months will not sustain you.

Our attention spans are too short. (Honestly, can you point me to an article you read a month ago?)

To grow your blog, you need regular support from other bloggers, on a steady basis. That means writing lots of guest posts.

Don’t limit yourself to posting only on A-List blogs either. Look to some of the other B and C list blogs too.

Hang with the cool kids, but form your own posse. That’s how all of the popular blogs I can think of got to where they are, and that’s how you can do it too.

The bottom line?

Do something

You know, reading this is well and good, but if you really want a popular blog, you have to earn it.

You want to be a successful blogger? It has to be a choice. Your choice.

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22 thoughts on “Are You Sabotaging Your Blog?

  1. While I have a website, I don’t consider myself a blogger. But as a guy who writes full time, I agree: you set a schedule and you write whether you feel like it or not. From experience, I can tell you that you’re far more likely to hear the muse sing when you put yourself through a regimented writing life. And the truth is, at the end of the day, you won’t be able to distinguish writing from when the muse was singing and when she wasn’t. If you want flow, you’ll find it only consistently by training your mind and body to get in the flow consistently.

    HINT: Finding it hard? Well, try switching to pen and paper. It’s a distraction-free device, and it also slows you down, which can lead to better quality and longer pieces of writing. This is especially good if you’ve got a word count goal (although not as practical for tracking, as there’s no word counter with good old pen and paper. However, after a while you can figure out your rough paper page count to digital page count, which varies by your handwriting size and typical paragraph breaks).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yup, we must overcome the feelings of wanting to be lazy and not write. There are so many things we think about and having and blog and not sharing our thoughts, and stories that is disrespecting our own blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a topic for each month to write the entire month about. That will shift in 2019 when I write only the most popular topics for the year. I started with 12 topics, and as I found my popular voice, the topics get smaller. So eventually I will cover only 2 – 3 topics for the year. Make yourself write, write, write.

    Like

  4. Switching to a schedule has helped me so much! As a mom, I won’t have time for anything beyond the kiddo and housework if I don’t schedule it. The sitting down to do it is the hardest part of this job, we chose to be writers because we love the writing after all!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What if you don’t know where to start? I know you can start with “the” or something but where do you go after that point. I’ve had a wordpress since I swear like 2016 and I don’t lost regularly which as a result leads me to not having hardly any followers!

    Like

  6. You are so right. But sometimes you have the story in your head, but when you actually write it down it doesn’t appear so great. A lot of times ones own lack of confidence stops one from the go ahead. Nonetheless your blog shares some good insights.

    Liked by 1 person

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