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,” never mind 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.

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43 thoughts on “Are You Sabotaging Your Blog?

    1. I love this quote: “…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.” I’ve known that for years, even with my professional reviews: if I can get myself to type that really lousy first draft, I’m already on the way to the finished review! But I still dawdle and procrastinate. (Am I worried that I’m going to die, and someone’s going to see my lousy first draft…?)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What really happened was that I went back to my blog. I fussed around. I reviewed some stats about when there were more visitors and how to approach today. Eventually, I checked the ‘Reader’ part of the enclosed WordPress blogs and ran into some blog by you pretty much immediately. I did read your blog post today, and am still recovering and uncertain about the results from the last time. If this keeps up, I may ask you to ‘guest post’ at mine.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. WOW! That’s where I am. I think all my inspiration packed up and moved to another country. No, another planet! Thanks for your encouraging posts. I’m going to take your advice and start spitting out something until I can make it a worthy post.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Another excellent post! I’m working so hard on redeveloping my blog, it’s a great feeling to create something of your own that you’re passionate about. Formatting is something I’m really looking at at the moment.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Hey! Cool post!

    Very true words there! Especially that most blogger wait for inspiration to happen.

    We usually go by this principle

    *waiting for something to happen that inspires me* –> at one point I’m inspired –> Action –> Results

    Another great principle I’ve applied that really helped even when I’m not inspired…

    *Do something… like anything random* –> inspiration –> Action –> Results

    This is called the ‘Do-Something-Principle’.

    Hope this helped!

    Keep it up! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Writing is a daily schedule. I have experienced that once you force yourself to start, within some lines the real idea stuck. You never realise when you finished 500-600 words.
    It’s just that you need to begin.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. Oh dear lord…this is exactly I am doing right now. All of it! :/ Thank you for literally shaking me awake. I have at least two blogs pending that I still have to have the “inspiration to write” for. But yes you are right… It’s a conscious choice. I have to get down to it.
    Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  7. So very VERY useful. I have almost always worked to a publishing schedule. I even created a writing, editing, commenting schedule when i started. And now all that is left is a publishing schedule..lol. but my publishing schedule forces me to create and look for inspiration well create and like you said just write it. I find that workss well.

    What i loved from this post was
    1) formats and layouts.
    2) writing every day and refining, but not publishing every day! What a obvious task and so sensible and logical…. but not sure why i dont.. but will certainly do this now.. actually a lot of ideas come from my daily /weekly journaling.

    Great post as always

    Liked by 2 people

  8. “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…”

    I am guilty of this! Haha. But anyway, a thought provoking post as always. 🙂 Will have to reconsider how I do things. Thank you for the points.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I hadn’t thought about separating writing and publishing schedule. I tasked myself with a daily blog project to learn the discipline of writing every day but I’m well aware that I publish a fair amount of average or below average content as a result. I feel like I need to see it through to the end (day 76 today), more for psychological reasons than blog reasons, but after that, I’ll keep the daily writing schedule and reduce to a weekly publishing schedule. Thanks for the great tips and thought provoking advice.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. This is an eye opener as well as quite a practical piece of advice. Thanks buddy. Going through the exact same phase and dilemma, but a lot has been cleared in the mind after reading this.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Another great article, sir! And much resonance for me.. Committing (for myself AND publicly) to publish a post every single day at the same exact time has definitely kept me on track. Whether I get buzzed with enough inspiration to bang out several post drafts in one day or I have to crawl out of bed before the crack of dawn to eke out a piece of writing with some sort of coherent (if not always graceful) flow, the work gets done. Choosing to use a specific word limit has also created a container that makes the process feel manageable. And all of THAT has allowed me to more fully embrace the idea, as stated by Anh Ngo, that “imperfection is a form of freedom.” Thank you for your insights. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post! I’m finding myself very uninterested in my blog and book reviews lately. I started doing this almost three years ago and I think I’m just exhausted with it all. I’ve always been diligent and organized but that seems to be slipping by the wayside these past few months, lol!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I am a victim of “when I feel like it” writing. I’ve always done this, with final essays, manuscripts, and now the blog. It is frustrating and devastating. Treating writing like a job is truly a frame of mind that must be enforced in order to succeed as a writer. Your post here simply reinforced what I already know and further adds fuel to the fire to do and keep doing – even when I don’t feel like it. My biggest hurdle is time management but if I want to be taken seriously then I must take my writing serious and that means having a schedule and being reliable just as we do for our “real” jobs. I found your post very inspiring and honest. It’s nice learning that my struggles and idiosyncrasies are not unique to me. Thank you.

    Like

  14. The best part about blogging is networking but if done wrongly, it could tarnish your blog image.
    Whenever I run out of ideas (and this hardly happens), I get writeup from my friends to share on my travel blog or interview other travel bloggers, so far, it has worked and I’m able to keep up with my schedule…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Could I also add to bloggers – Please don’t publish 4 and 5 pieces per day. It wears down your followers. I decide to follow some bloggers because I liked an initial post but then I find my Inbox full of emails telling me they’ve published another one. If I leave it two days I’m swamped!

    Liked by 1 person

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