Read This Before Quitting Your Blog

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Are you happy with your blog?  Let me tell you a secret.  Most bloggers aren’t.

You might be a perfectionist, an overachiever, or you might be burned out.

Whatever the reason might be, you are ready to throw in the towel.  You’re done.  And you are working on your “I’m Taking a Break” post.

Consider this before you hit the publish button –

Your blog might be ready to take off.  All it needs is one more focused push.

The problem might be you.  So go ahead and take my nifty “Gut Check” Quiz…

The Gut Check Quiz

Do you have a clear picture of your reader?

I’m not talking about some generic description, I mean a vivid photo image of your reader plastered to the back of your eyelids.  What’s her name?  What are they wearing?  This is important because this picture helps you write with soul.

Are you solving problems for your reader?

Can you rattle off 10 problems that you are solving for your community?  Ok, 10 is a big number how about 5?

Answering this question means that your blog is laser-focused on being practical and useful.

Do you have clear goals and “metrics” for evaluating your blog’s performance?

“You Manage What You Measure”.  Most bloggers “feel” their way to success.  They throw out numbers and blog when it feels right.  This is lazy.  If you are in the business of getting noticed then track every number you can.  You need to know if you are winning.

Answering this question shows if you are being accountable and realistic.

Do you have healthy list of topics that you’ll write about for the next 3 months?

Are you winging it?  Does it take a week to write a post?  Are you phoning it in?  Without a list of quality topics ready you are just making it way too hard on yourself.  It’s hard to sustain a blog that is  re-invented every single week.

Your answer to this question points to your blog’s sustainability.

Are you passionate about your topic?

Let me be clear about this one.  In my book, passion equals obsession.  I’m passionate about bass fishing.  I can’t get it off my mind.  I’m not happy unless I’ve hooked a 6 pounder.  Basically bury me with my Ugly Stick.

Get it?  Look inward and put your thumb on what you are passionate about.  Are you writing about that?  If not then your blog lacks “fire in the belly”.

Here’s What Just Happened

Your blog still serves an important purpose. You probably just drifted off course.

Think about it.  Do you still want to  –

  • Build an audience that will buy a product, buy a book, hire you to speak, or just shout “There’s the King!” when you come into the room?
  • Build Credibility and outshine your nearest competitor?
  • Demonstrate Expertise and deliver massive value to your readers?

If you had even a small yes to any of these goals then you need to suck it up and

Fix your blog – Not Abandon it.

After the last 3 years identifying what makes blogs work, I’ve discovered two rules of thumb…

Rule of Thumb #1: You Need Content (lots of it) and Creating Content Takes Time

Rule of Thumb #2: You Need a Voice and Developing a Voice Takes Time

Time is the key word.  The implications are plain.  Giving up today doesn’t give you time to make a difference.  Perhaps the best thing is to keep pushing forward.

What To Do If You Fail the Gut Check

1. Go Small: Table your bigger dream for now.  Concentrate on doing the small stuff right.  For example, instead of 2,000 word posts – master packing big ideas into a 300 word post. Or, instead of launching 4 products this year, just focus on nailing 2.

2. Be consistent: Get some wind in your wings.  Do whatever it takes to create at least one habit that benefits your blog.  In most cases this is just getting in the habit of writing one post per week.   Whatever you decide, make sure that you can stick with it.

3. Invest time in topic research: Commit to diving deep into your niche.  Get a firm handle on what your readers want and what’s missing in your niche.  Do this and you’ll watch your post grow in strength and popularity.

4.     Set real goals: Goals are funny things.  They only work if they are specific and measurable.  Foe example, “Write 10 Guest Posts” works. “Write Awesome Content” doesn’t.  Take a look at your goals.  Are they specific and measurable?

5.     Set your “All-In” time frame: I mentioned that your blog’s success will take time. So pick a number between 5 and 12.  Ok the number you picked is your all-in Time Frame.  If you picked 8 then I want you to “All In” for 8 months.  Don’t leave anything on the table.  Write your heart out. Focus intensely on your blog for 8 months.  After 8 months evaluate your efforts and make a decision.

Fight One More Round

Do you have it in you to fight one more round?  What’s on your mind?  What’s holding you back?  Leave a comment and talk to me. -

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

24 thoughts on “Read This Before Quitting Your Blog

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  2. Jeanie

    Thanks Standford! A goal is for sure very important. I’ve just written who I want to attract to my blog. A blog mission statement, so I can stay on track. And 26 topic ideas that a customer might find hand. Wahooo I like being organised. I think with point # 2 ‘be consistent’ I have decided to do one post from me, and I’ll also include an interview from a fellow crafter every week. That way I get two posts without too much extra effort and I hope to gain more exposure for my new blog.

    With facebook, I’m all over that, probably a bit too much if you know what I mean. I probably should start to cut back on that time and allocate more time to something you suggested like research. Thanks!

  3. Jeanie

    I hope its okay to give a reply to a comment left by someone else….? Mike you’ve got a bunch of ad’s at the top before any of your follow me stuff. I’d make it really really easy for people to stick around. Put your sign up for the newsletter and Google Connection Follow Me thing where people can find it – at the very top. It’s often referred to as the ‘grab the banana’ area. Put in the top half the screen anything you want people to do when they arrive. You want them to stick around, so encourage it. Go to the top of this web page, and you’ll see a perfect example “Get New Posts sent to your In Box”, and bunch of buttons on how to connect elsewhere. Stanford has made it really really easy to stick around here! Hope that helps. Don’t give up. Be encouraged & inspired just like you’d advised your clients. sincerely Jeanie.

  4. Mike

    I guess I might have found this post just in time. I have been frustrated about traffic to my blog and been trying to learn as much as I can in not my little free time. I am not going to give up just like I wouldn’t want my clients to!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Chea

    Thanks for this post, Stanford. What it does for this blogging newbie is get more REALISTIC, which helps me keep on keepin’ on… That is so important when in this internet world of massive forests of blogs, beginning can feel like a useless, futile exercise. I know that I have a different voice and something unique to offer within my niche field and your advice on being realistic and setting real goals is a wonderful reminder. Thanks for doing what you do and lighting fires of inspiration big and small!

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  7. Stanford Post author

    Gr8 to hear about your new Blog! Keep pushing forward.
    One suggestion, make sure you create a goal that keeps you close to your reader. It can be a commitment to growing a facebook community, or participating more in a key forum, or ramping up your twitter “listening”.

    Can’t wait to hear about your success.

  8. Stanford Post author

    Tommy, you are right. Knowing your reader is often forgotten. However, putting yourself in your reader’s skin makes it easier to write a blog that inspires, motivates, and educates.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  9. Stanford Post author

    LaTosha,
    Glad you got a bit of inspiration here. Next time you get stuck – go ahead and Take a break. That’s right. If writing is a chore then you are forcing it. Something is broke. Passion never feels like a chore. It can be hard but never a hassle.

  10. Jeanie

    I’m at the opposite end, and still this helps me! My blog is just a day or two away from launching and because I’m a perfectionist (which pains me greatly often) I’m worried that I’ll either try to do too much all at once and burn out quickly, or that I’ll do too little with the comforting thought of ‘at least I’m doing ABC’.

    After reading your article I’m going to set some written goals (so that I feel fuzzy about my 1 post per week commitment). But as you’ve also pointed out, to include some other important goals like topics and research my audience. Thank you.

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  12. Tommy Walker

    Excellently written Stanford. While the entire post is very well done, I want to focus on knowing your reader as that is the foundation of how I develop marketing strategies.

    If you don’t know who you’re talking to, how do you know what they’re going to find useful? One of the things you hear all the time in the blogosphere is that you need to develop killer content, but what everyone seems to gloss over is the “killer to who?” part of it.

    You could write the best, most awesome information resource known to man, but the truth is, if it’s not useful to the people that are reading your site, it’s pretty unlikely that it will actually have an impact.

    Knowing your reader doesn’t only help you write with soul, it allows you to answer questions that they have and present them in a way that will resonate with them for far longer than just the span of after reading the article.

    For me, one of the articles that I can’t ever seem to forget comes from Jon Morrow over at Copyblogger. It’s called “How to be interesting” I have referred people to it and have linked to it so many times over so many different blogs because I believe it is one of the foundations of getting people’s attention and sticking out in their minds. It also practices what it preaches as you read the article. It also ranks pretty high for “how to be interesting” (which is how I found it) it solves a need, it serves a purpose, and it is easily accessible to people who need it (not just the usual readers of the blog)

    Knowing your current readers helps you understand your potential readers. And filling the needs of both absolutely will help you to grow. So my suggestion would be to really try and get to know your current readers, not just broadcast posts to them, learn from them and everyone can grow together :-)

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  14. LaTosha Johnson

    I have been reading your blog for awhile ( I like your writing style) and this post really hit home for me. I often write for others, but lately when it comes to writing for me I feel like it has become somewhat of a chore. This post has totally inspired me to get my head back in the game. I just came up with a whole list of topics and can’t wait to get started. Thanks so much for the push! :)

  15. Stanford Post author

    Tim,
    Hang in there buddy.
    I’ve been exactly where you are now and I decided to K.I.S.S. or Keep it Simple Stupid!
    4 Posts For My Blog (per month)
    4 Posts for Guest Posting (per month)

    That’s all I focused on for 5 months. The key was creating the habit of Focus. Easier said than done I know – but give it a try

  16. Sally Brown

    I really enjoyed this article! It is exactly what I needed to hear. I have been thinking of just quiting my blog for the last 2 days, but I hate to quit anything.

    This article has alerted me to take another look at my blog, to do more research, to write posts ahead, to be inspired to give it a 2nd attempt at succeeding. I will pick # 4 and do as you mentioned. Thanks so much!

  17. Jay@DishTVblog

    I loved it! This article really hits home. The part about having a healthy list of topics is so important! That’s what I’m working on today. Thanks and best regards.

  18. Tim Biden

    Time and a lack of creativity are ruining my consistency.

    To solve the issue of time, I have set up a schedule for my work day. Is it perfect, no. But I know that I am most productive when I stick to a schedule and don’t try to multitask. Multitasking kills me. I have decided that because a schedule works best for my productivity, I have included my major tasks for the day and I will switch when the alarm goes off. What doesn’t get finished either moves to tomorrow or causes me to edit the schedule.

    To solve the issue of creativity, I must start using an editorial calendar. And I just realized that creating this calendar isn’t on my schedule so I have to do that, now.

    Am I ready to quit my blog? Not yet. But I am pathetically behind schedule and this is my plan to get back on track so that I don’t get disgusted and close it down.

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