Blogging is not easy. I wish I could tell you that it was but I can’t. When I started, I thought writing a blog would be simple. Just kick out 300 words and call it a day – right? Wrong. Every posts was a struggle. I remember getting physically nauseous when I clicked the publish button. I was sure that the world would pounce on me and brand me a fraud.
Blogging is intensely personal. There isn’t anywhere for you to hide. Your name is attached to every post. Your friends, family, and employer gets to publicly assess your talent. Your setbacks are public as well. If you miss a week of posting people begin to wonder if you have what it takes. This pressure can cause minor setbacks to turn into full-on burnout.
You might be in a rut right now. You’ve been knocked to the canvas one too many times and you wonder if you will ever get back in the ring again. Today, imagine that I’m Mickey from Rocky, shouting for you to get back in there.
But first, let’s make sure you’ve got the Eye of the Tiger (sorry, I had to)
Check Your Expectations
Did you expect to have a popular money-making blog in 6 months? I did and I burned through two blogs until I realized that blogging was harder than I thought. Remember that you are building a blog from scratch.
It will take time for readers to find you. It will take longer for you to build a relationship with your audience. Do yourself a favor and set a 2-year timer for building your blog. Put your head down and kick out great content and promote for at least a year before you begin to seriously evaluate your results.
Challenge Your Initial Assumptions
When I started my first blog, I was sure that people would be happy to read reviews on online marketing products. I felt that I would be offering something completely new to the category. I was wrong. In fact, there was a cottage industry around online marketing reviews! My blog was just a speck in the ocean.
What assumptions have you made about your subject, your audience, and your blog’s big idea? Write these assumptions down, take a deep breath, and revisit them. If something is wrong, have the courage to change.
Get a Second Opinion
Sometimes we get to close to our blogs. We fall in love with the look, the tagline, or a certain “formula” for writing our posts. Even though the blog isn’t working, we can’t see the stuff that sticks out like a sore thumb.
Getting an objective and constructive second opinion about your blog is always a good move. Be careful though. Friends, family, and co-workers rarely have the objectivity needed to level with you. Seek out readers, prospects who didn’t buy, and experts who have relevant experience and observations to pass along.
Execute a Different Plan
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” – Albert Einstein
You need persistence to succeed with blogging. But persistence doesn’t mean knocking yourself out pounding your head against the same brick wall.
The quickest way to climb out of your rut is to do something different. Once you’ve challenged your assumptions and received a second opinion then create a different plan. Scare yourself with audacity. I’m sure you would rather be scared than defeated.
Focus on Your Wins
I keep a file of every thank-you tweet I’ve ever received. I archive every email that marked a milestone in my blog’s growth. This is my trophy case and it has boosted my spirits after every set-back. Build your trophy case and use it as a tool to keep you moving forward.
Let This Soak In
Read this post a couple of times. Tell me what come to mind. Then at 9:00PM tonight, decide that you will start tomorrow differently. Time to climb out of that ditch. I’m waiting for you up top 🙂