A few days ago I was talking to a budding blogger on the phone and he was telling me that he was worried about his motivation for blogging. Here are the first few lines of the conversation I had with him over the phone: (I will refer to him as “Mister X”.)
- Me: Hi – what happened? Why are you so demotivated?
- Mister X: Harsh, I have worked on my blog for many months and this is my 4th blog and probably the last one. I’m still getting only 100+ odd views and people are commenting just because of back links like “nice post” and “useful posts” and at times I do get negative comments and that discourages me a lot.
- Me: Why did you start blogging?
- Mister X: I started Blogging because I like it and it’s my passion. I’m blogging for the last 4 years and I like when people like my posts and follow me. Secondary reason is money, which is not the main reason but will be a major one later in my life.
- Me: What kind of people do you follow on social networking sites?
- Mister X: Mostly bloggers and internet marketers.
- Me: How do you feel when people talk about their success stories on Facebook or Twitter?
- Mister X: Some of them motivate me and a few of them demotivate me. People who started with me and are doing great demotivate me, whereas blogs like ShoutMeLoud and HellboundBlogger motivate me, as I want to be like them.
Honestly, when I was having this conversation with Mister X, I was already aware of his problem. This is one common phase of the blogging life which most bloggers face. I have faced it too, in the initial days of my blogging career, and I faced it last year when ShoutMeLoud got hit by Panda.
At this point in the conversation I shared a few of my experiences with my caller and gave him a few tips. That is what gave me the idea for this blog post!
I’m sure many of you, (especially if you are budding bloggers), are also facing the same issue. If so, you need to take action now, or you may end up among the multitude of start-up bloggers who quit blogging.
In this article, I will be sharing a few tips which will help you to bring back the motivation for blogging.
Bringing back your motivation for blogging:
Blog for yourself first and then for others:
You must have read a lot about the importance of writing for your readers. While this is true, it is also true that in order to capture the audience for your blog you need to write for yourself first.
One of the first and most common mistakes new bloggers make is to copy someone else’s style. Your blog is your personal space, and it reflects your identity and your voice. You might not capture thousands of fans in a day, in a month or even in a year, but if your blog post is helping even one person, its creation has been worth your time.
Just stick to your niche and write anything that interests you within that niche.
One of the greatest misconceptions about blogging is that there is no point in writing about topics that have been written about hundreds of times. The fact is that every day a new Internet user is born, and your blog might be among the first sites that new user will find! Perhaps he has never heard about Google analytics or even blogging before and you have the ability to teach him about these subjects!
So, write about the many things that you are learning and doing in your day-to-day life. At the risk of repeating myself again, however: stick to your niche.
Start with the basics, then move to more advanced topics:
Many bloggers make the mistake of starting with information that is too advanced for a beginner who happens upon his blog. For instance, you are writing about blogging and you begin by writing about Hostgator hosting, having never shared what webhosting is and why the reader needs a host for his site! You can not expect to build a readership with no end-to-end content.
In order to create, interest and engage your readership, you need to have a pile of content that makes a reader want to stay with your blog, and this means that what you write has to help him to understand the topic he is reading about on your blog.
For example, in this case “Mister X” had written about one of the premium SEO plugins, and he was not happy with the comments he was getting. Well, first few questions he should have asked himself in reviewing his post prior to publication are:
- When you see blog content with affiliate links, how do you feel?
- Have you covered other topics leading up to your current topic in the same niche?
- Have you previously educated your readership on the benefits of SEO and why SEO is important for their blogs?
Solution: Sit down and plan a content strategy for your blog. Write down every basic to advanced topic you can cover. This will help a beginnger who lands on your blog to learn something new. And as your blog moves forward in content from the beginner level to intermediate level to advanced, your blog readership will grow!
Blog without any materialistic view:
There is always a motive behind blogging, and when I started it was all about sharing knowledge. I wrote about anything which interested me, and money and a fan following were never in my mind. The first few “thank you” comments I received helped significantly to motivate me to continue blogging and to write more and more. This is my story – perhaps yours’ is different.
But when you blog with materialistic motives, you miss out on the most simple fundamental of blogging: We blog because we like to write!
Your blog is your personal space, and you should write anything that interests you on topics you understand and have a passion for. Sooner or later like-minded individuals will find you and follow you, and will love learning new things from you. Don’t blog for money or to build a fan-following. Blog for yourself what you believe in, and let your passion be your path to becoming an A-list blogger.
Forget social networking and focus on blogging:
Yes, I know social networking is important. But social networking is also a big demotivating factor for many bloggers. When you sit in a room for hours and you see someone updating about his awesome trip to Las Vegas, you feel miserable. To be honest, that’s how I feel when I read those updates! I want to get out of my office and take a trip to some new destination, too! However, I know that time will come for me, but for now I need to stay focused on working toward that goal. Constant social media updates can be very distracting and unhealthy. They will steer you away from the very goals you are trying to achieve. In fact, I had a great discussion about all of this with one of my psychiatrist friends.
If you are unable to use social media only as a networking tool and not as a constant distraction to your own goals, then simply stop using social networking sites.
Use social networking sites for networking to create real-life connections. Connecting with right set of people and learning from them will benefit you. Focusing on what everyone else is doing and comparing yourself to them will not.
If you are using social media just for sharing links, and you are expecting hundreds of people to jump aboard your blog as a result, it’s not going to happen. Your own blog commenting will be more helpful. Comment on other related blogs, and not only can it drive targeted traffic to your blog, but you will end up creating many genuine connections.
Another reason here for the demotivation of “Mister X” is the fact that his social networking site is full of bloggers, and they are already aware of things he is writing most of the time. Obviously, their interest will be limited. Instead of focusing on other veteran bloggers, he should focus on people who are new to this field and want to learn more.
My story: When I started blogging in 2008, I commented on other blogs and sites a lot. I commented not for backlinks, but to participate in the discussions of issues that interested me. I commented on blog posts which motivated me, which taught me something or which triggered my thought process. I would comment with my perspective, my disagreement, with information which I felt was missing in the topic being discussed. In this way, I generated a lot of additional comments. Yes, I got the benefit of branding and backlinks in the process, but I also created many important connections. And this is one of the biggest reasons for ShoutMeLoud’s growth!
Use Social networking for the right reasons. Use it for networking, and not for self-promotion.
Have a blog business plan:
It is very important to have a business plan for your blog. If you wish to make money, have a plan to make money! Make a content generation plan, a blog monetization plan, a marketing plan, a growth plan and so on. With time, your blog plan will change according to your readership and the needs of your readers, so adapt your plan accordingly.
- Simple and effective business plan for bloggers
- How to write a simple business plan for your blog in 9 easy steps
Things not to do:
- Don’t blog just for money.
- Blog for passion and blog for yourself.
- Before publishing a blog post, ask yourself one question: Is this post helping even one person? If the answer is “yes”, then hit the publish button.
- Ignore other blogs and bloggers who discourage you instead of motivating you.
- When you see other successful blogs, think about what actions you can take to reach that level of success, and start taking action!
- Read: How to transform your life today
- 20 motivation hacks
- How to boost confidence and motivate yourself
- Take a Self motivation quiz
Whenever you are feeling demotivated in your blogging, stop and take a minute to ask yourself “Why did I start blogging and why am I blogging right now?” Go through your old content and read the positive comments showing you that you have helped others to learn or to solve a problem. Here is a motivational video message for you:
Do let me know what things demotivate you from blogging and how you bring back the motivation!