I had a conversation a few days ago with a potential client who indicated that they were interested in “trying out” blogging to see if it would boost their business.
Sounds reasonable, right?
The problem is that blogging, by its nature, isn’t the kind of thing that works well in short-term trials. Blogging is hard, confusing, subtle, complex, challenging, and relatively new (in the grand scheme of things). If you go into it with the mentality that you’re going to bail out if it doesn’t work, then you probably will bail out once things get a little hairy, and you’ll miss all the great benefits that come as a result of that initial sacrifice.
Blogging is a lot like marriage. The results can be spectacular, but you’ve got to go all in and stick with it through the rough times, or you’ll never make it to the good stuff.
Here are some things you can do right now to renew your commitment to blogging:
- Stop “trying it out”: Blogging works. It’s good for you, it’s good for your business, and it’s good for your customers. There’s ample precedent for this. Get rid of your foot-halfway-out-the-door mentality and just go for it.
- Schedule blogging time: It doesn’t have to be daily, but whatever your schedule is, stick to it. Put it on the calendar. Block out the time.
- Make it a reflex: Try blogging at the same time of day, in the same context. After your morning shower, on your lunch break, or before Ninja Warrior starts…it doesn’t matter when, it just matters that you set up triggers for your reflex. Pretty soon, your brain will start to get into blogging mode on its own.
- Enjoy the hard times: Every blogger has questioned themselves at some point. Maybe it’s when your stats tell you only have 8 regular readers (and half of them are you from various computers). Maybe it’s when you start getting negative comments and e-mails. Maybe it’s when your spouse points out your typos. Your reaction to these events depends entirely on your perspective. Having only a handful of regular readers means that you can establish a more personal relationship with them while you’re building your long-term archive (which future readers will eventually find). Receiving negative comments just means that you’re learning about what other people think, which will improve your ability to communicate with them in the future. And having someone point out your typos means that you just became a better writer. You can cry or you can celebrate; it’s totally up to you.
- Don’t take breaks: Taking a “break from blogging” is typically just a non-committal way to give up on it without burning bridges. If you’re going to quit, quit. Otherwise, get back in there and think of something to write. Writing is much more about determination than inspiration.
Your mom keeps asking when you’re going to settle down and really commit yourself to blogging. Make today that day!
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