Next up in my post series about blogging: KEEPING IT UP. I have a lot of friends interested in writing a blog, and one of the most frequent questions I’ve been asked is “what’s the hardest part?”. The answer is quite simple: providing content on a regular basis. Keeping a blog alive requires an almost constant or at least regular flow of content. I can safely say that I 100% underestimated how horribly difficult it is to keep posting, and I can tell you exactly why I estimated it so wrongly (and how I’m trying to deal with it).
I think most of you interested in blogging (or already blogging) can relate to this: you’re thinking of writing and you’re scrolling down google, checking out several relatively popular but mostly very professional blogs. I’m talking about the really big ones, like Perez Hilton, Tree Hugger, The Sartorialist, Zoella, etc. These blogs provide interesting content on nearly a daily basis, often even several times a day, and I can hear you thinking, or at least tell you what I thought: I can do that too.
Having kept a blog for little over a year now, I feel like I am in a position to crush your dreams: no, you can’t. The image of blogging these very popular and professional blogs create is extremely distorted. These are people who hardly have any – if any – jobs on the side, and spent their entire days writing for their blog or going out to find stuff to write about. So yes – with some hard work and lots of free time, they are easily able to provide a constant stream of content on their websites. You, however, won’t be.
(I mean, look at me – I’m going to publish this blogpost after literal weeks of radio silence.)
But then how on earth can you keep it up? The answer is quite simple: don’t set the bar too high. When you’re first going to start blogging you will be extremely excited and you will have tons of ideas – surely enough to post daily for the first two to three weeks. A word of advice: don’t spill it all at once like that. Keep yourself strictly to a one/two posts a week rule, or even just one every two weeks, at least the first few months. This won’t raise expectations too much, both for your readers and for yourself. On top of that, it’s a relatively easy goal to reach, so it will keep you motivated.
Another tip I’ve figured out along the way is that when you only post a few times a week, it’s still fun to write. At some point in my blogging life (I’ve made attempts to blog before this one) I had this blog on which I wanted to post daily. At first this was fun, but eventually blogging became more of an annoying job than a fun hobby, and I lost the taste for it for a long while. You’ll have to keep in mind that some days, even some weeks, you’ll just not feel like writing. It’s a good idea to sometimes set a “writing day” when you’ve got the spare time, and just line up some blog posts. Write about three to four and save them as drafts – this way you’ll have something to fall back on when you’re just not feeling it.
Last but not least, don’t mirror your own blog to the “big ones” mentioned above. Yes, they quite likely post a looooooot more content than you do – but those are professional blogs. If you want to get there, you will, some day, but don’t beat yourself up over not being there yet. A blog is something that takes a lot of time to grow, so you shouldn’t get frustrated if you don’t grow all that much the first few months.
In the end, it’s important that it keeps being something fun to do. If you feel yourself getting frustrated or stressed out because of your blog, it’s probably time to take a break or even call it quits. It shouldn’t feel like a job at all, and if it does it’s better to just take it down a notch.
- L. Parole