I’ve been blogging (less lately) for a few years now. Just like anything else in life, you get from it what you put into it. If you only blog once a month or less, you might as well not even bother. You will only find a handful of people who will read your content and those people are probably discovering your work on accident. In order to keep up a decent reader base, you have to push our regular (or at least semi-regular) content.
However, that is the challenge. For someone who has made blogging their career, this might not present a challenge. For those of us who blog in their spare time, the challenge should be fairly obvious. It almost always comes down to time and what amount of it we choose to put into our hobby. Of course, most of us who write would love to ramp up the process and turn it into our career. What steps can we take to move in that direction?
One of the toughest things about learning to blog is the self-imposed pressure to always have a terrific, earth-shattering, life-changing blog post that makes people catch fire just reading it.
You know what I mean…
…You’ve got that little voice whispering in your ear that if your posts don’t measure up to some impossibly high standard you’ve set, then all is lost and the world will know that you’re a fraud.
The good news is, it simply isn’t true.
You don’t need every post to be a 2,000-word masterpiece or the final definitive word on your topic. Instead, all you need is content that gives your readers what they want.
Your readers want to know the latest news or the best methods? Then that’s what you give them. Forget trying to be a great writer and instead focus on being your readers’ “friend in the business” and you’ll be an AMAZING blogger.
Here are 11 tips to take some pressure away from you and put the fun back into blogging
By the way,
- Make yourself a posting schedule and then stick to it as regularly as you brush your teeth. Surprisingly, having a blogging schedule actually makes it easier for you to blog. It provides soft deadlines that keep you motivated to sit down and write. You won’t be able to put off your blogging if your readers expect a new post every Tuesday and you know it.
- Keep a running list of blogging ideas. Use a program like Evernote or Trello to keep track of your ideas and the resources you can draw from when writing your posts.
- Forget being totally original. Seriously. Every idea is inspired by someone else’s idea. So give credit where credit is due and provide your own unique twist or take on the subject and relax–no one expects you to reinvent everything.
- Re-purpose your content. Curate, list, pull bits and pieces from here and there–it’s all good. Go back to your own content and see if you can’t update it, re-purpose it, mix it up or whatever. Odds are if you’ve blogged for more than a year then you’ve got a small goldmine of content you can sift through to create new content.
- Be more of a reporter and less of an expert. Being the go-to expert in your niche is difficult, especially when you’re new to blogging. The pressure can become so unbearable that you stop blogging, afraid you’ll write something that will make you look foolish in your readers’ eyes. But if you place your focus on reporting instead of being the absolute authority, magic will happen. You’ll feel freer to express your own opinions, you’ll find it’s far easier to write posts, and because you are referencing other authorities and experts in your niche, you become your own authority to your readers.
- Mix up your content. Are you only writing blog posts? Then add videos. Are you only podcasting? Then write posts. If you limit yourself to one medium, you’re also limiting the number of visitors you’ll get.
- Short is great. So is long. There are bloggers that say that no post should be under 2,000 words, and all posts should take days to write and be the absolute authority on whatever you’re writing about. Hogwash. I briefly mentioned this in the beginning–write as much as you need to. If you can cover your topic in 800 words, DO IT. If it takes 2,000 words, then just make sure you’re holding your readers’ attention for the ENTIRE 2,000.
- Think before leaving a terrific blog comment on other person’s blogs. Seriously. You just read a post on a high traffic blog and you’ve got your own opinion or insight you want to share that you’re sure will help that blog’s readers. Leave a short comment PLUS create your own post on your own blog and link back to the original blog. Then let the original blogger know that you mentioned and linked to them in your post. This way your blog has more great content and who knows? You might get a backlink from the blog you referenced.
- Use images. Every. Single. Time. Maybe more than once, too. It’s irrefutable that images work at grabbing attention, so make sure that every post you make has at least one image.
- Publish your articles on other sites. Sites like LinkedIn, The Huffington Post, and many, many others allow content to be republished on their sites as long as it fits their guidelines or they let you guest post for them. This is a terrific way to pick up new subscribers by posting a link back to your own blog or, even better, a landing page so you capture their email address.
- Content Upgrades. Did you write a post on getting traffic, and you’ve got a free report on even more ways to get traffic? Ask your readers to subscribe right there at the end of your post. “To get 27 more ways to get targeted, free traffic, simply tell me where to send the report and it’s yours.”
If you’ve had trouble blogging regularly, hopefully, now you realize that blogging need not be so stressful.
The rules are not as rigid as some would have you believe, and the most important thing of all is to simply give your readers what they want, in whatever form it might take.
Life is Strange. Live it Well.