Photo by Jamie Nelson
As an on and off blogger since 2009 I know how hard it is to keep your momentum at blogging.
What really got me to blogging was that my brother kept on reading my diary so I thought I had nothing to hide from the world anymore. I started writing my heart out like an online diary not giving a damn if anybody cares enough to read them. Years passed and my view of blogging expanded. From a daily online diary, I realized that blogging is a great avenue for inspiration. I met bloggers who used blogging not only to share their personal hold ups the way I did but also ignite their passions, spread consciousness and enable change. Blogging has a higher purpose of touching lives and that was the one thing I couldn’t get enough of.
However, we all know blogging is not as simple as writing an article and posting it online. A credible blog can’t be a cut and paste and re-blog kind of platform like how we used to do in Tumblr. A real blog is more than PR posts and OOTDs. People would usually get excited to the thought of starting a blog because of the kind of lifestyle successful bloggers present: event invites, free stuff, business opportunities–but we all realize sooner or later that starting a blog is easy but maintaining it is where hard work comes into the picture.
For one, while you’re just starting out, there’s always the fear of being ignored and the pressure of standing out. Either way, we can all compromise with the fact that there’s no overnight success in blogging. In order for you to gain the traction you need, you have to invest at least 1-2 years of nonstop article writing backed by a visually pleasing web design and powered by SEO and social media. And I tell you, that can be exhausting. I have seen blogs with huge potential stop along the way simply because they couldn’t commit. A few years into blogging I saw almost 70% of the people I follow suddenly stop updating their blog. It’s understandable but still a sad revelation.
Another thing is when you have more important commitments aside from blogging like school, work, etc… You can always plan your posts ahead of time but there will always be that one project you have to really focus on and take a break from blogging. In my case, during my NLE review days and every time I got an 8 to 12 shift job, I’ll be posting half-baked posts inconsistently. Now as I look at blogs that rarely update, I easily get turned off. Seeing my old blogger self in these blogs, I figured if they don’t bother enough to post relevant articles to their readers, maybe they don’t really care that much.
“The VALUE a blogger puts into his/her blog posts is an essential part of blogging that either makes or breaks a blog”
The worst and unfortunately the most common dilemma bloggers face is writer’s block, or in other situations a sudden lack of drive or passion in blogging.
We all had that one moment where we stop and ask ourselves, “Why the heck am I blogging?”
In my case, I write about self-love and development through arts, design and random curiosities. I’m not the only person in the world blogging about the exact same topics.
“So why should I continue blogging?”
“What else is there to blog about?”
We ask these and a gazillion more self-doubting questions that make us lose our personal drive in blogging. And when we succumb to these excuses and fail to find the right reasons, our blog, including all of the time, emotion and effort we pooled into creating it will die in just a snap. The great wave of success, quickly shut down by a spoonful of self-doubt.
I hit the same rock bottom in blogging way back when I noticed I’m giving my blog posts all the love in the world and I’m not gaining as much readers compared to those that simply post outfit shots. I’m not a fashion blogger and I know, when it comes to the generation of today, most would rather look at pictures than read the article, and I’m more of an article person. I felt negative emotions any blogger starting out would feel: irrelevance, jealousy and a loss of purpose.
Back then I thought if I just posted an article, people would immediately go crazy over them. It was easy to come up with a compelling article but the thought of marketing my blog never occurred to me. That was when I realized, I have a voice that can help people but I’m not reaching out as much as I could. That voice was the one thing I could contribute to the community. I could have stopped simply because it felt shitty to get your heart and soul out there only to be ignored, but I didn’t. I felt as if I was robbing the world off that voice that maybe someone somewhere needs desperately right now.
If I saw a couple of golden blogs break down, I also witnessed a few crummy ones who continued to update, had better designs and better articles, and were able to gain a good reputation in the blogging community.
“It’s okay to suck at first. Just keep improving. Nobody sucks forever unless they stop.”
There are plenty of ways to regain your secret love affair with blogging:
Start reading other blogs.
Look at flowers or any remarkable piece of art and ponder about the beauty of life.
Read the magazine.
Cut pictures from the magazine.
Learn how to edit photos in Photoshop.
Walk around your local streets.
Reminisce about your first love.
Pin as much photos as you can in Pinterest.
Charge up your phone and take as many selfies as you can.
Try baking cookies.
Revisit your old teenage journal.
Browse blogging tutorials.
Rape the Stumbleupon button.
Sign up for a doodle challenge.
Type random words on Google image search and be amazed.
Create a map of your apartment.
Play some Kokology.
Ask yourself HOW and WHY about a bunch of random things and try to answer yourself, and if you can’t then you have to research about it.
Make sense of Adventure Time.
Organize your closet.
Search Youtube for a good DIY video and do-it-yourself
The list goes on.
In fact, here’s a good story to pump up your blogger juices.
In an event at ImpactHub Manila, I met this proud father who talked about his blogger son.
He said, “My son started typing articles and posting it online. He was so excited about writing daily articles about basically anything under the sun. It fueled him even more when his blog posts started getting 500 readers. Truth was that the traffic came mostly from his relatives and from frequently loading and reloading his web page.” He chuckled.
“I discouraged him from investing more time in that stupid blog because it seemed pointless and it’s not getting money in his pocket. But he didn’t listen to me and guess where he is now.” He stops for a quick moment of suspense, then suddenly pulls up his wallet and shows us a sticker of EliteDaily: The Voice of Generation Y. Apparently, his son is one of the co-founders of EliteDaily.
For three years on the blogging business, his website has acquired more than 43 million unique viewers per month and was performing really well, reaching out to the new age millenials through relatable articles and social media boosts. It even sold to DailyMail for $40-50 million. He is currently in the US and is generating more income for what once was a stupid blog.
“Purposeless blogging takes the cocoa out of a chocolate cake.”
It involves more than writing articles and posting it online to feel the self-actualizing power of blogging. Don’t just blog because you want to be famous. Get famous because your blog created an impact in your community. Don’t just blog because you need another source of income. Monetize blogging simply because it’s your hobby, you love doing it and the perks are only gravy. Most importantly, never quit on it just because your blog could barely get into the millionaire circle of Alexa. Do it as a service to your community. Trust me, once you start touching lives, you’ll get hooked too.