This is a guest post by Blog Tyrant.
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison
Since I started blogging I have probably had over 100 blogs.
How many do you think are still active?
Only a handful.
It is so easy to give up. And sometimes it feels like exactly the right thing to do.
Perhaps it is.
But I know that if I’d given up altogether I wouldn’t be working from home, I wouldn’t own Blog Tyrant and I wouldn’t have the freedom to travel and do things that are important to me.
I know a lot of bloggers who struggle to know what to do when it feels like nothing is working. You lose motivation and you start to doubt your abilities.
In this post I am going to show you a few things you can do when you are thinking about giving up on blogging.
Hopefully they will kick some life into you and your blog.
1. Tell a personal story in a long post
One of the best ways to rejuvenate yourself and your blog is to get personal.
All of my favorite big bloggers (like Darren Rowse, Glen Allsopp, Pat Flynn, etc.) use a lot of personal stories in their blog. It helps to make the adventure seem more real and, as you know, it makes your readers a lot more loyal.
Write a long post about your thoughts and struggles and issues and see what response you get. Start injecting more personal elements into your posts and watch the interaction grow.
James Chartrand got over 700 comments when she did it.
2. Take a break from your blog and write guest posts
Sometimes the reason people feel like giving up on blogging is because they are not getting enough comments and feedback from their blog. Well, it’s time to guest post.
We all know the benefits of guest posting but the idea here is that you will tap into a new audience that otherwise might not have found your blog. These new readers will be more energetic and excited about what you do.
Make sure you read my post on guest posting strategy over on Copyblogger so you get the most out of the experience. You really want to WOW these people.
3. Create a calendar and a deadline
One of the main reasons a lot of small businesses fail is because they don’t have a business plan. They are working in the dark.
The same goes for blogging.
Figure out a business plan and pay particular attention to a calendar of events and a deadline for certain objectives. For example, some of the dates objectives you might want to think about for your blog’s plan include:
- Comment count
Within X months I want to achieve X comments.
- Revenue target
Within X months I want to be earning X amount per month.
- Traffic target
Within X months I want to be getting X amount of traffic from X and X sources.
- Subscriber target
Within X months I want to achieve X amount of subscribers.
If you want to be really disciplined here you could even talk about rates of increase. So instead of a fixed target like $100k a year you might want to put a 5% increase in revenue every quarter. This prevents you from stagnating.
4. Write to 20 readers who have left comments
Reaching out to readers is something that I do all the time and it is one of the most rewarding and, indeed, profitable parts of blogging.
I get a lot of comments on Blog Tyrant so I have a lot of people to reach out to. Every now and then I will send out a simple email like this:
Dear [Valued Reader].
I just wanted to shoot you a quick email to let you know that I really appreciate everything you do over on Blog Tyrant.
Please keep leaving your great comments and if there is anything I can write about for you just let me know.
It’s important that you really mean what you say. Don’t ever send out group emails like this. You have to honestly appreciate that person and want them to feel genuinely thanked.
5. Recall your motivation for starting
When you get started in blogging you usually have a reason. You might want to help people or you might want to get out of the rat races and start a new life.
Now, I have found that if you can bring that motivation back to helping yourself and helping others then you can usually turn a bad situation around. That bad situation might just be a mood swing where you don’t feel like writing anymore but it’s important that you get through it.
Think back to why you started your blog and really try to build that motivation up in to something that you can think about every day.
6. Print and frame that motivation on your desk
Once you have sorted out your motivation you could turn it in to a piece of inspiration art that gets framed and put on your desk. You might even want to find a famous quote that inspires you.
Head on over to Etsy (how amazing is Etsy?) and do a search for some text art. You’ll find some super cheap artists out there who will print your quote on some amazing paper with a beautiful typography for under $5.
The reason I recommend getting this framed is because it shows how important it is to you. A sticky note on your computer screen isn’t serious enough in my opinion.
7. Read for 20 minutes at the start of each day
When I’m feeling a bit down I spend the start of every day looking at my favorite blogs. This isn’t to procrastinate – it gets me fired up.
Even if there are no new posts on my few favorite blogs I still have a look around and read some of their old stuff. I find that it really gets me in the mindset for writing my own posts and often gives me ideas for new articles or projects.
If you are thinking about giving up on blogging then go and visit some people who are doing it how you would like to be doing it. Learn from them, borrow from them and improve on their mistakes. Sometimes a bit of daily inspiration really gets you going again.
I recently wrote a very popular post about why you shouldn’t read blogs but this is one of those exceptions. Sometimes you need to find new motivation.
8. Write less frequent, longer posts
Five years ago all the big bloggers were talking about writing daily posts. It was the wrong advice then and it is the wrong advice now.
If you’re thinking about giving up because your blog isn’t getting the traffic and community love that you would like, sit down and write a Complete Guide to… for a whole week. Exhaust the topic and then do it for another topic. It’s risky because it takes a lot of time but it is the only way I have seen solid, long term growth in a blog.
9. Email the big guys in your niche for advice
The big guys and gals in your niche were once like you. But they got through it. And, if you are polite and a bit lucky, you might be able to get some help in an email.
Don’t waffle on about your problems and give them a huge essay. Keep it short and to the point. Here is an example of the email I prefer to get:
I’ve been reading your blog for ages and although I try to implement your strategies nothing seems to be working.
I’d really appreciate any advice you might have.
Don’t expect them to solve all your problems. Hopefully you can get a pointer or two that might pick you up enough to keep going.
10. Study different media
Blogging can be a really incestuous industry. That’s why I really like to take a look at what the big players in the magazine, video, movie, TV, App and Podcast worlds are doing.
These guys are constantly innovating and you can often pick up some really cool inspiration that you then apply to your blog. It has saved me more times than I can think of.
11. Take a longer look at your stats
Some people really don’t know how to read their stats. They look at the overall level of traffic and maybe a few traffic sources. It’s a real shame.
By learning to really understand your stats you can get a deep insight in to what people want, where they are coming from and how you can please them.
Take the guessing element out of your blogging and you might find you have more hits and less misses.
12. Emphasize social
Every now and then I notice Darren Rowse writes a blog post on his Google Plus page. Sometimes they are long enough to appear on his blog but he writes them on G+ and as a result gets a lot of shares.
Lately I’ve been trying to do the same thing on my Facebook page. Instead of just the regular link to the blog post you do something a bit more detailed.
Social media is providing new ways to reach new people, but you have to provide the value that people expect from a blog. Build new relationships there and you might find yourself and your audience getting re-motivated.
13. Sort out your blog’s constant problems
A few weeks ago I wrote about who I think is the best blog host. And the reason for this was because I wanted to give my new and old readers confidence with their servers.
You see, when you have constant problems with downtime and other hosting related issues it can really grate on you. You start to wonder whether it’s all worth it and begin to lose interest in the real stuff – the writing.
If you are losing motivation maybe you need to take a look and see whether or not other side issues are causing the problems. Sorting them out might lift your spirits.
Have you thought about giving up?
Have you ever thought about giving up on blogging? What did you do to get through it? Please leave a comment as it might really help someone reading this post.