13 Things to Try When You’re Thinking About Giving Up on Blogging

This is a guest post by Blog Tyrant.

RIP

“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.

Cheers,

Ramsay.

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.

etsy

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.

Unless you are some news site you should do away with the daily posts and start writing in depth long articles that solve problems. People don’t want short little updates, they want value.

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:

Hey man.

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.

Thanks.

John Doe.

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.





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Comments

  1. says

    Hey Ramsay, great post as usual!

    I totally agree that you fail more than succeed before you actually hit a home run. Giving up is easy and perseverance hard. I hope more aspiring bloggers understand the importance of not giving up.

    I like your tip on “emailing the big guys for advice”. What I would like to add is, this: before you actually reach out to anybody big in your niche, try to have some kind of interaction with them. Let them know you exist.

    Ask them questions on Twitter, retweet their stuff, comment on their blog posts, etc. Don’t be a complete “nobody” when contacting them.

    What do you think about this approach?
    Mustafa Khundmiri just posted The Art of Seducing Google with Great Content

  2. says

    I think could go either way Ramsay. I have been blogging for over 4 yrs, and while I have found success when using it for SEO purposes on a service/product driven website, when I quit blogging (mostly) I had much more time to market and service my customers.

    Far too many people get stuck just blogging but don’t even know why! Countless blogs about passive income, niche building, blogging to make money, etc, etc, etc…. are started daily. 99% of the time, the author has ZERO success in their topic.

    In a nutshell, using content to give users what they are looking for is great, using content to get shares and comments is nothing more than a popularity contest that will ultimately end in failure.

    Finally, I don’t use editorial calendars, I think depending on the niche you should not force writing, it will show. I know others may disagree, but we are trying to attract real people right? The same goes for commenting, I rarely do it anymore unless compelled by a good article (which this one is!)

    Anyway, all in all great points but for me, my business took off when I stopped blogging (other than the occasional rant)
    Keith just posted Why Real Estate Agents Don’t Benefit From Twitter

  3. says

    As if I needed another reason to visit Etsy… ;) I love your typography/quote idea. That would have oodles more visual appeal than a black-and-white printout.

    I enjoy using the first 20-30 minutes of my day to read other blogs, too. It jump starts my creative flow and urges me to be productive. I’ve also found inspiration by revisiting some of my half-formed blog post ideas; the mornings seem to be best for coaxing out new topics from old ones, though I’m not sure why.

    I’m so glad that you didn’t decide to give up on blogging, by the way!
    Jill Tooley just posted Attention, Bloggers: Demand for Readership and Web Traffic Doesn’t Excuse Lazy Reporting

  4. says

    Hi Ramsay, good advise for a beginner and the trotter that has fallen off the path.

    Many times, your expectations will not be met with your results. That is OK. Many times it doesn’t need to. Just move on and follow with some of your excellent points in the article.

    One way is to include an article form a bigger blogger than you, and ask them to share since you included their link in your article.
    Samuel just posted Top WordPress Plugins To Reach The Top!

  5. says

    Great Ideas, Ramsay!

    I have had plenty of times in which I felt that blogging was a waste of time and I should just give up.

    At those times, I try to take a break and focus my energy onto something else – Like playing sports, reading, watching movies or even blog challenges (like you mentioned – Getting a target within a time limit, but mine is more generic, experimenting and observing what works best).

    But, you have listed out many others whom I haven’t experimented with. Thanks! I will keep these things in mind (or no – I will forget, I will just bookmark the post for the future).

    Thank you!

    Jeevan Jacob John
    Jeevan Jacob John just posted Ultimate Challenge: Minimize Time, Maximize Work and Productivity

  6. says

    I was moments away from taking down my blog just a few months ago but talked to a few of my long-term community members, through Facebook, and they all agreed that I should just stick it out.

    I haven’t wrote much on the blog since then but things turned up this last month. Not only did I land additional clients in my freelance work (because I was away from blogging and focused on leads) but I also have a rekindled passion for the blog because I’m now in a role that gives me a TON of flexibility which not only keeps me educated but allows me to try new campaigns which wasn’t possible through blogging alone.

    If I could say this: When you’re tired of blogging, take a look at yourself and what goals you want to achieve. Don’t blame the slump on the lack of enthusiasm from the community about your blog – blame yourself. Understand that it’s a personal thing and taking it out on the blog really doesn’t have warrant. Put your head back down into the books, learn something new, reach higher goals, and come back to it with passion.
    Murray Lunn just posted Almost Famous: The Biggest Mistakes I’ve Made in Business (So You Don’t Have To)

  7. says

    Another great post from the super reliable BT, a post which hits the nail right on the head when it comes to giving up – who hasn’t thought about calling it quits at some stage? Having goals and deadlines is so important (and I needed reminding of that), emailing readers (again, I’d fallen back on doing that) and Etsy – now there’s something I’m going to look at right now! Thanks Ramsay and Kristi.
    Johanna just posted Nuffnang Blogopolis and Blogging. If you snooze, you lose!

  8. says

    Useful post, pretty indepth too. Losing all motivation and giving up on blogging is something that all bloggers – even the most driven of us – wouldve experienced at some point in their lives. I really liked point no. 4 btw, this is something that I’d never thought of but I’ll certainly be doing this! About pt.8, I think writing short might help. Doing quick, quality posts, for instance.
    CraigStevens just posted 7 Signs That Your Blog or Website Is On the Right Track

  9. says

    I think that not only bloggers, but also all other people who work in completely different spheres of activity can sometimes think about leaving their work, and the reasons of such thoughts can be completely different, People can be tired, or have no motivation or they can earn less than they expected
    Amanda just posted Fashion WordPress Themes

  10. says

    Nice post, Ramsay.

    I have a blog devoted to helping folks with using WordPress to build and manage their own business websites. I’ve even written an ebook about the subject. But the blog gets very disappointing traffic.

    I’ve never paid for traffic from Google, but I’m considering it. What has been your experience with this?

    I especially like your suggestion of emailing 20 commenters.

  11. says

    I like your second point very much. In this virtual business more than some job in an office, you can both take a mental break from the seeming monotony of your work to clear your mind, and guest blogging on topics that are different from the ones you regularly write on will keep things fresh for your mind. At an office, you’ve got to keep pushing through the same thing, day after day. Taking advantage of this flexibility is a big boost, and I love the advice.

  12. says

    I don’t know…sometimes when I feel like giving up blogging, I give up blogging. But then I’m back at it the next day. I think reading everyday is a very key advice you gave. Reading good writing is what inspires writing good reading.

  13. says

    There are a lot of blogs and just websites in general that start off good, but then they get board or tired of it I guess and quit. Sometimes I wonder if I should keep going myself. When this happens I usually take a break for awhile. It might be a few days, or it could be a few weeks. Then, I get back to it. I think everyone needs a break at some point. I look at it like a vacation.
    Ray just posted Google Pagerank Update August 2/3, 2012

  14. says

    Hey Ramsay,

    I’ve never wanted to give up blogging altogether, but there have been days where I’ve felt pretty defeated. This most commonly occurs after I get super excited about something, put in a ton of time trying to build up traffic and make sales, then check my stats a week later and find out that I’ve got big fat GOOSE EGGS all over the place.

    I’ve since learned that my number one priority has to be FOCUS. I think too many people try to do too many things at once online. It’s easy to do because there’s always something new and shiny to chase after.

    I’ve learned to cut out the “noise” of the internet and stay focused on a single task until I accomplish it.
    Derek Maak just posted How To Start A Text Conversation With Your Ex

  15. says

    Hi Ramsay

    Long back. I got this feel. But now I work well planned and take enough breaks. Now I never think of quitting blogging.

    Thanks for some excellent advice!!

  16. says

    Hi Ramsay,
    This is a very important topic. I like the list you have put together. I have used 1)personal posts and 7)reading every day.

    Some of my most successful posts have been long winding personal stories that I flatly did not expect so many people to actually read, much less comment on. I tell a lot of stories about my family too as they are my major source of inspiration and illustration.

    Reading every day keeps me sane. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in your own thoughts and reading helps to focus away from that for me.

    I can’t wait to try some of the others you mentioned. I need all the tips I can get to keep me blogging away. Thanks again.



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