Are you stressed from seeing all the ads and promotions for courses all over your social media feeds from “6 figure bloggers”? Is it just another kick in the gut to you that says, “What’s wrong with you? You can’t even get pageviews!”
Maybe you have even taken some of the courses with less than stellar results. Well, fear not. I am going to get you back on track, eliminate your fears and get you moving forward again without all the hype. It is as simple as answering 5 questions. I promise.
I love blogging. I would/have/am doing it for free, most of the time. If you divide the amount I have earned by the number of hours I have put in, you would need a few decimal places. That in no way implies that I would deny a shipment of a truckload of money. I am human. Getting paid for what you are passionate about is the ultimate joy I think. And kudos to those that are doing it.
What I am trying to say is that my love for blogging, helping others and creating a community, transcends even my own need for financial compensation. I give of myself a lot. Just ask anyone in my Facebook Blogging Group. Blogging is my passion and I hope that never changes even as my decimal place moves.
My problem is I have this over-whelming need to make people love blogging as much as I do. It’s a sickness really and I can go overboard. I have witnessed a lot of bloggers come and go in the last 3 years. I wish I could have saved them. They all start with such enthusiasm and gusto, then fizzle, burnout and simply fade away, never to be heard from again.
That is not to say that the thought of quitting hasn’t floated around in my mind. It has. More times than I care to remember. But when I go through those moments, my good blogging friends give me a good tongue lashing (I mean, pep talk) and I am back on track again.
The one good piece of advice I have for you if you are in that place right now (wanting to quit) is to just stick it out and keep trying. I bet a majority of those “6 figure bloggers” I mentioned in the first paragraph were at it for years, and failed a million times before hitting their real stride and success. So there is hope for you too…if you don’t quit.
What was I supposed to talk about? Oh yeah. How to rock your blog.
Regardless of whether you are on a free blogging platform, self-hosted, use your blog as a journal or to enhance your business, or somewhere in between, you probably all want the same thing: to create a blog you are proud of and consistently grows followers/readers. You also want to enjoy the process, am I right?
The only way to do that is to periodically give yourself and your blog a check-up to see if you are both in tune with each other. (Yes, I am referring to your blog as its own entity.) Obviously, if you are thinking about quitting, you are definitely NOT on the same page. And your readers and followers can feel that through your writing and management of your blog.
Regardless of whether you need to totally change direction or just need a check-up to get you motivated about where your blog is headed, these questions are meant to sharpen your focus and help you plan the next steps ahead. When you become in tune with your blog, it is magic. That is how you rock your blog.
5 Questions You Need To Answer To Rock Your Blog
1. What do you want for your blog?
If you say, “To make money.”, let me hit you with a wet noodle now. If that is your absolute, main reason for starting a blog, and this will be the only time I will ever say this, quit now. It can not be your soul purpose.
Do you think professional athletes started off thinking, “Hey, I think I will take up baseball cause I want to make lots of money.”? No. They had to have passion and love the sport. Even rock stars and musicians don’t do it for the money. Some do it just for the chicks. If you got into blogging for the chicks, let me know how that works out for you. There are a lot more of us gals here in my blogging circles so I guess you never know.
You need to know your why and then you will know your want. A great way to do that is to have a mission statement. A mission statement outlines what your blog is all about and what the reader can expect from you.
Once you have crafted your mission statement, you can easily and quickly check in with your blog periodically to see if you are both still moving in the same direction. I suggest you do this every time you get the itch to quit. That is a hint that something is out of line. Either you or your blog need to adjust. That can either be a re-branding, a new blog or just a simple re-focus on your purpose.
2. What time-wasting tasks do you need to scale down/eliminate to achieve #1?
Wow. That one hit me between the eyes. I am especially guilty of this. Let’s face it. You are not spending 24/7 on social media building your brand and researching for future posts. You are not chatting all the time in private groups just for motivation or inspiration. You need to be accountable to yourself for the time you claim is related to “blogging”.
- If only I had more time, my blog would be awesome!
- I’m too busy to post/update content/create an opt-in/craft an email/develop a product.
- I need to check on what absolutely EVERYONE else has posted today and take the time to comment and share cause that is what I was told would grow my blog.
Blah, blah, blah as my friend Rica from Yoga Mat Monkey would say in her post about our use of the word busy.
What tasks are stealing your time away from fulfilling what you want your blog to be?
3. What tasks do you know you need to do and how are you going to implement them?
Here’s the thing. I know I am overweight and unfit. I know how to eat healthy and that I should get my butt outta this chair and go for a walk. This is a prime example when, “It’s the thought that counts.” means nothing. You probably know what you need to do to make your blog better but what are you going to do about it?
Do you need to make a schedule, get a journal, take a course, join a group or tribe that will make you accountable?
Write down what you need to do and then make a solid plan, how and when you are going to get those things done.
4. What negative thoughts or actions are hindering your success and how can you squash them?
- Linda started her blog at the same time and she has twice as many followers.
- Cathy began blogging 3 months ago and she is making money and I am not.
- Susan has way more time than I do to blog.
- Kim is a much better writer than me.
- I am no expert. Who’s going to listen to me?
- I am not unique and a million other bloggers are doing the exact same thing as I am, only better.
Listen Negative Nelly, envy, no self-confidence, doubt, fear, whatever it is, you have got to let it go. It will kill you, your creativity and your blog. Surround yourself with bloggers that will lift you up and support you. Listen to motivational podcasts. Do what you have to do to get over any negative vibes.
5. What can you do today that moves you towards #1?
The best way to move forward is to put one foot in front of the other. Today. Start small. What can you do from the list you made in #3 that will start you on your way? You will be so surprised at how accomplishing even the smallest goal can spur you on and create momentum to carry on.
Yes, you heard me right, I am giving you homework. No, there won’t be a test but I promise you, the following posts are awesome. Some offer FREE tools and resources to help you master the above 5 questions. And, yes, these bloggers are rockin’ it.
Let me know if these questions helped you re-focus and get your blogging mojo back.
A fantastic post with all good points. I started my blog a little over a year ago. I was brand new to the blogging platform. I’ve grown to love it since then. At some point, I debated whether to monetize or not. I’ve decided against it for now. My poetry blog is my baby. 🙂 I may create an additional blog in the near future. You mention a Facebook blogging community. I’d be very interested in a community such as that. My biggest downfall right now is my lack of success promoting my blog through social media.
Thank you for writing this terrific article! I’m always questioning if I am writing what I am suppose to be writing. I enjoy my blog very much and I am always open to what I need to learn.
This is such good food for thought. I’m glad I found it on the link party from last week. I’ve already started to take out some of the work from posting to my blog and organizing my posts into themed weeks is working wonders for the amount of time I’m saving thinking of what to write. Thanks for keeping me up with all the latest in the blogging world!
We can all use more time, am I right? I am so glad you found our linky! Thank you for participating.
Love the swift kick in the blogging ass! I’m downloading and shaping up my blogging game! thank you for your ass kicking inspirational words!
Come to the next BAM and I can do it in person! lol
Thank you SO MUCH for these resources. I’ve been needing something like this. i’m in the midst of a 30 day challenge to rejuvenate my blogging energies, and I’m looking forward to starting July with a renewed focus, determination, and energy. These will certainly help!
How exciting! I hope you find it fum and challenging with a renewed sense of purpose and creativity.
These are great questions. Keeping my focus on the answers to #1 keeps me sane- and less jealous. Your true career is the one you would do for free if you could afford it. I guess that’s us! Not that I wouldn’t turn down a sack of money either.
Of course! Money would just make us give more wouldn’t it?
Thank you for reading my mind! I needed to read this today.
I am so glad you found it helpful Lori. Thanks for stopping by.
Elena, thank you for this push to do some serious thinking. Why do I blog? Why indeed? I could be writing books. I do write books, but I could write more books. I’m like Jennifer, and I need to give this some good solid thought.
Let me know how that goes Shirley. Introspection is always good for your creativity too.
I started blogging around 2006ish – when the medium was brand new. As a writer and tech geek, I thought this was cooler than sliced bread. And then I found other bloggers and suddenly I was part of a wonderful blogging community…and then I went to a workshop where the facilitator said I needed a platform and I got sucked into a ginormous black hole of monetizing my blog and having an online business. I FINALLY pulled myself out completely and dismantled everything that looked like an online business. I love my blog. And I’m back to doing what I love – writing. (and yes, you can read my saga on my blog!)
I am so glad you are back to doing what you love and the whole experience isn’t a complete loss. You probably still have some original blogging friends. They can make all the difference.
Number 1 is actually my downfall. Sometimes I can’t decide if I’m heading in the right direction. Second guessing myself or actually in need of more direction? Ugh!
I think everyone goes through those moments Jennifer. From where I sit, you are doing awesome.
So great. I have struggled with time management and only recently realized organization is necessary. Scheduling my Social Media time has been saving my sanity. I have limited groups, figured out which ones are actually beneficial to what I am trying to achieve. The Mission Statement is genius. I am making some money but I would definitely say I am not in it for the money. Having a group I have bonded with a small group and I have found that and the love of writing to be my biggest motivation.
You sound like you are on the right track Heidi and yes, auto mating some processes is great. Keeping the number of groups you belong to down keeps interaction authentic and creates a great atmosphere for some deep connections.
I’m so glad I finally found you Elena! I suffer terribly from #4 – I’m not an expert, what will I write about?, who will read my blog, others are so much better than I. That is what I need to work on and also trying to find some balance (which was supposed to be my word for this year) between blogging and life. I am not blogging for an income but I so enjoy the contact i have with other bloggers and especially reading about other fabulouse women in midlife. Blogging for 18 months since I retired has helped me ease into early retirement and given me so much. I’m going to try your free tools and resources. Thanks so much for your advice. Sue from Sizzling Towards Sixty.
It is so funny when I hear that other people have the same thoughts as I do. I think your blog is awesome and you look so together. Behind the curtain, we are all human and always second guessing ourselves.
Well this could not be more perfectly timed for me. I’ve been slacking lately with my blog, not for lack of interest in posting, but because I haven’t found the right time management groove. I’m working on it and this post is going to be helpful with that and more. I want my blog to help readers find ways to think and live positively, with purpose, and to grow as individuals. Love the mission statement idea and that just went on my list of things to seriously think about.
Don’t think! DO! I am working on my mission statement too. Not so easy really but I definitely know what I don’t want in there.
Hi Elena! I think you know I’m behind you 110% on number 1…and all of them really. I’m not against making money for things I love to do, but if the money comes before the “things I love to do” then I’m selling out. All good questions that new bloggers and “seasoned” bloggers need to ask themselves over and over. ~Kathy
Can I say “rightsizing your blog”? lol
Elena, as usual you go right to the heart of the matter. Passion for writing or sharing information in your subject(s) should be the first reason we blog. Yes, it feels competitive when others seem to be more successful. After almost two years of solid blogging, I have felt the pinch of time and being thisclose to putting the blog in mothballs! But, then I meet people like you, Kimberly, Carol and a zillion others who I consider my friends, and wouldn’t exist in my world if it were not for blogging. Your advice helped me re-brand and self-host. I’m inspired by you, Elena, and I haven’t even told you yet, that I am self-publishing a guidebook soon on Kindle. Found a great editor (of all places) in South Africa (from whom I bought a book), and she is helping me with production. I am going the e-book route for other books, too. There is so much we can do with our blogs even if it is just to write something each day/week and inspire our little corners of the world!
I am so proud of you my friend. Just remember, I knew you when…
Yes, it all begins with #1: what is your objective? I think many bloggers feel inadequate if they don’t monetize, but it’s perfectly ok to have other objectives. Oh, and I love the “soul” in “soul purpose”!
I knew you would catch that Carol! Your blog is awesome and it because you put your soul into it.
I loved this Elena – especially the part about blogging for love and not money. I think we all assume that everyone else has millions of page views and is making thousands of dollars while we are paddling around in the backwaters. I love my little blog and the community of women it has connected me to and wouldn’t swap that for the world (or for dollars if it means promoting bladder leakage products and washing powder pods!)
As if those are the only things we care about as midlife women right? I am with you 100% Leanne. And your blog is awesome and I am so glad we connected. It is our community that keeps me motivated.
I always seem to come across your posts when I need them the most Elena. So easy to forget the reason you start this crazy, time consuming thing when you get caught up in the hype. Great questions, and thanks for the inspiration. Will Pin so I can come back and do my homework. 🙂
I must be psychic! LOL I am so glad I can help you get back to your purpose.