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How to Maintain Your Blogging Focus

Overcoming Blogging Obstacles

Think back to day one. When it all began. The day you decided to start your blog. Do you remember why you did it? Did you think about what you wanted it to become? Now look at today and what your blog looks like. Is it a reflection of your initial vision? Has it met or exceeded your expectations?

Let’s face facts – most blogs start with a lot of headway but are quick to sputter out – In fact, the majority of bloggers call it quits within the first six months. Why? Most of it lies within your own self-doubt. Not knowing what to write about, not having enough time, not seeing the results you were expecting, or generally losing overall interest.

I’ve been through it all myself – maintaining a blog is no easy task and there are many obstacles that will stand in your way. If you’re questioning yourself, wondering “what’s next?” – Hopefully by the end of this article you’ll have the motivation to keep things going.

“I don’t know what to write about”

Probably the most common dilemma amongst writers is wondering what the heck to write about. It is becoming especially challenging in this day and age as the market (any market) seems to be saturated – in short, we are led to believe that everything that can be said, has already been said. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Yes, almost every topic out there has been discussed and debated – but while there may be very little new ground to cover, there is always room for one more opinion – yours.

We focus on unique as being an entirely new topic or subject, but really, simply by being yourself and voicing your own opinion and ideas – you’ve created something unique. Maybe you’ve shed new light on a topic that’s been talked to death. Maybe your perspective is the one that clicks with your readers. Maybe you provided the missing piece to the “saturated” puzzle – the one angle that hasn’t been thought about.

Whatever the case may be, never stop writing because you don’t think there’s anything to write about. If you have an idea, just write. The masses are always hungry for more opinion and commentary, especially topics your readers claim to be experts about.

The best debates and discussions take place when all parties know what they’re talking about (or at least think that they do) and can offer diverse perspectives.

“I don’t have time to blog”

There are two ways of looking at this: One, you actually don’t have enough time to manage a blog anymore. Maybe you started a new job, you went back to school, or got involved in some other projects that take up your free time. To those of you who are in this category of genuinely having too much to do, there isn’t any advice I can give you. If blogging is not a priority somewhere in your to-do list,  you don’t need to be blogging.

But, to the rest of you who claim not to have time – it’s time to get organized. You’d be surprised at everything you can do when you start thinking about how much time you really have. Blogging doesn’t have to consume your life, but if you start a blog with a desire to keep it going, you have to realize that writing and publishing compelling content is a significant time investment that demands commitment.

The best way to get organized is to schedule EVERYTHING. Sunday afternoon is prime writing time for yours truly. I turn on some football, enjoy a beer, and let the creative juices flow. My Sunday routine typically results in at least two solid blog posts, and while I still do a bit of “spontaneous” writing, knowing I have a couple posts “on deck” is a great position to be in. Whatever your schedule is – set aside some time each day/week that you can focus undivided attention on your blog.

“No one is reading my blog”

This is one I’ve struggled with in the past, as I’m sure everyone reading this has as well. We all start a blog because we have something to say – something we think other people will want to read. We’re also very impatient when it comes to results. Try as you may, it’s almost impossible to not measure success in numbers (blog comments, page views, etc.) – and after a few months of putting out consistent content without seeing any results, it’s easy to get discouraged.

There are people out there who will tell you that good content will sell and promote itself.

I’m here to tell you that this is a myth.

The best writers in the world didn’t get where they are today by staying quiet and letting people find them. Somewhere along their path to success, they put in a significant amount of time self-promoting. Does good content market itself? Yes. Eventually. But initially, you have to be willing to put in the time to bring attention to your blog.

Get active on Twitter, comment on other blogs, connect with other writers within your niche – do everything you can to bring people in. Just make sure that once you have them there – you’ve written content that will keep them coming back for more. In time, you’ll build a community that will promote your content for you. Meanwhile, you can focus what’s most important: Writing great stuff.

Final thoughts

We blog to be heard. We write to be recognized. We do what we do with the intent of sparking conversation and debate, to educate and inspire other people. We’re hungry for knowledge. We want to learn. And above all else, we blog because of a passion for writing. You can take all of the above advice for what it’s worth, but at the end of the day, if you don’t love what you’re doing, why are you doing it? If you are passionate about writing – maybe you should just quit now because you’ll undoubtedly get burned out before long.

It’s all about passion. You don’t have to be a good writer to be successful – you just have to love what you do. Stop questioning the identity of your blog and start believing in it. The rest will fall into place.

(Photo by gagillphoto)

What obstacles have you (and your blog) been faced with? What words of encouragement can you give to those bloggers out there who may be having doubts?

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77 Comments

    • Scheduling dedicated blogging time into your routine is absolutely crucial in maintaining and growing your blog community. We are creatures of habit – we want to know when we should expect something new from the blogs we read – and respond better when there is some “structure” in place. By setting aside time every Sunday (typically) to write – it gives me the luxury of being able to focus on reading other blogs, engaging in discussion elsewhere, tweaking design, etc.

      And to your other point, it is all about patience. Writers are quick to get burned out because they don’t see the results. No one is commenting, no one is reading, and so on. All of that will come if you continue to write great content and put in the time to “sell it”.

      Thanks for coming by Dayne!

    • Scheduling dedicated blogging time into your routine is absolutely crucial in maintaining and growing your blog community. We are creatures of habit – we want to know when we should expect something new from the blogs we read – and respond better when there is some “structure” in place. By setting aside time every Sunday (typically) to write – it gives me the luxury of being able to focus on reading other blogs, engaging in discussion elsewhere, tweaking design, etc.

      And to your other point, it is all about patience. Writers are quick to get burned out because they don’t see the results. No one is commenting, no one is reading, and so on. All of that will come if you continue to write great content and put in the time to “sell it”.

      Thanks for coming by Dayne!

  1. Thanks Matt for this post… As someone who has been blogging for a while but still struggles with the actual day-in day-out of maintaining one this is a great source of encouragement.

    Your work ethic and dedication to LWP is something we all can learn from but your humbleness and approachability may be your trump card.

    Thanks again for the kick in the butt we all sometimes need.

    • Thanks Rikin – we all have to have those things that “define” who we are – one of mine is that I always want to keep those lines of communication open and remain approachable.

      I think one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced (and Stuart Foster brought this up in a tweet the other day) is that while I was in-between jobs, I started pursuing all of these different projects – and since then, now that I am working full-time (at a great company) it’s become a real balancing act to keep things going here.

      It all comes down to prioritizing – I tell myself every day that this blog and the community that continues to develop here is something special – as special as I want to make it. So if I have to write a blog post instead of going out from time to time, so be it. A blog shouldn’t become your life, but in order for it to be successful – for it to lead to something more – it HAS to become a significant part of it.

  2. Thanks Matt for this post… As someone who has been blogging for a while but still struggles with the actual day-in day-out of maintaining one this is a great source of encouragement.

    Your work ethic and dedication to LWP is something we all can learn from but your humbleness and approachability may be your trump card.

    Thanks again for the kick in the butt we all sometimes need.

    • Thanks Rikin – we all have to have those things that “define” who we are – one of mine is that I always want to keep those lines of communication open and remain approachable.

      I think one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced (and Stuart Foster brought this up in a tweet the other day) is that while I was in-between jobs, I started pursuing all of these different projects – and since then, now that I am working full-time (at a great company) it’s become a real balancing act to keep things going here.

      It all comes down to prioritizing – I tell myself every day that this blog and the community that continues to develop here is something special – as special as I want to make it. So if I have to write a blog post instead of going out from time to time, so be it. A blog shouldn’t become your life, but in order for it to be successful – for it to lead to something more – it HAS to become a significant part of it.

  3. Great, great post! Especially encouraging to read that others are going through the same issues. “No one is reading my blog” is the one I struggle with the most because I measure readership in comments, which, as you said, is not always the best way to find out if someone is paying attention.

    • It’s not the best way – but it IS the most tangible – there is no questioning that some success has to be measured in numbers. But quality trumps quantity every time. It may not look as nice having 1 comment opposed to 100, but what if you REALLY impacted that one person? Isn’t that what writing is all about? To be able to leave a lasting impression on another person, even if it’s only one? Focus on your passions and how they can relate to your readers – you’ll start having an impact, and eventually that one person will turn into 100. Thanks for the comment Vicki!

  4. Great, great post! Especially encouraging to read that others are going through the same issues. “No one is reading my blog” is the one I struggle with the most because I measure readership in comments, which, as you said, is not always the best way to find out if someone is paying attention.

    • It’s not the best way – but it IS the most tangible – there is no questioning that some success has to be measured in numbers. But quality trumps quantity every time. It may not look as nice having 1 comment opposed to 100, but what if you REALLY impacted that one person? Isn’t that what writing is all about? To be able to leave a lasting impression on another person, even if it’s only one? Focus on your passions and how they can relate to your readers – you’ll start having an impact, and eventually that one person will turn into 100. Thanks for the comment Vicki!

  5. Lots of great advice here. It was funny thinking back to the first day I started my blog. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, now it’s turned into something that I love very much, and that I feel I’m seeing some success at. I like how you wrote about content not promoting itself, no matter how good it is. The only way to build up a readership and network is to put yourself out there and connect with as many people as possible. It takes work, but it’s really worth it. Great post, Matt.

    • Thanks Nate. There are a lot of people out there who will argue that point with me (I’m hoping someone will come through to present the other side of the argument) – in saying that content sells itself. I am in 100% agreement that your content will spread virally once you’ve established yourself – but getting to that level of “establishment” takes real work and a commitment to relationships with your readers.

      Last point: As long as you love what you do – that’s all that matters. Keep it up Nate!

  6. Lots of great advice here. It was funny thinking back to the first day I started my blog. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, now it’s turned into something that I love very much, and that I feel I’m seeing some success at. I like how you wrote about content not promoting itself, no matter how good it is. The only way to build up a readership and network is to put yourself out there and connect with as many people as possible. It takes work, but it’s really worth it. Great post, Matt.

    • Thanks Nate. There are a lot of people out there who will argue that point with me (I’m hoping someone will come through to present the other side of the argument) – in saying that content sells itself. I am in 100% agreement that your content will spread virally once you’ve established yourself – but getting to that level of “establishment” takes real work and a commitment to relationships with your readers.

      Last point: As long as you love what you do – that’s all that matters. Keep it up Nate!

  7. Hi,

    Got here via a tweet from Nate. Since I’ve only just started blogging, I haven’t had to face any long-term issues that might come up, but I’m bookmarking this for later. ;)
    What I wanted to say is this, though: If I has any webdesign skills whatsoever, I would totally steal your design. The look of this site is just so incredibly cool, I’d lose all sense of morality and just rip it right off.
    Good thing I can’t code.

    Seriously: Awesome design! I’m totally envious of this.

    Cheers,
    Shane

    • Hola Shane. Thanks for the kudos RE: the design – I just put it through some changes over the weekend – I’ve become somewhat at a whiz with Thesis. I see that you are using it as well as your framework – that’s a great start, and your design isn’t bad at all – you sell yourself short. If you have any questions feel free to reach out via Twitter, email, etc. I’d be lying if I said I figured everything out on my own. The Thesis support forums are a great place to start for answers.

      Welcome aboard – Glad to have you here!

  8. Hi,

    Got here via a tweet from Nate. Since I’ve only just started blogging, I haven’t had to face any long-term issues that might come up, but I’m bookmarking this for later. ;)
    What I wanted to say is this, though: If I has any webdesign skills whatsoever, I would totally steal your design. The look of this site is just so incredibly cool, I’d lose all sense of morality and just rip it right off.
    Good thing I can’t code.

    Seriously: Awesome design! I’m totally envious of this.

    Cheers,
    Shane

    • Hola Shane. Thanks for the kudos RE: the design – I just put it through some changes over the weekend – I’ve become somewhat at a whiz with Thesis. I see that you are using it as well as your framework – that’s a great start, and your design isn’t bad at all – you sell yourself short. If you have any questions feel free to reach out via Twitter, email, etc. I’d be lying if I said I figured everything out on my own. The Thesis support forums are a great place to start for answers.

      Welcome aboard – Glad to have you here!

  9. Great post Matt. Its great encouraging words for beginner like me.

    There’s nothing more significant than building community of like-minded people, building momentum for greater changes, those that are impossible to be achieved alone.

    Thanks again.

    • Hi Syazwan, and welcome! I love what your writing about over and “Mind Your Entrepreneurself” – great stuff man! I preach community building in everything I do – without you guys here to engage one another and interact, this would be a pretty dull place. I’m in an amazing position right now of being able to sit back and FACILITATE conversation rather than force it. But believe me, I’ve been through the “forceful engagement” stage as well – it’s all part of the evolutionary process.

  10. Great post Matt. Its great encouraging words for beginner like me.

    There’s nothing more significant than building community of like-minded people, building momentum for greater changes, those that are impossible to be achieved alone.

    Thanks again.

    • Hi Syazwan, and welcome! I love what your writing about over and “Mind Your Entrepreneurself” – great stuff man! I preach community building in everything I do – without you guys here to engage one another and interact, this would be a pretty dull place. I’m in an amazing position right now of being able to sit back and FACILITATE conversation rather than force it. But believe me, I’ve been through the “forceful engagement” stage as well – it’s all part of the evolutionary process.

  11. Thank you for a great post, Matt. I was just talking to a writer friend of mine about this very topic last week. I came out with my blog and the writing was easy, but now, with the things you mentioned here, time constraints, etc., I find that it has been two months since my last blog (that sounded like a confession…). Here are two things she told me.

    I said I have not felt inspired to write. She said “writing isn’t about inspiration; it’s about discipline.” That supports your scheduling time point. She also said that Hemingway used to literally chain himself to his desk to write. I guess even the best writers and authors struggle. That made me feel better. :)

    Your points are well taken. I’m off to plan my next blog.

    • Two months since your last blog?!? BLASPHEMY!

      Haha – It’s OK, we’ve all been there! I’m a little like Hemingway, I have to “chain” myself (figuritively speaking) to my computer and focus on nothing but writing. That means closing email, twitter, and everything else that can be a distraction. Some of my best writing happens when I don’t have access to the internet. It forces you to focus because, well, there’s nothing else better to do (unless you’re a big fan of Minesweeper).

      You’ll get there Theresa. We all have crazy schedules and while a blog shouldn’t come in the way of your “real” life, it does require a certain level of commitment and upkeep. Good luck and God speed moving forward!

  12. Thank you for a great post, Matt. I was just talking to a writer friend of mine about this very topic last week. I came out with my blog and the writing was easy, but now, with the things you mentioned here, time constraints, etc., I find that it has been two months since my last blog (that sounded like a confession…). Here are two things she told me.

    I said I have not felt inspired to write. She said “writing isn’t about inspiration; it’s about discipline.” That supports your scheduling time point. She also said that Hemingway used to literally chain himself to his desk to write. I guess even the best writers and authors struggle. That made me feel better. :)

    Your points are well taken. I’m off to plan my next blog.

    • Two months since your last blog?!? BLASPHEMY!

      Haha – It’s OK, we’ve all been there! I’m a little like Hemingway, I have to “chain” myself (figuritively speaking) to my computer and focus on nothing but writing. That means closing email, twitter, and everything else that can be a distraction. Some of my best writing happens when I don’t have access to the internet. It forces you to focus because, well, there’s nothing else better to do (unless you’re a big fan of Minesweeper).

      You’ll get there Theresa. We all have crazy schedules and while a blog shouldn’t come in the way of your “real” life, it does require a certain level of commitment and upkeep. Good luck and God speed moving forward!

  13. I am often faced with the time dilemma. However, like you said, I’m very organized and I’ve brought my blogging into my schedule. Blogging is now kind of like eating. It’s part of my routine. We all have time for the things we WANT to do.

    Like you, I often write my posts on a Sunday afternoon or maybe a weeknight (for the week ahead). Since January, I haven’t gone a week without posting 2-3 times a week. Mostly it’s three and it’s something that I like to do for myself.

    People also always worry about, “I have nothing to say,” and I just think that’s crap. Everyone has something to say. It’s about how you put it, how you write and wanting to be able to talk about it. You sit down with someone, find out what makes them tick and they could probably talk your ear off forever. Guaranteed.

    Good post, Matt. Keeps us all on track :)

    • I think blogging HAS to become like eating for people like us. I have tried all different timing incraments, daily, weekly, every other day, weekends, etc. I think I have settled on at least one SUBSTANTIAL post (like this one) and then something else – maybe a shorter post – a video blog – etc. I think there are pros and cons to posting both more and less frequently and it ultimately comes down to what you can manage.

      In saying that, blogging needs to be FUN for you. If it’s not, it’s not worth your time. If it’s starting to feel like work, back off and post less-frequently (while keeping it consistent).

      Note: I’m not speaking TO you on any of this – you do an amazing job of consistently putting out great stuff. We all may be talking about the same stuff but the best of us continue to shed new light and find new perspectives.

  14. I am often faced with the time dilemma. However, like you said, I’m very organized and I’ve brought my blogging into my schedule. Blogging is now kind of like eating. It’s part of my routine. We all have time for the things we WANT to do.

    Like you, I often write my posts on a Sunday afternoon or maybe a weeknight (for the week ahead). Since January, I haven’t gone a week without posting 2-3 times a week. Mostly it’s three and it’s something that I like to do for myself.

    People also always worry about, “I have nothing to say,” and I just think that’s crap. Everyone has something to say. It’s about how you put it, how you write and wanting to be able to talk about it. You sit down with someone, find out what makes them tick and they could probably talk your ear off forever. Guaranteed.

    Good post, Matt. Keeps us all on track :)

    • I think blogging HAS to become like eating for people like us. I have tried all different timing incraments, daily, weekly, every other day, weekends, etc. I think I have settled on at least one SUBSTANTIAL post (like this one) and then something else – maybe a shorter post – a video blog – etc. I think there are pros and cons to posting both more and less frequently and it ultimately comes down to what you can manage.

      In saying that, blogging needs to be FUN for you. If it’s not, it’s not worth your time. If it’s starting to feel like work, back off and post less-frequently (while keeping it consistent).

      Note: I’m not speaking TO you on any of this – you do an amazing job of consistently putting out great stuff. We all may be talking about the same stuff but the best of us continue to shed new light and find new perspectives.

    • Easy to do Blake – I still second-guess myself all the time with Life Without Pants, wondering if anyone gives a damn about what I have to say (and maybe they don’t and are just being nice). I’ve gotten past letting this doubt hold me back by focusing on doing what I love the most – writing and making new friends/establishing new relationships. The rest has just sort of come together for me along the way…

    • Easy to do Blake – I still second-guess myself all the time with Life Without Pants, wondering if anyone gives a damn about what I have to say (and maybe they don’t and are just being nice). I’ve gotten past letting this doubt hold me back by focusing on doing what I love the most – writing and making new friends/establishing new relationships. The rest has just sort of come together for me along the way…

  15. Excellent post Matt!

    You’ve done a great job of shattering each one of the “excuses” I’ve used recently to put off writing that I’m sitting here ashamed of myself!

    I really need to schedule it in just along with everything else. Many days I have several ideas for posts going on in my head that I just need to lock down and transfer them across.

    I continue to be inspired by you, thank you for that and keep up the great work!

    Best,
    Shereen

    • Shereen! We are going to get your blog going one of these days soon! I know we’ve said that for month, but you are too good a writer with too good of a story to tell to not be telling it (whew, that was a mouthful!)

      Scheduling is huge – and when it comes to ideas – any time you have an idea, WRITE IT DOWN! I wish I could show you how many “drafts” I have saved on my blog here behind the scenes. My inspiration comes from all over the place, but more than anything else, I am continually inspired by the conversations I have online – both in my comments here, comments on other blogs, Twitter, email, etc. It’s one big idea sharing world out there. Half of my drafts may never amount to anything but the other half can be sheer brilliance. Like this one, right? ;)

      Thank YOU for your continued support – it means so much! Cheers!

  16. Excellent post Matt!

    You’ve done a great job of shattering each one of the “excuses” I’ve used recently to put off writing that I’m sitting here ashamed of myself!

    I really need to schedule it in just along with everything else. Many days I have several ideas for posts going on in my head that I just need to lock down and transfer them across.

    I continue to be inspired by you, thank you for that and keep up the great work!

    Best,
    Shereen

    • Shereen! We are going to get your blog going one of these days soon! I know we’ve said that for month, but you are too good a writer with too good of a story to tell to not be telling it (whew, that was a mouthful!)

      Scheduling is huge – and when it comes to ideas – any time you have an idea, WRITE IT DOWN! I wish I could show you how many “drafts” I have saved on my blog here behind the scenes. My inspiration comes from all over the place, but more than anything else, I am continually inspired by the conversations I have online – both in my comments here, comments on other blogs, Twitter, email, etc. It’s one big idea sharing world out there. Half of my drafts may never amount to anything but the other half can be sheer brilliance. Like this one, right? ;)

      Thank YOU for your continued support – it means so much! Cheers!

  17. You have pinned it down here Matt. I can relate to the experience. It’s easy to start a blog but its hard to maintain it; working hard is a necessity and perseverance is a must. I have learned many things along the way and I’m glad I’ve made a choice to pursue my goal. :-)

  18. You have pinned it down here Matt. I can relate to the experience. It’s easy to start a blog but its hard to maintain it; working hard is a necessity and perseverance is a must. I have learned many things along the way and I’m glad I’ve made a choice to pursue my goal. :-)

  19. It just happened to me, for over a month I didn’t have any ideas… “I didn’t know what to write about”. I still think that I don’t have the same motivation from day one. Maybe we all need some time off. I’ve actually missed blogging and most of all reading other blogs. I also had another excuse: ” I don’t have time”, but as you mentioned before… it’s about organization. Hope everything it’s going great with your life!!!

    • Hi Ana – Sometimes taking the time to recharge and refuel can make all the difference in the world. If you are asking yourself “What’s the point” and saying “I don’t know what to write about” there are a couple things you should do. First – ask yourself if you LOVE or at least LIKE to write – if the answer is yes, you know you should be writing. The second is in relation to finding that inspiration. Figure out what your interests are and get out there and read. Read other blogs, comment and spark discussion and conversation, ask questions, and engage in debate. Simply by having conversations with other writers out there will spark a TON of inspiration within you. This is what I do a lot of when I need to re-focus. I get out there and start talking.

      Anytime you have an idea – WRITE IT DOWN. Even if you don’t know what the post would be – keep a running list, either online or offline, of potential blog post ideas – I have over 50 drafts sitting in my WordPress Dashboard as we speak. If I’m wondering what my next post should be – I jump into my “idea bank” and can usually always pull something out!

  20. It just happened to me, for over a month I didn’t have any ideas… “I didn’t know what to write about”. I still think that I don’t have the same motivation from day one. Maybe we all need some time off. I’ve actually missed blogging and most of all reading other blogs. I also had another excuse: ” I don’t have time”, but as you mentioned before… it’s about organization. Hope everything it’s going great with your life!!!

    • Hi Ana – Sometimes taking the time to recharge and refuel can make all the difference in the world. If you are asking yourself “What’s the point” and saying “I don’t know what to write about” there are a couple things you should do. First – ask yourself if you LOVE or at least LIKE to write – if the answer is yes, you know you should be writing. The second is in relation to finding that inspiration. Figure out what your interests are and get out there and read. Read other blogs, comment and spark discussion and conversation, ask questions, and engage in debate. Simply by having conversations with other writers out there will spark a TON of inspiration within you. This is what I do a lot of when I need to re-focus. I get out there and start talking.

      Anytime you have an idea – WRITE IT DOWN. Even if you don’t know what the post would be – keep a running list, either online or offline, of potential blog post ideas – I have over 50 drafts sitting in my WordPress Dashboard as we speak. If I’m wondering what my next post should be – I jump into my “idea bank” and can usually always pull something out!

  21. Wonderful post, Matt. I struggle with a lot of this, especially as a student, I am involved in so many other things – this year I’m Co-President of a couple of clubs, applying for law school, writing my senior thesis, and applying for jobs & fellowships! Whew and the blog on top of it is a lot. That’s why lately I haven’t written as much. But at the end of the day I get what you’re saying — that if blogging is something you WANT to do you will somehow make time for it, through scheduling and moving things around and even giving things up. I am hopeful that over time I can figure out a nice schedule that will allow me to write for 1-2 hours per week. It IS important to me because I have seen the value in it. Yet, I have so many more pressing things to do, it seems, so sometimes the blog falls behind.

    • It’s all about balancing those passions, right? There are a ton of other things that I am involved with as well – but as you said, I do see a lot of value in my blog – and it’s something I’m proud to point people to. When I meet someone face-to-face at a networking event – I always tell them to come here – it’s become an integral part of who I am and will hopefully lead to some bigger and better things moving forward (my goal was never to have this be “just a blog”) – As long as you see it as important, you’ll continue to make it an integral part of your schedule.

  22. Wonderful post, Matt. I struggle with a lot of this, especially as a student, I am involved in so many other things – this year I’m Co-President of a couple of clubs, applying for law school, writing my senior thesis, and applying for jobs & fellowships! Whew and the blog on top of it is a lot. That’s why lately I haven’t written as much. But at the end of the day I get what you’re saying — that if blogging is something you WANT to do you will somehow make time for it, through scheduling and moving things around and even giving things up. I am hopeful that over time I can figure out a nice schedule that will allow me to write for 1-2 hours per week. It IS important to me because I have seen the value in it. Yet, I have so many more pressing things to do, it seems, so sometimes the blog falls behind.

    • It’s all about balancing those passions, right? There are a ton of other things that I am involved with as well – but as you said, I do see a lot of value in my blog – and it’s something I’m proud to point people to. When I meet someone face-to-face at a networking event – I always tell them to come here – it’s become an integral part of who I am and will hopefully lead to some bigger and better things moving forward (my goal was never to have this be “just a blog”) – As long as you see it as important, you’ll continue to make it an integral part of your schedule.

  23. Just stumbled across your blog via Twitter! Definitely glad I decided to read it. Lots of useful information. Writing a blog is an ongoing battle, especially at the beginning. I started blogging recently and have already run into many mental blocks, because I’m focusing on writing blogs that are unique or topics no one has ever discussed. This is pretty much impossible realistically speaking. Passion is what it all boils down to. If I have the passion, then I’ll have something to say, find the time and not worry too much if others aren’t reading the blog. I have been learning to discuss topics that interest me, which helps tremendously with the mental blocks and self doubt. Thanks for the post Matt.

    • Hi Aysel – thanks for stumbling over to my neck of the woods! We can all relate to wanting to write about something that has never been talked about before – but as you said, 99% of the time that just isn’t realistic. Instead of focusing on being unique in topic, be unique in your perspective. That’s how so many bloggers see great success – they might all be writing about SEO, marketing, blogging, and social media, but each one has a unique perspective, uses various mediums (video, podcasting, writing), and does something to leave their own unique footprint.

      Don’t be a stranger Aysel – would love for you to come through from time to time to add your perspective. Cheers!

  24. Just stumbled across your blog via Twitter! Definitely glad I decided to read it. Lots of useful information. Writing a blog is an ongoing battle, especially at the beginning. I started blogging recently and have already run into many mental blocks, because I’m focusing on writing blogs that are unique or topics no one has ever discussed. This is pretty much impossible realistically speaking. Passion is what it all boils down to. If I have the passion, then I’ll have something to say, find the time and not worry too much if others aren’t reading the blog. I have been learning to discuss topics that interest me, which helps tremendously with the mental blocks and self doubt. Thanks for the post Matt.

    • Hi Aysel – thanks for stumbling over to my neck of the woods! We can all relate to wanting to write about something that has never been talked about before – but as you said, 99% of the time that just isn’t realistic. Instead of focusing on being unique in topic, be unique in your perspective. That’s how so many bloggers see great success – they might all be writing about SEO, marketing, blogging, and social media, but each one has a unique perspective, uses various mediums (video, podcasting, writing), and does something to leave their own unique footprint.

      Don’t be a stranger Aysel – would love for you to come through from time to time to add your perspective. Cheers!

    • Welcome back! The article you share here is great – I especially agree with “not striving for perfection” – Writing a blog isn’t about being perfect, it isn’t about always being right – instead, it’s a place where you should feel free and open to share your thoughts and ideas, even if everyone thinks you are dead wrong. By voicing your opinion and getting feedback from other perspectives – it will only help you grow and evolve in your own thinking.

      And no worries about not being around – as for the design, I actually only started changing things up a bit last weekend – but there HAVE been some great conversations over the past couple months – plenty of digging through the archives to do if you’re up for it!

  25. Good advice. I have no words of wisdom since I do not have an active blog at present, but found some inspiring advice here: http://www.suzemuse.ca/2009/09/30/finding-your-voice/

    Btw, it’s been awhile since I’ve checked in here because of the massive amount of textbook reading I have this term, so this is the first I’ve seen of the new header. I like it!

    • Welcome back! The article you share here is great – I especially agree with “not striving for perfection” – Writing a blog isn’t about being perfect, it isn’t about always being right – instead, it’s a place where you should feel free and open to share your thoughts and ideas, even if everyone thinks you are dead wrong. By voicing your opinion and getting feedback from other perspectives – it will only help you grow and evolve in your own thinking.

      And no worries about not being around – as for the design, I actually only started changing things up a bit last weekend – but there HAVE been some great conversations over the past couple months – plenty of digging through the archives to do if you’re up for it!

  26. Great post Matt! I’m sure this must resonate with nearly every blogger. My biggest problem was figuring out if I wanted to also be identified as a blogger, and what I would write about. Not that I didn’t know what to write about, but the thought that I may be saying something overly saturated.
    I started a blog mainly for the discussion because, call me crazy, but I often found myself discussing different topics with imaginary people when I was alone at work or in the car. Then, I started writing to get it all on paper, and finally I discovered blogs and I loved the discussion aspect of it. Honestly, I’m not too concerned about readers at this point, I’m still getting my feet wet and building my content, but it appears I have gotten some and it’s a good thing to see.

    • Awesome Robert – I am right there with you. I love to write but I love the idea of being able to inspire discussion – which is exactly what continues to develop here – some amazing interactive and engaging discussion amongst the people who make their way through here. I hope to have you back here from time to time, and good luck in continuing to develop your own blog!

  27. Great post Matt! I’m sure this must resonate with nearly every blogger. My biggest problem was figuring out if I wanted to also be identified as a blogger, and what I would write about. Not that I didn’t know what to write about, but the thought that I may be saying something overly saturated.
    I started a blog mainly for the discussion because, call me crazy, but I often found myself discussing different topics with imaginary people when I was alone at work or in the car. Then, I started writing to get it all on paper, and finally I discovered blogs and I loved the discussion aspect of it. Honestly, I’m not too concerned about readers at this point, I’m still getting my feet wet and building my content, but it appears I have gotten some and it’s a good thing to see.

    • Awesome Robert – I am right there with you. I love to write but I love the idea of being able to inspire discussion – which is exactly what continues to develop here – some amazing interactive and engaging discussion amongst the people who make their way through here. I hope to have you back here from time to time, and good luck in continuing to develop your own blog!

  28. Thanks for writing this! As a new blogger, it’s very encouraging to hear that I’m not alone in having some of these thoughts. I love the advice on scheduling blog-time; I think that’s my biggest issue right now. I fully agree that the best blogs are the ones where the author’s passion is apparent.

    • A newbie to the blogging scene eh? Welcome to the dark side Jim. It’s all a little crazy when you’re first getting started – but it will all come together if you commit to it’s success. Scheduling time for writing is huge – and remember, don’t be afraid to put yourself out their and do a little self-promoting. No one will know about you if you don’t tell them! If you need any advice along the way, always feel free to get in touch with me or bounce some ideas off the community here!

  29. Thanks for writing this! As a new blogger, it’s very encouraging to hear that I’m not alone in having some of these thoughts. I love the advice on scheduling blog-time; I think that’s my biggest issue right now. I fully agree that the best blogs are the ones where the author’s passion is apparent.

    • A newbie to the blogging scene eh? Welcome to the dark side Jim. It’s all a little crazy when you’re first getting started – but it will all come together if you commit to it’s success. Scheduling time for writing is huge – and remember, don’t be afraid to put yourself out their and do a little self-promoting. No one will know about you if you don’t tell them! If you need any advice along the way, always feel free to get in touch with me or bounce some ideas off the community here!

  30. Matt- You’re definitely right about writing needing to be a passion to continue forward. That’s the only way I’ve survived. After seeing the “dark side” of the publishing world that actually thinks more about the business side of things (what’s up with that?) than if they liked the content of the book, it’s only the passion for writing and having a message that I feel that needs to be out there, that keeps these fingers hitting the keys.

    • It all comes down to the desire, right? If you don’t want to write, if you don’t love to write, why are you writing? You’ll never be as successful as you can be and should be if the desire isn’t there.

  31. Matt- You’re definitely right about writing needing to be a passion to continue forward. That’s the only way I’ve survived. After seeing the “dark side” of the publishing world that actually thinks more about the business side of things (what’s up with that?) than if they liked the content of the book, it’s only the passion for writing and having a message that I feel that needs to be out there, that keeps these fingers hitting the keys.

    • It all comes down to the desire, right? If you don’t want to write, if you don’t love to write, why are you writing? You’ll never be as successful as you can be and should be if the desire isn’t there.

  32. You really struck a nerve with your post. I have been getting frustrated and concerned over the drop in site visits. Also, I’ve gotten busy with some new projects that are tapping into my ability to publish as consistently as I have before.

    My CareerJockey.org blog provides job hunt and career discernment advice. Last night I spoke at a gathering of job seekers and it rejuvinated desire to stay with it. During my talk, I referenced a few of the topics I’ve covered at Career Jockey and can now refer them to the blog and specific posts for more information. It really helped my credibility. An additional reward is a bump in page views yesterday to twice the daily average.

    It definitely confirmed my content is relevant and inspires me to rock on.

    • Keep on keeping on Jorge – and don’t get TOO caught up in the numbers – write because you like to write and WANT to write first – Your commitment and passion will shine through and will ultimately result in the numbers you’re hoping for.

  33. You really struck a nerve with your post. I have been getting frustrated and concerned over the drop in site visits. Also, I’ve gotten busy with some new projects that are tapping into my ability to publish as consistently as I have before.

    My CareerJockey.org blog provides job hunt and career discernment advice. Last night I spoke at a gathering of job seekers and it rejuvinated desire to stay with it. During my talk, I referenced a few of the topics I’ve covered at Career Jockey and can now refer them to the blog and specific posts for more information. It really helped my credibility. An additional reward is a bump in page views yesterday to twice the daily average.

    It definitely confirmed my content is relevant and inspires me to rock on.

    • Keep on keeping on Jorge – and don’t get TOO caught up in the numbers – write because you like to write and WANT to write first – Your commitment and passion will shine through and will ultimately result in the numbers you’re hoping for.

  34. Matt,

    The thing that struck me most about your blog post is the date. It is June 25th, 2010 and you originally posted in Sept 2009. I found this post, because you tweeted it. I haven't done much with posting archived stuff, even though there are some which I think are quite good. Great idea.

    As for the other points, I have only been blogging since Jan 2, 2010, but have enjoyed it enough that I haven't struggled with some of the issues. It is now day 179, and I have written 178 consecutive posts. I just love it. I average around 900 words per day and do all my own photography. The desire to post daily has motivated me to turn off the TV, and get it done.

    I don't really know how many readers is good. I get about 150 per day, and about 1000 page views, which makes me happy. I do promote my site, though Twitter and StumbleUpon. You are right, it does take work, but if one is working on something they enjoy, then is it really work?

    I think I will go write a post…this stuff is fun.

    Brian

  35. Hey Brian.

    I'm a big advocate of pushing old content back out to the public. There's no sense in having posts die just because of the post date – much of what we write is timeless and is always relevant.

    Props to you for posting every single day. I simply cannot do it – I love to write, but I don't have the energy to get something out there 7 days a week – so, that's to be commended, and like you, I know many others that have seen great success due to their focus and dedication.

    Cheers!