All of us have bad habits, bloggers as much as anybody (maybe more, heh). When you are blogging for your own enjoyment, who cares? When you are blogging for cash bad habits are dangerously counter-productive. One “blogging sin” I can guarantee most of you will have experienced is laziness. Sloth, procrastination, apathy, indifference, “can’t be arsed” … call it what you will but whatever you name it, it’s a killer for creating a successful blog. If you are hoping to make an earning from blogging it is worth avoiding at all costs. Laziness is a handbrake on your road to professional blogging. How can we avoid this most tempting of blogging sins?
I say it’s the most tempting, how can I be sure? Well, just look at how many blogs get started then abandoned! The web is awash with good intentions, very few blogs get past their first year. Sad but true. It’s a shame but also mainly annoying for the readers, I would say it’s also a shame for the blogger.
Laziness is extremely annoying when you are a member of a blogging team. Personally I am far less likely to succumb when a part of a team than when working for myself as I have a strong fear of letting others down. I think though we will have all worked with people who are quite happy to let others take up their slack on a regular basis. Teams can break down when this happens. When working on your own the effects of laziness are only obvious really in your lack of progress and results. Perhaps only really apparent in hindsight.
Cowardice or fear can be a potent cause of lack of progress. Be careful of misdiagnosing laziness for being afraid and vice verse. It’s tricky sometimes to work out if you or someone else are avoiding something because it is unpleasant, boring or because of being afraid. I once got cross at a colleague because he would regularly find any excuse to avoid a client meeting, it worked out he had a real fear of face to face conversations with clients and just needed a little coaching. Fear in blogging though? What is there to be afraid of in blogging? Well, some people build up blogging into a popularity contest or fear public critique of their thoughts or opinions. One “flame” comment could be all it takes to stop posting all together.
Sometimes you could make an effort if you cared more. Apathy and irresponsibility go hand in hand. If you care about something it eliminates the possibility of being apathetic and you are bound to feel more of a need to produce. Another good reason to find a blog niche you enjoy and feel passionate about and if a team blog, people you like and don’t want to let down.
You might say, what harm does it do? If you are a bit crap at maintaining a blog who does it hurt? No one really gets hurt but overall the web becomes cluttered with half arsed dross and blogging gets a bad name. I have lost count of people who have said all blogs are rubbish based on their highly unscientific sampling. Perhaps if we encourage our fellow bloggers to keep up an effort this might not be so common.
When I had a traditional 9-5 job apathy, idleness, and time wasting used to creep up on me on a regular basis. For a while I would have periods of extreme productivity, followed by a time where it took all my effort to do the slightest amount, and that small effort was painful. Other than just not being in the right job, I realised there are certain things that trigger each behaviour both positive and negative. You might recognise some of the energy draining causes in yourself:
- Distractions - there is always something more interesting to do. Reward yourself by getting the dull stuff done now so you can get to the more enjoyable tasks
- Hunger - make sure you feed yourself, I find I just can not concentrate unless I have eaten but be careful to not over do it as being bloated is just as bad!
- Dehydration - it’s right what they say, you need to regularly drink fluids, preferably not the ones that make you desperate for … comfort breaks
- Lack of oxygen – I always think and work better when I get time to get out in the fresh air
- Lack of interest – so important I don’t mind reiterating over and over, if you are starting a blog write about something you are interested in, it makes maintaining it long term so much easier
- Fatigue - get rest, people who are tired not only do less work, the work they produce is crap
Anyone can be forgiven for slipping on occasion, or even semi-regularly, but if it becomes the main pattern of your blogging you are in trouble. Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme, it’s not a very effective path to riches. It takes hard work, persistence and stamina, sorry to say. The real winners in blogging are those people who put their heart, mind and soul into it. If that sounds like too much like hard work it could be that blogging isn’t for you …
The good news is so few people realise this, for the few people who are willing to put in that extra bit of effort all the rewards are there ready for the taking. This could be all the motivation you need!
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