Starting a blog is an exciting event with new ideas, new material and new audiences waiting to be discovered. It does not take long however for that first flush of excitement to begin to fade as you start to settle down into the serious business of creating content. It can be difficult to remain motivated as the full complexity of your chosen task begins to unfold in front of you, but it does not necessarily need to be this way. Below are the 3 most effective methods I have experienced to maintain the rage when you begin to wonder if it is going to be all worthwhile.
Set yourself achievable and realistic goals on posting frequency. In the early days, when you are brimming with new ideas, it can be tempting to go all out and commit all your ideas to the screen. You may well benefit from a more scaled down approach that helps you provide content on a consistent basis. Your main sources of information will help inform you as to what is realistic and achievable. News-of-the-day can easily support (if not demand) daily and multiple-per-day postings. Flagship style content that is more considered and analytical, or tutorial style content can support weekly posting.
Ignore the stats (at least for a little while). It can be hard to get an audience in the early days (in fact, I continue to struggle). Watching that stat counter climb painfully slow one visitor at a time can be demoralising. While it is tempting to regularly check the stats several times a day “just to see who stopped by”, you may be better off checking every couple of days or even once a week. The chances are that on a weekly basis, your stats will continue to rise. This way you can enjoy the motivation of increasing traffic while maintaining a sense of perspective on the scale of your stats.
Take time out to reassess your goals and achievements. There is nothing wrong with pausing to reflect on where you are going and where you have come from. It is a valuable exercise to see if the direction your blog is heading is the one you originally envisaged. If it is, great! If it isn’t, it’s not the end of the world. Maybe this is an opportunity to move off into a different, more exciting direction, or perhaps it is the right time to refocus on what it is you hoped to achieve in the first place. This is a position I find myself in with one of my own blogs and this process has had the unexpected benefit of reinvigorating my desire to keep on posting.
What techniques did you use when you first started blogging to keep you motivated through those early days?