Every time I turn around there is a new blogger promising the newbies all kinds of get rich methods for making money online.
Just in case you had any doubts, it is really hard to make money via blogging.
I spend hours researching, writing and working on my blog. I’ve been blogging off and on for two years now. Every time I start to get traction something seems to happen in my personal life and I end up taking a break for 2-4 months.
I can instantly see the result with my analytic numbers. To be successful you need to post quality content frequently and then do your best to promote it.
Sounds simple right.
However, it is doable.
Now that my daughter is finally hitting the three-month mark, I’m finding time for myself again. This means that I’m back to regularly posting. I guess that all of my old stuff is finally starting to pay off because this time, I’m consistently getting hits. Not as much as I’d like, but enough to keep me happy.
What I learned from taking writing breaks:
1. Consistency and content matters
I’ll never be the type to post every Monday morning at 10:00 AM. However, if I’m consistently posting 1-3 articles on my blog a week, my blog engagement steadily increases.
This occurs for a variety of reason. Google notices active websites and will funnel traffic in your direction. I want organic traffic.
Yes, traffic from social media and other websites is important, but organic traffic means that my content is relevant to a specific search term.
In other words, it means that what I’m writing is relevant to other people and that they are searching for something that I have covered in my post.
You are the one who determines how consistent you need to be. Some blogger say it needs to be done daily, others 2-3 times a week. There is no right answer, so do what works best for you.
Watch your analytic numbers and find the mix of consistency and content that works for you and your niche.
2. Everyone needs to take a break occasionally
Everyone burns out, gets sidetracked, is tired, life gets in the way. Stuff happens. It is okay, if you have to take a break from your blog for a bit. However, go into your break with an understanding of how this is going to affect your numbers.
Every time you stop posting you will loose readers and traction.
I know that I’m going to need a break again at some point, so this time around, I’ve written a few random posts that I’ve got saved for posting on the weeks when life happens and I can’t write.
They aren’t my best work, but they will keep me from burning out by giving me a much-needed break.
It is hard to constantly come up with good quality content, so don’t beat yourself up if your work isn’t always perfect.
Just keep on working. These are some steps I’ve taken to push through writer’s block.
3. Be realistic and avoid burn-out
As previously mentioned, I know that I can’t keep a set schedule for my blog. Maybe I’m just lazy, but honestly, I can’t just write on command. I need to have some type of inspiration.
I also have a hard time focusing on one specific niche area, so I’m the dork who has three separate blogs. Smart – probably not, but it works for me. I have a lot of interests and learned very early that I couldn’t limit myself to just one subject without burning out.
My method of dealing with this probably isn’t the best, but it works for me.
Find your method of dealing with burn out.
It will happen, heck, it will happen multiple times.
Some days the words just don’t come. For me, I can usually write about a new subject and I’m fine, but find a way of keeping balance in your life to avoid burn out.
4. Have fun with your blog
Yes, you want to make money, but the reason most of us are blogging it to get a break from our regular life and maybe get lucky enough to quit our regular jobs.
When blogging becomes a chore, that is usually when my personal life “gets in the way” of my blogging.
This is one of the reason, I don’t stick to specific rules of blogging. Yes, I’d probably be more successful if my DailySuccessfulLiving blog only focused on personal finance, but I want to enjoy blogging and as much as I love personal finance I can’t write about it all the time.
When you lose the joy in writing your blog, your readers can tell. Check out this post on why you should never stop expressing yourself.
Which is why I believe being personal is the most important step to creating a successful blog.
5. Be personal
This is my own personal opinion, but I get bored with blogs that are full of dry facts and figures. I want personal stories and feelings. I want to feel like I’m connecting with the writer.
Truly amazing writers are ones who as you read their work, you feel like they are speaking for you. They are able to touch a part of your soul.
This type of writing is more difficult since the writer is sharing so much of themselves. Ultimately it leads to a deeper connection with the reader. So don’t be scared to share yourself and your feelings.
One of my most successful posts was one I shared shortly after going through a miscarriage. I was petrified to share that post. I had written most of it as a journal entry and after rereading it realized I needed to share my feelings.
After publishing that post, I stayed off social media for a while because I knew I would just end up crying and reliving all those memories. When I got back on I was right, but ironically enough that experience helped me get through my pain in a way I never thought possible.
Is this an extreme example, yes, but don’t be afraid to let your readers know there is a person behind the screen.
Final Thought: Break the rules
I write because I love writing, I love expressing myself and I love helping other people. It is a powerful combination when I get it right.
When I’m writing about subjects that interest me and that I know will impact and help others my writing is intrinsically better.
As you being your blogging journey you will get all kinds of advice on how to be successful. Most of it, particularly from the big guys is great advice and worked well for them.
However, you are your own unique person and your blog is a reflection of who you are.
Break the rules, do your own thing.
I’m not saying to completely ignore “the rules”, but find the rules that work for you and then build up your following based on who you are and what you can offer your readers.
You can try and try and try to copy the big guys and honestly, you might achieve success, but in the process lose the joy of why you started your blog.
So ultimately blog for yourself and break a few rules in the process.