Everyone has their own blogging inspiration. The urge that brings them out to write stuff on the internet and post them for the world to read. For some it is just a hobby, for some there are financial requirements, for many it’s both. It is important to have one if you wish to succeed as a writer or a blogger.
What usually happens
When you start a blog, you are all full of enthusiasm. You have a lot to do. You have got plans. You know what to do and what not to.
Then you start.
Your ideas are all in your head and for a while the the ideas get converted into posts or pages. Then you have more but fewer ideas and these get translated into posts.
After a month or so, you introspect – where is this going?
It can go both ways here.
You may see hundreds of viewers (don’t expect anything huge initially). Or it can be something like that the world just did not notice. This is actually more likely.
Then you ask the question.
What is the point?
Of course, if you LOVE writing, you will continue to write anyway. But any of you who wish to make this more than just a hobby – will have set goals.
These goals could be
- Earning a passive side income
- Reaching out and building a community
- Feeling appreciated and so on
Once you see the viewership is not that great, your motivation will fall.
What do you do then?
What do you do when your blog is failing?
This is a crucial step to understand.
It takes time to know that your blog is failing but if the shares, and the viewership is not increasing over a period of 3 months, there are things you need to improve if you wish to stay in the game.
Here, there is a way out. Make no mistake – this is hard work. If you feel this is better invested in some other source of side income, never hold yourself back.
But for those who wish to continue and make it happen, here is what you need to know first.
Know Your Enemies
- Procrastination, Lazyness
- Lack of motivation due to goals not being met
- Peer pressure
- Lack of consistency
- Lack of ideas, topics
Let’s beat the enemies first
Procrastination and Lazyness
Defeating procrastination is not easy. But there is a simple trick that works.
It is called the 3 second rule.
The idea is simple. When you have to do something and feel like doing it later, START in the next 3 seconds. Once you overcome the intertia, things become a lot easier.
Note: Science says it probably is 5 seconds, but you get the idea.
Lack of Motivation due to any reason
Okay, so you wanted a hundred visitors on your page that you worked so passionately on. Just a hundred. And still you see the visitors in single digits.
I am assuming you have tried social media and the basic SEO.
What do you do then?
You actually have plenty of options. But I will give you two quick fixes that will get you started.
- Pay a little bit and actually promote your pages using ads. Don’t promote your website but the post that you created with love.
- Check on a different browser, how fast your page is loading. If your page is slow, that will kill your chances of growing traffic. Quality content notwithstanding.
Give it a week. Once you see the numbers are rising, you will do better again.
I sure as heck don’t need to write much about this.
This is YOUR passion. You do this because you like this.
And this takes time. Once your motivation is in the right place, peer pressure won’t trouble you.
Lack of consistency
I am tempted to give you a link to a calendar for scheduling posts.
It does help regular visitors to expect posts every now and then. But how exactly do you read your bloggers? Do you maintain a calendar?
You write when you want. Frequency of what you write is less important than its utility. The Internet is already full of trash. If you add something let it be something of quality.
Lack of Ideas or Topics
I used to worry about this when I was starting out.
Ideas ebb and flow.
Remember, consistency is NOT important (unless you are a news service). So write when you have something interesting to write about.Tweet
How do you have something interesting write about?
By reading on the topics that interest you, watching videos – have a local community and solve their problems and you will never run out of ideas.
If you do, accept it. It will come when it comes.
Know your allies
- Going back to the basics – why did you start blogging in the first place, imagine what success could be – this is subjective and not necessarily monetary in nature
- Time – you have time for your passion. Always believe in this.
- Your local community
- YouTube or motivational books
- Meditation and exercise
Let us now look at the things we can build upon
Going back to the basics
Remember the time when you actually WANTED to start something?
You had plans and you had dreams. Do this.
Take out a piece of paper (it works best offline, trust me).
Write down the dreams first.
Then write down the challenges you are facing.
Ask yourself this question – is it not worth it to overcome the challenges so that you can acheive your dreams? Are they actually not going to make you feel good? Or are you focusing on the negatives or roadblocks too much?
We usually do the latter. We get bogged down and that is what clouds our mind. We miss the big picture. Write this down. You will have the clarity you need. Things will get easier.
I deliberately did not put this in the enemies section. Time is actually YOUR ally. You may not realise this now.
When you have a passion, you always make time for it. Otherwise understand this – IT IS NOT YOUR PASSION. And stop wasting time pursuing this.
But otherwise, you will find a tingling sensation. That you want to do what you want but are completely stuck up. In this case, you have to give something up. Reduce your commitments. You have 24 hours in a day. That is not going to change. Delegate. Do whatever – but less.
And make time for the things you love and care about.
And you will find you are making more time out of it. The more you like doing it, the more you will invest in it. Eventually things will grow.
Your Local Community
Personally, I find this is the most helpful.
You can have your friends from school, college, workplace (okay that last one may not be the best idea). But you get the gist.
These friends will probably be your best choice.
There are alternatives.
I am not talking about Facebook groups or similar social media communities. Most of them deal with only self promotion and while that may be okay for some, I never feel them worth the effort. No relationships are built there.
To build relationships you need to meet like minded people in person.
One such platform is Meetup. This is not a dating service. It is kind of like a community for people who do things together. There are reading clubs, movie clubs, coding clubs and so on. I have used it extensively and these clubs organise events that you can visit. You can meet people and build your network. I have got plenty of clients this way as well.
You can mentor other folks as well.
So keep that as an option as well.
Otherwise, check your local listings in your newspapers for events, that you may be interested in and participate. You will find your space easier.
Bonus Tip – Finding other bloggers that you like
This is important if you want to continue blogging in the long run. You will find several coders, writers or other people who share your passion for whatever you do and understand their blogging inspiration. You may come up with something that they are doing great in. Fix some of their problems if you find any. This can be a great way to actually connect. Eventually you may end up sharing links. That would just be great.
There are plenty of bloggers who inspire me or used to, when I was just getting started. It is not necessary that I like their blogging style or such. But these are some of the bloggers I find great.
Tania Rascia – She is beautiful. I had to write that first. Call me sexist or unprofessional, but this is me. So is her website. She has made a conscious decision to keep her blog completely ad free. She writes typically on web development and design with a focus on simplicity. The writing style is lucid and the post length is large. Each post is structured with beautiful images, plenty of code and explained in detail. If you are getting started with web development, she is one heck of a coder to read.
Amit Agarwal aka Labnol – He was the biggest Indian blogger and was famous for his Adsense revenue that went into millions. Currently he has reduced his blogging frequency to a significant extent. Instead he now mostly develops applications using Google App Script to add features that are not available in Google products by default. His writing is also easy to understand. I have followed him since late 2009 onwards and seen him grow from a blogger account to WordPress. His posts are fairly small in length. This was the length I used to try to follow previously. But his ideas are generally original and hence he does not need to write long posts to cover the topic. Tania above on the other hand writes tutorials for stuff that is already there, only explaining them better. I find the former better only because new ideas are hard to come by frequently.
Askvg aka Vishal Gupta – I used to follow this blog very frequently when it was the glory days of Windows modding. Windows XP themes were modified to make them look like Windows Vista or Seven. His tweaks and hacks were the first push I needed to start modding my system 32 files. That was way back in 2006-7. I used to play with Resource Hacker (an application that still works today) and made quite a number of mods for Windows XP. Now I don’t find his blog particularly informative. Probably because I have grown out of that concept of modding stuff to look like something else. But it remains a good source of Windows specific tweaks, performance and visual hacks. His posts are small in length but with sufficient images and code. Unlike Labnol, askvg does not have a commanding social media presence. His blog does not look as good as Tania’s does either. But it retains the old charm of the early Windows 7 days.
Darren Rowse aka Problogger – This guy is famous and perhaps the most popular and famous blogger on this planet. That is not why he is in this list though. He writes pretty infrequently on his own. But the book/s that he has written on the topic of SEO in particular and blogging in general are great. If you want to establish yourself as a serious professional blogger, he can be your guru. He will remain one of my favorite blogging inspirations.
What is my own blogging inspiration?
My blogging inspiration has changed over time. When I started blogging it was purely for the sake of it. I loved writing and sharing tech tips. So I did that. It was just a hobby. Though the love for blogging in general has remained, there is a new sense of adding significant quality to it.
Previously I was writing primarily for myself. I know it sounds funny. But it was okay. Because there was no monetary gains to it and I did not expect it to be one. Now things have changed.
Since I want to add a great deal of quality to this blog, I also expect to be rewarded for my efforts. Eventually, I will go the regular route that many bloggers do when they monetize their blogs. The usual starting point is usually Google Adsense. I will also target some Affiliate sales and see where that goes. But one step at a time.
Good practices while following content
There are plenty of websites I follow for regular tech updates. But these are the writers that I generally look out for.
If you wish to know about the list of websites I generally follow, you may have to wait a little longer. By bookmarks are rather large and they may not be very appealing to the audience I have here. But I promise to get it ready soon. I use feedly to read off the feeds directly on my phone. If I really like something, I bookmark it to read later on a bigger screen at my leisure.