As any blogger knows, maintaining a blog can be difficult work. We encounter unforeseen issues, we don’t really know what to say, we get frustrated. By no means do I consider myself to be an expert or a top-notch blogger, but I have had some experience, and I would like to take that and share with you what I think are the three hardest challenges bloggers face and how they can overcome them. Let’s just hope I can follow my own advice…
1. Nobody visits my site. How can I up my view count? When I browse the internet and look for tips on how to create a successful blog, I often read what problems other bloggers have. By far, the area for which people ask the most help is in gaining readership. Constantly, bloggers want to know what to do to bring more people to their site and how to keep them there. Let me just stop you there: If you are writing a blog because you want to win some virtual popularity contest, then you’re blogging for all the wrong reasons. Blogging is a personal experience in which you share what you find important and give your unique insight. If your content is good, the viewers will come. Don’t let that be your focus. That being said, there are some easy ways to nab a couple of views in order to spread the word about your great content:
- Utilize social media. If you want to share what you write with others, do just that. Learn how to post to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Submit your posts to StumbleUpon. Just be sure that you are not blog spamming the crap out of your feed – you don’t want people to be annoyed.
- Focus on search engine optimization (SEO). There are lots of great sites that can explain in greater detail how to move your site to the top of search engine lists, and almost all of them will remind you to link to other sites, strategically use keywords, and use pictures.
- Read and comment on other blogs using your blog’s username. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you want people to read your blog, it only makes sense to read the content that others put out there. People are likely to return the favor if you are actively engaging in fellow blogger’s projects.
2. I can’t think of anything good to write about. Nobody is going to read my boring blog. Remember in high school and college when teachers and advisers told you that no matter what you found interesting there was likely someone out there who shared your same interests? That principle doesn’t change in the blogosphere. Whether you like writing about cooking or trading baseball cards, there are people who will totally relate to what you have to say. So just write about whatever it is that lights a fire in you. The best content comes from writers who have a true affinity for their subject. If you write passionately, your content will be far superior to anything you generate because you feel like you should or you have to. Blogs are for people who share your interests, and this world is full of people dying to discuss anything and everything.
3. I can’t get the motivation to write consistently. My blog sits idle for periods at a time. This is the area in which I find the most difficulty. I have trouble with constantly sticking to both my personal blog and the blog I write for my internship. However, I have picked up some tips from fellow bloggers which have helped me maintain more regular posting habits. First of all, it is important to lay out an actual schedule for your blog. By this, I mean literally write down what topics you will cover on what days of the week. Determine how often you want to blog (I suggest at least once a week, but I recommend closer to two or three on average), and schedule times dedicated to blogging. Along with the schedule, narrow the content of your blog to a few topics on which you feel like you can generate quality content consistently (mine are social media, travel, PR, and blogging). If you’re having trouble creating a post, look over your categories and pick one that you haven’t discussed in some time. This tactic will also ensure that your readers don’t get bored with you always talking about the same thing.
Remember, blogging is supposed to be fun. Even if what you are writing is for business or professional purposes, there is no law that says you have to generate dry, technical information all the time. Let your creative juices flow – readers enjoy being able to relate to authors on a real, human level. Now get blogging!