The irony of writing this post is that it took me a couple of days to get up the motivation to do it. Blogging is like having a period. It’s gross. You hate it. It puts you in a bad mood. And you never know when it’s coming.
I wish I could say I had the secret to getting you off your ass and ready to blog more. The truth is I don’t. There is no easy solution. Blogging sucks you guys. It just plain sucks. But once you do it, the long term benefits outweigh the shit it takes to throw a blog post together. I’m writing this one with a glass of wine and a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I have no idea if it’s a good tip to motivate you, but hey, it’s working for me at this moment, so I’m going with it.
What’s funny about being a blogger is that everyone assumes you like writing. Here’s the truth. I’ve been blogging since before Facebook existed. Once social media became a popular thing and I started my first business, I too, sucked at blogging just like you. Please don’t read this if you’re a bomb blogger rocking it out every day since day one. You won’t be able to relate to us struggling bloggers. I started a blog on purpose, but it got popular by accident. It has a crap ton of grammatical errors, and more of its content is worthy of cramped packing paper status than its worthy of seeing daylight. For some reason, people read it. They still do. I have no idea why and now it’s had over 8 million visitors since early 2012. It’s small in the blogosphere, but some people think it’s enough to call me an influencer. I figure that little success gives me enough street cred to pass on some tips of things that have worked for me over the years concerning getting blog posts done. However, I have to give you a disclaimer. I fail at blogging all the time. I’m so far from perfect. Some weeks I’m not motivated at all, but when I do blog these are the things that usually get me through the bullshit of calling myself a “writer,” which I’m far from.
Blog first thing in the morning.
Look, I’m so not a morning person. In fact, my life status while writing this very blog post is that of a wife living without her husband during the last four months. It was a job thing and not a “verge of divorce” thing btw. Don’t worry; we fiercely love each other. Living alone has made me super lazy. Typically when my husband runs off to work, I feel like I need to have accomplished something productive by the time he comes home. It gives me legit business owner status. When it’s just me, though? Nah. I’ve been sleeping in until 11 am some days…and I’m in my thirties. I’ve loved every minute of the slow life, but it means I’m accountable to no one but myself. I’m also not that motivated to impress myself. Without my husband around to make me feel like I need to do something with my time I struggle getting up in the morning to get shit done. However, I am most energized in the mornings (whenever those mornings start). Blogging is the hardest thing for me to accomplish in business. It’s best to use your most active time to perform the most difficult tasks. So if blogging is something you want to do, but can’t seem to find the motivation, try making it the first thing on your task list instead of the last. Do it when you have the energy. Save the fun tasks for later.
Plan blog posts in the form of titles.
Over the years I’ve repeatedly heard the hardest thing about blogging is coming up with the ideas of what to blog. Let’s say you’re an Instagram strategist and want to do more blogging. One day you’re feeling rather entrepreneurial so you come up with a list of things you can blog. It looks like this.
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Maybe there are a few more options, but don’t you think this list looks vague? If I’m completely honest, it’s the most uninviting list ever. It’s fucking boring as hell. How will you ever get excited about blogging with a list this list? You probably won’t. My suggestion is to make your lists in headline format. Use this blog title generator, or this blog title generator to help you come up with clever titles about all the topics you’re going to share. I promise if you have titles that say things like, “10 Revolutionary Ways Hashtags are Going to Change Your Life” or “How to Feel as Excited About Blogging as Your Dog Feels About Food” you’ll get a lot more motivated to write, plus it implies a built-in format too. Instead of making those blog post ideas vague as all get out, try making them built around blog post titles instead. That’s how I got excited enough to write this post after all.
The more you blog, the easier it gets.
It’s true of anything you put your do. The more you practice, the easier it is. Sure your writing skills may be absolute shit (in that case try Grammarly for free), but even shitty writers can blog and make a living off it. Honestly, I’m a good example of that. You don’t have to use lavish writing skills or pioneering vocabulary (see what I did there?) to be a blogger. Just get out there and do it. The more you do it, the easier it gets. Eventually, you’ll stop giving a damn if you’re perfect at it as long as people are getting helpful, resourceful information from it. That’s where I’m at anyways. If this is helping you, I’ll consider myself outstanding at my job.
Forget the rules, but also remember them.
There are rules about writing. You probably learned them in high school and college. My husband is an academic and routinely reminds me what a terrible writer I am, but out of the two of us, which one is making more money? Oh yeah, it’s me. So I’m just running with the skills I’ve got you guys. It’s good to use some core skills like building a post around an introduction-body-conclusion style format. However, don’t freak out if your writing doesn’t match perfectly to the Chicago APA formatting. When you’re blogging the most important thing you can do is write conversationally, so people feel like they get to know you. It means you get to break the rules and don’t have to worry about perfection. Just be yourself when writing. Don’t make it seem academic and awkward – that’s for another profession. If my husband were to become a blogger, it would be more awkward than a Canadian Scientologist looking for revenge. Not everything is for everyone, and that’s totally ok. Just own whatever your style is and write.
Set aside time to blog.
If you’re as excited to get into blogging as your dog is about breakfast in the morning, then the best thing you can do is set aside time to blog. I’ve tried this two different ways. One was writing a little bit every morning. Here’s the honest truth. That sucked for me. I don’t have the writing mood every day of the week. That’s a lot. What consistently has worked for me is setting aside one day of the week to write my blog posts. I own four businesses, so I write a lot of blog posts. If you only own one business, this is probably going to be ridiculously easy for you to make Friday your writing day or whatever day of the week you find yourself most outspoken. If it’s still hard, get some wine and some chocolate chips. Take your guilt about eating poorly, flush it down the toilet and start writing. Sometimes you need to loosen up to get the most helpful words out.
Remember that blogging isn’t about you.
It’s okay to incorporate some of your quirks and stories into blogging, but it’s not about you. Blogging is about being a resource to your potential customers in any industry. If you’re writing content with the goal of helping someone out and sharing what worked or didn’t work for you, it’s much easier to write. It’s way harder to write about ourselves!
Speaking of being resourceful, I hope this post helped you. At the very least I hope it made you laugh. Maybe you’ll decide blogging sounds like a gigantic black hole you don’t want to bother. Hopefully, it made you think it’s something that can happen. Mostly I hope it sheds light on the fact that blogging isn’t easy for everyone, no matter how long you’ve been doing it or how successful you are at it. Writing doesn’t have to come instinctively for you to use blogging as a marketing tool. You can break writing rules and enjoy yourself. While I doubt that anyone read this and feels as excited about blogging as your dog feels about food, maybe it helped you take a step in the right direction. I can’t think of anything in life that excites me as much as food excites my dogs. If only we were all that pure.
PS I’ve included cute photos of my dogs in here to brag about their adorableness. Feel free to ignore all the words and just admire the dogs.
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