All you have to do is focus on each single post, one by one, day by day and suddenly you’ll hit 100, 250, 500, 1000 and then 1001.
If you miss a day or 2, you need to be willing to make it up to avoid falling behind so far that you’re unable to catch up. You have to be willing to commit and to write when it feels difficult, not just when it feels easy.
It’ll take a few months short of 3 years which seems like a long time but looking back, it’ll fly by.
Your content isn’t cohesive
If your content varies greatly, it doesn’t allow you to appeal to any set of people as an audience. As good as it may seem to have mass appeal, if you want to build an audience the best thing you can do is start small.
You post inconsistently
If your reader know that you put a new post out every Sunday they will come to expect it and even look forward to it. If you say you’ll post every Sunday and sometimes you do but other times you post on tuesday or you skip a week, readers may lose interest because you’re no longer showing up in the way that you said you would.
You haven’t reached the right audience
Seth Godin has said many times, you’re either not reaching the right people or you’re not making good enough stuff. You’re content could be outstanding quality but it’s important that the right people find your work as that is why you created it in the first place.
You make too many changes
If the colours, logo, and layout of your site are constantly changing, readers won’t come to recognise it. This means readers won’t be able to establish that sense of familiarity when they visit your site, it will feel like something new each time you change something.
You don’t stand out
Obviously there is no way to be totally unique and often people copy the stuff that they’ve seen work for others in the hopes that they will achieve the same success. However, if the look of your site and content that you post is exactly the same as 1001 other people, what incentive is their for readers to choose your site over another?
If you’re a regular reader you may notice that there are things on this list I’ve done or even continue to do. The purpose of this list is to offer some ideas because sometimes when things aren’t going well we get so overwhelmed that we don’t even think of reasons why.
Once you identify the reasons things aren’t going well, you can put a plan in place to overcome them.
You know the feeling you get when you read something that resonates. You feel seen, you feel heard and you feel connected, often to a complete stranger.
But this person was able to form something that encapsulates a feeling or a moment from your life. It can often serve as a reminder that we’re not so different or as separate from each other as we sometimes end up believing.
If you can be moved by words written 200 years ago then our problems, challenges and experiences aren’t so unique to us, there are plenty of other people that know what it’s like. In my teenage years I liked to beelive that somehow the author knew that I’d need to read their words, almost as if they wrote them just for me. Of course that wasn’t the case but it was a nice thought at the time.
I’ve held on to that idea but allowed it to evolve a little. As someone who writes and shares their words, I never write with a particular person in mind but I know that people are often drawn to read about things they can relate to.
I’ve read great words that have moved me and so I hope to do the same. I guess it’s sort of like taking one and passing it on.
‘I wrote this for you because of what they wrote for me.’
When it comes to this blog, I’m in charge of the writing process and you are in charge of the rest. That includes the views, likes, comments and how popular each post gets.
As the creator, as much as you might want to be, you can’t be in control of the numbers and of how well your work performs because that’s not your role.
Your role is to do the work and as long as you’re doing it well, you have to learn to be okay with everything that comes with it.
Obviously if you earn a living from creating, the stakes are much higher. You might need to report back to someone and of course what they want to hear is that the numbers have gone up and at worst that they’ve stayed the same.
However, in spite of the above, I think it’s good to look at the numbers occasionally (even if they don’t affect your income). It can be useful to see the kind of stuff that is performing well. For example, one of my most popular posts is about Instagram and I’m also aware that my posts about being a writer and the writing process tend to do fairly well. I enjoy writing about those topics so choosing to do more of that would be a win-win for me as the writer and you as the reader. I wouldn’t have that knowledge without looking at the numbers.
But most importantly, the key is to not become so attached to the point that you’re happy when the numbers are up and sad when they’re down. The only thing you need to do is create.
A few ideas for writing routines for those that blog everyday.
Write a full post on your commute to and from work
If you work 9-5 this gives you the opportunity to write 10 posts within 5 days and then at the weekend you don’t have to write at all. Getting into the routine of writing at a set time each day means you start associating that specific time with the writing process which can help you find your flow.
Write one post every evening
This is the most simple routine. It gives you the whole day to live your life and the evening can become a time of reflection where you think about what has happened throughout the day and then choose something to write about. The only issue with this method is it doesnt allow you to have time off.
Write at any time of day but batch schedule your posts
This allows you to work quite freely whilst the batching means you can always stay a few days ahead or give yourself time off from writing.
In a recent conversation, I spoke about this blog and how I share something everyday. I explained that I don’t allow ‘feeling like I have nothing good to write’ to hold me back from posting.
For many people, the idea of making a commitment to do something that you don’t have to do every single day isn’t particularly appealing. Part of the reason for this is because there’s nothing to keep them on the hook. With the example of daily blogging, who keeps you accountable?
If I don’t post for a day or a week there are no repercussions. Nobody get’s annoyed and nobody will email to ask where the new blog post is, there are no real negative implications at all (aside from my own internal frustrations). And so if this is the type of thing you’re committed to, you need to find a strong reason within yourself to keep going because there will always be days where you don’t feel like it.
Around six months ago I wrote a post called ‘Could Instagram guides replace blogging?‘. It’s become one of my most popular posts.
At the time I expected guides would become a more popular feature. But looking through some of the accounts I follow, people either made 1 when the feature was introduced or didn’t make any at all.
I think the reason for this is that guides doesn’t actually add much that isn’t already there.
Despite a guide sharing similarities with blog posts, I think that perhaps it was too much like a blog for those that prefer putting out images and videos and not enough like a blog for those that still participate in the more traditional style of blogging.
It’s also worth noting that Instagram has already played it’s contribution in the decline of blogs.
I think guides is an example of a feature that just didn’t take off as much as the others did.
And I don’t think it’s a bad thing, it’s just the way it goes sometimes.
It started with 1 then 50, 100, 300 and now 500.
A few weeks ago, I reached 500 followers on this blog.
I consider it an achievement because 500 is quite a lot of people. At the beginning of the year I wrote down that I wanted to grow this site and reach 500 followers, as well as a certain number of monthly views.
Yet, at the same time I’m aware that the numbers are not the most important thing. It matters to me more that you gain something from what I share
That’s something that won’t show up in my WordPress stats but it happens because I know how much of an impact words can have on someone.
I like what I share here, I’m passionate about it and I’ll continue to do it regardless of the numbers.
But at the same time, it’s nice to reach a milestone, so here’s to the next 500!
I recently realised that I enjoy writing about current events.
One of my most read posts is about Instagram guides, I think I published it a day after guides became available to everyone, it was a hot topic.
If I’d written the post a few days or even weeks later it would have no longer been relevant. Of course the post can be read at any time but it was written for a particular moment in time.
Yesterday, I published a post about Clubhouse. I first drafted the post over 2 months ago and at the time it was over 1500 words, significantly longer than what I would usually post. For various it took a while to make time to edit the post to something I was happy to share.
But, what I noticed was that each time I went through the post, things had changed. Things like the number of users and the other apps that had added an audio feature. I regret not publishing the post sooner as with any hot topic, sooner is always better than later.
I think it’s fair to say that Clubhouse is still very relevant and will continue to be for the months to come. However, the post I published yesterday is very much of the time. That’s the issue you face when writing about hot topics, they don’t always last.
In contrast, the posts I’ve written that focus more around life lessons, career and self-help are what I would consider evergreen. They will be just as relevant today as they will be 12 months from now.
Thats how long it took me to read through one of last weeks blog posts.
For quite some time now I’ve been thinking of creating audio versions of my blog posts. There are various reasons I have resisted, from not having any equipment to wondering whether I’m taking on too much (I’ve written over 800 blog posts). However, one of the biggest reasons is that I think they would be too short.
We’re in the season of audio content and even though there are people that listen to short podcasts, I can’t help but wonder if under 5 minutes would put people off. Of course, one may argue that my work isn’t for the people that would be put off. However, when you’re just starting out you want to know that there is a market for what you have to offer.
A solution I’d considered was to have a weeks worth of posts per episode almost like a sort of story but I wasn’t sold on the idea enough to proceed with it.
I’m still in limbo with whether or not this podcast idea will come to life and even what the format will be. But I do think that now is the perfect time to be experimenting with audio content, even if it ends up being temporary.