An enormous amount of people around the world want to become bloggers. Many of them start blogs, but after just a short time, they abandon them with promises to return “someday soon.” Someday never comes.
According to a 2008 survey by Technorati, only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracked at that time had been updated in the prior 120 days. That means 95 percent of the blogs had been left to die a slow death (or, more likely, a fast one) on the Internet. If they haven’t been deleted, or taken down, each of these sites now exists in cyberspace as a reminder of an unmanifest dream, an ambition unrealized, a purpose left unfulfilled.
Why do so many bloggers stop blogging, and why do they quit not long after they start? First, they don’t have the will or the patience to stick with the activity—the actual writing of blog posts—until the readers show up. Most blogs are not overnight successes. They take work and time. A lot of aspiring bloggers don’t want to make the effort, or get tired of working so hard. Second, many bloggers simply don’t want to succeed badly enough to take sustained action. They lack motivation, organization or energy, and this leaves them feeling they can’t do it or they don’t want to continue doing it. They also may not have a strong enough purpose or mission. With no good reason to blog, they quit when the going gets tough or it takes too long to see results.
If, to date, you have not sustained your blog, you likely fall into one of these categories.
For the sake of this post, I’m going to assume you have a strong enough desire to start your blog. That means you are willing to take some action. Maybe at this moment, you feel like I did at one point in my life. You are frustrated with your past level of performance and achievement, and you are ready to make a change. At that point, I actually said, “I refuse to fail.” Maybe you have said, “I will become a blogger, a success, an author, an online entreperenuer, or a ____!” Good for you!
Now is the time to take action! Use that commitment to do something that moves you closer to achieving your goal. For example, set a deadline for when you will get your blog up and running or finish your blogged book or have 20 posts published. Or decide to write and publish a blog post two, three, or even five times a week on your existing site. Then schedule time into your calendar for writing so you meet that deadline. Don’t create a deadline or create a goal that is a year or two years from now. Push yourself to blog consistently and regularly! Have weekly and monthly, as well as quarterly goals and deadlines.
You can take advantage of National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo), aka the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge (WNFIN). Challenge yourself to write five posts per week every week for four weeks! This also gives you the opportunity to take advantage of the group energy. People from all over the world take part in the event, and you can join them in the NaNonFiWriMo/WNFIN forum or on the Facebook page. That’s a huge step toward becoming a successful blogger. When the month is over, you’ll have created a blogging habit that will feel easier to sustain.
However, if you want to meet a 30-day deadline for changing your status as a blogger, and to continue your blogging beyond NaNonFiWriMo, you have to adopt new habits and mindsets. After all, the fact that you currently are struggling to become a successful blogger means your current habits are not helping you achieve that goal.
High-Performance Habits for Bloggers
To succeed as a blogger—to get that blog up and running and sustain it over time so it gains traffic, you need to employ the habits used by high performers. Here are 10 you can use during November—or any time—to become a high-performing writer and meet the WNFIN challenge.
- Prepare your mind and body. Your mind responds to how you take care of your body. Take care of yourself! Eat a good diet. Drink a lot of water. Exercise. Sleep enough. Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine. Take supplements. You will write with more clarity if you feed your mind what it needs.
- Take frequent breaks. Studies show that those who take frequent breaks out perform those who work for hours on end without stopping. Get up from your computer and get a drink of water, stretch, or go for a walk around the block twice every hour—or, at the minimum, once every 50 minutes.
- Set your daily priorities. Know what you need to get done. Stick to those priorities—that means your daily word count. Don’t do anything else until you meet that goal. No surfing the Net. No calling your mom or checking email or Facebook.
- Leave your email until later. Do not check your email first thing in the morning or right before you begin to write. This distracts you from your priority—blogging. It also allows other people to dictate how you spend your time. Focus on want you to do and accomplish, rather than on what others want to do and accomplish.
- Have a routine. Most successful people and high performers have a routine. Create one for your self. What will you do every single day and in what order? Stick to it.
- Master your thoughts. Negative thinking and limiting beliefs are a sure-fire way to get off track when you write or blog. They make you feel inadequate and unable to accomplish your goal. If you need to take up a meditation practice to become more conscious of your thoughts, do so. But pay attention to them, and when you find your mind filled with messages that make you feel badly about yourself and your blogging, change those thoughts to positive, affirming ones instead.
- Choose who you want to be every day. You get to choose how you show up each day. If your boyfriend dumped you or you owe the IRS $4,000, you can still choose to bring joy, focus and concentration to your writing periods. You have the ability to determine how you feel and who you want to be. Do you want to be depressed or worried? Or would you like to be joyous and confident. Choose…then choose again and again and again.
- Protect your confidence. Don’t put yourself in situations that might cause you to question your ability to blog successfully. Don’t tell your mother you are starting a blog if she is critical and will say, “You’re a lousy writer. You are crazy to try.” Don’t show your blog posts to people who don’t understand blogging and might criticize what you are doing and how you are doing it. This will wreck your confidence and possibly cause you to give up and abandon your blog. And don’t compare yourself to other established bloggers who have developed a following; this only will make you feel less than, when in reality your idea, style and writing may be just as good, but you are just starting later and need time to catch up.
- Have clarity about your goal. Know why you want to blog. Understand your motivation and ambition. Once you do, you’ll find it easier to sit down at your desk each day.
- Bring energy to your day and writing periods. Wake up and create a heightened state of energy so you approach the day or the times when you blog with joy and enthusiasm. You can do this with mind exercises, body movements, music, or self-talk. Whatever you do, don’t sit down to write feeling tired, bored or in any way low energy.
If you put even a few of these new habits to work for you, you will find yourself more productive each day. That means your blog will begin to have a life—and stay alive (and thrive)—because you give it one by writing regularly and consistently.
Join hundreds of other nonfiction writers for National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo). Start AND finish a work of nonfiction in 30 days. Learn more here or register and get access to the forum here.
Ensure you start AND finish your NaNonFiWriMo project or your blog. Register for High-Performance Writer and discover strategies to help you produce more content quickly, easily and consistently.