I’ve now noticed over the years of blogging there seems to be a few different phases of how you approach your blog. So in the interest of sharing some of that experience and hopefully helping out others here is my list of phases and some of the pitfalls with each.
- Three Months. Well after your first three months of blogging you can start to feel fairly good. You have now outlasted most people who try and write a blog. It strangely enough a welcome release to get past that initial hump. The pitfall here is your now even more likely to fall off the wagon for a few weeks as you over relax after getting past three months and become lazy about writing posts.
- Six Months. The reality is most bloggers at some point or another hit the big painful pitfall called the wall. Mine happened at about six months in. You are out of ideas, your creativity is used up and your motivation to write has vanished. Then you realize your posts suck and you wonder why you even keep doing this at all. You are basically ready to quit. Don’t quit! Keep writing even if you think it is sucks. You will get past this phase. It took me about two weeks to work through this most painful phase, but I did get pass it.
- Year One. It’s strange now that I’ve only recent realized I hit a new phase between Year 1 and Year 2. Basically I manged to convenience myself my blog was only a hobby so I shouldn’t invest too much time in the secondary things that makes a good blog: reading other blogs and commenting, submitting to carnivals and networking with other bloggers. I basically pulled back from anything that would result in my blog growing. Despite this fact it still has grown a bit, but not too much between year 1 and year 2.
- Year Two. Despite my denial between years one and two, I managed to keep writing and working on blog ideas. The quality of posts suffered a bit because of a lack of commitment, but overall I still managed to get a bit better on my writing by doing it on a daily basis. The pitfall here was I’ve recently realized weather I like it or not I can’t call my blog a hobby anymore. It really is a publishing business. I get advertising deals and I produce content for my customers (readers). By calling your blog a business, your focus will change a bit and your commitment will increase.
- Other Content. Eventually you will realize you are ready to write other content. You’ve evolved to another species now. You have moved from a blogger to a writer. It happens and you will feel scared, it is normal. You’ve got whole new areas to learn about such as book publishing, magazines and newspapers. The pitfall here is to stop trying. You can be a good writer if you give yourself a chance but only if you try.
So there are the pitfalls I’ve fallen into over the years. So how about the rest of you bloggers out there, what were the pitfalls you fell into?