By: Darren Rowse
Ben Yoskovitz’s 6 Steps To Getting Back Into The Blog Saddle reminded me today of some of the tougher times in my own blogging journey when I found it difficult to keep things going.
- The month I had Bells Palsy (facial paralysis and loss of all balance)
- The two weeks that I virtually lost my sight and couldn’t look at a computer screen
- The numerous times I took vacations and found motivating myself to start again a real challenge
- The many ‘critiques’ from others that took the wind out of my sails to the point where giving up seemed attractive
The list could go on (sickness, holidays, disillusionment, boredom, inability to think of fresh ideas etc) – it’s no wonder I’ve written so many posts on the topic of keeping your blog running (see below for a few).
Since reading Ben’s post I’ve also been considering the idea that blogs will go through different seasons over time.
I think it’s natural for the tough times (Winter?) to hit periodically. Times like I’ve described above where it is easy to get down in the dumps and consider giving up.
The task during a Blog’s Winter is to keep things going. You might not launch any new projects or add too many new features to your blog in these times – but if you can keep things ticking over until Spring time you’ll see the benefits of sticking at it.
Winter is a time where character and discipline is tested – it’s a time when many bloggers give up – but where those who stick at it can build foundations for a strong blgo that lasts.
But it’s not all the doom and gloom of Winter when you blog. Spring can be just around the corner at any moment with a period of renewed energy and life for your blog.
Perhaps it is triggered by a fresh idea for a series, the search engines tweaking their algorithm to sending loads or traffic or even by another site linking up.
The key in Spring is to go with the new life and let your blog grow to the next level. This might be a time to harness energy and launch a new feature – or even a time to do a little cross pollination with others in your niche to see what new partnerships might emerge. You might even have a little time to do a little spring cleaning up of your blog while you have renewed energy.
Then there are other times in the life cycle of a blog where things seem to coast along.
The content is flowing, readers are interacting with what you’ve been writing and you feel like you hardly need to put any effort in at all – it’s like a Summer vacation.
You might even take a little holiday at this time and bring in someone to help you keep things running while you take a little rest and relaxation.
Lastly – there are seasons in every blog where change is needed. Dead wood needs to be cut off and swept away – like the sweeping away of the leaves on a deciduous tree in Autumn (Fall). Other areas will need a little fertilizing (extra compost to get them growing to their potential).
This is a time for refining and consolidation of what you do, perhaps with a little pruning and thinking a little strategically about where your blog is headed. This might also be a time for storing up supplies (write some extra content for that rainy day).
The decisions you make and the work you do in these times can help you to get through the Winter that might be ahead.
The Seasons Each Have Their Place
None of the seasons are ‘bad’ – all have their purpose and all have their tasks that blogger might need to be working on.
The trick is not to give up in those Winter months that so many of us have – but to keep working through them so that the blog is able to still be there at the next change of season.
What Season is your blog in at present?