When you run a blog, for profit or otherwise, there comes a time when you know you should really publish a post, but you just don't feel like it.
WHY do you need to post even though you don't want to?
There are two main reasons.
If someone follows your blog, they did so for a reason. Maybe they visit from time to time, or maybe they subscribe via email or a RSS feed. Something you did sparked their interest. If you drop the ball and blog every two months, or go through long periods of inconsistency, there is a possibility they will actually forget who you are.
Next time your post shows up in their email or feed, they simply unsubscribe or mark it as spam.
This doesn't always happen. I subscribe to a guy called Billy Brew (homebrew stuff) and he rarely blogs. But he had such a great blog and brand that I know who he is, and actually read everything he sends me (which is rare).
I think this could be another tactic, but Billy Brew already has an established brand, so he can do what he wants. As a new blogger, you cannot take such liberties.
Why? See #2
Another reason is the concept of branding. Why do big name companies pay big bucks to put their products in front of your eyes even though they make no money when Megan Fox drinks a coke on screen?
Because pounding their brand image into your head creates a sense of who they are as a company. You might not buy a coke now, but some day in the future when you are hot and sweaty and working on a car in a t-shirt and shorts 3 sizes too small for you, you'll think back to Megan Fox and choose Coke over Pepsi.
The same concept applies to your blog. Though someone might not read your post now, or next time, if you don't offend them or do something horribly wrong, at some point in the future they might. That means they are a potential customer. If you have thousands of potential customers that view your content sometimes and buy every once in a while, that sounds like a pretty good start to an online business!
2) Search Engines
As unfair as it seems, consistency wins in the eyes of search engine algorithms. Blog frequently, and they assume that you are important. What can I say. They're dumb machines.
But it's true. Each time you publish a post, Google is notified that you did something. They want to check it out. Do this every day, and Google learns to visit your site every day.
There are other things that play into how well you rank, such as how long people visit your site for, how many pages they view, what activities they take on your page, whether they leave a comment and probably a bunch of other stuff.
But Google isn't going to know any of that if you only have a couple of posts and don't do much else.
The sad truth is that no one really knows what search engine algorithms look for. People use buzz words like “engagement”, and “content is king”, but that's code for “I don't really know what I'm talking about and someone else told me this”.
Still, the answer to the search engine thing is simple in it's complexity. People use search engines to find information. The newest information is often the best. Produce new information frequently, and you'll be on the good side of the algorithm.
Don't Feel Like Blogging?
I ran into this problem tonight, yet I'm 600 words into my article and just getting started on addressing the subject at hand.
There are a couple of secrets to getting content on your site even when you really don't feel like it.
1) Accept Less Than Perfect
It's your site and you've grown to love it. You have a solid reader base (maybe), or at least have some expectations as to what quality of material you produce for your site.
Today (or tonight), accept 70% of what you normally do.
Not everything has to be a reinvention of the wheel. In fact, for me, it's often the pressure of having to do something “awesome”, “new”, or “perfect” that stops me from even getting started.
Some of my best reviews have taken me 4-5 hours to make. Thinking about that 5 hours of writing a post means I don't even want to get through the first hour. I don't even want to start.
So, this time, I'll accept whatever.
2) Just write 1/2
Again, it's the thought of producing a whole piece of content, from start to finish that can be a real bummer.
You've got the research, the first draft, the typing, editing, creating the post, finding images, making links, adding tags, categories, meta data, titles, publishing, liking, sharing, commenting, and maybe other stuff I've forgotten.
Ugh, I don't even want to get started.
So I think I'll just do part of it. Maybe a few paragraphs, or a skeleton outline. Maybe I'll write it but not publish it. Once, I wrote 5 posts in 1 day and saved them as drafts. The next week my publishing schedule was set, all I had to do was all the other junk that comes after writing the content!
3) Write Something Fun
You're looking at it. Normally, most of my work is doing reviews. Man, that can get boring, especially when 90% of the stuff I review is complete rubbish, and very similar across the board.
So I decided to write something inspired by true events – How To Write A Post When You Don't Feel Like It! Will it get ranked for anything? I doubt it. Will it get good traffic over time? Probably not. But it feeds the search engines, and for anyone that follows my blog, it's a useful little piece of information that's 100% true to life.
ANYONE THAT BLOGS will run into this problem, and if you've read this, you'll be prepared. Sometimes the “I don't feel like blogging today” blues can last more than a day. Sometimes it can last weeks and then even destroy your blog or business!
4) Write Something Short
Honestly, most of my blog posts are over 1000 words long. Wow, with 300+ posts on my blog, that's probably about 50,000 words at least that are written in these pages.
But not everything has to be that long!
Though the minimum recommended post length for SEO purposes is about 400 words, whatever. Throw caution to the wind. Write something that's 200 words. There's no “short post penalty”, and there's no reason why a non-optimized 1000-word post is better than a non-optimized 200-word post.
Have a concise idea you want to get out without developing it into a novel? Type something out and get it published.
5) Forget All The Extras
As mentioned above, blogging comes with a lot of baggage. It's just the writing that's involved, there's a lot of other stuff that goes into a well-produced final product.
Get a few titles, add one title image, and you're done. It's good enough.
Speaking of good enough, I think that's good enough for me.
Don't feel like leaving a comment? Do it anyway! LOL
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