How to keep your focus when blogging : Setting up and running a blog when you don’t have much of an attention span can be hard and at times feel like you are fighting an uphill battle. Chammy is one such girl who has started more blogs than you’ve had hot dinners. However this hasn’t stopped her from finally settling on a blog and making it work. In this post she chats to us about everything she has learned and just what a challenge it can be to run a blog with a mindset such as hers.
Blogging is something that I have been interested in for many years, but my only problem is that I find it hard to focus on just one thing. I find that my mind races through idea after idea which you’d think was a good thing, but when all those things are so different, it makes deciding on a blog subject very difficult.
I first started blogging about five years ago; my first one was an amazing idea. My son had just started weaning and we had decided to go down the Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) route, which was just becoming popular and gaining a lot of media attention. I think I made two or three posts before a combination of being a first-time mum, work and boredom struck, and I stopped posting. Since then I have started many a blogging journey, including a weight loss diary, a geek craft blog, an alternative “emo/goth” lifestyle blog and a money making blog. My problem seems to be that I want to do a little of everything, but it has meant that I have been restricted with what I can actually post about; there are only so many times I can post about my favourite band or what I have had for dinner tonight that was healthy.
With this in mind I decided to basically combine all of my interests into the one blog and turn it into a lifestyle blog, all about the things I like, enjoy and want to talk about. This has meant that if I want to tell everyone about the amazing hair dye I have just used or the latest Younique products then I can, if I want to rant about the service in a local restaurant I am free to do so without it ever looking out of place.
Luckily I know that I’m not the only one who has this mentality about making a blog; it really is hard to decide what to do when you have so many options in front of you. If this is you, then what you need to do is sit down and have a good think about what you are wanting from your blog.
Why do you want to blog?
Is it for your love of writing? Do you want a platform to get your thoughts, advice or feelings out? Do you want to make money from it? Are you hoping for free stuff from companies?
This is a very important question to answer before you start any blog, because ultimately this will decide on how much work you will need to put into getting the views you need. If you are wanting a blog purely to earn money, then you need eyes and clicks on your blog so promotion is key; this adds a lot of work to running a blog and can ultimately put you off keeping up with it. If you don’t care about how many people see your posts, then you are much more likely to keep going as the workload is a lot smaller, you are under less pressure to produce the quality content that someone who was hoping to earn from it would.
If you are hoping to get free samples/products from companies, then visits to your blog matter. Companies know that bloggers are fantastic for advertising their products so will often reach out to those who they know will benefit them; they’re not going to send you anything if you don’t have a good enough following. This again adds pressure to you to keep on top with everything – it makes blogging more like a job so you need to treat it as such if you want the results.
What do you want to blog about?
Blogging about something you are very knowledgeable about or you have a deep interest in will give you a good basis on which to start a blog, and you are more likely to remain focused on it and continue posting. Starting a blog about nuclear physics when you cannot tell your up quarks from your down quarks is never going to keep you focused. It’s the same if you decide to go for a really specific niche subject, which is what happened with my alternative blog; there is no point blogging if you don’t have people to actually read it.
Understand that it takes time
Followers to your blog don’t happen overnight; adding Google Adsense to your blog won’t mean you will be earning £100’s in your first month, and companies will not start throwing their products at you as soon as you have launched your site. It can take anything from six months to two or three years before you reach the goals you set yourself with a blog. A lot of people fail to understand this and see not earning money or only having a hundred or so visitors each month as a failure, when it is in fact, not. The big bloggers out there didn’t get where they were after a day or so; if you ask anyone of them how long it was before they started seeing the statistics they wanted from their site, they will most probably give you figures of a year and upwards.
This statement is one of the most important ones to remember because ultimately this is the reason most bloggers give up; give it at least a year, then if you feel like you have truly done everything that you can and still see no results, then it is time to re-evaluate where your blog is going.
Interact with other bloggers
This is something I struggle with personally. I am getting better, and I try to leave a reply on at least one other blog a week; I also take to Twitter to reply to other blogger’s tweets. This is a way to get yourself noticed and it is also a great way to build up relationships that may see you guest blogging on other blogs, or having people posting on yours. It also is a great way of grabbing ideas for your posts; obviously you need to write the post yourself, but if you find you have a case of writer’s block then other bloggers are a great inspiration.
Take a step back
There is nothing wrong with taking a little time away from your blog if you start to feel like it is getting a little stale, or too much for you. There are some amazing sites out there that allow you to schedule posts to your social media platforms. Hootsuite or Twuffer (Twitter only) will let you schedule 100’s of posts at a time that you can have go live throughout the day, so if you want to take a couple of weeks off then you will still have your existing posts promoted.
Drop the frequency of your posts
If you normally post every two days then drop to twice a week, if you do it once a week then drop to once a fortnight etc. It will make your content go further, meaning that you don’t struggle to find things to write about; you can always pick it back up once you have your mojo back.
As I have said earlier in the post, there are many people out there who struggle to remain focused and give up too soon on their blogs. This post highlights some of the questions you need to ask yourself before you get started, and address some of the issues you may face. Belonging to part of a community such as The Money Shed is a great way to discuss your blogging hopes and issues, as well as getting the advice you need to take your blog further.
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