Why Blogging Will Be Different This Time19 Sep 2012
I have tried to start a blog 3 times or 4 times. Each time it has failed to amass more than one post.
I believe that I have never maintained the dedicated effort in blogging for three reasons - 1. The return on investment has never seemed to make sense, 2 - blogging has always felt like a chore since I haven’t blogged about subjects I am passionate about and 3 - blog posts have taken too long to write for their expected return on investment.
I am determined that this time will be different because I am going to approach blogging in a slightly different way. This is what I will be doing differently:
1. I will only blog about what I know and love
While this point might seem obvious - it is something I’ve never really done.
On the Art Sumo blog, I have consistently struggled to write blog posts because I really know very little about art. When I attempted to write blog posts on it, they would always come out as a contempt for the art world, rather than a proper discussion on the ins and outs of various pieces.
It comes natural to Tim Ferris to blog about travel and small business design, because it is what he loves and is continuously speaking about. Likewise, Rand Fishkin runs a SEO firm, so it is natural for him to give tips on SEO and Start-ups. If we asked either one of them to blog on flowers, it’s quite likely that even they would struggle too.
So I’m going to stick to the subjects which I’m naturally thinking about and love. I think they will be much more enjoyable to write about and will help to focus my thoughts.
2. I will embrace that practice makes perfect
I recently re-read Outliers. In it, Malcolm Gladwell points out that any of the big success stories have dedicated approximately 10,000 hours of practice before anyone ever heard of them.
While I don’t plan think I’ll ever blog for 10,000 hours, I beleive that if I can keep to just 1 blog post per week, blogging will get easier with time. Rand Fishkin recently mentioned on Quora that he got into the practice of blogging each day early on in his career and kept it up for 5 years! Nowadays it isn’t so hard for him to whip together a blog post (now that he has put in his 10,000 hours!)
3. I will queue up 1 month of posts before the blog goes live
When I audited a positive psychology course during undergrad, I remember learning that 2/3rds of people who seek out to make a behavioural change (say a new year’s resolution), break their behavioural chance within 1 day. I also vaguely recall that if people were able to maintain their new year’s resolution for at least a week, their odds of keeping it went up tremendously.
So to get myself into a cadence, I will type up 1 blog post each week until, I have established my momentum to blog each week. If you are seeing this post, it is an indication that I have managed to maintain the cadence of 1 post per week.
4. I will invest in online marketing
In building Art Sumo, I learned the hard way, that if you build it, they won’t come. The number of blogs is increasing exponentially and to stick out of the pack, you need to market it online.
I remember Gary Vaynerchuk pointed out in his Mixergy interview that the reason he was able to build up an online following is that after he created each podcast, he was willing to spend the remaining 12 hours in the day promoting it.
I don’t plan to invest in that level of promotion, but do plan to spend about 15-30 minutes each day doing some form of marketing.
Well that it - here’s hoping that these 4 things will allow me to maintain the blog and provide some value to you.