If anyone’s reading this, you’ll have to forgive me. I’m not sure if I can quite call this last year a blogging hiatus or just a failure to launch. I started with the best intentions. But since creating this site on the 7th of September 2019, I’ve written a total of four blog posts. So what went wrong?
I’m sure other bloggers out there will be able to relate to having a blogging hiatus at some point. Please leave me a comment below if you do – I’d love to hear your thoughts! The thing is, I do SEO for a living I’m really flippin’ good at it! In the last year, the content I have written has achieved some outstanding results for the company I work for. For example, at the time of writing this post, I am immensely proud of the following achievements:
- The website I write for now ranks for over 500 keywords
- 13 of those keywords are in the top 3 positions
- Another 17 are at positions 4-10
- A further 62 are in positions 11-20
- We have three featured snippets
- New clients regularly tell us they find us on Google
So Why The Blogging Hiatus?
OK, I’m digressing a little, but I think you probably understand the point I’m trying to make. Why can I achieve such kick-ass results when I’m at work, yet I don’t give my own creation the attention it deserves? It annoys the heck out of me that I know the recipe for creating a successful blog, but I’m just not that smart when it comes to doing it!
Recipe for a Successful Blog
Having bragged about being so knowledgeable about blogging, despite such a pathetic blogging hiatus/failure to launch I feel like I need to back it up with something. Once again, comments much appreciated from anyone out there who cares to chip in!
Don’t Obsess Over Having An Awesome Name
A lot of bloggers obsess so much about coming up with a good idea for a name that they never start a blog. This is sad because it’s really not that important. Not only that, but there are over 1.5 billion websites listed on Google. The chances of you coming up with a unique name are slim to none.
Have A Target Audience In Mind
A lot of blogs don’t start with a target audience. Sometimes people are just born bloggers and need to blog about something, anything to satisfy their creativity. Which is fine, but sooner or later, you’ll realise that your audience fits a specific ‘type’. Once you have this information, you will be better able to serve them up the types of content that they want to read.
Once your blog gains traction and you start seeing traffic, you will be able to find a mindblowing amount of information about your audience in Google Analytics. However, when you first start, it helps you focus if you have a specific audience in mind.
Work Out Your Aim – And Be Specific!
As my frustrated rant above highlights, you need to have a reason for blogging. The truth is that when you first start, it takes yonks to see results! Unless you’ve already studied Digital Marketing and you know what it’s all about, chances are, you won’t get any traffic for at least your first few months. Even then, it will only be the odd straggler.
When setting goals for yourself, try to see the bigger picture, not just a monetary figure. If you want to give up your day job and blog full time, work out a figure that will allow you to do that. However, once you’ve done that, don’t just focus on the numbers – money alone won’t be enough to keep your motivation going. It will be what that money will bring to your life in the long term that keeps you going.
Fact: Nobody has time for blogging. That is unless you’ve recently won the lottery, or have an insanely rich husband/parents. In which case I’m sure you have all the time in the world to work on your blog! For most of us living in the real world, however, a blog starts as a side gig which fits in around your day job. So if you want to be successful, you need to make time and maximise your productivity during that time.
To achieve this, work out how much free time you have and block out chunks of time to work on your blog. Next, set yourself goals for what you expect to achieve in that time. Keep a journal and hold yourself accountable for your time.
For example, how much time do you waste scrolling through your social media feeds? Discipline yourself to devoting that time to working on your blog instead. Work out all the tasks you need to complete, how long they will take you and block out time to complete those tasks. If you block out time to ‘work on my blog’ without any particular goal in mind, you won’t achieve anything.
I love the Go Girl productivity planner for precisely this purpose. It allows you to visualise your week at a glance, fill in appointments and tasks you need to complete, and track your daily habits. The best thing I love about the Go Girl Productivity Planner* is that it’s not a diary; you can start it at any time. Plus, if you miss a week, it doesn’t matter, you can just pick up where you left off.
For anyone needing a little more help, check out the Procrastinator’s Planner*, which is an educational resource and a planner in one. Firstly, it gives you bags of useful information that will help you understand a little of the science behind your procrastination. The planner, of course, helps you manage your time and habits, in very much the same way that the Go Girl planner above does.
Create Awesome Content
As long as you produce quality content that people actually want to read, people will find your blog through the keywords it ranks for. After reading your excellent post, it’s highly likely that people will return to your site.
If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It!
Once you have a few awesomely interesting blog posts published, you can start promoting your content. The best way of doing this is to simultaneously work on improving your DA by guest posting and promoting your work on social media.
It is also possible to drive repeat traffic by building an email list. Capturing your visitors’ email addresses is easy to do by creating a popup. Although, bear in mind that if you do this, you will need to prepare to write engaging newsletters to send to your readers regularly. If you don’t, they will unsubscribe. Publishing a newsletter on top of a blog can be too much work for newbie bloggers who can overwhelm themselves with things to do. If this happens, you’ll get burnt out too quickly and give up.
If you’re the kind of blogger who just wants to blog for the fun of it, then that’s great! However, most people will very soon grow tired of blogging if it doesn’t give them anything in return. If you want to make some money through your blog, the easiest way to do it is through affiliate marketing. If you haven’t come across that before, it’s where you earn commission by promoting products and services that are relevant to your niche.
Newbie bloggers always have a dilemma about how soon you should do this, and there is no right or wrong answer. There are three things to consider here:
- You won’t earn any money from affiliate marketing if you don’t have any traffic.
- Let’s say you delay signing up to an affiliate programme until you start seeing traffic. What if all of a sudden one of your blog posts goes viral? You’ll miss out on any commission you may have earnt from those visitors.
- Some affiliate programmes will close your account if you don’t earn any commission within six months.
How To Avoid A Blogging Hiatus
We all have a life, and sometimes, things happen that mean our blogs get pushed to the back of the queue. This is where it helps to keep a journal like one of the ones I mention above. That way, if an emergency arises, or something comes up that you would rather do, you can reschedule your time.
So, my pledge to my blog going forward is to give it the time and effort it deserves to flourish and grow! I will report back in future to explain what action I take and the results I see from that action so watch this space.
I would love to hear any comments from other bloggers on this topic; have you had a blogging hiatus? If so, how did you get back on track? And if you found this post useful, please share it on social media! Thanks! Xx
This post contains affiliate links which are marked with an asterisk*. All other links are for information only.