It took me a while to get enough confidence to start blogging back in 2010, in those days I’d only recently started out as a social media consultant and didn’t really believe I knew anything that the experts of the time weren’t already blogging about.
But I forced myself to start, feeling that I had a responsibility to become experienced in as many aspects of social media marketing as I could. After all, if people where asking me the best ways to do things I wanted to be able to offer up my own experiences as well as the learning I had from reading about it.
As many people do, I found blogging a little hard to fit in at first, I’m sure you know what it’s like, sometimes you are busy running your business and taking a couple of hours out of a day to write, edit and publish a blog post seems impossible! You know if you are going to do it you’ll have to add those hours onto the day somewhere! But by then my first few posts had been well-received and I could see how valuable it could be, so I challenged myself.
I’ve read a lot about habit forming and the general consensus is that you need to repeat an action around 30 times for it to start to become a habit. So I decided that for the next month I would spend 30 minutes writing every day, before breakfast. In fact I did it as soon as I woke up.
By the end of the month the habit was well and truly formed, that 30 minutes a morning generally equaled two blog posts written a week, although I usually only published one, meaning I was constantly growing my stockpile of posts, good practice just in case something happened to get in the way of me writing!
And of course something did happen…
…well a couple of things really. The first was that I went on holiday with my family. Nothing unusual in that of course but my partner insisted I leave my iPad at home and do absolutely nothing that could be considered work related for the entire week.
So instead I would wake up at my normal time and do nothing! Even though I was the only one awake and spending 30 minutes writing would have done no harm to anyone! And it would have made me feel a lot better seeing as I spent that time feeling all the fidgeting frustration of withdrawal!
When I got home from my holiday though I found it hard to get back into my writing rhythm, something had been disturbed and there was a dissonance there. I still managed to publish a post a week but I found I was dipping into my stock more often and producing a finished new post probably only once every two weeks.
Then I started overhauling my website.
I wanted to give it a fresh, more professional look. And my nephew, who was a web developer at the time, offered to do it for me. I decided to wait till he had finished it before publishing my next post, after all it would only be a week or two I thought.
But it wasn’t, months went by and still the new website wasn’t finished. It was live, but not how I wanted it to be and, quite frankly I was too embarrassed by it to want to post new articles. Then truth was I didn’t particularly want people to see it – can you imagine? For someone who works so much online you can imagine how ridiculous that is!
And I got my wish, visits to my website dropped from hundreds a day to under twenty a day. I saw very clearly just how important my blog was for attracting visitors.
Eventually I decided to re-do it myself.
Over the next few months I tried various themes but I couldn’t get any of them to do quite what I wanted them to do (what they said they did!)
During this time I didn’t stop writing, I was keeping busy writing my book. Now that I’ve finished that I made the time to have one last bash at re-designing my website, and this time I finally found a theme that said it would do what I wanted, and it did!
Two days later my new site was live, and I was smiling and typing like crazy!
Having a site that I wanted people to see means that I want to blog again, after all, posting useful articles regularly is the best way to draw people back to my site over and over again.
So, now you know what stopped me blogging, I’d love to hear if you’ve faced similar obstacles in the comments below.