Maintaining a blog for the long haul can be challenging at times. Like the ups and downs of a long-term relationship, there will be times you will want to throw in the towel and walk away. It feels like it is simply not working. Or not worth the effort.
There will be days you just don’t want to write. Sometimes weeks. There will be seasons you just don’t feel motivated. When you have a full-time job, significant life events or other projects consume your time, or life just gets hectic, maintaining a blog can be overwhelming.
I understand this. Some of my readers may have given up on me several times in the last several years. I have droughts. I had one recently. This one was a combination of significant life events combined with a full-time job. The stress zapped any motivation to write right out of my brain.
Yet I never wanted to give up. I knew I would be back. I think most bloggers go through this phase at some point. I can’t be the only one who has neglected my blog (and my readers) on an occasion or two.
Blog Creation Has Changed
When the idea of creating a blog first develops, most people have a ton of momentum to start that new project. Excitement dominates. Ideas are flowing in, bouncing off the walls of the mind. When blogging first started out years ago you could put up a few posts, add some SEO, social marketing, and hope for a flood of visitors to your site.
Several years later, much of that has changed. Not only has the momentum fizzled, but Google has changed the rules. Old-fashioned SEO is no longer effective. Now, quality counts. This is a good thing.
Another factor is the ever-increasing creation of blogs. Blogging is no longer something new and unique. It is a lot more competitive to get readers because there are so many blogs out there.
Maintaining Blog For the Long Haul
So what do you do? The good news is that by putting in time and effort to keep your blog going for the long haul, you have a better chance of getting traffic and returning visitors.
Most people give up too easily when they’re first starting out their blogs. They still want to believe that they can just set up a blog and watch groves of visitors come to it. In reality, creating an established blog takes time. And dedication. And work. But it doesn’t have to be hard.
A few things can help.
Creating unique and quality content. This is even more important today if you want to gain favor in the eyes of the search engines and even more importantly, to gain regular readers.
Publish blog posts on a regular basis. This one can be the most challenging, especially if you are the sole content provider for your blog. “Regular” can mean twice a week or daily, just make sure you are consistent.
Treat your blog like a business. Depending on your goals, this is a perspective that will help you take your blog serious, and treat it with the attention it requires.
Come up with a publishing schedule. While I don’t currently do this, it is something I have thought about doing in the future. This keeps you accountable and helps your readers know what to look for.
Take breaks. While it is important to stay consistent on updating your blog regularly, you will get burnt out at some point. Take a few days off and come back with a fresh mind.
Allow guest posts. This is one tactic I have used for a couple years now. This not only provides a different perspective from others, but gives you a break from creating fresh content. Just be sure you have guest post guidelines to keep up with quality content.
Ask readers what they would like to see. Once your blog starts getting stagnant, it may be time to reach out to your readers and ask what they would like to see. This also makes them feel like you are providing content that is relevant to them.
Write an occasional short post or a photo post. Sometimes it is okay to have a short post or photo post if you don’t have much else to write about.
Content curation. This has been a tactic that has become more popular in the last couple years. Essentially, you provide a bunch of links to other related content across the web, compiled into one post.
Assess and revise goals annually. Each year, you should take some time and assess your goals for your blog. You can look at content, monetization, marketing, and social media.
By sacrificing with some hard work in the short-term, you’ll quickly gain a lot of exposure in the long-term. Eventually you’ll have a lot of people coming to your blog because they’ll be able to see the quality of information that you’re offering. By doing it the right way at first, you’ll create a business instead of a get rich quick site.
You’ll be able to form lasting relationships with your customers that will eventually result in repeat business. By working hard and doing the necessary things the right way, your efforts will be rewarded.
Once people find a blog that has high quality content and a personal voice, they’ll be more likely to stick around and read what you have to say.