If you ever want to start a blog, it can be LOTS of fun. Blogging can be an outlet, it can be a venue for many different things. It can even, in some rare cases, make you some money! I’ve been actively running websites and blogs now for nearly 4 years and so I thought I’d write a 10 part series on what I’ve learned!! This week, it’s all about being balance.
In my years of blogging I have seen many blogs fade away. I’m sad to see some of them go, but I understand that blogging isn’t easy. It’s a job that often times requires immense time online. Whether it’s social media, posting, searching, writing, whatever it is, you spend lots of time online. That means that all to often your spouse gets irritated. They may get jealous, spiteful and even angry that you spend so much time blogging.
Balance is something that is so important when you do anything, but especially when blogging. Let me humbly suggest three reasons why balance is important:
It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. I have seen bloggers post 20+ times daily or more for months at a time. I don’t know how they do it. They are probably killing themselves. They obviously must love doing it (because why else do that), but eventually two things happen: your readers expect you to do that, or you tire and quit. The later is much more common. When you post like a maniac, you feel like a maniac. Your mind runs a mile a minute, always searching for something to post. You readers expect you to post constantly because you have been doing it for a while. It’s a vicious cycle and one that come screeching to a halt far to often. The blogger becomes weary, the readers, not seeing content, leave, the blogger seeing less traffic, finds it harder and harder to justify continuing until eventually they skip posting for a day. Then another and another day go by. Eventually you will a post saying, I’m sorry for not posting, which is the guilt the blogger is feeling. And then nothing. People who do this don’t understand a key element in blogging.
It’s often not about quantity, but quality that inspires people to read your stuff.
In some areas of blogging, mostly the deal blogging, it is about quantity, but it’s also about consistency. I would much rather follow a blogger that posts an inspiring post every day then a blogger that posts 20 junk posts every day. Successful bloggers pace themselves. I had to learn this the hard way. It’s not easy. But let me give you a practical example. I wrote this series in a little under 4 days over a long weekend. I was thinking about writing it in the shower (one of the best places I get ideas, I know strange), I jumped out, wrapped the towel around me sat at my computer and typed out my outline. Within three days I had over 7,000 words, and ten articles completed. But I didn’t just publish them all at once, I sat on them for SIX MONTHS. Then I scheduled the posts to go out over a 10 week period. I have come to understand that people want consistent content, not a waterfall of content. Remember that. Become a marathon runner and find a good balance when posting content.
Remember the offline world
I find that one the hardest thing in blogging and running online websites is the balance between family and blogging. For years I LIVED WeUseCoupons. If we went on vacation my computer went with me. I was terrified the server might crash or a problem might arise. Thank goodness I have a wonderful wife that is truly the love of my life and put up with it! But it’s challenging to find a good balance here. My wife is very understanding and this year I have made a very conscious effort to spend time with her and develop our relationship. We set aside time to go on dates every Friday night. I try in the evening to have at least 3 hours completely away from the computer. Many bloggers I know have a set hour they put up their computers. I also take Saturday off almost entirely. My advice, find something that works and don’t forget about the REAL people in your life. It’s easy to get involved in the ‘social’ media. It’s easy to get sucked into the drama or posts of others, remember that your spouse often times craves attention. While you’re getting ‘social’ they are left to entertain themselves.
Balance is hard. Blogging is a dedicated activity that involves so much of a person. But don’t give everything away. I get so much joy from my little girl saying ‘dada, outside’. We go outside in the rain and she says, ‘dada, no-no’ asking me to make the rain stop because she is getting wet. Family is precious, even more precious than work and dare I say your blog. It’s easy to get wrapped up into something you love, it’s easy to get wrapped up into something you are passionate about. But don’t forget those that truly love you. Balance, it’s so vital.
Lessons I’ve Learned While Blogging is a 10 Part series. Next week’s article discusses Overcoming Brick Walls