5 thoughts on blogging for the long game

October 01, 2017

5 thoughts on blogging for the long game

This post was originally shared as part of my monthly New Moon Missives to mark my re-blogiversary earlier this year.

If you go looking for blogging advice there is a ton out there. And while most of it focuses on how to grow an audience and make money when possibly shifting your focus from purely creative expression to an entrepreneurial venture, there seems to me to be deeper things going on that make it a richer and more meaningful experience for the long game.

As I reflect on what my own journey of blogging has taught me, if you were to ask my opinion on what it takes to play the long game, the following practices have bolstered my continuation when the path has been less than smooth or glamorous:

| Be yourself

Do your own thing. Follow your passions, write about what inspires you. If this means not ‘having a niche’ right off the bat then so be it. Your ‘niche’ will naturally emerge and evolve as you write. You will soon discover what topics you keep circling back to and what comes naturally.

Honour your writing process – it’s not all about content calendars and enforced (self-imposed, I might add) schedules. While it’s good to keep a rotating pool of ideas on hand, don’t feel that you have to stick with it if something else feels more relevant. You can always come back to that at a later date.

While the exact sequence of topics you share can and should be flexible, what is good to fall into the routine of is a consistent blogging habit. Whether that is posting every day, once a week or something in between, find a rhythm and pace that works for you.

| Step back

There seems to be a lot of fear in the blogging and online community in general that if you stop or step away for more than five seconds your notoriety will tank. While indeed you want to keep yourself on people's radar, at the same time you do need to step away from things every now and again for your own sanity.

I am a big proponent of taking time out to unplug and even go on sabbatical especially as a creative entrepreneur whose natural rhythm is not a constant go, go go, but that has ebbs and flows. And so I would say, when handled correctly, it is absolutely okay to take a break, step back, and even start over. Learn to recognise the signs of overwhelm, comparisonitis and practice putting on the blinkers.

Your journey is what is important. This is not a race.

5 thoughts on blogging for the long game

| Explore

The absolute best way to learn a thing, let’s face it, is by teaching yourself. I have never been one to read the manual on anything and I really should know that creative blogging, like life, comes under this category too.

It is very easy to get lost in the headlights of information overload and then sit in the mire of overwhelm and procrastination. So start where you are. Start with what you do know and can do right now. The rest will show itself as you go. Experiment and try on different things. Make mistakes, expect crickets and consider each ‘no’ or rejection an opportunity to find the redirection. Get practiced at being flexible.

| Lead

Remember why you started – heck, put it on your wall if needed – and avoid comparing your progress to another’s. It is so easy to somehow want to line ourselves up against how we perceive others to be doing. To judge our beginning to another’s middle is so unfair on our creative selves. Keep in mind that what you see or perceive to be true is only part of the story.

While studying and learning from another’s journey can be both inspirational and motivational, you do not have to accept or follow any or all advice they give out. For one, what works for one does not necessarily translate to all, and their results may not replicate themselves to your specific situation.

"your mileage may vary" -- Anon

Be mindful of getting caught up in the hype and drama that someone sells and look instead at their processes from a more objective perspective. Be curious; get caught up in the enthusiasm, even. But at the end of the day remain detached of the outcome, take what is in alignment with your goals and values, and leave the rest.

| Allow

For as much as you may want a thing, you have to also hold it lightly. And to do that you must embrace the journey for what it is. The path is the reward and there is no real end point.

Rather than keep pushing and forcing, allow the journey to unfold in the way that it is meant to. Though there may be unexpected windfalls and surprises despite what folks may imply, there are no real shortcuts or quick fixes, and as such your patience and diligence will be essential.

Would you agree with my assessment? What would you add to the list?

In the meantime, while the right mindset is undoubtedly critical to your success in the long term, so too is having suitable tools to plot a path. Especially so when juggling the many moving parts involved. Although I have a very simple system that I use day to day, to this end I created the Blog & Media Planning Kit.

Containing 10 generously proportioned playsheets across the realms of blogging and social media, individual sheets can be printed as the need arises and I have found them indispensable for planning, creating, scheduling and reviewing my online presence.

// edit // These playsheets have now been updated and integrated into the Blog + Media Planning Kit 2.0 set that helps organise not only your blog content plan, but your whole online digital presence and strategy.

:: beka* ::

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