What do you do when your blogging self confidence crashes? This was a question I received this week from a reader. She had read our posts on preventing bloggers block yet felt that she had topics in mind to write about so those posts didn’t help her situation. She wasn’t sure if it was a scarcity of comments, concern about her statistics, lack of shares recently or what exactly it was that caused her confidence to plummet. However, feeling that your material will not be of interest to others or why would anything want to read your opinions can be a tough barrier to overcome.
Is this something you can empathise with? To be honest, I think this is something faced by all bloggers at one time or another. I know I have questioned the worth of my blog occasionally, wondering if it is good enough, wondering why the comments have dried up even though the statistics were at the same level
Blogging Comments & Community
It can be hard to get comments on a business blog. People respond well to personal details so if you can include some (if it fits with the topic) you may achieve more comments. However, some nationalities are better at commenting than others, I’ve noticed that Americans seem to comment much more often than the Irish.
It’s all about sharing the love though and becoming part of communities. Many blogs that receive a significant number of comments are either written by gurus or by those who take the time to comment on other blogs, becoming part of communities. Comment on other blogs (with meaningful comments), leaving your details in the sign in box so the blogger and other commentators might visit your blog. Follow those with similar interests and potential customers on twitter and engage with them. Retweet their tweets and they will reciprocate. See if there is a tweetchat going on within your area and join in (e.g. #Intdesignchat is a great one for interior designers, it’s on at 11pm GMT every Tuesday night). Join offline and online networking groups – you’ll find chatting to like-minded people will result in friendships as well as more interaction on your blog.
There is no harm in asking a couple of friends to leave comments to get the ball rolling as others will be more inclined to comment if they see other comments there already.
Remember that responses on facebook, twitter and google+ all work as feedback too. I notice that people will respond on those platforms more readily than they will on the blog. The reasons seem to be that it is seen as a quicker method of response, and can lead to a conversation rather than waiting for a response via the comment feed.
Sleeping On It
Lack of confidence can lead to posts sitting there unpublished or perhaps not even started. If I’m not entirely happy with a blog post, I tend to save it as a draft for a few days and find that inspiration sometimes comes to me when I least expect it as I ‘sleep on it’. However, there is a limit to how useful this can be. Don’t overdo it when striving for a good blog post. Remember it is a blog post not a published novel or a thesis. It can still be edited after publication so don’t procrastination with the editing. Take a deep breath and click ‘publish’.
Getting Your Blog Out There
Remember there’s a lot of blogs out there in the blogosphere, all competing for readers. It isn’t just a case of having a well optimised blog and expecting people will find you on google search or that they will stay loyal to you in their RSS feed. You will need to share your blog post, making it easier for people to find. When sharing on twitter, schedule some tweets over a few days and it is a good idea to vary the compelling update to persuade others to click the link and read your post. Don’t forget about google+ when sharing. Others include stumbleupon, pinterest and of course, facebook.
If you send out a newsletter and include links to one or two of your best blog posts that month, this can be an effective way to increase readership too.
Find Your Style Of Writing For Your Blog
If you have lots of topics in mind but the fingers on the keyboard just don’t seem to be connecting with your brain, write anything anywhere. Here’s a tip that Mona of Wise Words uses very well, she writes a daily poem on her facebook page first thing in the morning. As a night owl, that method wouldn’t suit me but it might suit you. You don’t have to make it public. Writing something, even if it is just a private diary entry, will get the fingers moving and the words flowing.
Find your own style of writing – do you produce content more effectively by typing quickly without stopping to punctuate (editing later) or do you prefer to edit as you go along? There’s no wrong or right answer, it’s a case of finding what works best for you. When I am writing ghost posst for clients, I write without stopping, edit it and hit publish. However, when writing posts for this blog, I might spend an entire day writing a post bit by bit, perhaps writing half of it and then leaving it to work on other material, returning to it later in the day. Find a way of writing that works for you.
Get Back On The Saddle – Grow Your Blogging Confidence
I remember when I was learning to ride a pony as a child and one thing that was drilled into me was if you fall off, it is important to get on again immediately or I could lose my nerve. The same goes for writing. It is natural for bloggers to struggle with confidence or writer’s block after the break over Christmas. Once you get back into the flow of things, the writing become easier and better. You may look back on your first post in January and think it could be a lot better. Perhaps it could but the first leads to the second and the third. Practice does make perfect and as your confidence grows again, your writing will flow too.
You are just as entitled to write about your area of expertise and niche as anyone else. Remember you are good at what you do and your blog serves to demonstrate your knowledge and your expertise. Others will view you as the person to contact when they need your product or service because of your blog. Writing and your confidence levels will improve with practice.
Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Keep at it and the traffic (and conversions) will increase.
The KLCK bloggers network meets once a month, alternating between the Irish counties of Kildare, Laois, Carlow and Kildare and it’s a superb network to become involved in. Tune into the hashtag #blogchatIE on Thursday evenings at 9pm GMT to chat with others about various blogging topics.