Recently in the Dare to Grow Facebook group we talked about an issue that I’ve heard from lots and lots of bloggers so I want to share some ideas to fix that problem here!
Tell me if this sounds familiar . . . You have a list blog post ideas, everything is in your calendar, you have a plan for writing and publishing new content, but for some reason you can’t actually do the work to make your blogging plan happen.
Maybe you just move those blog post ideas further and further down on your to-do list.
Maybe you actually sit down to write but get distracted by every little thing.
Or maybe blogging has started to feel like such a chore that you avoid it altogether.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry – I’ve been there too. Staring at my to-do list or an empty page, knowing I need to write, and thinking . . . maybe tomorrow. So here are 7 things that might be causing you to stall or be inconsistent in blogging and how to get past those roadblocks and back on track ASAP.
1 | The risk/reward doesn’t exist or isn’t big enough
What do you get out of consistently hitting publish or what do you miss out on when you skip a post? For some people the satisfaction of publishing new content each week is enough, but for most of us, sticking to a posting schedule for months or years requires a bigger risk or a bigger reward.
For me this simply boils down to income. Yes, I love sharing what I know and connecting with my audience, but at the end of the month, if I don’t hit publish consistently, it shows on my bottom line. If I want to keep working with my rad students from my comfy couch every day then that risk is a huge consideration.
For other business owners the risk might be a slow-growing email list or the reward may be new clients or customers. Taking a look at your analytics should give you a good idea of what things grow or shrink based on how often you publish new posts.
If you aren’t blogging for a business, the reward could also be traffic or followers. The more often you post, the more content you’ll have to promote, driving traffic to your blog and boosting you audience on social media.
Also, let’s talk about how to find that risk/reward when your audience is just starting to grow. What is something small you like to do every week that you can essentially hold hostage until that blog post is published? Does it mean you get to buy yourself that weekly iced coffee? Spend the night binging your favorite show? Splurge on Sunday brunch?
THE FIX: Write down three things you risk not having when you skip a blog post and three rewards that show up when you post consistently.
2 | You’re in the wrong niche
If you don’t feel excited every week to publish content and share it with your readers then it might mean you’re writing about the wrong stuff.
Dare to Grow member Miranda joined the program when she was writing a blog about music but ended up losing her mojo for writing about bands and shows. Even though she had been at it for a while, she scrapped that blog started writing about something completely different – celebrating Halloween year-round. Now she’s built a brand new audience around something she’s super passionate about and has a much easier time posting consistently.
THE FIX: Take a few minutes to write down as many blog post ideas as you can come up with. Then look at the list and pay attention how to feel – is it excitement or dread? Does it feel like something you GET to do or something you HAVE to do? If you’re somewhere in between make sure to read the next option.
P.S. If you want more help, the first module in Dare to Blog (my course + community for beginner bloggers) walks you through how to choose + narrow your niche.
3 | You’re writing for everyone
I get it, writing for someone specific feels like you’re excluding a ton of people who would benefit from your posts and make it impossible to grow your audience. And it’s kinda scary to be more specific when only a handful of people show up each day and you don’t want to limit yourself even more.
But trust me, writing to ONE specific person will make it a lot easier to write posts and write them FAST!
An ideal reader like “single, 30-something, learning about eco-friendly living” is still WAY too broad – anyone could write for that person. Are you writing for someone who is career driven and trying to fit an eco lifestyle into their already packed life? Or someone who lives in a tiny town having to DIY their way to eco-friendly living? Both might show up and benefit, but writing for one or the other means you can pinpoint one person’s challenges and write posts directly to them.
THE FIX: Narrow down who you’re writing to to ONE specific person – like an actual person you know. This might be a friend, a student, customer, client, or even you a few years ago. Then come up with 3 specific scenarios / goals / challenges that they’re working on (write them out like a little story) so you know the exact things you’ll be helping them conquer.
4 | You’re worried about what people will think / whether what you have to say is worth anything / if anyone actually cares
Once you settle into a niche you’re excited about and write for someone specific, the what-ifs might be what’s getting in your way. What if someone posts a rude comment? What if my friends find out about my blog and think it’s silly? What if I put in all this work and no one ever shows up? Am I wasting my time if so-and-so does it so much better?
All of things might happen, BUT . . . what if new readers show up every day and leave nice comments on your posts? What you help someone finally get through a roadblock? What if blogging adds a spark of creativity into your week? What if your friends and family think your blog is totally rad because they “could never do something like that”?
THE FIX: Hit publish over and over and over and actually see what happens instead of imagining all the bad possibilities. My guess is that you’re going to get way more positive feedback than you expected, but there’s no way to find out without taking that chance! (Easier said than done, I’m totally aware. But even I sometimes still have to close my eyes, hit publish, and then run away from my laptop.)
5 | You don’t have enough accountability
For some people, adding blog posts into their calendar is enough to consistently hit publish, but for others (me included) that just doesn’t work. Adding items into my calendar keeps my blogging, email, and social media plans organized, but it does nothing to keep me actually doing those tasks.
Two things actually help me hit publish . . .
- Knowing that my assistant is expecting a post ready to edit on a specific date
- Publicly announcing what’s coming up on the blog
One unexpected benefit of hiring an assistant was that I felt responsible for not making her schedule crazy. This means that I do my best to get blog posts done in advance, not the 11pm night before so she isn’t having to cram things into her days at the last minute.
And my second trick for creating accountability is telling people what I’ll be writing about next week. This might appear like I’m giving a sneak peek on Insta stories or posting on Facebook asking for questions about an upcoming topic, but i’m actually creating outward accountability. This does wonders for keeping me focused and completing tasks on time because few things make me feel worse than saying I’ll do something and then not following through.
THE FIX: What accountability can you set up to keep yourself on track? If you’re not coming up with any ideas, The Four Tendencies (affiliate link) is a great book to see what type of tricks you can use to get yourself to stick to your blogging schedule.
6 | You’re worried about what happens if it’s a total success
What happens if your blog posts are brilliant, massively helpful, and the audience you’ve been imagining comes running in DROVES.
Maybe your ‘what-ifs’ aren’t centered around what happens if you totally fail, but instead what happens if your blog becomes a massive success. Will you have to hire people? Will you have to put yourself out there more? Will you have to go live, do interviews, attend events and conferences? Will you feel totally out of control? (That’s my worry!)
When we’re worried we can’t see this, but if we put on our logical boss lady pants we know that in the event of Oprah-sized success, we can still take things one step at a time.
You will still be in control, steering the ship, fully able to say yes to things that sound amazing and no to things that don’t. Your blog won’t run off and be popular without you, I promise.
THE FIX: We’re going the Tim Ferriss fear-setting route with this one. (He explains this in-depth about 40 mins into this interview) Draw three columns on a page. In column one write down the absolute worst things that could happen. In column two write down ways to prevent each thing from happening. And in column three write down how you could recover if that thing actually happens. The purpose of fear-setting is to prove that, outside of certain death, you can prevent and/or recover from pretty much anything.
7 | You’re going it alone
When I first started blogging I didn’t tell ANYBODY. I was 13 and blogging about boys and bands so keeping what was essentially an online diary a secret wasn’t that weird. But even after I started taking on blog design clients, just prior to leaving my job, I still wasn’t sharing my blog with anyone who didn’t randomly find me on the internet.
And then it was YEARS into being a solopreneur before I went to my first conference (only because I was asked to speak), Skyped with a biz buddy, and joined a mastermind group. All things that after the fact were SO helpful in feeling like what I was doing was important and that I had enough smarts and balls to keep going forward.
Blogging and social media and creating stuff becomes so much easier when you can brainstorm with or get support from someone else and if you’re blogging (or not blogging) in a bubble all by yourself it’s no wonder you feel uninspired or unmotivated to write.
THE FIX: Find a buddy, a group, or a mentor to check in with at least once/month to go over new ideas and commiserate on what didn’t work. Local meetups, Facebook groups, or online programs (like Dare to Grow!) are great places to find blogging buddies and accountability partners.
Alright – ‘fess up, which of these issues has your brilliant blogging plans stopped in their tracks??
And if you didn’t already know, Dare to Grow is my monthly membership program that offers content, coaching, and live classes to help bloggers + small business owners grow their online presence. If you’re looking for personalized feedback, step-by-step processes, and accountability click here to join us!