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How To Prevent Running Out Of Blogging Steam

How To Prevent Running Out Of Blogging Steam
How To Start Blogging and Not Run Out Of Steam

Something that almost inevitably happens to bloggers starting out their own niche site, is they run out of stuff to say. Generally, as a new blogger, you can shoot for around 3-4 months of solid content until the ideas begin escaping you.

This could possibly be caused by the lack of one or more of these:

  • 1. Inspiration
  • 2. Motivation
  • 3. Confidence
  • Inspiration

    At some stage you will become uninspired. Thankfully, this really is the easiest obstacle to overcome.

    The first source of inspiration comes from your competitors. Or as you should get to know them as, your peers. Within your niche, find other people writing about the same stuff you are, or similar.

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    Subscribe to all of their feeds and organize them into a folder in your feedreader [this is particularly useful if you write multiple blogs on different subjects]. Each time you want to write and don’t have an idea of a post in mind, peruse your feeds. You won’t need to copy, you’ll get ideas yourself.

    The second method of gaining inspiration comes from participation. If you write a blog about golfing, go play a round of golf. Play Tiger Woods 2007 even! Take a pen and pad with you and jot down ideas you have. If you’re having trouble with something, write it down and go research it when you get home. Find the solution and write about it.

    Motivation

    Creatively speaking, motivation is a big deal. It’s very hard to come up with great ideas if you don’t have that drive. If you don’t want to write well, you probably won’t.

    This drive usually comes from regularly participating in what you write about. More importantly being paid to write and, even more importantly, providing something of use to somebody else.

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    For now, we’ll skip the monetary aspect of blogging and focus on keeping motivation active the other two ways.

    The easiest way to stay motivated, as mentioned before, is to actively participate in your niche. Very similar to getting inspiration for writing about golf, getting out and playing some golf will also motivate you to write.

    You will also be motivated to write if you keep your audience in mind.

    Writing for your audience will not only improve the actual quality of writing, but also motivate you to get it started. If you think that someone else out there should know what you know, you will want to share it.

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    Confidence

    Lack of confidence can really stifle your writing. Most of us blogging out here aren’t really experts, we’re learning as we go. Knowing that out there somewhere is another writer who probably knows more than you can make you feel like your posts are not worth writing.

    When you’re reading other sites’ feeds for inspiration you might begin feeling like it’s all been written – and well! Why am I even trying, it’s been done and I can’t think of anything new.

    This happens, but shouldn’t discourage your writing.

    If you don’t get any new ideas, build on an existing one. If you read an article about practicing the perfect putt, write about your experience putting with that post in mind. If you disagree, write a rebuttal.

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    When you have something to say about someone else’s writing, and write your response, your confidence will increase. Not agreeing with someone’s writing means you have an opinion that hasn’t been discussed; and other people will have that opinion too.

    The bottom line with confidence, is you started this blog because you have something to say. After a few months you may have said everything you had envisioned saying when you began. Having the confidence to search for new ways of getting new ideas is important.

    In Short:

    If you’re running out of breath in your blog, get out there and get active. Read other posts and engage in the conversation. Talking with other readers of other sites will help develop your ideas.

    Participate in what you’re writing about. If you just write about it, you’ll become reliant on responding to other people’s posts. Play that round of golf and you’ll encounter new ideas for posts.

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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