I came across a problem recently concerning my Blogging. It was going downhill and fast, but I was in denial. What was the problem? A lack of organization and focus. I thought it might be useful to tell you how I identified the problem, and more importantly, how I fixed it.
Acknowledging The Problem
It started a few weeks ago for me, the quality of my posts went down the drain. Like I said, I didn’t acknowledge until recently that this was happening, I mean why would I? If for every post I said “Oh hey, sorry guys, I rushed this article in about 30 minutes and really am sorry for the quality” it would get tiresome after a while and the backlash would still continue. My first problem was identifying I had a problem and what steps needed to be taken in order to correct this.
After I acknowledged the quality of my Blogging was absolutely horrible, I looked for what was causing this. Now I tend to procrastinate a lot, and I can find thousands of better things to do than what I am doing now. For example, as I was typing this sentence I started looking at the ceiling then glancing around the living room. I also didn’t give myself enough time to plan out posts and couldn’t double check the validity of facts unless I missed my dead line.
Reader feedback is always important and I feel the best kind of comments are negative. If someone says “Oh yeah, liked your article, great stuff!” that doesn’t give me enough information to improve my Blogging besides keeping my current style and changing nothing. We all have room for improvement wether it be miniscule or massive, but if someone were to say “I did not like your latest post. You did not detail this, this, and this, plus you have included inaccurate facts” — that would help me a lot, except these type of responses directed at me were usually longer than what I had written myself, so, yes, I did need improvement big time.
Steps In Identifying The Problem
What you Blog about
While this happened to me, it happens to other Bloggers as well. But it is easy to identify whether your Blog is big or small. First, you need to outline what you’re going to Blog about. If you choose to Blog about gum-balls, do some research on how much news is generated, how often and how informative the news is, you can only do pure opinion based posts for so long. If you can do this then you’ll know whether or not your posts should be extremely long or short and sweet.
What you’re trying to achieve
Next, you need to identify what your goals are. Do you want to stir up healthy debate and occasional community interaction, or are you in it to get rich at Blogging? If you chose the former then you can take the time to outline your posts to create a well structured conversation that is not rushed. If you are the latter, quantity overrides quality and should be used with caution. I recommend pumping out a post a day, Monday through Friday if you’re a one-person Blog. If you pump out too many posts in one day that are just a few sentences long then readers will be turned off.
Finding your writing style
Lastly, you must find you writing style. Are you a Big Word Man (or Woman) who leaves half of his readers confused, or do you act like you’re have a conversation with your readers? It doesn’t matter which style you choose (I’ve always thought big words were invalid attempts to promote a sense of smartness that is really not there) just as long as you find the one that suits you and you readers. Keep in mind though, different writing styles that you are not used to will take a lot of your time to factor in.
Creating An Outline
Now that we’ve got that out of our system, we now better understand ourselves and know what red flags are raised. If your posts are not well structured you’ll not only decrease it’s overall quality but lose time as well. If you haven’t created an outline for your thoughts you’ll have to think your post up as you go along and will constantly misplace sentences that would serve a better purpose elsewhere.
I cannot stress how important an outline will be to your Blogging, even if it’s a simple one. Knowing this, I wouldn’t leave my readers hanging, because what kind of Blogger would I be? I eventually came across this little gem. I would highly suggest downloading the PDF outline (which is several pages long and jam packed) plus checking out the additional links, as it’s a great resource for writers.
For some, creating an outline isn’t the only problem, I know mine extends much deeper (I am now looking out the window into our front yard.) If you’re easily distracted like I am, the problem may be that you are too secluded. I tried this out and it helped me a lot: go to a local mall or somewhere busy but you can safely take your Laptop out. Find a comfortable spot (I wouldn’t dare touch the food courts) like a bench by a fountain, most malls should have someplace for you to rest yourself after a long day of shopping. Just try to be distracted now, wouldn’t it look suspicious that a man using a laptop is always eyeing around the mall? You might even get a few dirty looks which is a sign you need to finish what you’re doing.
Another tip is to force yourself to start a Blog post. If you just give it that 10-20 minutes you’ll be hooked for a while and find yourself done in no time. They key is to focus on what you’re doing right now. Any outside distractions might grab you’re attention but just keep at it no mater how hard it is, telling yourself to finish this is a great motivator.