As a result of writing for the Blog Herald, I’ve become a regular reader. Last week, Lorelle wrote the article “What Does it Really Take To Blog?” that had me thinking. So this week, I thought I’d offer my own, personal answer to Lorelle’s question.
Q: What does it really take to blog?
A: The ability to make a long-term commitment.
Much blogging advice contains an over-arching theme of preparing for the “long haul.”
Now, what do I mean and what does this have to do with a chain? Read on.
“I see many bloggers start blogs with dollar signs in their eyes, thinking that they’ll be earning big dollars very quickly, only to find that it takes many months (or years) to get a blog running to its potential.”
To give you an idea of the time commitment:
- It’s one thing to write five decent blog posts on a subject you’re really passionate about.
- It’s yet another to write 365 decent blog posts – a full year’s worth.
- It’s another thing entirely to write 1,000 – which is most likely the point at which you’ll begin to see any return on your time investment.
It’s not until a thousand plus posts are indexed by search engines that the “long tail” really starts kicking in. But the difference between five and a thousand posts – in my experience – is merely a commitment to blogging over a long period of time. It’s not unlike dieting, saving for retirement, or training for a marathon.
Here’s a good tip towards making the commitment easier. Brad Isaac wrote a post for Lifehacker divulging Jerry Seinfeld’s “productivity secret” that holds a key:
[Seinfeld] said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way… was to write every day. But his advice was better than that. He had a gem of a leverage technique he used on himself and you can use it to motivate yourself – even when you don’t feel like it.
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.
He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”
“Don’t break the chain,” he said again for emphasis.
Writing every day? Hey, that sounds familiar. Instead of writing jokes, we’re writing posts.
If you can make a long-term commitment, and can find inspiration in the “don’t break the chain” challenge to write, write, write – I think the odds are in your favor.