Making A Long-Term Commitment To Blogging… Don’t Break The Chain

Filed as Features on October 4, 2007 3:38 am

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.

The “long haul” is something you might refer to as persistence, perseverance, tenacity, or stick-to-it-ness. Everybody’s favorite ProBlogger Darren Rowse writes:

“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.

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  1. By menjil posted on October 4, 2007 at 8:19 am
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    how to make my own website…and how to make it very familiar to everyone.???

    Reply

  2. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on October 4, 2007 at 9:24 pm
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    Menjil: I’m sure Jason will answer, but I tell my students and clients that when a visitor arrives on your blog or site, it needs to be recognizable – the visitor needs to know in an instant that this is the place that has the answer they are looking for.

    What that looks like depends upon what answer you provide.

    Jason: Well done. This is wonderful. Thank you taking the conversation in the right direction with the best answer. And welcome to the club!

    Reply

  3. By David Kierznowski posted on October 4, 2007 at 9:53 pm
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    I totally agree Jay. The challenge I find is getting the balance right between part-time blogging and the rest of life :)

    Nice one.

    Reply

  4. By Jack @ The Tech Teapot posted on October 6, 2007 at 12:28 pm
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    1000 posts…Oh well, only 836 to go :)

    Reply

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  9. By Light Fittings posted on December 3, 2010 at 3:48 pm
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    we use big wall calendars on our offices, big wall calendars are easier to read `*~

    Reply

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