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Four years of blogging: How to stay motivated

I woke up to this wonderful achievement today with two thoughts in mind. One, has it really been four years? And the other, has it only been four years? It seems like I have been doing it forever, however a lot has happened in four years and four years is a long time to be blogging every day, or even weekly

To think back to 2014, there are many things I didn’t expect to happen by 2018.

  • Trump would become president
  • The UK would leave the EU
  • I would see (online unfortunately, not in person) SpaceX sending rockets to space, paving the way for a base on Mars in the near future
  • England would get knocked out of the Euro’s by Iceland. ICELAND! I am used to it now, but for a country with a population less than my city, come on now. Fair play to Iceland though
  • So many inspirational and high profile names leave us, young and old
  • So many inspirational and high profile names caught in controversy and really fuel movements looking for change
  • Sunderland would be rock bottom of the Championship, on the verge on being relegated to the third tier of English football (this is making people back home in Newcastle very happy, trust me)
  • I would move to Australia, work in Sydney Harbour and swim on the Great Barrier Reef
  • I would get an achievement from WordPress saying I have been blogging for four years

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I am sure there are so many other moments, discoveries, great movies, quotes and music that you could all help remind me of since this day. But yes, four years is a long time to keep at it.

One of the reasons I can do so is that I enjoy it. If I was to purely do it for the likes I would have stopped long ago. I have 1,106 posts including this one and I would say that 90% of them have only 2-4 likes and no comments. It takes a long time to build an audience and this isn’t guaranteed over a long period of time. Consistency is key. The moment I stop following my uploading routine the views drop like a stone and they take a long time to pick up again. It really is something you have to stick to, dare I say, religiously. It is something that I have to enjoy doing so much for so long. It is also incredibly important to engage with the community. I kept myself to myself for a long time whilst blogging, however nothing has helped me engage with the community more than engaging and reaching out myself. A band won’t be successful unless it tours. Why should I expect people to say hello to me if I don’t say hello to anyone?

Another factor is that you need to have an aim. I have always wanted to write a book (you can see this in my About Me section) and I was debating what I should do four years ago. Write a book or start a blog. I thought it would be wise to build an audience for my book to appeal to before throwing one out there with no one to read it. It is also a therapy for me, being able to write everyday about what I think about obsessively. I need to get certain things off my chest and blogging helps me greatly with this in mind. If you have an aim, you have a reason to blog. This could be to write a book. Maybe it is to share your passions for photography or poems, or it could be to reach out to those people that share your worldview, lifestyle or illness. I think I blog for all these reasons. If there is a end goal, this will help massively with motivation and productivity.

I am also tired of working for other people. I enjoy work, but I cannot help thinking that I want to work for myself and want to share my own ideas and opinions instead of being paid to promote someone else’s. Life is too short to not give something to the world and we all have our own unique talents and abilities. I want to use mine, no matter how big or small, as much as I can as often as I can. If I can one day use my blog to help fund my dream of publishing a book and furthering my creativeness and productivity, I would much rather do that instead of working in a job not because I want to, but because I have to. This would also free up so much time that I cannot afford to waste.

I also need to give up using excuses. One thing I have noticed, and I have been a culprit believe me, is that so many people start off their blog post with:

‘So I bet you are wondering why I haven’t been posting lately. This is because of X and Y, forgive me!’

The problem is, the readers haven’t been wondering where you have been. They are now looking elsewhere. If I want to keep my readers, I cannot be allowing excuses to get in the way. I could give excuses, but this won’t stop people from feeling disengaged. If I want to build my blog, I need to keep at it no matter what. So now I blog on my commutes to and from work. In long lines. On my days off and before and after work. Some people find that is exhausting, and this is of course fine. But success isn’t easy and I don’t want to fool myself into believing that it is.

Blogging is a huge commitment when blogging daily. It takes effort to actually sit down and set up a blog, to design it and keep it afloat in an ocean full of great fellow bloggers. I know I am not putting in as much effort as so many other blogs, but this is evident in their success. If I want to grow, I have to work for it. And I couldn’t do this without having the passion first. If you have passion, you have the secret weapon that a lot of people don’t. You have what it takes to keep going when so many bloggers try and give up.

If you are reading this, congratulations, your fire is still burning.

Keep those firelogs coming!

Sam

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86 replies »

  1. Four years is an impressively long time: Mazel Tov!

    It is so true that we forget it–we create art for ourselves then invite others along for the ride. I agree thatt is the best reason to blog, to write what we have to say, not what we think (usually incorrectly) readers want. Produce well-written enticing (because from within) posts, and I believe readers will, you know, read them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you 🙂 I agree with you, writing what we think and not what we think others will appreciate is much more honest and will be of greater value. And of course we then build an audience that can relate and truly appreciate the writings! Thank you for commenting Matt.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First-time comment-er here. I can relate to the part of “building an audience” so much. This is way harder than many “how-to” self-help gurus portray out there. Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Jheelam, thanks for commenting! I agree it is difficult and many people make it seem much easier than it is. Work hard and it will pay off! I hope you have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 4 years! I will be coming up on that milestone in April. My 1,000th post will be this Wednesday. I totally agree with what you said about views. They’re fine and they climb when I post regularly. However, when I miss a few days the numbers plummet like a lead balloon and it take a bit to get them back up. Congrats on 4 years and cheers to 4 more!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Congrats on your 1000th post! It is such an incomprehensible number when taking into account all the words typed up… I am sure it is more than enough for a book. I wish your blog all the success possible moving forward 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on the four years! Excuses has been one of my problems too – trying to think of one for when I don’t write a blog post, when the true reason is that I’m just not in the mood, and that’s fine, but there’s no point trying to deny that is the reason. I’ve found since admitting that to myself that my motivation to blog has actually gone up more!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Admitting the real reason is very important. I am pleased your motivation has boosted with this in mind! I guess it is because you are being honest with yourself and with that, your mind is a little clearer. It is for me anyway 🙂 Thanks for the kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you Sam and congratulations, you wrote a really nice post and it is not just about expressing your opinions or thought. Your dream or intention is also mine because one day I would like to publish a book, so my fire is still burning.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Wow! Congrats on blogging for 4 years, that’s awesome! Your words of wisdom and encouragement are much needed here, as I’m sure many of us in the blogging community need to hear this no matter what our end goal for our blog may be.

    Blogging really is not as easy as it seems. Most people probably imagine words and photos constantly just rolling off our fingers and a majority of the time that is not the case at all. I’ve experienced times while blogging where I’ve stuck to my schedule and my blog really did start flourishing so I totally agree that consistency is the key. Once you lose the momentum it is really hard to pick up where you left off. I am there with you trying to find any moment to blog at work, in the car, you name it.

    It’s exhausting, and to think you have grown your following and stuck to your schedules and kept your dream of publishing a book alive for so long. You deserve this recognition. Congrats, keep blogging and expressing yourself to the world, keep your dreams alive!

    Wishing you more success!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so so much for this, I agree that it certainly isn’t easy and that motivation at times can be hard. We are in this together, and I wish your blog all the best moving forward. Have a lovely day!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations! Wow. I’m really happy for you. This is a very nice write-up, especially the parts about having an atom for blogging and consistency. I’ll try to implement those in my own blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations on four years! I agree 100% that you have to have the passion to fuel your writing/blogging in the first place, followed closely by consistency. Doesn’t matter necessarily if the content is not great quality at first – it all improves in your own time.

    I actually surpassed my five year anniversary a few months ago but to me, I have only been consistently blogging for probably two years or not even! I think the difference is that I used to try too hard to blog and write some masterful piece and wasn’t letting myself be free, but now I realise that it’s so important to be relatable and just yourself. Here’s to more years of blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for commenting and for the words of support. Congratulations on your five year anniversary also! I have been that person too, trying too hard to write something fantastic and it often had the opposite effect. I also didn’t enjoy it as much as I do now, just being myself. It sounds like over time you got it right and you will keep improving I am sure.

      I wish you all the best moving forward!

      Like

  9. Great post! Time is always a thief, but I’m learning to set aside a few minutes each day to read other blogs and enjoy them. It’s a wonderful world out there! Thank you for your perspectives.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It really is a wonderful world! I actually much prefer to look at the positive contributions than spending time watching too much news etc. Thank you for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Blogging is like any other art form in that it exists on its own as an emotive thing that an artist/creator can derive pleasure from, simply by its existence… but is then magnified greatly when others interact with it and bring their own human experience into play. What you have accomplished is of great importance, not only to you, but to all those who have interacted with your art. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Grats Sam; four years passes quickly! I started blogging having the same dream of one day releasing a book. You’re right: building an audience is hard work. I’ve learned that not only with my blog, but more so with my book. Anyway, keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! At the time I was simply happy to be able to post my thoughts, however the more I get to engage with readers makes the experience even more enjoyable! Thanks for your kind words 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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