Congratulations – you decided to start blogging! Here are several tips for overcoming the obstacles you will inevitably face. Starting a blog is fun and challenging…but it can also be frustrating and annoying.
I’m always reading a book about blogging or search engine optimization; currently, I have Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business by Ann Handley on my nightstand. This book is about finding your voice as a blogger and writing posts that will resonate with your readers – and encourage them to share your blog with others on social media.
Did you know that most blogs are abandoned shortly after they are launched? I once read that upwards of 75% of blogs are abandoned within a year of being started. Why? Because people aren’t prepared. Below, you will find the most common problems new and experienced bloggers face when starting and maintaining a blog. This post – Overcoming Obstacles When You’re Starting a Blog – is Day 2 of my Four-Day Series. Day 1 was How to Blog About Something You Love – Day 1; I briefly describe Days 3 and 4 at the end of this article. As always, I welcome your thoughts and questions on any of the posts in this series! Now, let’s get our blogs on…
Overcoming Obstacles When You’re Starting a Blog
You’ve already taken the first step, which is preparing yourself to face the inevitable problems. In fact, knowing that you will need tips and resources for overcoming obstacles to your goals is the most important step! Why? Because preparation is 90% of the work.
If you’re prepared, you won’t be surprised or dismayed by the inevitable problems that arise. Here’s a summary of the most common obstacles, plus a few tips for overcoming them.
Not knowing what to blog about
This is probably the number one problem faced by both new and seasoned bloggers: How to Know What to Blog About. No matter how much you love and know about your topic, you will get stuck for ideas sometimes. One of my biggest problems is knowing that every topic seems to have been written about a million times. What can I contribute that’s fresh, interesting, and creative?
Here’s a great tip for overcoming this obstacle: develop the habit of planning in advance and constantly adding to your list of topics to write about. One of my biggest mistakes as a blogger was not using an editorial calendar and not planning my week or month or year in advance. It’s a HUGE waste of time to wonder what you’ll write about today. I overcame this problem by setting up an editorial calendar in Excel, and scheduling specific blog posts for specific days.
Lack of motivation
Not feeling motivated to write – especially at the beginning, when you’re not getting much blog traffic – is definitely one of the biggest obstacles you’ll have to overcome. This is why I highlighted the importance of knowing WHY you’re blogging in Day One of this blog series. If you have good, strong reasons to blog (and if you regularly remind yourself of these reasons), then it’ll be easier to jazz yourself up when your motivation flags.
Finding an accountability partner who is also starting a blog is another tip for overcoming obstacles. You might join a blog network or Facebook group, and buddy up with someone in your blog niche. Look for groups for midlife bloggers or women in their 40s. You’ll find common problems and solutions, and support that’s geared towards your stage of life.
Fear of criticism
If you haven’t shared your thoughts, opinions, or experiences online before, it can be intimidating and scary to write for your blog! I’ve been blogging for eight years, and I still feel weird sometimes when I hit Publish on some of my posts. I rarely receive criticism, probably because I don’t write controversial opinion-based articles. My posts are tips-based and inspirational, which doesn’t leave much room for negative feedback. I’m boring that way.
The beauty of being a “midlife blogger” is that we’re less likely to care what people think! We’ve survived breast cancer, divorce, job loss, financial crises, perimenopause, childbirth and childrearing, parental deaths, and family problems. We know lots, and we’re learning lots! Worrying about what people think isn’t high on the priority list of a woman over forty who is confident, peaceful, and happy.
That said, however…some women avoid negative feedback at all costs. So, in comparison to the fear of being criticized, learning the technical aspects of starting a blog is easy.
Lack of time and perhaps a little laziness
Ah, here we go. Above I mentioned that starting a blog requires learning some technical stuff. It’s pretty easy these days, but you’ll still have to learn how to upload, format, publish, and share your blog posts. There are literally billions of articles on starting a blog, overcoming obstacles, solving WordPress problems, finding a web host, etc.
Blogging takes time. It’s not just writing and publishing; it’s formatting, designing, sharing, and even learning some SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It takes time to learn about social sharing, read books about blogging, and listen to podcasts from professional bloggers and online entrepreneurs.
Loneliness – because starting a blog is a solo act
Unless, of course, you partner with another blogger! I once started a blog with a writer; we called it Quips and Tips for Spiritual Seekers. The idea was that I’d write my Christian perspective about topics such as finding more peace and joy in life, and she’d write about her new age perspective. Ultimately, though, I found I preferred blogging by myself.
Co-blogging is definitely motivating, but it can actually take more time than it saves. It can be a great way to start blogging, though. It gives you someone to be accountable to (which was my first tip for overcoming obstacles when you’re starting a blog) and it reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness, which some bloggers struggle with.
Would you find blogging a lonely endeavor? Not if you’re an introvert! You might want to read Are You an Introvert? A Test for Introverted Personality Traits.
The biggest problems new bloggers face include not knowing what to blog about, lack of motivation, fear of criticism, lack of time, and loneliness. There are many different tips for overcoming obstacles – but it does depend on your personality, lifestyle, and even your reason for starting a blog.
Question for You
What has your experience been with starting a blog and overcoming obstacles? If your blog is up and running, feel free to share your blog name and link in the comments section below. Tell us how you kept yourself motivated to keep blogging, how you find ideas to write about, and why you started blogging.
I’m curious: what do you want to blog about and how long have you been thinking about starting a blog?
On Blossom this week
Every week I write a Four-Day Series on specific topics for women in midlife. This week, my theme is “starting a blog.”
Here’s the lineup:
- Mon – How to Blog About Something You Love – Day 1 (Imagine)
- Tues – Overcoming Obstacles When You’re Starting a Blog Day 2 – (Dare)
- Weds – Resources and Best Practices for Blogging – Day 3 (Prepare)
- Thurs – Foolproof Blogging Tips for Women Over 40 – Day 4 (Leap and Flourish!)
If you have any questions, resources, blogs, books, ideas, or thoughts to share about women over 40, starting a blog, or Blossoming – please do comment below! I’d love to hear from you.
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