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On Blogging Consistently

When I first started blogging, I was so full of ideas and things I wanted to say that my biggest problem was shutting myself up. Now as my blog approaches it's first birthday, I'm finding that I'm struggling with maintaining a consistent blogging schedule. Work intervenes, yes, but there are other issues at work as well, as Nate Whitehill points out in this post on blogging consistently.

According to Nick, serious bloggers are faced with several pressures:

  • Sticking to a schedule of regular posts.
  • Ever-increasing expectations
  • Catering to a larger audience
  • Lack of confidence

For me, the challenge right now is a feeling that I've written about so many things before. Nothing feels new right now--more of the same.

It all goes back to a blog's purpose, I suppose. If what I write here is for another audience, then I guess it's OK to feel that you're repeating yourself to an extent because your goal is to bring other people new ideas and resources. In this scenario, repeating yourself isn't all bad. But if your blog is for your own learning, then covering the same territory is less satisfying. It makes you feel stagnant. And the joy of discovering new insights isn't there as it once was.

I've always tried to find a balance here between pointing to new resources and having my own ideas and insights. Right now I seem to be coming up short on the latter. I'm not liking that too much.

What do you do when you start to feel that you're repeating yourself? How do you get yourself back on track to writing things that are fresh and new, rather than endless rehashes of what you've said before?


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Great questions Michelle! My instincts for continual learning tell me to get a bigger or different question when I run out of inspirations for what to write. Sometimes I get that new question from other bloggers or the entrepreneurs I'm mentoring, sometimes from a book I'm reading, and other times from rereading my own blog archive.

Like you, I love the "joy of discovering new insights" and lose that when I'm too caught up in my expertise and desires to be helpful to others.

One of the things blogging has done for me is force me to read more and more widely both within my field and beyond, in order to find new things to write about. I'm always on the lookout for little workforce details in otherwise unrelated stories. When I start tracking down those details and they turn out to be very big projects or issues, then I know I have something to blog about. I've found the best approach is 1) assume there's a lot more I don't know, and 2) find at least two sources for every fact. Along the way to filling in the blanks I often find fodder for additional blog posts.

Finding the time to keep up a consistent posting schedule is the more pressing issue for me. I'm glad you used the word "consistently" rather than "frequently" in the title of this post. As a reader, I'll choose quality over quantity any day. As a blogger, if fewer posts means fewer hits, well, I can live with that.

I'm sure you've seen this link on blog post frequency, but I'll pass it on for any of your readers who haven't. It's a favorite of mine: http://www.mpdailyfix.com/2006/06/w_why_blog_post_frequency_does.html

Tom and Bronwnyn-thanks for taking the time to respond.

Tom, I agree with you that starting to run out of things to write about is probably a sign that I need to be asking new or different questions. I also think that you make a good point about that getting harder when you're caught in your own expertise. Sometimes I lose my sense of beginnner's mind. :-)

And then Bronwyn, you bring in another good point which is reading beyond your immediate areas of interest to find new ideas or insights. That really does start you asking different questions.

Reading what you two wrote has me thinking that part of my current writer's block also has to do with the pressure of feeling that I need to post every day. I agree, Bronwyn, that I want to be pursuing quality over quantity. I think that I have that little voice in my head that's saying "you should be able to do both." But hey, sometimes that's just not possible.

Thank you both for your thoughtful replies.

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