When I first decided to start a blog, let me rephrase, the umpteenth time I decided to start a blog but this time for real, I felt overwhelmed. Being a casual perfectionist (it only extends to some things, unfortunately it doesn’t include keeping my studio presentable), I wanted my “proper” blog to be perfect.
So before even writing my first post, I had a layout in mind and a list of post ideas which I wanted to write before even making my blog public. I wanted it to be complete before it had already started and to have a stockpile of “back-up” posts so I would be prepared to update regularly.
Then I threw away the idea of perfection, am letting my blog develop naturally and I couldn’t be happier. Here are some reasons to support allowing your blog develop in its own time.
Quality over quantity
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with posting often, in fact it’s amazing if you can continually come up with content and keep that motivation strong.
When I was coming up with my imagined blog, I was so fixated on consistency and making sure I updated often enough to keep people interested. That’s what all the blogging gurus say on the internet. They all highlight creating quality content but making sure you post…a lot. It sounds easy but I think it’s much harder in practice. What happens if I didn’t have anything to post? More importantly nothing worthy to post?
Honestly I believe it’s better to post less frequently and spend more time creating content that means something, whether to you or your audience. There’s a good chance if you allocate time to write frequently, you might find times when inspiration and motivation is at a high and you’re writing some damn good stuff. But there’ll be a flip side when there might not be much you want to post about or you can’t find the words. If you do have content you’ve already written, that’s fine but otherwise I’d rather post nothing at all and leave a larger gap between posts than spam my own blog.
It doesn’t need to be finished for you to start
In my imagined blog, I had a gazillion pages all set up, each with detailed descriptions of topics and links to various blog posts that had yet to be written. I created a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself to create content quickly so I could have a head start in the blogging race and just update frequently. For me that approach just didn’t work. In fact it detracted from me creating posts I enjoy writing and allowing my blog to go in a different direction. Having a set plan in your mind isn’t always a negative thing but if you’re staring at the screen feeling like your blog is a chore, maybe it’s time to allow yourself to be more flexible.
When I have an idea that I really want to write about, sometimes the words just spill onto the page fluidly and I have a gut feeling that the post feels “right”. However I don’t just write when I feel inspiration, I think it’s important to put time away dedicated to writing even if the results of said writing exercise is the equivalent to word vomit. Even if you find that following planned posts suits you, it’s good to be flexible and open to new ideas.
It’s not all or nothing: slow it down
This is going to exemplify the crazy in me: whilst planning my real blog (this one!), I developed an interest for web development. I thought to myself, “this is perfect! I’ll set myself apart from the crowd and design my own blog”. Turns out it’s not impossible but it’s actually really, really hard. But I didn’t want to start blogging until I could make a website because then it wouldn’t have been “perfect”.
Once I came to accept the idea that it didn’t have to be “all or nothing”, I allowed myself to let go of my pretend ideal blog and just started writing. Maybe I will learn web development but at least now I can do it at my own pace without a looming deadline. You don’t need to sacrifice “all the nice things” you were going to have on your blog, it just doesn’t all have to be now. You can slowly implement whatever you’d like, it doesn’t have to happen at once and you don’t need to delay or sacrifice your writing to do so. Slowing your blog down sounds like a cardinal sin but it’s certainly helped me.
Change is good
Like my fellow hopeless dreamers, at any time there’s a million things I want to do. There’s a lot of things I want to write about that are probably going to be off-topic, maybe a little more personal than my norm. One of the things I really hope to do is share my art (if it ever gets to that good enough to be shared stage). But in my imagined blog, I probably wouldn’t have been so open to that idea. I had a strict criteria about what topics I’d post about (primarily travel). For me it’s much better to be dynamic and open to change. After all, life is dynamic: forever changing and shaping us with experiences that influence the diversity and how our interests develop.
Re-think your motivation and be true to yourself
Of course I want people to read my blog, yes like every other blogger I get excited when someone likes my post or my stats go up. But I don’t want to confine my blog to ideas I should be writing about. I could never write about travelling on it’s lonesome, my passions just spill over and intertwine with each other. So I think it’s fits me well that this blog is a bit eclectic and a collection of different minded posts.
It’s quite probable all of my above reasons are contradictory to existing blog tips out there. Most people will encourage you to write and post as frequently as possible, ideally on a daily basis and that you should create content synonymous with your blog “branding”. I think if your main goal is to create a passive income through advertisements and affiliate marketing, my post might not be of any use.
But if the main purpose of your blog is to share information that is meaningful to you, to create a safe space to share common interests or thoughts or create something meaningful for others or even just become a better writer, hopefully this post will resonate with you.