Oh quite a bit! It’s during the early daily grind of getting started that motivation begins to leak and leak… until one morning, you sit down at your laptop and wonder what made you do this in the first place, and should you even bother continuing, especially when you’re just starting out and getting crickets.
Most articles about motivation say you need to remind yourself of your vision and mission.
But how do you keep from losing your motivation in the first place? How do you keep the “good vibes” AND stay in love with blogging?
1. Give yourself room to fail.
This is the number one pitfall for bloggers in this digital age. All information is at your fingertips, so you beat yourself up when you make mistakes. You curse yourself for your stupidity. “I should have known better.” “I should have done more research.” “I shouldn’t have done that. Why did I do that?!”
Yes, Google is your best friend, and there are so many experts offering courses, but think of those as a baby’s walker. They will help, but you’re going to stumble around, bump into things, and knock them over as you learn to walk by yourself.
And of course, you should always consult and research before making any big decisions., but treat your mistakes as lessons and then move forward.
2. Avoid repetitive tasks.
Nothing can sap your motivation and creativity more than getting stuck with essential but boring, repetitive tasks day after day. Emails, social media engagement, site moderation and cleanup, blog maintenance, analytics… If you don’t like them and if you can, delegate them. If you have other work (like your day job or the business that pays the bills) with onerous or tedious tasks that keep you from blogging, or make you too tired, too grumpy, and leave you too little time for blogging, see if you can automate and delegate some of these, too.
Anything that keeps you from getting on with what you love doing, automate, delegate, or eliminate altogether.
Tip: Hiring a virtual assistant is awesome, but you don’t have to hire out if you’re unable to afford it yet. You can simply learn how to deal with everything fast, fast, fast. There are tutorials on Youtube about Gmail efficiency, for example, and there are so many tools–most of them free–that you can use to automate almost any of the front room and back room processes of running a website.
3. Eat, sleep, drink.
Speaking of being tired, are you getting enough sleep and eating food that energizes you?
Using tools and apps is all well and good, but that’s like treating a symptom instead of solving the root cause of your waning motivation and lack of productivity.
So, conserve your energy by delegating tasks that drain you, and make sure you have enough sleep and good food, everyday. Avoid meats that make you want to get horizontal and sleep all day, instead opt for lighter meals that won’t make you feel heavy and lethargic.
It’s hard and ridiculous to work when you’re groggy. Sure, some of us get energy from doing what we love, but trust me, it feels so much better when there’s no tension headache throbbing in the nape of your neck because of lack of sleep.
And there’s been research about the benefits of infused water, beer and coffee, and exactly when to drink beer and coffee, depending on your goals. Beer improves creativity, while coffee improves concentration. Drink beer to get ideas, coffee to get them done.
Haha, no, I’m not endorsing beer drinking. But a glass now and then is healthier for you than guzzling energy drinks.
4. Collaborate. Don’t compete.
When your blog grows larger and you start a team (and you will need a team, trust me), collaboration, not competition, will be what helps move your blog even further forward.
Many bloggers forget to give themselves the same treatment. Your fellow bloggers aren’t competitors, the orange is big enough for everyone. There’s plenty to go around. When you get into this mindset, blogging is suddenly easier, friendlier and happier. Yes, you want to be better, but there’s no pressure. Enjoy your growth. Reach out. Make friends with your fellow bloggers. Everything is always better with friends!
5. The Goldilocks Rule by James Clear
Human beings love challenges, but only if they are within the optimal zone of difficulty.
Competition is healthy. It makes you better. It drives you harder. Have you read about Nokia’s sad story? For years, Nokia was the brand of phone to be had. They had almost no competition. I think this factored into their loss. They grew complacent. And now, everyone has left them behind.
The Goldilocks Rule is a motivation rule for all aspects of life, not just blogging. Too soft or easy, and too hard and difficult– both won’t keep you interested. You’d grow bored and frustrated.
But when everything’s JUST right, when you can win and you are winning, but have to work hard to keep winning, you are stimulated and spurred daily. There won’t be room for laziness, and your disappointments won’t be crippling, only mild enough to invigorate you to do better.
Look at the giants as a guide, and look at your peers as a healthy competition to drive you toward your blog goals. Don’t attempt to climb into the chairs of the big fish! They’ve got more resources than you.
6. Create a space for blogging.
It doesn’t have to be a fancy office. A corner desk will do. But you DO need a door you can lock. Tell your family you’re working. Show your commitment. There’s no commitment if your family or friends can easily pull you away from your work.
Fill your space with motivation. This doesn’t always have to consist of quotes and reminders–how about pictures of cities you’d like to visit and feature as a travel blogger? What about something that made you excited about blogging? Place little reminders of that in your little space. What inspires you? What do you love? If you like an uncluttered, minimalist work space, then design your space this way!
If you DO want to be pulled away, give yourself an hour or two to work, sacrosanct, everyday. Some days, you’ll find yourself longing for those two hours to arrive, and other days you’ll want those hours to be over immediately! But, since you’ll be working on your blog, in a space that you love, your enthusiasm will stay even with the spikes and dives.
So, whether you’re a new or seasoned blogger, if you are looking for ways to ensure the motivation sticks around, you’ll want to ensure you follow the previous 6 techiniques. This will help to keep that motivation train chugging along!
What are some things you’ve done to ensure your motivation to blog stays high?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!