How To Get Out of A Blogging Rut (or Any Rut For That Matter…)

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When I started blogging professionally, I reached out to some popular bloggers for advice. One blogger was Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Roundtable. one of the oldest and most popular search engine blogs out there. Over a year later, John Chow released an info-product called Blogging with John Chow. Both had the same advice. Blog Consistently. I always understood this to mean that readers will know to come back to your site every day, week, or whatever schedule to see your latest post. It creates familiarity and in its own way, it conveys integrity. Consistency is great way to convey dependability and integrity. Much like the Moz WhiteBoard Friday, or Barry’s Week in Review videos on Friday.

What I didn’t expect, (but recently discovered,) is that blogging consistently is as much a formula for keeping you out of a rut than it is about your readers.

During an interview, Rand Fishkin was asked about how he blogged for years every single day. His answer was, “it was hard for the first month or so, but than it became habit. Once I had a good streak going, I would just force myself no matter what to write a post every day.” I am paraphrasing what he said, but the point is the same. Consistency breeds habit and habit makes difficult things, easier.

When I was in college, a mentor of mine once said that Consistency is the key to success. I didn’t understand what he meant at the time and I am afraid I didn’t take his advice to heart.

I made the mistake of not blogging regularly, and now I (and my readers) are suffering the consequences. Namely, this little blogging rut I have been in for the last several months. I used to write daily or atleast 3 times a week. Now, I write about twice a month…and it is a big struggle to sit down and write.

I thought it was writers block, or that I had no ideas for new posts, but that is ridiculous. Just this week I could have written about dozens of stories, including ones about Google’s new Callout Extensions, and the HUGE news that ppc ads on mobile might replace line two of the ad with an extension. This means that you NEED…You Absolutely NEED, to end the first description line with punctuation like a period, or exclamation point. This tells Google that its a complete sentence and makes it easy for them to add it to the headline and make room for longer display URL’s when your ad is in top positions. This also means you will get more exposure on mobile. See, this paragraph could have been a very useful post, so clearly writers block isn’t the culprit.

The culprit is two pronged. First, is procrastination.

I have several posts I really want to write but its so easy to say, “why do something today, when you can do it tomorrow. As we discussed many times, procrastination is the biggest culprit responsible for missed sales opportunities.

The second culprit is being overwhelmed by ideas and the amount of work involved.

This of course feeds your procrastination. For example, I am working on a blog post with a comprehensive list of all the third party ppc tools out there, but it seems like so much research and work to get it done right. So, I procrastinate.

Both of these culprits are easily solved with consistently blogging. The obvious solution here is to simply set deadlines for myself and announce a blogging schedule I will force myself to stick to…and perhaps I will. But…

The decision to blog regularly is hard and overwhelming and procrastination seems like the perfect out.

So, how do you get out of a blogging rut? How do you break a negative cycle and start a positive one?

Well, I always say that the Only Cure for Fear is Action. The only way to break a negative cycle is to break it in a small way, and hopefully that small step will lead to another small step.

As humans, our lives are roller coasters. We have our ups and downs, and most of our behavior is cyclical. How we feel influences how we act and how we act influences how we feel.

This blog post actually started out as a Linkedin post, actually more of a note…but somehow I turned it into a long blog post. How? Simple, once I get started things just flow.

Seth Godin wrote a book called Poke The Box, which is his way of saying. Do Something. Take Some Action. Get Started.

There is an old saying, “All Starts are Difficult.” This means that, “If it isn’t difficult, you aren’t really starting.”

Blogging regularly is hard. This post is my new start. I will now make sure to post a new blog post every Friday Morning moving forward. Hopefully I can build a more prolific schedule, but for one, I am committing to one post a week, on Fridays.

That’s how you break a rut.

You JUST GET STARTED WITH SOMETHING EASY AND SMALL…and Let It Snowball into a consistent habit.

snowball-man-2

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About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $15,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.

Comments

  1. Marianna Elizabeth Beavis says:

    While I can’t imagine ever keeping up a blogging schedule that required me to post every day of the year, I know the importance of being able to start a schedule and to continue to maintain it. I’m also all too familiar with writer’s block and I have to admit that sometimes my blogging ruts start before I even write the first post. This is coming from a girl who also considers procrastination to be her best friend at times though – it’s pretty chronic. I to need to sit down and work out how to start with something small. I often get so many ideas that I jump straight in, try to keep up an impossible schedule (or if not impossible, than unreasonable) and that inevitably leads to procrastination and overall failure.
    How do you think that you’re doing with keeping up with your writing goals? Any further words of encouragement now that it’s two months on? 🙂

  2. This certainly does apply to any rut, as mentioned in the title. At the current point in my life, I feel like I’m getting stuck in ruts way more often than I should, but at the same time, I do often fail to be consistent with my plans and to chip away at things systematically, like having a day to day goal. That’s where I fail myself at times, with blogging and a variety of other things. This post is a nice reminder of the better way to be going about things – AKA not the way I’ve been doing it. I typically love to put tiring things out of my mind, but I really do need to remember that bit about all starts being difficult, because if I make an effort to keep it in mind, that will make things easier too.

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