Many people nowadays have a blog. They’re super easy to start and very fun to have. But what people rarely think about before starting a blog is how to prepare.
It’s easy to think of all the fun you’re going to have answering comments and watching people enjoy your posts. But it’s also easy to forget all the work that goes into maintaining a blog. Because there are going to be days when you simply don’t feel like blogging. Are you prepared for those days? Probably not. Hopefully, this post will help you prepare not only for starting a blog but also for maintaining it afterward.
How to Prepare
Write, write, write.
That’s the number one thing you can do to prepare and maintain your blog. Especially if you decide to post more than once a week, you are going to be writing a lot for your blog. You have to be okay with that.
Blogging will take away from your regular writing sometimes. There will be days when all you want to do is work on your novel or WIP but, to be responsible and keep up with your posting schedule, you have to work on blogging.
Knowing all those factors ahead of time and being okay with it is key. If you know right now that you would not be okay with setting aside your usual writing time for blogging then perhaps starting a blog is not something you should do right now. There are lots of seasons within a writer’s life. There is a time you should focus on improving your craft and becoming a stronger writer, but then there’s a time to start a platform and start growing that.
Decide which season you are currently in before starting a blog.
Expecting the Slump
Blogging is not always sunshine and rainbows. There are going to be many days when you don’t feel like blogging, or you’re feeling discouraged, or maybe you’re dry on ideas. Expect that. And plan for it.
The best way you can plan for these slumps is by having a stockpile of articles written up. This is something that I enjoy doing so that when I hit a low period in blogging I don’t have to stress about writing something new. All I have to do is pull from that pile of ready-made articles and voila!
This may seem tedious to be writing articles when you don’t need them yet—but believe me, it’s helpful! And if you haven’t started your blog yet, then I would recommend this being a top priority. Create that stockpile now before jumping in to set yourself up for success.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed!
To me, this is one of the most important points to remember. Blogging can be stressful, and setting up/designing your blog… let’s just say getting overwhelmed isn’t hard to do. My advice to you is to not set a deadline for yourself of when you have to have everything completed.
This is what I did when I started planning this blog. I took my time writing plenty of articles, deciding on the theme of my website, and making fun graphics. I knew if I tried to rush myself then I would easily get overwhelmed and I didn’t want that. I wanted to do things right and make it what I wanted it to be, not what it had to be because I rushed the process.
Enjoy the process. Enjoy each step! Don’t set the bar too high and expect perfection because you can always change things later. It does not have to be perfect.
Now, eventually, I did set a date for myself that I thought would be a great launching date. But that was after I had already knocked out a lot of the key components that I needed in creating the blog. By the time I set my deadline I only had last-minute things to wrap up/finish. Decide for yourself whether a deadline would help motivate you to get things done or if it will only stress you out and overwhelm you.
This article is by no means meant to dampen your spirits! Yes, blogging can be stressful and hectic and you can easily get overwhelmed by it. But, at the same time, it is so rewarding! To have people like your posts and know that they are reading them is a wonderful feeling. Have them comment their thoughts on what you discussed or thank you for writing the article—it all makes up for every bit of stress that went into creating the content.
While I left this point for last, it might be the most important one. If you’re starting a blog, or even if you have already had a blog for a decent length of time, then chances are you find enjoyment out of it all. Don’t ever lose that! Even through the craziness it can bring, remember why you love doing it and why you want to start one in the first place.
Sometimes, this is the only thing that can keep you going. Figure out your reason for wanting a blog and write it down. Pin it somewhere that you can see so that it will remind you to not give up and to press on even through the tough days because you want to achieve your end result.
Perhaps that reason is you’re wanting to grow a platform for your writing. Or maybe you simply want to reach other people with the topic God has placed on your heart. Or maybe you wish to serve others with the information and tips you have to offer. All of these reasons and more are great reasons to start a blog! Don’t let yourself think that your reason isn’t good enough. It is.
So don’t. Get. Discouraged.
We’ve discussed how blogging can be overwhelming. It can be stressful. But we also went through how we shouldn’t let it get us down. Blogging is a very rewarding avenue for writers but we have to remember what we wish to accomplish to avoid discouragement and self-doubt.
And, if I haven’t convinced you by now, let me stress again how great it is to have a stockpile of articles already written up. Whether you’ve started your blog or not, if you wish to post consistently—and especially if you’re hoping frequently—then having premade articles is exactly what you need. I know it’s been a lifesaver for me.
How do you plan to maintain a blog? Do you have articles written up for when you hit a slump? Are you prepared for the discouraging times?