I was just on Facebook and fell down a bit of a digital rabbit hole. Someone had linked to a new blog post from a blogger I hadn’t read in years, so I checked out their blog. I started looking at their blog roll, and noticed several blogs I hadn’t read in years. I clicked on one, and noticed the most ‘recent’ post was from 2010. I started backtracking, she had written a post every few months, one post was announcing that she was ‘back’ to blogging, and that blogging was a great way to build your reputation online, establish thought leadership, etc. Then she didn’t blog again for several months, then again several months later, which was her last post.
Let’s be honest, if you are a blogger that wants to use your blog as a tool to build your influence/thought leadership, etc., you are going to be asked to give a lot more than you get. That’s pretty much how you build a name for yourself, you continuously provide smart and helpful content, and over time, people start to notice. Then in an ideal world, opportunities open up to you. Maybe you get a job offer, or work offers, maybe a book deal, perhaps you are asked to speak at an event.
But it’s sometimes very easy to ask ‘what’s in it for me?’ It can be tough to stay motivated to spend 5 hours every week on your blog, if no one is commenting and no one is subscribing and you are getting no business from it.
I’ve known countless bloggers that have launched blogs as a tool to grow their business, or to promote themselves, and they toss in the towel after a few weeks because they didn’t see the immediate results they were looking for.
On the other hands, I’ve known many bloggers that toiled away year after year with little to no recognition, then suddenly in year 5 or 6, it all takes off and suddenly everyone notices them and loves them.
What’s the difference and why do some bloggers quit while others press on? I think it comes back to motivation. From what I have noticed, most of the truly successful bloggers are motivated by helping others be better at something. When that’s your source of motivation, then you stop carrying that mental balance sheet of how much you are ‘giving’ your readers versus how much you are ‘getting’ back. Or at least it doesn’t matter as much.
For the first two years that I ran #Blogchat, I made a grand total of $800 directly off the chat. If I had launched #Blogchat because I wanted to make money off it, I would have likely killed it after a month or 2. But my motivation in starting and continuing the chat has remained the same: Helping other bloggers become better at what they do. That’s it. I see the chat as a way of ‘giving back’, because blogging has given me so much, I am happy to create a way to help other bloggers achieve some of the success I have.
What’s your motivation for blogging?