I "met" today’s guest poster, fellow blogger Rebecca Morgan, through the phenomenal e-newsletter she co-edits, SpeakerNet News (I’ve plugged it before, here.) She’s a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), has been featured on Oprah and 60 Minutes (to name a few) and runs a thriving business. But I confess that I truly became Rebecca’s fan when I started following her other blog—the decidedly non-business one she started anonymously, about her travels in the 40+ online-dating world, since I’d been through a similar odyssey myself. A prolific writer who consistently posts great content, Rebecca shares her secrets—and the thinking behind them—in today’s guest post.
I was asked the other day how to get through what Seth Godin calls, “The Dip” when it comes to blogs.
I have made a commitment to myself to write to Adventures in Delicious Dating After 40 every day. This creates no latitude for thinking "I don’t have anything to say so I’ll skip it today." Although I doubt any of my readers would really be upset with my skipping a day or two, I have purposefully written daily because:
- I was writing my next book through my blog. I now have 363 entries, more than enough for at least one book, probably two, and perhaps 3. The manuscript is in my agent’s hand and he’s shopping it. I want to continue to create buzz and a platform so the potential publisher will see I’m a content machine and thus make me a multiple-book deal, or give me a bigger advance.
- I wanted to see if I could have the self-discipline to write daily on something of interest, not just a diary entry (yuck!). I have little discipline in other areas of my life so wanted to see if I just didn’t have any discipline muscle, or if I did but it had atrophied and if I could build it up I could apply it to other areas.
The "dip" occurs on those days when I can’t think of anything to
write. I like to have the next day’s entry posted by midnight, but
sometimes I don’t post until 10:00 a.m. of the same day because my mind
has no new thoughts on dating life. Or so I think. I sometimes think
"it’s OK to skip a day" during these dip times, but I don’t want to
break my streak now.
Positive reinforcement gets me through the dips. When I see my
visitors and subscribers growing regularly, or spike when I get a media
hit (it’s averaged at least one article, TV or radio interview a
month), or when I get a thank you email, or from those I know a
heartfelt call, it keeps the dip ramifications away.
But my business blog has less commitment and focus. Which of course,
reflects my own lack of juice for that part of my business right now! I
post to it every week or two, and often give into that "I don’t have
anything interesting to say" feeling. Thus a rather ongoing dip. My
lackadaisical blogging represents a persistent "dip."
So, I’d say when you find yourself in a dip, find a way to rekindle
your enthusiasm. Ask a colleague to guest author a column. Or interview
someone (I’ve done this by email so it was easy on both of us, I could
just cut and paste their comments to my blog). Or find something that
interests you to play with — try a new template, adding podcasting,
videos or animated images.
I’m learning to podcast as a way to keep up my enthusiasm. I’ll post
my recorded blog entries to iTunes once recorded, to broaden my fan