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Overcoming obstacles to blogging.

First of all what is a blog? This word has been derived by blending the two words, web and log. A blog is similar to a website and can also be a part of a website. It is updated regularly by an individual mostly. A blog can consist of information from a wide array of topics ranging from recipes to pets. It all depends upon the author and his interest.

It’s advisable to write about something that you are truly interested in and would be able to carry on for a long term. You should be able to identify your niche and target the appropriate audience. Most bloggers quit within the first two to three weeks for various reasons. Some face what is known as the writers block, or simply running out of ideas. And some give up because they expect miracles right after they publish their first post and nothing seems to happen. One cannot expect an avalanche of traffic right from day one. Blogging is a process that takes it’s time. I am a subscriber of the blog www.problogger.net. I hope Darren doesn’t mind me mentioning his blog here but the truth is, that is one heck of a blog. Darren Rowse, the author, has over 5000 articles posted on problogger.net. And if you have visited his blog you would have noticed that all his articles revolve around one single idea. That’s what great bloggers do, they write hundreds and thousands of articles that are connected in one way or another.

The following are some of the obstacles that one faces while blogging.

Running out of ideas?

I run out of ideas all the time and I am sure every blogger out there does too. But how do you overcome this obstacle. Here’s what I do. I subscribe to various blogs that provide information similar to mine. I’m not saying that I wait for someone to post an article and I would simply rewrite it. Every time I get an email from these blogs about a new post I make it a point to pay them a visit and check out the new post along with others that have been previously posted. Sometimes words just work for me. You don’t have to see a topic to get an idea. Sometimes some words just catch my attention and I go “Hell yeah, this would make a great topic”.

Another useful site for ideas is www.plinky.com. This site basically starts a new question everyday and there are a good number of users that answer those questions. I usually get some great ideas from the answers and the questions. So what I would do is I would search for a keyword that matches my interest and I would get a list of prompts. Then I quickly run through those prompts and almost always, an idea strikes me.

Another strategy that I use to get ideas is face to face conversation with my friends and family members. I usually start a conversation about blogging and get people talking. I mostly use open ended questions so that I get maximum information out of them. If I just asked them a question that led to a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ it wouldn’t serve the purpose too much. It’s a source of ideas that very few people use. We tend to sometimes underestimate the people around us and the knowledge that they can bring forth.

Another thing that I do very often is register on forums that relate to my topic of interest. Forums are a great resource as well. Most bloggers join forums to simply market their blog which can be effective if done properly. I will discuss this in my later post on how to increase traffic.

De-motivated due to lack of traffic?

I know many people who started their blog and simply gave up within a week or so due to the lack of traffic. It’s understandable that every blogger loves traffic and comments. But then, there are certain points that you need to keep in mind, firstly, your mind should not be inclined towards traffic while you are writing a post. This is very important because then your focus is not on what you are writing but on something else. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Write your heart out, write what readers need to read. If you have great content which is useful and catchy, rest assured your traffic will come in time. You have to be patient. And don’t forget to update your blog every second day or preferably on a daily basis. This is important so that your readers keep coming back for more. If your content is helpful, your readers will surely recommend your blog to their friends who share the same interest.

There are ways to increase your traffic, paid or unpaid. I’ll discuss the methods that can be used to get some traffic without spending any money. These are some basic steps that can be taken to ensure that you get some traffic to your site/blog.

  • Submit your site to various search engines. You can submit your blog to Google by following this link.  http://www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl. Apart from this you can also submit your site to Yahoo site explorer and Bing.
  • Join forums where people discuss topics in your niche. Let people in on some of your posts and add a signature at the bottom which contains a link to your blog. Leave relevant information which people will enjoy reading and bring them value. Once they recognize you as an expert you can be sure that these people would be visiting your blog to get some more information similar to what you posted on the forum. Don’t write half hearted comments like ‘Great information, please visit www.***.com.’ This is a big turn off. People would like to get quality information through comments. Some forums might also ban you from commenting or logging on if you indulge in simply marketing your blog.
  • Subscribe to blogs that share similar interests. Leave informative comments and add a signature at the bottom with a link to your blog.
  • Submit your site to the top social bookmarking sites. For eg. www.stumbleupon.com, www.technorati.com, etc. These sites can drive a good amount of traffic to your blog. My personal favorite is www.reddit.com. Doesn’t actually give me a blast of traffic, but a few hundred hits a day from one site is pretty good. Apart from this I also get traffic from Google, Yahoo search, Bing etc.
  • Using social networking sites can be a great way to get some traffic to your blog. You can connect your blog to Facebook, Twitter etc, so that whenever you post an article it will be visible to your friends and followers immediately. Add a sharing button on your blog so that people who like your post can share it with their friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter or Reddit.
  • Another great way to increase traffic is word of mouth. Tell your friends, colleagues and family about your blog. Encourage them to visit it and refer it to as many friends as possible. You will be amazed at the traffic you can get using this method.

For more tips like these visit www.trublogging.wordpress.com