Four years of blogging: How to stay motivated

I woke up to this wonderful achievement today with two thoughts in mind. One, has it really been four years? And the other, has it only been four years? It seems like I have been doing it forever, however a lot has happened in four years and four years is a long time to be blogging every day, or even weekly

To think back to 2014, there are many things I didn’t expect to happen by 2018.

  • Trump would become president
  • The UK would leave the EU
  • I would see (online unfortunately, not in person) SpaceX sending rockets to space, paving the way for a base on Mars in the near future
  • England would get knocked out of the Euro’s by Iceland. ICELAND! I am used to it now, but for a country with a population less than my city, come on now. Fair play to Iceland though
  • So many inspirational and high profile names leave us, young and old
  • So many inspirational and high profile names caught in controversy and really fuel movements looking for change
  • Sunderland would be rock bottom of the Championship, on the verge on being relegated to the third tier of English football (this is making people back home in Newcastle very happy, trust me)
  • I would move to Australia, work in Sydney Harbour and swim on the Great Barrier Reef
  • I would get an achievement from WordPress saying I have been blogging for four years

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I am sure there are so many other moments, discoveries, great movies, quotes and music that you could all help remind me of since this day. But yes, four years is a long time to keep at it.

One of the reasons I can do so is that I enjoy it. If I was to purely do it for the likes I would have stopped long ago. I have 1,106 posts including this one and I would say that 90% of them have only 2-4 likes and no comments. It takes a long time to build an audience and this isn’t guaranteed over a long period of time. Consistency is key. The moment I stop following my uploading routine the views drop like a stone and they take a long time to pick up again. It really is something you have to stick to, dare I say, religiously. It is something that I have to enjoy doing so much for so long. It is also incredibly important to engage with the community. I kept myself to myself for a long time whilst blogging, however nothing has helped me engage with the community more than engaging and reaching out myself. A band won’t be successful unless it tours. Why should I expect people to say hello to me if I don’t say hello to anyone?

Another factor is that you need to have an aim. I have always wanted to write a book (you can see this in my About Me section) and I was debating what I should do four years ago. Write a book or start a blog. I thought it would be wise to build an audience for my book to appeal to before throwing one out there with no one to read it. It is also a therapy for me, being able to write everyday about what I think about obsessively. I need to get certain things off my chest and blogging helps me greatly with this in mind. If you have an aim, you have a reason to blog. This could be to write a book. Maybe it is to share your passions for photography or poems, or it could be to reach out to those people that share your worldview, lifestyle or illness. I think I blog for all these reasons. If there is a end goal, this will help massively with motivation and productivity.

I am also tired of working for other people. I enjoy work, but I cannot help thinking that I want to work for myself and want to share my own ideas and opinions instead of being paid to promote someone else’s. Life is too short to not give something to the world and we all have our own unique talents and abilities. I want to use mine, no matter how big or small, as much as I can as often as I can. If I can one day use my blog to help fund my dream of publishing a book and furthering my creativeness and productivity, I would much rather do that instead of working in a job not because I want to, but because I have to. This would also free up so much time that I cannot afford to waste.

I also need to give up using excuses. One thing I have noticed, and I have been a culprit believe me, is that so many people start off their blog post with:

‘So I bet you are wondering why I haven’t been posting lately. This is because of X and Y, forgive me!’

The problem is, the readers haven’t been wondering where you have been. They are now looking elsewhere. If I want to keep my readers, I cannot be allowing excuses to get in the way. I could give excuses, but this won’t stop people from feeling disengaged. If I want to build my blog, I need to keep at it no matter what. So now I blog on my commutes to and from work. In long lines. On my days off and before and after work. Some people find that is exhausting, and this is of course fine. But success isn’t easy and I don’t want to fool myself into believing that it is.

Blogging is a huge commitment when blogging daily. It takes effort to actually sit down and set up a blog, to design it and keep it afloat in an ocean full of great fellow bloggers. I know I am not putting in as much effort as so many other blogs, but this is evident in their success. If I want to grow, I have to work for it. And I couldn’t do this without having the passion first. If you have passion, you have the secret weapon that a lot of people don’t. You have what it takes to keep going when so many bloggers try and give up.

If you are reading this, congratulations, your fire is still burning.

Keep those firelogs coming!

Sam