Sunday, 20 October 2013

I've lost my mojo

It's official,  I have lost my blogging mojo!

The question is, what's the best way to get it back? The answer: write about it.

When I first started this blog the objective was simple. To get my writing seen by as many people as possible. I was in a period of transition in my life. A rather turbulent period if I'm honest. My solution was to take my hobby, writing, and try to make a living out of it.

I sought advice from people I knew who were making money out of their writing, whether as feature writers or authors. All said the same thing. Get a blog up and running and get yourself on twitter.

It took me a while to get my ever more flabby arse in gear, but I got there in the end.

At the start it was all about the writing and all about the numbers. I began to develop a serious and crippling addiction to my blogger stats. I got more and more excited as more and more people read what I produced and, most importantly, seemed to like it. As far as twitter was concerned I revelled in every milestone. The first hundred, then two hundred, then three hundred followers arrived rather quickly. Every time I tweeted about a piece I had written there was a marked increase in page views on my blog. I got extremely excited when I reached my first 10,000 page views. I got some stuff featured on big web sites. I got some quality followers. I also made some friends.

So what's the problem?

Well, it's all to do with effort. You see whilst my twitter Avi is not actually a picture of me it does sum me up. I genuinely believe that any problem in life can be solved by sitting down and eating a biscuit. That's if the off licence is closed of course.

The thing is to take a blog from 10,000 page views a year to 10,000 page views a month requires significant effort. It is, to all intents and purposes, a full time job. You can't just post good content. That's not enough, it never has been. You need to work hard to get your writing seen by as many people as possible. Twitter comes into play here too. I have a very modest number of followers. To increase your followers into the thousands and tens of thousands takes an incredible amount of hard work. It becomes your life.

This is the first post I've written for some weeks. At the beginning I was posting almost every day. I certainly never posted less than three times a week.

This is definitely not an unusual situation. Bloggers losing their mojo is definitely a common thing. Just google it and you'll see plenty of examples of bloggers who are struggling with this or have overcome it at various stages of their blogging journey.

 People experience it for different reasons. Sometimes the effort of coming up with new, fresh material all the time can just get too much. Sometimes the high experienced when one of your posts gets a great response loses it's impact. Sometimes you just haven't got the time in your busy schedule to make the most of your blog.

For me, it's something different. I'm struggling to be clear on the point of the blog. Is it to make money? Is it to publicise my writing? Is it just for fun? Is it an online diary?

The goal of your blog will very much dictate your approach.

If you want to make money out of it you must have as many followers and page views as is humanly possible. It is your way of persuading individuals that your blog is worth using to publicise their products and services. To be honest I've never really been into that. I felt that using my blog for sponsored posts and advertising would limit what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it.

My original goal was to get my writing 'out there' with a view to developing a freelance career. What I have found is that there is very little relationship between the two. Yes blogging does give you the chance to develop your writing to provide content that your readers will like. However, every piece I have had published was achieved via other means. No one from the Daily Mail has read my blog and offered me a column - I think they have enough lunatics contributing already.

If you blog for fun, it's much more straight forward. If your goal is simply to enjoy writing, the stats mean nothing and it doesn't really matter if no one reads it. This gives you an incredible amount of flexibility in terms of what you write and how often.

I think for me, that is the key. I started blogging in the first place because I simply enjoyed writing. It was a happy coincidence that people enjoyed reading.

For those of you who visit this blog on a regular basis I promise normal service will resume very shortly.

For those of you who don't read my blog, this sentence is a bit of a waste of time.

Hapless Dad.

P.S What happens to parent bloggers when the kids grow up and bugger off? Has blogging been going long enough for us to find out?

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