A GUIDE TO SELF-DISCIPLINE- BLOGGER’S EDITION
Written by Travis Crane
So you want to be a blogger, or a writer, or an editor, and run your own blog (you get the gist)? Well, welcome to the battlefield. There has been an explosion of blogs starting up all over the internet in the past couple years all with the hopes of being the next big blog, with thousands of views, and thousands of fans. It’s not a walk in the park, Champ.
Many blogs start up, and many blogs fail. Why? Among other things, it’s discipline; especially if you’re doing it all alone. It can be hard to keep on keepin’ on when you have to write every article, find or take every picture and edit all by yourself, but hey, it’s not impossible! Take it from me, who has written over 70 articles for one site in the span of a year, with no outside help(except some helpful friends trying to lend a hand).
I could not have done this without self-discipline, and even though I am lacking in that department as of now, it doesn’t mean I can’t try and help you!
As simple as it seems, planning is everything, especially when running a blog alone. Sit down, and think about what you need to do for the week, one week at a time. Do you want to publish two articles a week? Three? Maybe just one solid lengthy feature a week? It doesn’t matter how many you want to put out, as long as you PUT THEM OUT. Write down any idea for an article that may pop into your head, as soon as it does. By doing this, when you feel the creative juices flowing a day or so later, you already have a bunch of different starting points to choose from.
Writing may come natural to you, I know it does for me. That doesn’t mean you can sit down whenever you want and just spew out an article whilly nilly, or at least, that’s the case for me. Taking from my first point, once you feel the inspiration strike, sit. And don’t get up. Ever. Just kidding. Sit down and write the article. Period. The best judgment of your work is yourself. Even a bathroom break can throw you off of your A-game, so learn what you need to do to get the article done in a timely fashion without getting distracted, whether it’s going to a public library, or locking yourself in a dark, cold basement with all of your thoughts (I normally choose the latter). Personally, the less outside stigma that can distract me, the better.
Try this app to help you stay focused: http://www.moosti.com/
3. Edit, Edit, EDIT!
There’s a serious issue with a lot of writers out there, and it’s that we all “know” that we are good great awesome writers. Some better than others, but this rarely means that our writing is perfect; especially after a first draft, or two, or three. You can edit your own work and make the necessary revisions that you believe will suffice, but it never hurts to have an outsider’s perspective. It doesn’t have to be your introductory writing professor or some high ranking scholar. Just having a friend look over your work to make sure it reads easily and is relatable to someone who isn’t looking for constant grammar mistakes can make a world of difference. There is a chain of editors for newspapers and websites for a reason; so there can be several views of the same piece to come to a final conclusion together to put out the best piece possible.
Timing isn’t “everything”, as they say, when it comes to publishing your articles, but it can make a difference. The internet has higher traffic at certain times throughout the day, just like it has dead times. Pick out the demographic that you want to aim for, and do your research. Looking for the social media group? Anytime after noon until the evening will do, considering everyone and their mother is browsing some form of social media at their work desk nowadays. Maybe you want to reach out to an older demographic because you publish independent news information. Publish early. The majority of those who are watching the news in the morning are older, and waking up earlier, around 5 or 6 AM. Yes, it may suck having to wake up extra early to get the most views and visitors, but hey, you picked news…for some reason.
In the end, running a successful blog or website all depends on how much time and effort you are willing to put into it. It could be pre-writing five articles Monday and publishing one a day, or one a week to give yourself extra planning time for when they’re all published. It could be writing one great article every couple weeks with smaller attention-grabbers. Attention is hard to come by. The point is that it doesn’t matter what you do or how you do it, as long as you do it. In the words of the legend Shia Lebouf, JUST DO IT!
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