Been a minute since I gave you an EC quote Friday. Today I just want to remind you that it’s hard to beat someone who won’t quit. Whatever you do, just keep going:
If you wrote an article no one reads, write another one. If you sing a song no one hears, sing another one. If you publish a book no one reads, publish another one. If you dance your heart out and no one watches, dance again. The most obvious solution to me in the face of adversity is to keep going. To always try just one more time.
When Def Jam started they had a small office with three desks, two phones, and no air conditioning. The point is that you can’t be afraid to start from the bottom. If you can see the vision through to the end, there are no limits to where you can go. Do not misunderstand me, I am not telling you to be Def Jam (let those who read understand.) I am simply showing you the power of endurance. If you can’t endure the struggle for a little while and in that process be hated, mocked, lied on, judged unrighteously, and looked down upon… please tell me again why you deserve to be great?
The PBS Blog was not my introduction to blogging. At first, I hosted a blog through Blogger in honor of my first novel The Aftermath. My second blog, A House of Poetry, was dedicated to poetry and hosted here on WordPress. Neither of these blogs went very far. When I transitioned from A House of Poetry to The PBS Blog, I had a different intention. This time around, I enjoyed blogging, and I did not want to miss a day of publishing content. I was relentless and almost obsessive. I posted three times a day for five or six days a week. My routine looked something like this:
Of course, you have to first produce something. This post is about getting your blog to work for you when you are away, but that doesn’t happen unless you have first created something.
My first tip to getting your blog to work for you even when you aren’t blogging is to be consistent in publishing valuable content when you first start your blog so you have tons of content to repurpose later.
My first posts did not do well far as engagement. But what it did was help me get used to writing publicly, posting regularly, and creating content that people will read weeks, months, and even years later. People are still engaging with posts I wrote four and five years ago because blog posts have a long shelf life, unlike a social media post.
I believe in hard work. I also believe that hard work pays off. These are pretty much the basic principles that help me to keep this blog going.
Update: We are now in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, which we were not in when this post I first published this post in 2016. More people are at home now, which is a wonderful opportunity to engage your audience because people consume a lot of content. Time spent reading blogs and social media posts have increased significantly, with everyone being at home. On the flip side, there are also more distractions which means that you are easily forgettable if you are not showing up regularly.
Another thing to remember is that a post you publish today can blow up a year from now. A post with five likes now can get 50,000 likes in a year, depending on the spirit of the time and how it is relatable to your post. Here’s an example of what I posted in the original version of this post from 2016:
“Last week, a blog post I published two years ago suddenly got lots of attention. My stats were going crazy! Shooting up to over six hundred views within 48 hours, over 3,000 by the end of the day, and over four thousand shares on Facebook. This was an old post that new visitors were just discovering. This is a clear example of your blog working for you. If I wanted, I could have sat back and took an entire week off and made it up in views, likes, and follows coming in from that post alone. This same thing can work on articles that surround certain historical events, like 9/11. Maybe you posted something on 9/11, and two years from now, it gets all of the attention you thought it deserved when you first published it. It’s all about timing.” – Yecheilyah
You won’t have to worry about posting as much once you’ve been doing it for some time, and you won’t have to worry about losing followers when you are not blogging because there is enough content for people who have not yet discovered your blog to read.
Schedule Your Blog Posts
Although I was publishing a lot initially, it doesn’t mean that I was coming up with the content on the fly. I planned my posts out and scheduled them. If you go into your WordPress dashboard, you can schedule your blog posts so that they will go live without you having to sit in front of the computer or phone and do it manually. If you are in the US, I recommend scheduling it to go live at midnight so you can reach people all over the world who are in different time zones. We talked about this in another post already, so as not to be redundant, I will refer you to that post which you can find here.
Download the WP App (Or Whatever App is appropriate for your blog platform)
You can also download the WordPress app, which, once the post is live, helps respond to comments and share to social media on the go.
This is probably one of the best tips of them all because you can grow while you sleep, which is like working while you sleep. And who doesn’t like that?
Support Other Blogs/Bloggers
Publishing posts regularly is good, but it is not enough. It is just as important to follow other blogs, comment on other blogs and interact with other bloggers.
The more I interacted with veteran bloggers, participated in challenges, followed and commented on other blogs, the more I became aware of the little nuggets and tidbits I needed to help my blog, not only to grow but also to keep growing. And consistent growth is a goal that I consistently strive for.
Guest blogging, interviewing others, and being active within the community will help you grow even on days you are not blogging because you are leveraging your platform through others. Someone might not have read the article on your page, but if you were a guest on someone else blog or a more prominent blog reblogged/shared your post, their readers become your readers depending on the subject and how it is relatable to them.
It’s a challenge for authors who write and publish books to be consistent in publishing blog posts while trying to write books because blogging is still a form of writing. Whether you are publishing a poem, short story, article, how-to, research article, giving a testimony, or breaking down how a quote is inspirational to you, it’s all still writing.
One solution is that by frequently posting in the beginning, supporting other blogs when you are not blogging, repurposing content, and scheduling blog posts, authors can continually publish books without neglecting their blog.
The key is a little bit of discipline and networking with others, incorporating blogging into your platform building strategy as a necessary part of the work, and producing quality posts as early and as often as possible in your blogging journey.
Sometimes we just want the easy answer. The easy answer, and the smooth path. We want to lower mountains, and bring them down to our understanding. And we want as many tips on how to do so as is possible; we want things to be as easy as possible. But what I have learned, whether about blogging, writing, or life in general is this: You can have all the talent, and all of the opportunity in the world but if you do not have the persistence, the endurance, or the discipline to keep working then you do not have anything. Determination is called drive for a reason, it moves you.