You’ve invested in blogging, including all that time and effort. You don’t want to waste your resources by allowing things to interfere with your progress.
These are five of the biggest threats that can harm your blogging efforts. With each threat comes the risk that you’ll lose opportunities, so it’s important you avoid them at all cost. This article will give you what you need to know to do so.
1. A distraction-filled office threatens your productivity.
What does your current office space look like?
Is it messy? Do you have an excessive number of unnecessary items on your desk? Where is it located in the room?
Your office setting can either help or hurt your productivity, so it’s important you design a place that optimizes instead of hinders. Some of the ways to do this are to pay attention to:
When you’re trying to concentrate on your blog writing, one of your worst enemies is distractions. These can include phone noises, recreational websites, and even those fidget spinners everyone’s raving about.
How can you prevent these distractions from threatening your productivity?
You have options, such as downloading or installing productivity apps. Some of the best distraction-fighting apps are:
- StayFocusd, a Chrome extension that blocks unnecessary websites of your choosing
- RescueTime, a tool featuring website blocking and tracking how you’re spending your time both on and offline
- The Do Not Disturb feature on your iPhone, which will silence all calls and other notifications during a set time period
Distractions can slow down your writing and contribute to missed deadlines. Unless you’re working on your blog promotion on social media, block those sites in your browser with StayFocusd. Track your level of distraction with RescueTime to see what you need to do to improve your productivity. Turn off all notifications on your iPhone or Android phone with a do not disturb feature to prevent even a vibration from distracting you.
As a committed blog writer, you’re committing much of your time on your efforts. If your workstation is a mess though, you’ll see your productivity decline. That’s why it’s critical to have an organized space to write.
What’s considered an organized space?
The truth is there is no universal definition of “organized” because it depends on you. To determine how to organize your space, you need to know what will work best for you. You don’t want papers and other miscellaneous items everywhere, but you do want to set up your space in a way that helps your own productivity.
Some prefer to have a clear desk with nothing more than their computer in sight. This helps them focus on writing and nothing more. On the other hand, some writers want to include items that help inspire or get them in the mood to write. This can include scents to keep them calm, for example.
To determine how you should organize your workstation, you need to know your own mind. What should you have on your desk to help your writing productivity? What should you remove that would only distract you? When you know how to organize your own space, you’re on your way to improved productivity.
Do you control where you write? If yes, that’s great because you have more opportunities to find the ideal place for your needs. You’ll be able to experiment with different locations to see what works and what doesn’t. It may take a few tries, but once you know the best setting for you, your writing will benefit from it.
When you work in a team environment, you might not have much control over your office location. That’s okay. There are still ways you can create a beneficial setting. It may require a bit of creativity from your end, but it is possible to make your space just as effective as if you were writing from anywhere.
A couple ways you can create a setting when you don’t have direct sunlight or a nearby window:
- Purchase plants that don’t require sunlight, such as bromeliads and other options from this list.
- Invest in a sun lamp for artificial sunlight, which can improve your mood, too.
Your writing location must be fit to your optimal productivity needs. Otherwise, instead of helping you, your workstation can threaten your ability to get things done.
2. A disorganized calendar threatens your consistency.
Do you keep a calendar for your blog? If you do, is it organized or more like a cluttered mess?
Keeping a calendar is key to staying on top of your various blog topics and deadlines, but it’s not enough to just have a system in place. It needs to be well-organized to prevent confusion and error.
Keep your blog calendar separate from everything else.
Is your blog schedule on the same Google or Outlook calendar as the rest of your personal or work items? This does help to have everything in one place, but more likely, it makes a mess of everything. Your calendar will more likely grow out of control with multiple items scheduled at the same times. It will start looking like a work of colorful art instead of a manageable system.
You have options for how to maintain a structured, separate, and manageable calendar. It’s all a matter of which one works for your needs and budget.
- The DIY calendar. When you have zero budget for a paid calendar service, you can still organize your blog calendar in a free program, such as Google Sheets or Excel. If you are still committed to the idea of using an actual calendar, such as Google Calendar, make sure you create a separate option for all your blogging tasks. Use a noticeably different color for it, too.
- The third-party service. So you have a designated budget for purchasing a calendar service. Great! This means your options increase tremendously, and the amount of manual work decreases even more. The top tool for blog calendar management is CoSchedule.
- The free template. If you don’t want to start from scratch but also don’t want to buy a program, you’re in luck. Several blog leaders have created templates you can access for free. They give you a structure you can follow so that you don’t have to struggle to organize everything yourself. As an example: CoSchedule has a recent, handy article and template for blog calendar management. You can find a collection of others in Curata’s article on the subject.
When you have a well-managed blog calendar, your risk of inconsistency lessens. You’ll see your timelines and more likely reach your deadlines, which in turn keeps your blog schedule consistent and reliable. No matter which approach you take to a blog calendar, select something you can maintain for the long term.
3. Your inner critic threatens your writing.
It’s likely you’ve heard that inner voice while you’re writing, telling you what needs to change and what isn’t working. Your focus should be on getting your thoughts and ideas onto paper first before worrying about changes. Your inner critic can make that difficult.
Your inner critic will insist on perfection, but that can only lead to negativity and then delays. With so much on your plate already, you can’t afford to allow these delays. That’s why it’s time you silence your inner critic.
These are some useful ways to give your inner critic the back seat as you write:
Listen to upbeat music. When you sit in silence, your mind has full control over what you hear, especially that dreaded inner critic. Listen to music to drown out this negativity and distraction.
Expect distractions before they happen. Learn the workings of your inner critic so that you’re better prepared when it comes out in full force. If you know your critic will disapprove of a certain content piece, be aware of it. You’ll then have more luck with putting those thoughts to the side.
Keep a journal. Journaling is a handy way to silence or calm your inner critic. You can remove the negativity and educate yourself on the inner workings of your mind.
Don’t expect the critic to vanish. Your mind won’t be silenced completely when you write, so it’s important to recognize it’s there. When you accept its presence, you’ll have more power to push it aside.
Your inner critic won’t simply vanish, so it’s key that you learn what you can about it. When you know more about yourself, you’re better prepared for any distractions while you write.
4. A limited social media presence threatens your reach.
You can write one hundred amazing blog articles, but without any social media promotion, your web traffic will be limited. In addition to that social media activity, you need to have people there who are listening to you.
It’s essential to have your own established social media presence with a dependable following. That way, you’ll see people engaging with your blog content and increasing your content’s reach.
Choose the most important platforms to focus your efforts.
You have many social platforms you can build a presence on. It can seem a bit daunting, so you need to decide where to concentrate your efforts.
Instead of worrying about being everywhere, be where your potential blog audience is seeking out content. It’s not only about being where they’re active. They need to be actively engaging with content like yours. Some platforms, such as Instagram, aren’t the best place for content promotion, so you need to research which platforms are best for both your audience and your content.
Build influence to attract readers
Once you have accounts on your top social media platforms, it’s time to build your presence. You have work to do initially that takes time and patience, but the rewards make it worth it in the end.
Set up your profiles completely and effectively. Optimizing your social profiles gives you the opportunity to attract and retain a following. For example, on your Twitter profile, use hashtags in your bio to be found for specific keywords. Also, after building your profile activity a bit more, request verification from the platforms that offer it, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Those verification marks make your accounts more legitimate and build your influence.
Know who you’re trying to reach. You may have your reader personas established, but you should do the same research on your social audience as well. Find out how they communicate and the keywords they search for the most. This will help you create social posts that they find and engage with.
Engage in real-time. It’s essential that you don’t simply schedule blog content promotion and leave it at that. You’ll want to be human and engage with other users in real time. This will help you build relationships and give your social accounts a more loyal following. Use @ mentions to notify users that your content cites them or that they might appreciate your article. Reach out to influencers to see if they’ll share your content with their own audiences. These can all help you drive interested readers to your blog.
So, are you feeling overwhelmed yet? Don’t worry. There are many social media resources to assist you with building and maintaining your social presence. Some of the best options are:
- Buffer for social media scheduling
- Buzzsumo for discovering what content gets the most social engagement.
- Pablo by Buffer for creating social media-specific images.
When all else fails, you can refer to the content marketer’s holy grail of social media survival. Content Marketing Institute created a social media guide with over 50 tips to assist bloggers.
To be effective at blogging, you cannot afford to ignore social media promotion. Yes, you have SEO traffic, but social media is still an essential part of blog success. Build your presence to drive targeted traffic to your blog, and you’ll see a better reach when they decide to share your content as well.
5. The wrong blog site host threatens your reliability.
There’s nothing worse than putting all the effort into driving traffic to your blog just to see your website crash. This inconvenient disruption hurts your traffic and makes you look less reliable and professional.
You need to invest in a blog web host that will keep your website up and loading quickly and reliably. You don’t have to choose an overly expensive host to keep everything running. There are plenty of cheap web hosts to choose from.
If you have a WordPress blog, you likely decided to self-host your website. However, new bloggers might want to evaluate whether to stick with a free platform or self-hosting.
Your influence and thought leadership depend on blog traffic. An unreliable web host will damage your brand image and lead to missed opportunities. Additionally, Google won’t rank your content if your website keeps going down. This is all why you need to find a website host that you can rely on.
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These five threats to your blog are high-risk but easily avoidable when you commit to preventing them. By not taking steps to avoid these threats, you’re accepting the likelihood of:
- Poor productivity
- Restricted writing power
- Limited content reach
You are now aware of how to optimize your blogging efforts to prevent these risks, so it’s time to commit yourself to maintaining your prevention strategies.
Has your blog hit any of these five roadblocks? What are you doing to fix or prevent any risks you face to your blogging efforts? Leave a comment with your answers!