Hi, my name is Sarah and I am a serial blogger. I start blogs. I stop blogging. I switch to a new blog. It's such a bad habit.
I started blogging in high school on Xanga. Back then, my blogs were the outlet of a hormornal teenager. I wish I hadn't deleted that account, but it would be completely cringeworthy to read now. I maintained a pretty regular posting schedule throughout high school, eventually stopping during my senior year to focus on AP classes and college applications (at least that's what I would like to think). I also taught myself enough HTML and CSS to start a (very) small business coding layouts for friends. Xanga was a great learning experience for me.
I switched to Livejournal during my second year in college. I kept this one alive, and it's still cringeworthy. I also kept a regular schedule on this one until my last year in college. Then I started a blog on Tumblr, which is now closed. That didn't last too long after graduation because I just wasn't doing anything I felt was noteworthy enough to post about (although my Ok Cupid escapades would have been great material).
I stayed away from personal blogging for a while. I blogged for a class and for an internship, but didn't do anything personal until trying a /365 photo challenge in 2013. I stuck with it for less than 100 days. Later in 2013, I started a stay-fit blog, but eventually stopped in early 2014.
Finally, I'm at this blog. I've definitely learned more than a few lessons that will help me (and you) stick with blogging.
- Find what motivates you to keep going. Right now, I pay for Typepad, a custom url, and a business email. My motivation to keep posting is that I'm paying $12 a month (+ my sunk costs for the name and one year of email) to keep this site going. Find something that will motivate you to regularly post and go for it.
- Create goals. I have big plans for this blog after I graduate, and posting now is getting me to those goals. Creating my goals helps give me a sense of direction instead of random rambling each time I post. I know where I want to take this; my goals give me a roadmap.
- Create a schedule. I cut up sticky notes and use them in my planner to help me see my blogging "quota" that month. Right now, it is realistic for me to have two scheduled posting each week with random live updates as I can through the week. Honestly, I can do more "big posts" that are scheduled, but I don't want to do that until school is no longer an obligation that gets in the way of blogging.
- Write up scheduled posts in advance. I was live posting exclusively on all of my previous blogs. I would sit down and just start rambling and hit post. With my schedule now, that just doesn't fly. I plan out my Tuesday/Thursday posts about a month in advance, and I try to have the post written a week before the posting deadline. This gives me wiggle room if something isn't working or I need to change my ideas. It also gives me a fallback when life gets busy and I can't blog as regularly, which is why I fell out of blogging so many times before. This way you can write out posts when you have time and still have a regular stream of posts.
- Be realistic with youself. You're probably not going to go from 5 readers a day to 300,000 overnight. Don't give up when you're not hitting your goal numbers. The famous bloggers we all love have spent years growing their reader base and perfecting their styles. We're just starting out. Keep with it, keep writing, keep practicing.
- Keep learning! Learn new writing techniques, learn how to boost your blog with photography, learn some simple website coding, learn anything that can help you with your blog goals. Using the new things you learn will keep you interested in your blog and help improve your blogging.
Being a serial blogger isn't bad, at all. It helps you learn and evolve. Trust me, I wouldn't want to be using my old Livejournal still. But it's hard to establish a name for yourself on the internet when you're constantly switching names and themes. It would have been nice to watch my evolution as a blogger on one single site rather than piecing everything together. But I've learned from my serial blogger-ness and now I'm implementing it all on here.
Hopefully these little tips and lessons help you with your blogging. Don't give up just because one thing isn't working out. You're blog is you; expect it to evolve and change…and embrace that change instead of changing blogs and names and starting over again.
PS: If you're interested in blogging as a business, I highly recommend checking out the Blog Life e-course by the gals over at A Beautiful Mess. There is so much great information that they put in one place.