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Facing the Challenges of Blogging

Jun 6, 2008
Despite the people you hear about making a delightful living as bloggers, it's not an easy way to make money for most people. It's hard work. Coming up with post ideas can be time consuming. And it can really be frustrating if you aren't getting feedback or you get a lot of negative feedback.

And yet you cannot let that stop you.

Finding Post Ideas

One of your best resources for blog post ideas can be other blogs in niches related to your own. You don't want to copy them, of course, but you can be inspired to do your own take on the topic. Just give credit where credit is due and make sure your opinions stand out. Writing a post that says, in essence "I think exactly what this other blogger thinks" isn't going to make much of an impression on your readers.

Keep up with news stories related to your topic as well. Subscribe to appropriate RSS feeds for your news. Google News can make this pretty easy, for example.

Relate your own experiences to the things you blog about. I posted recently about how freebie marketing worked in getting my daughter interested in karate classes.

And of course, brainstorm. A single concept can explode into dozen of posts if you just start thinking about it. Many people like to use mind mapping while others do more of a free association. However you do it, just get going and write it all down. Don't do it in your head; you'll forget too much.

Finding Readers

This is the part I've always found most challenging. With so many new blogs started every day it takes a lot of effort to build your readership.

The very first thing you should do is make it easy for your readers to subscribe to your blog feed, so they keep coming back. Have both an email and an RSS version available. Not everyone knows about RSS even if they use it in their My Yahoo or other reader, so give them the options.

Then get the word out. Comment on other blogs. Good comments, not just "Great post" as every blogger sees all too often. Many sites will just delete such comments, as they add nothing to the conversation. And the conversation is a big part of what makes a blog interesting.

Network too. I've had some great interactions with other bloggers on Twitter, for example. It's amazing how many bloggers are on there. It's very casual sort of conversation much of the time, and it can be easier to make a quick (140 character) tweet to someone than to meet them other ways. Your tweets still have to give some value to get people interested, but it can really work well.

Coping with Negative Feedback

Negative feedback will happen, no matter how good your posts are. It doesn't matter what you do, you cannot please everyone. And that's a key thing to remember.

There are also people who simply delight in saying horrible things to people online just because it can all be anonymous. It can be ridiculous, but there it is. Don't let yourself be drawn into heated exchanges with people. It's better to keep your temper and learn to dismiss the people who are only trying to make you angry.

Genuine criticism, on the other hand, can be quite useful. If someone catches you with incorrect information, thank them. Hopefully they will at the same time point you to a better resource for information.

Don't Give Up

It takes a long time to succeed as a blogger in most cases. The blogger who appears to be an overnight success may have been working at it for years. They may have had several failed blogs. They've definitely been working hard to gain the knowledge that is interesting their readers now. Nice as it would be to succeed so quickly, for most it takes a bit longer. Be prepared for that and keep trying.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster blogs at http://www.aspectsofhomebusiness.com/blog/ about running her home business. Get more tips on successfully running your own blog at her site.
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