* Guest post by Henri Junttila
I’ve been blogging since 2009, and almost every week I’ve put out a new piece of content.
It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve managed to stay consistent, which has led to my blog growing to thousands of subscribers and tens of thousands of monthly visitors.
Success comes from showing up every day and doing what other people aren’t willing to do.
That means staying motivated when your motivation flies out the window. But how do you do that? How do you stay motivated?
Here are 7 things that work for me:
1. Break Things Down
It can be discouraging to look at your to-do list and see “write a blog post.”
That’s because you can’t see what it looks like inside your head. It’s tough to visualize. But what if you broke down that task? Here’s an example:
– Come up with a headline
– Outline the post (3-5 main points)
– Outline the outline (notes on what to write)
– Write the middle
– Write the end
– Write the introduction
– And so on…
When you break a post into pieces, you can write huge resource articles that span thousands of words. That’s what I did with my guide on starting a blog the right way.
I worked on it for just 15-30 minutes everyday. After a few days, I started building momentum and the last few days I spent up to an hour on it.
2. Prepare for Rainy Days
Your motivation will dip. It’s natural. The key isn’t to fight it, but to prepare for it.
When you feel inspired, crank out a few extra blog posts. Don’t just write one when you need one, but write two or three every time your motivation is up.
You don’t even have you finish the posts. As long as you have a draft, you have something to work with when your motivation dips.
Make things easier for your future self and write more than you need.
3. Lower Your Standards
Often when your motivation dips, it’s because you’ve made writing into a chore. You’ve lost the fun in publishing posts.
The solution? Lower your standards. Focus on writing a horrible first draft. Most people try to get a perfect article on the first go, and it doesn’t work.
Writing and editing at the same time will drive you crazy. So when you write, challenge yourself to write as horribly as you can.
When you’re done, you can come back and edit.
4. Make Writing a Priority
Write daily, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. It may not feel like it’ll make a difference, but it will.
I recently picked up the guitar again, and my goal is to simply play for 15 minutes per day. Some days I have to force myself to play, but other days I play for hours. I know that in order to get better, I have to practice.
The same is true for writing blog posts. You have to cultivate the habit to write. And when you write everyday, your motivation goes up.
5. Listen to Your Inspiration
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut where you’re writing blog posts in order to get something, such as more traffic, subscribers, or sales.
What helps me get motivated to write is to write about what I enjoy. If it doesn’t fit on my blog, I can always throw it on a site like EzineArticles.com, Squidoo.com, or submit it as a guest post.
Let go of what you think you should write, and write what you want to write. It does wonders for you blogging motivation.
6. Capture Your Inspiration
I capture my inspiration when it hits me. It might be with good old pen and paper, or with my phone.
If you don’t capture your bursts of inspiration, they’ll go to someone else. You have to use those inner nudges when they hit you.
It’s kind of like remembering dreams: The more you make an effort to remember your dreams and write them down, the more you remember them. You’re telling your brain what’s important.
The same mechanism works for blogging. Capture your inspiration and you will be inspired more often. Sit down and write while you’re inspired and it’ll happen more and more.
7. Try Different Formats
Last, but not least, get your head out of the limited box you’ve built for yourself.
It’s easy to get stuck in writing a certain way. So try different formats and styles for your articles, such as:
– Answer a reader question
– Write an ultimate guide (like my blogging guide above)
– Write a top 10 list
– Share your top 10 favorite books
– Interview someone via email
– Tell a story
– Share the biggest mistakes you’ve made
Staying motivated to write is easy when you’re willing to look at how you make yourself unmotivated.
To stay motivated, break free from your familiar patterns, write about what you enjoy, and just in case, prepare for those rainy days.
To learn more about Henri, check out his blog www.wakeupcloud.com where he helps people turn their interests into online businesses.
– Even if you aren’t a blogger, nor aspire to start one, many of the ideas above can be applied to any undertaking. Share you’re thoughts on the ideas above in the comments below.