It is not easy to manage a multi-authored blog especially if it is read by a lot of people every day. The process of finding ideas that are relevant, the research, the writing and the feedback you get is a long path to take – and results may vary.
If you have ever had a blog or is running one now, it is possible that you have experienced hitting the wall. It’s the same invisible (but it will feel very real) wall that marathon runners ‘run into’ and have to surpass to continue running.
The alternative names we use internally are ‘burn outs’ and writer’s block and they are very dangerous to the blog owner. It could spell the end of your blog and your career as a professional blogger. The stakes are high and it is possible that you had experienced, is experiencing it, or will eventually experience it further down the road.
It is possible that you are bored with it all. Tasks have become regular, or even worse, mundane; writing pitches have become “what’s the point?” and you become saturated with ideas that you are unwilling to devote time to because your highly critical readers may not like it.
Hiding behind the term ‘writer’s block’ is just silly, but we all look for excuses to answer for our incompetence. However, if you let that take over, and you become paralyzed by it, then the end is near.
Here’s how to break out of that cell.
Celebrate the little victories
Over the course of expanding this site, we have come across many small victories. People write in to thank us for introducing their products, readers thank us for providing a good tutorial that fixes their problem, and designers (some, not all) in particular appreciate some of the traffic we direct to their portfolios.
Some of them do it via email, others on the comment section itself. If you have channels for readers to share their thoughts, these will naturally come in.
We don’t lie in wait for any of this, but we sure as hell appreciate them because it reminds us that what we do makes a change in someone’s life, big or small, significant or not. The feedback that we receive, we cherish, and it serves as a reminder as to why we love doing what we do.
If you experience the same form of positive feedback, hang on to it. Share it with the people you care about. Flaunt it. It goes a long way in establishing some sense in what and why you do what you do.
Handle Criticism Like A Pro
While we can jump with glee with postive feedback, it is the negative ones that we devote more time and attention to. Why? Because this step is necessary if you want to improve. If you want to get better, criticism is where you will find your Achilles’ heel – and guard it better than Achilles you should.
Note that not all comments need to be treated equally – some criticism are to be taken seriously, while others ignored. Understand that you cannot satisfy everyone and it is really pointless to even try.
Going with the general consensus is good enough and more importantly, don’t let the naysayers paralyze your ability to make a good decision. If you have readers that keep coming back, that’s proof that you are doing it right. Be careful that you don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees.
The secret to a winning blog or site is sustainability. To be able to sustain, a blog must have content that is consistent. For that, you need time, and an ‘anchor’. ‘Time’ here is self-explanatory. You are lying to yourself if you think you can reach the popularity of large sites in less than half the time they took to get there. Sometimes you just have to keep at it until you break out of your shell and you see light at the end of the tunnel.
As for the ship’s anchor, if you were the one who started the blog, that means you are the anchor. From the start, the very reason that someone is reading your blog is because they like what you wrote about. And that is the same reason they are coming back – for more of the same.
As you expand your writing team, never lose sight of what your readers are looking for, no matter how many new categories you have introduced to your growing blog. While it is essential to test out new waters, in an effort to rake in new readers, don’t forsake the loyal ones, who made you who you are because they gave you a chance.
Push to improve, never compromise
That said, just because you started out operating in a bedroom or a garage, it doesn’t mean you stay there forever, physically and mentally. Once you have started making a name for yourself, a lot of other things come to play: PR, marketing, politics, requests and rebukes… the pressure to maintain your reputation and the quality of your blog will be immense.
You will need people to come in and help you with the peripheral duties while you try to stay true to your core content. The fact that they are running around to help you settle these problems allow you to do what you do best, without being too concerned by these side, but essential duties to keep the blog running.
Encourage your Team
Many collaborative efforts online these days are more of a symbiotic relationship rather than a hierarchy. People work with you, rather than for you, and it becomes less of a win-or-lose situation, more of a matchmaking session. If you click with someone who has the talents that you need, you go into a relationship called ‘a team’. These may be short term (but sometimes you get lucky).
And they will experience burn outs too, which is why it is terribly important for you to be there to pull them out of the rut by inspiring them when that happens. Communication plays a large role in convincing them that what they are doing is right particularly when they are at the verge of falling over the deep end.
Sometimes it is essential to also share with them the little victories mentioned above. It’s not only your victory, it is theirs too. And if you want run with the ball, you definitely want your team behind you, watching your back and supporting you all the way.
Lastly, here is one for the readers (whether you run your own blog or not). We value your feedback and in fact make a lot of our editorial decisions based on the way you handle our content, and the comments you leave us. Mind reading is still science fiction, last we checked, so if you see what you like, the way you react to it (by Sharing or Liking or leaving +1′s on it) is your say in dictating what comes to the sites you love in the near future.