The problem with missing a few times when you would normally post on your blog is that those few times so easily turn into a few weeks. Just like exercise, you miss it at first. But then, you get used to not having it, and then it takes a lot of effort to overcome inertia.
I allowed myself a blogging break for a very good reason – I was very ill and eventually in the hospital – but then the weeks rolled by, even when health returned. Blogging, like exercise, must be a habit, or you’ll lose what you’ve worked so hard to earn. It takes dedication to build consistent readers and good will, just like it takes dedication to build muscles and stamina.
It’s never easy to start over once you’ve let yourself slide into bad habits. Nobody likes digging out the running or walking shoes for the first time after weeks of lethargy. And it’s equally hard to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) the first time you’ve allowed yourself to play hooky from your blog. There’s only one thing to do.
You wouldn’t try to run a marathon after you had lain around the house for two months, and you can’t expect to write the killer blog that will catapult you to 1,000 readers after you’ve been AWOL from your blog for weeks.
Make a contract with yourself that you will do it regularly.
Like exercise, blogging must be done regularly to be effective. There’s never one “perfect” post. One post that says it all and serves as the last word on any topic. Even if that were the case, search engines love new content, which means new posts on a regular basis. And if you’re using your posts as quasi-newsletters to your subscribers through Feedblitz or Feedburner, it’s the reliability of them showing up in their inbox that provides the marketing value.
Don’t expect overnight miracles.
It takes training the right way for a long time to get in top physical shape. And it takes blogging and marketing your blog for a good while to build a sizeable audience. Success is cumulative.
Like getting buff, blogging is hard work, but the results are worth it. A blog is the hub of your online presence. Even if you’re on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, as I am, you need to have a blog that allows you to develop deep content, share your expertise, and build a community.
So now that I’ve talked myself into blogging again, I think it’s time to go find my athletic shoes.
*Photo by Kevin Dooley