Are you struggling to stay motivated? Are you finding it increasingly hard to find the motivation to write blog posts and do other important blog-related tasks? Did you used to be super enthusiastic and hyper motivated about your blog, but now it feels like a boring chore… and you just wish someone would wave a magic wand and you’d get your blogging motivation back? If so, you are in the right place! Here are 19 ways to stay motivated as a blogger…
Anyone who has been blogging for more than a few months will know that one of the biggest blogging challenges is motivation.
Most bloggers start out keen and enthusiastic about their blogs – it’s the start of a new and exciting venture… and one which holds the promise of a big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. (Or at least the promise of a decent full-time income and a better work life balance!)
But somewhere along their blogging journey many bloggers get derailed… not by external problems or unavoidable life events, nor even lack of time… but by lack of motivation. (Though lack of motivation often gets labelled as ‘lack of time’!)
Whereas in the early days working on the blog every evening and all weekend was exciting and fun… suddenly blogging feels all too much like a chore… and the magnetic pull of Netflix gets ever stronger!
Perhaps that’s you? Perhaps you started your blog in a blaze of enthusiasm and excitement… only for that initial burst of motivation to have petered out… leaving you mindlessly scrolling social media… and desperately googling ‘How to stay motivated as a blogger’.
If so, I have good news for you. There are lots of great ways to get motivated, stay motivated and prevent yourself getting demotivated again. Here are 19 ways to stay motivated as a blogger…
1. Get clear on your ‘why?’
The very first thing you need to do, if you want to get motivated again is to rediscover your ‘BIG WHY?’ Why did you start your blog in the first place? And what are you hoping to achieve with it? What is it that you want your blog to give you… if you are really honest with yourself?
For many bloggers, the #1 answer is money – maybe a nice little side hustle… maybe a full-time income so you can leave your 9-5… or maybe a 6 or 7 figure income!
But you may have started your blog for other reasons too… for example, the desire to be your own boss, have flexible working hours, get a better work/life balance and/or get other people interested in something you are passionate about.
2. Remind yourself of what’s possible… if you put the work in
Getting clear about your ‘BIG WHY?’ can help you by reminding you why you started your blogging business in the first place. But if you started your blog to make money… and you are still not making money, that can be a major reason for your lack of motivation.
So often motivation problems stem from the fact that your blog is not doing as well as you though it would. And that’s where a little reality check can be useful. For example, if you have been blogging for 6 months and you have still not made any money, that is totally normal!
Looking at Blogging Income Statistics from real bloggers can be really useful to help you see if you are on the right track… But it can also be really motivating as it shows you what you need to do to get to where you want to be.
For example, one of the best ways to get more traffic and earn more from a blog is by writing more blog posts. Knowing that can motivate you to get your head down and start writing more posts… even on days when you don’t feel like it!
3. Set goals… then work out what you need to do to hit those goals
Setting goals can be a great way to help you stay motivated… and it’s a common tip in articles about ‘How to stay motivated’.
For example, let’s say your goal is ‘Double my traffic in 12 months’. How will you achieve that? One of the best ways to increase your traffic is to write more high-quality blog posts. And let’s say you currently have 100 blog posts on your blog… One obvious way to double your traffic would be to write another 100 blog posts over the next 12 months. Working that back to your weekly to do list… that would mean writing 2 blog posts per week for the next year.
This will help with motivation because you can now draw a direct link between what you are doing this week (writing 2 more blog posts) and what you are aiming for (twice as much traffic).
And if getting twice as much traffic would mean you would qualify for a high paying ad company like Mediavine, then that’s even more of a motivation… Now you know that each time you write a new blog post, that is getting you 1 step closer to that goal of qualifying for Mediavine and finally making money with your blog!
4. Make a schedule and stick to it
But don’t stop there. Having the vague notion of ‘writing 2 blog posts per week’ will not help you stay motivated on its own… You need to take that and make it concrete… Exactly WHEN will you write those 2 blog posts?
Start by figuring out how long it takes to write a blog post and then plan in specific times into your week when you will work on your plan. For example, if you know it takes 2 evenings to write 1 blog post, then maybe your plan will be to write 1 blog post on Monday and Tuesday, and 1 on Wednesday and Thursday.
But if you know that you are likely to feel tired and / or demotivated of an evening, and you are more of a morning person, then maybe make a plan to get up earlier in the morning to work on your blog first thing instead.
It doesn’t matter exactly when you plan to work on your blog, the important thing is you make a plan… and then stick to it!
Don’t believe me? James Clear, in his bestselling book Atomic Habits* shares an interesting scientific experiment that demonstrated that, when we think we lack motivation, what we actually lack is a plan. The experiment showed that when you make a specific plan about exactly when you will carry out an action, you are more than twice as likely to actually do it!
5. Treat it like a business
If your aim is to make money from your blog, then you need to start treating your blog like a business.
With a hobby you work on it when you want to and not when you don’t. With a business you have to show up and put in the work… even when you don’t feel like it!
Time for some tough love… If you only work on your blog when you feel like it, you are unlikely to ever achieve your blogging goals.
Or to put it another way, if you treat your blog like a hobby, you are unlikely to make much (if any!) money with it.
If you want to earn money from your blog, you need to put in the work… and that means working on your blog even when you don’t feel like it / are tired / aren’t in the mood / just want to watch Netflix.
Every time you feel like that, remind yourself that you are only going to achieve your goals if you show up and put the work in.
6. Don’t get hung up on analytics
One of the biggest reasons for motivation problems is… analytics! It’s all too easy to get demoralized by your analytics… especially when they are flatlining.
Want to know one of the best ways to cure your lack of motivation? Stop looking at your analytics! (Or at least look at them a lot less frequently.)
The problem is, there is always going to be a bit of a lag between working on your blog and seeing the results. And it’s all to easy to get demoralized when you put the work in and don’t see immediate results… Which can lead to a lack of motivation… Which means you stop putting the work in… Which means you don’t see results… And it becomes a vicious cycle.
Instead, set goals and make a plan for how you are going to achieve those goals… and then focus on DOING THE PLAN rather than constantly CHECKING YOUR ANALYTICS to see if it’s made a difference yet.
Instead of constantly looking at your analytics for validation, measure yourself against your your plan.
Let’s say your plan is to write 100 blog posts in a year… Create a simple chart with 2 checkboxes next to each week for the whole of the next year and stick it up on the wall right where you usually do your blog work.
Then, every time you publish a new blog post, mark it off on your wallchart… Seeing those 2 checkmarks next to each week will spur you on to maintain your ‘streak’… increase your levels of motivation… and it will instead become a virtuous circle!
It sounds simple, but comparing yourself to your plan NOT your analytics will make ALL the difference.
7. Focus on gains not goals
One of my favourite books ever is a book called The Gap And The Gain* by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy – it’s a motivation GAME CHANGER!
One of the biggest reasons for lack of motivation stems from feeling like you are ‘not good enough’ or ‘not doing well enough’. The Gap And The Gain* not only explains why this happens, but also gives a brilliantly simple solution.
The problem is the way we measure our success – we are always comparing ourselves to where we want to be: ‘I’ll feel successful when… I’m earning a full time income from blogging / I’m getting over 100,000 pageviews / I qualify for Mediavine / I have 10,000 email subscribers…’
But the thing is, when we hit those targets, we don’t enjoy them and feel successful… we almost instantly make a new target: more money, more pageviews, more email subscribers…
And so we never feel like we’ve ‘made it’ and we constantly feel frustrated that we aren’t doing as well as we hoped. The book calls this being in ‘The Gap’ – the gap between where we are today and where we want to be. And being in the gap leaves us feeling miserable and unsuccessful.
Happily, the solution is incredibly simple: instead of constantly measuring ourselves against where we want to be, we should ‘measure backwards’ as the book calls it. In other words, we should compare ourselves to where we were yesterday / last month / last year. When we measure backwards we realise just how far we’ve come and how much we’ve achieved.
Think back to when you started your blog – what would newbie blogger you make of where you are today?
When we measure backwards, we are in ‘The Gain’. Being in the gain helps us feel happier, more successful and more motivated. And this leads to more success, increased productivity and greater happiness.
The Gap And The Gain* gives many practical tips about how to ‘measure backwards’, but my favourite is a super simple one: every night before you go to bed write down 3 gains: 3 things you’ve achieved that day and/or 3 things you are grateful for. This helps you to stay in the ‘gain’ mindset and focus on the progress you’ve made, rather than constantly feeling miserable because you are in the gap. And when you are in the ‘gain’ mindset, you will be much more motivated!
8. Celebrate your wins… even if they are small
But don’t just stop at writing your gains in a notebook… actively celebrate your wins – even the small ones!
- Did you stick to your blog post writing schedule for a month? Celebrate with a night off and a box of your favourite chocolates!
- Did your blog traffic increase by 10% last month? Treat yourself to a day off doing your favourite activity.
- Did you get into Mediavine? Take your significant other out for dinner and celebrate with champagne!
(Obviously these are just examples – you do what you know you would enjoy and find motivating!)
In fact, to make this even more fun, why not write a list of ‘rewards’ ahead of time… Plan in a specific reward for every potential milestone.
However, I have a very important tip here: focus the majority of the rewards on things which are under your direct control NOT on your blog traffic or income… Rewarding yourself for things you actually DO and are under your direct control is much more motivating.
- Writing X blog posts
- Finally sorting out your email marketing
- Finally finishing that SEO course
- Updating X blog posts
- Optimizing X blog posts for SEO or affiliate income
- Finally creating that course
Of course, you can (and should) also reward yourself for significant traffic and income milestones too. But if you only reward yourself for analytics-based milestones… and then your blog doesn’t grow as fast as you’d hoped, that can become demoralizing and demotivating – the opposite of what you want to achieve with your rewards system!
9. Don’t compare yourself to others
Just like with analytics, focusing on what other bloggers are achieving can instantly zap your motivation and leave you feeling rubbish. So, as best you can, try not to pay much attention to what other bloggers around you are achieving. I mean, of course congratulate them and encourage them… But try not to compare your achievements to theirs or let their success demoralize or demotivate you.
When you catch yourself going down that road, remind yourself that they are a different person, and they may be at a different stage / in a different niche / have a different set of circumstances to you. So, comparing yourself to other bloggers is like comparing apples and pears!
Stay in your lane, stick to your plan, and do your best to focus on what you are doing, not what other people around you are achieving.
10. Surround yourself with positive influences
Blogging can be a rather lonely and solitary pursuit… and that in itself can be demoralizing and demotivating, depending on your personality.
Do your best to surround yourself with bloggers and friends who will be a positive influence… People who will support you, encourage you, motivate you and help you. People who are the first to cheer you on for even the tiniest of achievements!
And try your best to avoid the ‘wrong’ sort of people – people who tell you blogging is pointless and you are wasting your time, negative people who zap your motivation and confidence, and people who give you unhelpful or unwanted advice.
One of the best places to find the encouraging motivating type of people are in blogging Facebook groups – like my Productive Blogging Community. My group is all about supporting and encouraging bloggers on their journey, helping each other out and celebrating milestones… however small!
11. Attend live events
Another place to find support, encouragement and motivation is at blogging events. Blogging events and conferences are a great place to meet other like-minded bloggers, connect with online buddies in real life and get inspired. I never fail to come away from blogging events with a super booster dose of motivation and enthusiasm!
12. Put some skin in the game
Another great tip for motivation is to invest in your blog. This will be motivating in two ways…
Firstly, it’s motivating because you will usually see faster results if you invest in your blog.
But secondly, and perhaps most importantly, you will be motivated because now you have some skin in the game. You’ve parted with some of your own hard-earned cash, so now you HAVE to make your blog work.
The fear of having wasted your money if you don’t make this work is a powerful motivator!
13. Take a course
One way to put some skin in the game AND get faster results is to pay for a blogging course. And for this reason, blogging courses can really help with motivation. They also give you are real sense of achievement and accomplishment as you progress through the course… and they can often include private students-only Facebook groups… all of which helps with motivation!
Blogging courses are actually a really smart investment because they will typically help you get results faster, but they will also help you avoid common pitfalls – meaning you will often SAVE money in the long term!
If you would like a course to give you that extra boost of motivation and help you achieve your goals faster, you might like to check out one of these courses:
- Profitable Blogging Jumpstart
- SEO Jumpstart
- Email Marketing Jumpstart
- Online Course Jumpstart
- Evergreen Funnel Jumpstart
You can see the full list of all my blogging courses, ebooks and bundles HERE.
14. Revamp your to do list
Want to know one of the biggest motivation-killers? That long, never-ending to do list of ‘everything’
Looking at a long list of tasks which never gets shorter is demoralizing and demotivating and is virtually guaranteed to suck all the joy from blogging!
But there is a much better way. Grab a free copy of my ebook Blog Smarter Not Harder to learn my simple system for turning your joy-sucking to do list into a highly motivational tool that will make you much more productive and help you achieve more in less time.
15. Take regular breaks
Whenever someone complains they lack motivation in a Facebook group, the most common advice is ‘take a break’… And sometimes that is good advice, at least in the short term.
However, I’d like to propose a better solution – PLAN IN BREAKS
Because here’s the thing… Having regular breaks can really help with motivation. But taking breaks whenever you feel like it… weeell, that’s kind of the problem!
I recommend that, when you plan your week (see #4) you also plan in some proper time off. And when you take time off, take it off properly – don’t look at emails, social media, analytics or anything. That way you will come back to your blog refreshed and raring to go – and you won’t resent your blogging time, because you will always know you have time off coming up soon.
To give a personal example, I always take Sundays off blogging and I make sure I have a full week off, completely away from my blogs 3-4 times a year. I also plan in ad hoc days off – like for my birthday!
16. Connect with your readers
Another way to stay motivated is to connect with your readers. For most bloggers, one of the big reasons why we do what we do is to help people… and yet, so often, we find ourselves having very little contact with the very people we set out to help when we first started out.
One of the best ways to connect with your readers is via email marketing. When you send out your email newsletters, ask questions and encourage your readers to ‘hit reply’. And when they reply, reply back and connect with them. Having readers tell you how much you have helped them is highly motivating! And email conversations with readers can really help you understand their problems better… so you can write even better content for your blog!
Another great way to connect with your readers is by starting a Facebook group for your readers.
17. Create a content calendar… based on keyword research
Another great way to stay motivated as a blogger is to create a content calendar… but not just any old content calendar… a content calendar based on proper keyword research.
Why is this motivating?
Well firstly, it will help you hit the ground running when you show up for your regular scheduled blogging time.
But secondly, and much more importantly, it will motivate you because you know you are writing blog posts which are actually going to send you traffic… meaning you know you are not wasting your time AND you know that writing that blog post is taking you one step closer to your traffic and income goals!
18. Diversify your income streams… and be proactive!
One of the biggest reasons why bloggers get demotivated is because they are not earning money from their blogs… But often this is because those bloggers are pinning all their hopes on getting into Mediavine or having a lucrative sponsored post somehow fall into their lap!
But the truth is, there is more than one way to earn money from a blog… Instead of waiting for Mediavine and getting sad and demotivated when that doesn’t happen, focus on multiple ways to make money with your blog… create a digital product, get serious about affiliate marketing and pitch brands you’d like to work with.
Focusing on what you CAN do rather than getting sad and demoralized because you still haven’t reached the magic 50, 000 sessions is much more motivating… but it’s also likely to be a lot more lucrative in the long term… Data shows that bloggers who diversify their revenue streams earn 4x more than bloggers who only focus on one or two.
19. Focus on your 80% tasks
One of the biggest reasons why bloggers feel demotivated is because they are not seeing the results they were hoping for…
But did you know that the reason why you are not seeing the results you were hoping for is because you are spending the majority of your time on tasks that are making little or no difference to your traffic and income goals?
If you want to see better results, you need to spend more of your time focusing on the things which actually move the dial… on the tasks that directly contribute to your traffic and income goals. I call these the ‘80% tasks’ and you can find out exactly what they are, as well as how to spend more time on them, in my free ebook Blog Smarter Not Harder.
Over to you!
Which of these tips did you find most helpful?
Or perhaps you have a motivation tip of your own?
Either way, I’d love to hear about it! Let me know in the comments below.
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