In my humble opinion, if you really don’t KNOW why you blog, you shouldn’t do it. Most people hate engaging in activities that make no sense to them. I know I do.
I’m not saying that if you’re scared or conflicted about your blog that you should give it up. Quite the opposite…
I think you should dig down to define WHAT you’re feeling.
Delve into the reasons WHY you’re feeling defeated or apathetic.
And make a plan for HOW you’ll fix the issue.
Better yet, take any class offered by Kristen Lamb. She won’t allow you to stay huddled in your cranky “Blogging SUCKS” corner for long. She has a way of lighting a fire under any author’s insecure keister until they get blasted out like Wile E. Coyote in the Looney Toons cartoons.
Kristen is the Branding Roadrunner and she forces you to innovate.
I’m sure that last paragraph made a few of you cross Kristen Lamb off your instructor list, but hang on a minute before you do that. Look at this blog (More Cowbell), which did not exist before last March. I “went live” on April 1, 2011.
I spent most of last March in Kristen’s class feeling like I had a big “L” for uncreative LOSER stamped on my forehead. Other classmates were getting dazzling loglines, like Amy Shojai’s Bling, Bitches & Blood, that fit them perfectly.
I couldn’t think of a logline or a snappy anything that reflected ME.
I threw all kinds of crappy titles and kitschy stuff at the wall of my poor classmates, hoping something would stick. Every single one of them missed the entire point I wanted to make. I wanted a blog where we could talk about MORE. Whether it was writing, technology or babies, I wanted a blog where people could have fun and build a community.
The class was nearing it’s advertised end, yet I was coming up empty and growing more and more frustrated.
I sent an email to the class loop saying, “I could really use a little More Cowbell over here.” We had all kinds of fun with this and the result was a fantastic blog from Kristen at the end of March called More Blogging Cowbell.
Then Kristen says, “If I was to go back and do it all again, I’d totally call my blog More Cowbell. You should take it. That would work well for your voice.”
My first thought was, “SQUEEE!! Kristen Lamb thinks I have a “More Cowbell Voice.” Moments later, my head started spinning and I worried I was going to pass out. I had a major physical reaction (that I realize now was naked fear).
How would I ever live up to “More Cowbell???”
[Note: If you are totally confused right now, here’s a post explaining the Cowbell thang.]
A million negative, freaked out thoughts swarmed me:
- How would I get people to come to a blog with a weird title like More Cowbell?
- How could I possibly come up with posts to reflect that title?
- Maybe I should play it safe instead and do a niche blog; I know plenty about software…
Obviously, I got over all these things, with the help of #myWANA team, and I learned a lot about blogging AND writing along the way.
The biggest lesson?
Aim high and know that everyone flails around with their blog for a while before they find their groove. It took me FIVE months to find mine. What else did I learn?
- I learned very quickly that I liked making people laugh. I’d never consciously tried to write funny before, believe it or not, and I LOVED it.
- I became firmly convinced that blogging is all about the readers, or it should be.
- Like raising children or puppies, blog success is tied directly to consistency. You must post at least once a week. (Whatever your schedule is, stick to it!)
- I discovered a whole posse of new friends to treasure.
- When I finally relaxed, I found my writing voice.
I couldn’t have learned these 5 lessons without all of you…seriously. In fact, here’s a big virtual hug, from me to you. Thanks for keeping it fun over here!
p.s. Tomorrow we’re doing a little pimp and promote, so start thinking about what you want to share. 🙂
What has blogging taught you? Has it changed your writing voice? Are you still in the “flailing around” stage or have you started feeling more comfortable? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!