What’s YOUR excuse for not blogging?

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A No-Excuses Guide to Blogging

Have you ever had a blog post idea fall into your lap? That’s what happened to me. I was searching for a Creative Commons image for another project when I came upon this one. In this sketch, Sacha Chua identifies the top ten excuses for not blogging, and counters each one with one or more points. This triggered a few thoughts of my own, which I’m happy to share.

1. I don’t know what to write about.

I’ve blogged about this a few times! Check out the ideas in these posts:

2. There’s so much I can’t write about.

Don’t write about that. Write about something else. (See item #1 for a few ideas.)

3. But I’m not an expert yet!

If you think of a topic that would  interest your readers, but you don’t know enough to write about it, invite someone who does to write a guest post, or ask a bunch of people to send you ideas you can assemble into a post. If you don’t know anyone suitable or you’re too shy to ask, find the most authoritative posts on the subject, and write a list post linking to each one.

4. I don’t want to be wrong.

You’re entitled to an opinion. If others disagree, that doesn’t make you wrong. If you’re talking about getting the facts wrong, refer to items #2 and #3 above.

5. I feel so scattered and distracted.

I bet it would help if you had a plan to follow. Strong habits that will ramp up your blogging will help you get on track.

6. I have all these ideas but I never finish posts…

This may have something to do with your personality type. According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and similar assessments, each of us has a natural preference for either generating ideas (Intuition) or staying on task (Sensing). We also have a preference for completing things (Judging) or leaving them open for new possibilities (Perceiving). In other words, it may be difficult for you to finish your posts, because your brain has already moved onto the next interesting thing.

If this sounds like you, you might benefit from working with a copywriter or editorial assistant.

7. I don’t feel like I’m making progress.

Please go back and read my comments on items #5 and #6 above.

If you still feel stuck, request a one-on-one consultation so we can talk about it and get you moving forward.

8. It takes too much to write.

Maybe you’re putting too much pressure on yourself.

Don’t feel pressured to write a blog post just because it’s Wednesday, or the 10th of the month, or whatever arbitrary schedule you may have created. It’s good to have a schedule, because it helps you to stay on track, but it’s not carved in stone. If posting twice a week is too much, cut back to once. If posting weekly is too much, cut back to biweekly. If you’re able to squeeze in an extra one now and then, you’ll feel good about it. But if you set your expectations too high, you’ll always feel like you’re falling short.

Or maybe your posts are longer than they need to be. Don’t forget that most readers have short attention spans, especially online. If it takes you 1200 words to cover a topic, consider splitting it into a series of three or four shorter posts instead of one long one.

9. I’m too tired to write.

Maybe the time of day you’re trying to write isn’t the best time for you to be doing that type of work. Learn to understand your energy cycles and work around them. Or cut back your posting schedule, as I suggested under item #8. Or get some help, as described under item #6.

10. No one’s going to read it anyway.

Do you seriously believe that? Then why do you even have a blog?

I’m assuming that you really enjoy blogging, or that you recognize the value of blogging as a marketing strategy, or you wouldn’t have read this far. Find out how to get more readers in these posts:

For more tips from Sacha Chua, read her e-book,  A No-Excuses Guide to Blogging from Sacha Chua.

Image by Sacha Chua. Used under a Creative Commons License.

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A former professional organizer, I now eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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  1. Hazel Thornton Hazel Thornton on April 15, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Great post, Janet! I, too, worry about not being an expert; people not reading my stuff; being too scattered and tired; etc. But I never run out of ideas, and I just blog anyway. A meaningful comment from a reader goes a long way towards making it all worthwhile!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

      It does, doesn’t it? And that’s why I’m really glad you took the time to comment today. 🙂

  2. Avatar Margarita Ibbott on April 15, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    As always, you seem to blog about the topic that I need help with this week. Great post. Will be sharing it for sure! Congrats on speaking gig at NAPO. I so want to go back and speak again!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 15, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      Thank you so much, Margarita! I appreciate your support.

  3. Linda Samuels Linda Samuels on April 16, 2014 at 10:18 am

    What a great post, Janet! I love how you got your inspiration for this one by searching for something else. And isn’t that what it’s all about? One thing I noticed that when I began blogging about 4 years ago, it changed my daily experience. I was constantly on the look. I realized that what I saw, heard, photographed, participated in, felt, observed, touched, smelled, read, did or didn’t do, were all potential material for concepts to blog about. But in addition, being more mindful of my experiences also helped me to connect the dots in ways I hadn’t done before.

    Over the years, I’ve increased the frequency of how often I post, which is once a week. I’ve created assorted types of posts including original content, expert interviews, giveaways, and collaborative pieces. And while I’m fairly strict with myself for posting weekly on Tuesdays, I also have given myself some slack occasionally when life has thrown me a curve ball. Having a blogging calendar has also helped. I plan out what I’m going to write about for the year in a broad way, so I’m not scrambling each week to figure out my overreaching topic.

    I love writing. But my biggest joy is the interaction with my readers. They are generous in sharing their ideas and perspectives. I learn so much from them. And sometimes, they let me know that they were inspired by something I wrote. So all around it’s a beautiful win/win.

    Looking forward to finally meeting you in person at the NAPO conference in Phoenix!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 16, 2014 at 10:29 am

      I know exactly what you mean about the blogging mindset, Linda. I’ve found the exact same thing. You are a shining example of someone who blogs mindfully – I’m always interested in seeing what your next theme and who your next expert are going to be – as well as engaging well with your readers. I can’t wait to meet you!

      • Linda Samuels Linda Samuels on April 16, 2014 at 10:49 am

        Hugs to you, Janet! Thank you for making me smile.

        I loved interviewing YOU about “enlisting help” for the “Ask the Expert” series. Next week, my guest will be Francine Jay, minimalist and author of “The Joy of Less.” She’ll be talking about letting go. Can’t wait to share it with everyone.

        And of course…can’t wait to finally meet you!

        • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 16, 2014 at 11:12 am

          I look forward to reading your interview with Francine!

        • Avatar Lisa Sharp on April 19, 2014 at 2:40 pm

          Oh! I love Francine’s work! She had a big impact on me when I began my minimalism journey. She’s really inspirational. You interview the BEST people Linda!!

          • Linda Samuels Linda Samuels on April 20, 2014 at 10:32 am

            Lisa- That’s so cool that Francine had a big influence on your minimalist journey. I hope you’ll join us this week when she’s with us. I love doing the interview series and am so glad you enjoy them too.

  4. Avatar Sacha Chua on April 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    That’s great! I love how you built on the points with more examples and stories of your own. =D

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 26, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      Thanks so much for the inspiration, Sacha!

  5. Avatar Kostas on May 9, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Great post Janet. I must admit that I am guilty of one or two of those at times. I think that one of the great things about using guest contributors on your blog is that you can take a little of the pressure off of yourself when it comes to creating new content.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on May 10, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Absolutely! Thanks to my guest bloggers, I’ve been able to supply my readers with nearly twice as much content as they’d get if it were up to me to write it all. I’m seeing some changing trends with respect to guest blogging – do you have any insight into that, Kostas?

  6. Avatar Andi Willis on July 18, 2015 at 6:51 am

    Great points, Janet! I find that I frequently have thoughts that could be developed into blog posts,especially when I’m out exercising or walking the dog. I’ve tried to get into the habit of capturing those ideas in Evernote. Then when I’m at a loss of a topic, I just visit my Writing Ideas folder. Also I have found having a monthly theme helps me not feel so scattered.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on July 18, 2015 at 7:06 am

      Speaking of monthly themes, I love your current ABC theme!

  7. Avatar Sabrina Q. on July 18, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Great points, Janet. My favorite blog posts are the ones that fall into my lap. They are fun and easy to write because I am already inspired. When I am uninspired, if I force myself to write ransom thoughts, it triggers some new ideas to write about. Thanks for sharing.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on July 18, 2015 at 7:13 am

      You just never know what’s going to happen with those random thoughts! Even if they don’t develop into anything, I usually keep them on file, because sometimes I come back to them later and then it falls together.

  8. Avatar Sarah Soboleski on July 18, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Such an informative post, Janet! I’ve found the best thing for me is keeping a blogging planner to sketch out themes and ideas week by week. It’s true that you can find inspiration in the most unlikely of places. One of the most helpful things I’ve done to keep me posting consistently is joining your FB blogging group. It’s great to be held accountable, so to speak, and to get inspiration and feedback from others.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on July 18, 2015 at 9:19 am

      I’m glad you’re finding the group helpful, Sarah! It’s always a pleasure to have you participate.

  9. Avatar Seana Turner on July 18, 2015 at 9:01 am

    I think I’m a lot like you and Linda on the point of the blogging mindset. I find inspiration and ideas all the time now, simply by living and working. I keep a list on my phone for when ideas pop into my mind, and I even find that ideas I have sometimes make for great dinner conversation. I think it is important to be having at least some degree of pleasure in blogging, or maybe it isn’t for you. Readers can tell if you are writing out of drudgery or to share positive thoughts and messages.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on July 18, 2015 at 9:35 am

      That is such a great point, Seana. When you love blogging as much as we do, it’s easy to come up with ideas and fun to put them together, but other people are more comfortable with other ways to express themselves and/or showcase their expertise.

  10. Avatar Jill Robson on July 18, 2015 at 9:38 am

    I feel some of the reasons some of the time, but this week I didn’t blog for the first time in a few years, and the reason I just had too much stuff on my plate, and I let a family members ailment take precedence over my blog post and subsequent postings on social media. I gave myself permission not to feel guilty about it, and in that time away from blogging, I found inspiration for my next few blogs. Whether or not I will have time in the next few weeks to put those blogs out, I can’t say yet, sometimes family has to come first. I have missed the interaction with all of you, so hopefully it will not be long.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on July 18, 2015 at 10:14 am

      Kudos to you for focusing on your priorities! I’ve met many organizers who didn’t practice what they preach, and stretching yourself too thin is a sure way to get sick and/or lose your passion for your business.

  11. Avatar Karen Sprinkle on July 18, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Thanks for posting this. I struggle with consistent blogging. I can relate to numbers 5,6,8,9.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on July 18, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      I hope some of my suggestions will help you, Karen!

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