After the 14 years I’ve spent running this little site, there’s one blogging question I get asked more frequently than any other.
It’s hard for me to believe even as I type this, but as of this date, this blog turns 14 years old. And after all this time, I’ve gotten used to one blogging question in particular.
When people find out I have a blog that has been around since 2004, they ask plenty of questions — everything from “What made you start a blog?” to “How did you decide what to write about?” to “How did you find your blogging voice?”
They’re all good questions.
But the one blogging question I get more than any other. And it’s a question I have to admit makes a lot of sense:
How do you keep posting after all these years?
Fourteen years, after all, is a long time. I’ve come up with three primary ingredients for this kind of longevity in blogging. I suppose there could be more than this that I’m just not noticing all that well. And I’m sure that other bloggers may have these or others they’d say keeps them going.
But when I stop for a moment and try to look at the bigger picture, for me, there are just three ingredients.
The first is passion.
I like blogging. Sure, there are times when it drives me crazy or stresses me out because I feel like I don’t have anything to say on a given day or because what I’ve typed out doesn’t feel like it’s worthy enough of your time.
If I didn’t get a great deal of satisfaction from it once the post is as “perfect” as I can make it — which is nowhere near perfect — and it’s posted and people either leave a comment or share it somewhere on social media. We bloggers often don’t get the same degree of “instant gratification” we used to, so I suppose that when we get it nowadays, it somehow feels that much more valuable. And that kind of feedback fuels the passion that much more.
The second is commitment.
Whenever a newbie blogger asks me about my best advice, one of the pearls of wisdom I offer is to stop and think about how committed you are to your blog. If you’re not all that committed, your blog’s URL will probably return a “Server not found” error in two years, as if the internet never even heard of it.
Blogging is a lot of work, even if you’re not crazy enough to post something daily like I am.
It takes a lot of work getting the blog to show up online.
It takes a lot of work coming up with topics and new ideas.
It takes a lot of work to make regular time in your schedule for blogging.
It takes a lot of work actually writing post after post.
It takes a lot of work promoting that content.
And then it takes a lot of work when the process begins again for your next post.
If you aren’t the type to commit to something long-term, I urge you to rethink whether blogging is for you, and if you’re still convinced it is, you simply must figure out a way to make yourself stay with it.
The third is stubbornness.
If I were to tell you there had never been a time over the past 14 years that I considered just shutting the thing down, I’d be lying.
But then what would be the point of that? Wouldn’t that be like betraying this little enterprise to which I’d devoted 14 years of my life? I can’t help but feel like I would have wasted all those times if I just up and quit.
It’s the same for daily posting: at this point, after five years of posting something every single day, I’m too stubborn to break the streak.
Whether it’s five years of posting daily or 14 years of maintaining the blog overall, I’m too stubborn to break that streak.
Your mileage may vary.
Those are great words of wisdom I always try to remind bloggers about. None of those three ingredients may be at the top of your list, but you might still be just as dedicated as I am about keeping your site going.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
You have to do what works for you in the way that works for you. Mine may not be that way for yours, just as yours may not be that way for me.
But when you can find out what works and keeps you going, run with it and enjoy the ride.
I’ve certainly enjoyed the ride these 14 years and I’m deeply grateful that you’ve been along for at least a portion of it over that time.
Patrick is a Christian with more than 26 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.