Some time ago, I stopped using the phrase “it’ll get better” with any seriousness when talking to someone going through a hard time. The truth is that while time certainly heals some wounds, time itself is not the major contributing factor to success. Time is just the background; something needs to be happening during all that “time.”
Blogging Challenges: When It Isn’t Getting Any Better
When it’s not getting any better, it’s important to do something different, because whatever you’re doing isn’t working, no matter how fun it is or that everyone else is doing it.
Here are some ideas on getting OVER, getting THROUGH, or getting BEYOND the rough patches. Whatever you do, don’t sit on a rough patch for too long. Eventually, you will fall through or get scraped up. Time to move.
#1. Reality Check: Measure Improvement
Believe it or not, one of my career goals was to be a weight loss coach. I enjoy helping people make improvements in their life, and for some reason, the area of weight loss has always held a special place in my heart. Marginal improvement in weight loss has been thought to impact future weight loss dramatically. The key is that it has to be measured. Chris Brogans talks about it as “blocks.”
For example, if your goal is to lose 100 pounds, and you lose 5 pounds in your first week of a weight loss program, but you don’t weigh yourself, you might not even notice. And because you don’t notice anything, you will get easily discouraged. A week can feel like an eternity when you have a long way to go.
However, when you weigh yourself at regular intervals and see some loss, no matter how small it is, you’ll notice the victory. Likewise, with your blog, you should measure your improvement and no matter how small it is, decide that it’s a victory worth celebrating and make a big deal out of it. Set yourself up for your next improvement by making sure to remind yourself that improvement is what you’re after. It’s not always the destination that’s the big deal – often times, it’s proving to yourself that improvement is actually possible.
#2. Get Off the Beaten Path
Anything that everyone else is doing is highly suspect, to me. What’s worse is that many people, whether they realize it or not, do one thing and then say something totally different. I’ve noticed this a LOT with blogging. People say/write what about things that get them comments and rah-rahs (cheers). It’s very easy to put together a kumbaya session and make everyone feel good. But getting down and dirty and making the decisions you need to make in order to see success can be hard and feel isolating (but it’s only temporary).
I talk about this a little in Blog Eat Blog, but what you’ve got to start doing is concentrating on a few blogs that you want to emulate and ignore everyone else (for the purposes of chartering your course). Do the hard stuff. I guarantee you that if everyone is doing it, it’s because it’s easy, and whatever “it” is, it probably doesn’t work. Truly successful people are outliers (in a good way). You want to be one, too. Follow outliers and let the rest of the lemmings go off the cliff together.
#3. No Pity Parties
When I worked in software development, we would have these meetings called Post-Mortems. A post-mortem is really a term for an autopsy. In project management, the point of a Post-Mortem is to review a project once it is finished, and to discuss what worked and what did not work, so the next project can be more successful.
I believe that every blogger internally holds a sort of post-mortem meeting after a post goes live, and comments start (or don’t start) coming in. It’s not bad to do this. The thing to remember is that focusing on what sucks will be completely unproductive. Instead, briefly consider what may have been a bad choice, but spend most of the time going over the positive things. Those are the things you want to repeat.
#4. Change Your Circle
This is the big one because it requires a specific action that you may not like. No matter who you are, you are part of a circle of influence. This circle I’m referring to is the one that is influencing you. Whatever this is, whether it’s a blogging circle or some other group of people who play a part of influencing how you manage your blog, needs to be changed. Even if everything they are doing and saying is true, well, and good, the problem is that it’s not affecting you for the better. Perhaps you have learned to tune them out, or perhaps their advice is meant for someone else and you are listening to it anyway. Take a good, objective look at who is influencing you and ask yourself if that is helping or hindering you.
Image Credit: Shutterstock
Trackback URL for this post: http://www.bizchickblogs.com/2010/11/two-cents-tuesday-dealing-with-uphill-climbs-in-blogging.html/trackback/