Honestly, when I first thought of creating a blog, my whole idea was just about penning my random thoughts from time to time. Since I love writing, I felt it was going to be easy-peasy. But then as time went by, I found it is very time-consuming. As in, coming up with blog topics, building that topic, doing the actual writing, editing, proof-reading, promoting, etc is no joke!
It also needs a lot of commitment. By this, I mean dedication. You feel obligated because you’re responsible for your blog. You have to put out contents and you have to try to give quality and value. This tends to put some form of pressure on you not to fall below par as there are over 40million (or more) blogs on the internet and you have to try to stand out.
This responsibility also entails you have to be consistent. Consistency here, meaning regular. You can’t abandon your space for too long without feeling guilty. Plus if you do, you might likely continue to loose page views that you have been working so hard to build. Growing an audience of loyal followers/readers entails you being consistent in dishing quality contents and trust me, sometimes it could feel like a huge burden.
Sometimes you may ask yourself what exactly is this blogging thing that you feel so obligated to and why must you continue? That’s where I think persistence comes in. I mean, continuing firmly inspite of challenges. Some days you may feel like giving up entirely but something may just keep telling you to continue to persist. I guess that’s passion.
And so when I hear this witty misconceptions about blogging, I just smile. People, blogging is hardwork!!!! It’s not ABC. People abandon their blogs everyday because it’s not as easy-peasy as they thought it to be. Besides, many start blogging with the mind of cashing out big in no time and so it’s easy to give-up if it’s not happening as quickly as perceived.
Other challenges of blogging i noticed are:
1 Finding a perfect Niche
2 Growing traffic
3 Encouraging interactions
4 Being consistent
5 Lastly, monetizing.
In my curious mind, I thought to research to find out…What are the major challenges other bloggers face (because we’re not alone in this struggle) and how do we overcome these challenges?
These are their thoughts:
The major challenge is sticking to a schedule. I’ve committed to 2 posts weekly so putting out quality, well thought out content when you have a busy life is hard! I overcome this by setting aside a blogging day, when i’m free. I write around three posts and schedule them in advance. I also sometimes write on my phone on my way to work (I travel on the train) then email it to myself. And if it’s really bad, I swap a heavier topic which requires some research with something lighter.
I’ve got challenges but the biggest of them all would be my readers not leaving comments. From my stats, I find out that people will actually read and engage with my posts but won’t leave comments as often. Only to find personal messages on my social media platforms honoring an article they must have read. Some would comment on the Facebook comment thread when I post the link on Facebook; informative comments that would have benefited another reader who’s not following my Facebook page. I believe I appeal to an audience 30 and above (judging from comments) so I try to understand that this age group do not have as much time as the younger group to comment on articles, pass hurdles and robotic questions to get verified, wait for comment moderation, etc so they rather just ‘share’. I get a lot more significant shares than
Comments on my articles.
How to overcome? Well, instead of just feeling bad about this, I check my stats to understand what’s going on. I’ve learnt not to take it personal because some successful blogs do not have as much comments on their articles. It is good to have comments flooding in but it is not a determinant for a great blog.
Secondly, I could skip all the moderation hurdles and just let comments get published as soon as it’s entered. We all know, for fear of spams and trolls, we rather vet comments before publishing. But there’s something awesome about leaving a comment in a blog and seeing it published immediately. It’s like having your one second of fame in the World Wide Web. Lol.
I would say my biggest challenge does not revolve around blogging per say, but rather ‘support for Cameroonian bloggers‘. Through out my years of blogging, I have always felt somewhat isolated from blogging communities. Infact I only know less than 5 other Cameroonian bloggers. I feel we are still so behind when it comes to blogging because of lack of support of creatives in general, in Cameroon. Infact many people don’t even
Know what blogging is. I believe it’s important to have a hub of bloggers just to create a more solid impact.
For example, in Nigeria there are so many bloggers support groups. Infact I’ve been in some of them, for lack of any group of bloggers in my own home country. While I am confident in my blog content, joining the support group still made me feel like I was part of something bigger. Also the workshops, trainings and opportunities for collaborations or working with brands were seemed easier to grasp in a group… As opposed to working in isolation. I think Nigerian bloggers are 10 steps ahead in the growth of blogging in Africa, because of the community nature of the bloggers.
So how do I intend to fix this? Well firstly I cannot do it alone. But I intend to approach the few Cameroonian bloggers I know, and discuss the possibility of creating a platform for supporting Cameroonian bloggers So my major concern is not really my blog. It’s more to do with the Cameroonian blogosphere. We have to rise together.
Consistency is one challenge for me. What I do is to plan my post for the month and even have drafts of the various topics so that I can fleshen them as the time approaches because I discovered that some times being inconsistent is not due to lack of time but lack of what to write about.
Consistency for me is affected by 1,The need to share something relevant and relatable.
2,The fact that blogging cannot be spontaneous if you have to deal with SEO checks,images and post/page rankings. That demands some work and requires time compared to you know, just writing from your heart and posting it like that.
As a very busy person, The plan is to stay in touch with my true self more than anyone/anything else. To be as original as possible with my message. Staying consistent for me would be about making every new post better than the previous post.
Beyond all the expectations, my blog space should be a place I can reconnect with myself and even if it’s just one person in the crowd that can relate, that would be enough.
As a content creator, you’d quite agree with me that all these challenges are quite relatable. From sticking to a schedule, to building a community of (loyal) readers who’d find the need to leave comments on your articles, because, let’s face it. After putting all the hardwork to publish a post and little or no one reacts to it especially by commenting, it feels like you wasted all that time to write for yourself alone. Comments definitely motivates the writer.
And then there’s the challenge of networking/ associations with other content writers, and also, being regular at refreshing contents.
I’ve definitely learnt a lot here on how to overcome some of these challenges. Koz mentioned that
*inconsistency isn’t due to lack of time. Most often, it is due to lack of what to write about*
…And I sooo agree! Madeline, on scheduling and swapping complex topics aiding consistency was so apt.
Joan, on blog networking, OMG!!! We definitely need to rise together. And yes! To BuBu’s boulevard on making commenting on her blog easier.
If you want to know some of the things that annoy your readers, you should definitely click here.
Ijefinelivin’s SEO checks, post/page views Vs just writing and posting from the heart has a lot of message.
What are some of your challenges as a blogger/content creator? How do you intend to solve them? Please share, let us all learn!
If you learnt a thing or two from this post, we’d like to hear that too.
PS: If there are some Nigerian bloggers networks you know, please share too. I’d love to be a part of them.
Don’t forget to share this post |Follow blog | Connect on Socials.
See you soon.