by Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen
As a writer, you know how hard it is to stay motivated. As a blogger with low or no traffic, you have an additional problem: you hope someone will read your posts, but it seems like nobody cares. And that makes you want to give up.
You are not alone.
I’m celebrating my tenth year as a full-time blogger, and believe me, there were times I wanted to quit. Surprisingly, it was at the height of my blog’s popularity and financial success that I most wanted to walk away.
And walk away I did. I went back to school for my Master of Social Work (MSW), which helped me see why my blogs were no longer fulfilling. I was chasing the wrong things: traffic, money, comments, and social media approval. I needed something more meaningful.
After two months of school I realized writing is what God created me to do. But I couldn’t keep blogging like before, so I went to school full-time while rebuilding my blogs on the side. I took time to examine my reasons and goals for writing. I re-evaluated my identity and learned what really inspired me. Now, I don’t struggle with motivation. I blog every day.
Why do you blog? Maybe you know blogging improves writing skills, helps you connect with readers, strengthens your platform, and increases your chances of getting a book published. However, those reasons won’t bring passion and life into your work because they’re externally oriented. These four tips, on the other hand, are internal and intentional. They helped me rebuild my She Blossoms blog; I hope you find them helpful too.
1. Use the same format for every post
“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work,” said Gustave Flaubert. Using the same format for all your blog posts may seem stifling, but it actually frees you to write boldly and creatively. My articles always follow the same structure (five paragraphs, title, three points, etc). This allows me to focus on what I want to say instead of how I want to say it. The best part? I have extra creativity, energy, and time to write for other websites and magazines.
2. Plan a series you want to explore
One of the hardest parts of blogging is deciding what to write about. My problem was that I had too many ideas, too many reader questions, too much to choose from. It took me years to find a series I love and can sustain—my She Blossoms Through the Bible project. These articles require me to lean on God more than ever. I’m writing an article for every chapter of every book of the Bible. Here’s a recent post, inspired by Genesis 32, “Preparing to Meet an Estranged Family Member.”
3. Summarize the purpose of your blog in one sentence
Why are you blogging? Get specific. Organize your blog into something more than a smattering of your thoughts, experiences, memories, goals, and tips. Talk to God, sit down face-to-face with Jesus, ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern your purpose. Take time to pinpoint an overall blog theme or focus. Summarize it in one short sentence and pray over it every day. And remember that if God is calling you to blog, then not blogging is disobedient.
4. Accept that writing isn’t easy
Having a purpose and structure won’t automatically make blogging easy. Just like following Jesus doesn’t make life a walk in the park with a fat-free, double-dipped chocolate ice cream cone. Blogging is hard even when you’re called, even if you create a rhythm and structure. Writing is a struggle even if you believe God is working through you. If blogging was easy, everyone would do it. But you’re not everyone. You’re a child of God, created for a purpose.
And here’s a bonus tip:
5. Write like you have a message from the King . . .
because you do.
Do you have blog questions or problems? Maybe you’re having trouble starting or sustaining your blog, or you can’t overcome a hurdle. Join my Morning Mentoring Clinic at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in April 2019. We’ll blossom your blog together.
You may also enjoy reading “Morning Mentoring Clinic: Best Choice I Could Have Made.”
Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen, MSW, is the author of Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back (Bethany House) and the creator of the “She Blossoms” blogs. Her experiences taught her that choosing to grow forward is essential—especially when you can’t go back. Her degrees are in psychology, education, and social work. Laurie writes full-time in her treehouse in Vancouver, Canada. Visit BlossomTips.com.