Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

The Discipline of Blogging

Blogging and Marketing Guru Chris Brogan (courtesy of Chris Brogan http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisbrogan/)For many people, blogging is just a hobby. It’s a diversion. A fun activity.

But for the serious writer who has something to say, it must be more than a hobby. It must be a discipline.

Blogger and marketer Chris Brogan talks about the discipline of blogging (and why he’s been doing it for so long) in this post: “Discipline and the Blogger’s Opportunity

He says that he writes, not because he’s passionate about it, but rather because he feels a sense of obligation to the community to provide useful content for his readers. I like that.

I feel an obligation to make a few caveats before jumping into Brogan’s advice on blogging.

First of all, blogging is fun for me. I wouldn’t do it if I weren’t passionate about it, and I can’t make a good case for someone to blog who can’t learn to enjoy it. (There are probably better ways to spend your time, connecting with people.)

Second, I’ve had numerous blogs in the past six years, and I’m realizing this time around that a really successful blog is about more than the person writing it (i.e. me). It’s about the community that supports it (i.e. you guys).

This means that when I’m not feeling particularly passionate about blogging or could be doing other things with my time, I discipline myself to blog, because you’re counting on me.

Because it’s not just about me.

So, for those wanting to take their blogging to the next level, Brogan shares the following tips for success:

Show up – First, just be there. By writing a blog post on a regular schedule, your audience knows to expect you. They come to accept the flow of your efforts. Farmers have this relationship with their systems. It shows stewardship.

Deliver value – Bring your best game as often as possible. We all have “barely functional” days, but more often than not, if we’re earning people’s respect, our efforts must be something of value to our reader. Writing about ourselves doesn’t cut it.

Improve – Your great post from a week ago doesn’t give you a hall pass. Learn from those posts that don’t hit. Experiment. Read other great writers in your vertical and outside of it. Deconstruct what they’re doing and try to improve your game.

Clarify your desire – If you’re seeking a specific result from a post, guide your audience to that result. If you’re seeking sales, make the call to action obvious. If you’re looking for comments, invite a dialogue at the end of your post. It’s yours to win.

Do your part – Blogging isn’t all about your blog. Have you commented lately on others’ blogs? Are you sharing using the various social sharing tools? Be a good neighbor and help other bloggers by sharing, commenting, and adding value to the ecosystem.

Read more…

What tips would you add to this list? How do you stay committed to blogging?

*Photo credit: Chris Brogan

About Jeff Goins

I help people tell better stories and make a difference in the world. My family and I live outside of Nashville, TN. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus. To get updates and free stuff, join my newsletter.

Learn How I Earned 100,000 Fans

Sign up for the free newsletter and get a three-part series on exactly what I did to grow my blog from zero to 100,000 readers in less than two years. Enter your email below to get started.

  • karen swank

    Oh man. You are so right.

    And I am so convicted.

    Thank you. For real.

    • Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Karen. We’re in the same boat.

  • http://amandasims.posterous.com/ Amanda Sims

    Love this, and I’ve seen how important discipline is and what happens when I’m NOT being disciplined in blogging.

    If I were to add anything to that list, it would be authenticity. There’s enough fakery in the world, and putting up a good front can be tempting, but in the end it’s just hollow.

    • Jeff Goins

      Good call, Amanda. You need to talk like a human, not a robot. And you need to be consistent (something I would add to his list).

  • Michael

    I stay committed by making sure I do it at least 5 times a week. The community and sense of expectancy to produce something engaging really drives me as well.

    • Jeff Goins

      Thanks for the comment, Michael. I do the same thing.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention The Discipline of Blogging | Goins, Writer: On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference -- Topsy.com()

  • http://bryanhillsblog.com bryan

    Great points here. Thanks and keep up the great work.

    • http://goinswriter.com Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Bryan.

  • jonathan

    i quit blogging almost 2 years ago and just recently decided to pick it back up. in this process i read over past blogs and comments and was amazed at the sense of community it fostered. i guess for me it isn’t so much about the discipline of writing but the discipline of searching for something worth saying…

    • http://goinswriter.com Jeff Goins

      That’s good, Jonathan. I find that the more you show up, the more you find more things to say.

  • http://www.mustardseedyear.com Jason

    Well, with my Mustard Seed Year project, blogging daily is a must even if there is no audience for it. God impressed upon me to do it for accountability and so…I obey. It’s been good (I think) because it’s forced me to write things I didn’t want to write and push through barriers I’d allowed to go in place where He should be. As for my other blog…that’s where I try to write the quirky stuff that makes most people say “that guy’s weird.”

    • Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Jason. Good to have multiple outlets. I love that you’re blogging every day this year.

  • http://www.theindielaunchpad.com Dave Huffman

    “Discipline” really resonates with me.

    When I get busy with projects/clients, the first thing to get tossed out the window is my personal blogging schedule.

    Little reminders like this help get me back on track.

    @davemhuffman

    • Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Dave. Yeah, discipline is the operative word. I think busyness often kills our future successes, because they don’t seem like priorities now.

  • http://douglasryoung.net Doug Young

    I find it providential that a friend passed a link to your blog on to me at the most perfect of times. I sense that what you’ve had to say is exactly what I’ve been looking for, but most of all need. Therefore, I am willing to read, feed, and plant a little seed as I go, understanding that I am one of those, at this juncture, who depends on you.

    • Jeff Goins

      Wow, thanks a lot, Doug. That means a lot to me. Way to put the pressure on, dude! (Just kidding.)

      • http://douglasryoung.net Doug Young

        LOL

  • http://beggartobeggar.blogspot.com Eliza Huie

    Spot on! Shared this with some of my blogging companions. Thanks.

    • Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Eliza. I’m honored!

  • http://www.om.org Mark

    Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm and discipline for blogging. It has tremendous impact, and kingdom minded content can inspire a lot of people to a closer walk with God. If bloggers can contribute to a physical revolution, how much more, with God helping us, can we help generate a spiritual revolution!

    • Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Mark. I know that it’s your heart to combine social media and technology with ways of making a difference.

  • http://rkweblog.com Rich Kirkpatrick

    Me: 3xs a week and keeping consistent content is my plan. I mostly do this, and when I do the results are clearly positive.

    The biggest win for me is the love of conversation with people and how I learn from that. Blogging for me is really about a conversation, not just about my thoughts or diary.

    Thanks Jeff!

    RK

    • Jeff Goins

      That’s a good rhythm and reason for blogging, Rich.

  • http://www.bensayin.com Ben

    First time here, I think I saw a tweet from Michael, can’t remember. Glad I came.

    Conversation and “doing your part” are kind of huge for me. When I made a commitment to blog consistently (at least 3x/week), I also made the commitment to try and respond to as many comments as I could, as quickly as I could.

    People dig that.

    • Jeff Goins

      Thanks for visiting, Ben. You’re right. Sometimes, it can be challenging to keep up with, but it’s important to make people feel valued.

  • http://simplejesusgirl.wordpress.com Lori

    I just started blogging. Good info – thanks!
    My initial thinking was that if I blog too often it will be info overload and readers won’t read. How often is too much?

    • Jeff Goins

      Good question to ask your readers. How often are you thinking of blogging?

  • Pingback: Blogging: Why I Struggle « marissa dale()

  • Ali

    I try to follow these rules now, and they work well! I’m having trouble recieving comments as opposed to simply readers, but this post has definitely helped! I’m going to check out the other post you referred to for some more tips as well.

  • Linda Kinsman

    Staying committed to a writing schedule has been a struggle for me and it sometimes shows in my work. I’ll go a week with only 1 post and then the next week I’ll try to make up for it.
    I finally decided I had to make a writing schedule and plan of action moving forward.
    As for doing my part, I very much enjoy commenting and visiting other blogs, just like I’m doing today. I stopped by to read more about you Jeff from Twitter. We live outside of Nashville too.

  • Barry Brindisi

    This is a first. I’ve been so busy with the business end that I forgot that I’m to enjoy the ride. In truth, I do enjoy writing the various stories on Inspiration Point. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Jenni John

    Thanks! i just
    discovered this game and have been playing for a while now! very
    entretaining! GREAT job!

    wvukids |

  • Anjli

    So what does this
    mean for the future of Rails dev? Does DHH need to find a new gig?
    travelodgeauburn
    |

  • Rose

    I can
    see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and
    your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and
    wishing you all the success in your business.
    http://www.autowhizal1.com
    |