What to Do When You’re Drowning in a Sea of a Million Blogs

From Jeff: This is a guest post by Don McAllister. Don operates Linchpin Bloggers, a site dedicated to helping you become a better writer and blogger. You can follow him on Twitter: @Don_McAllister

What do you do when you feel like you’re drowning? When you feel like you have no more energy to stay afloat? Most people take one of two paths:

  • Panic.
  • Just keep swimming.

Right now, you may feel like you’re drowning in a sea of a million bloggers.

Drowning photo
Photo credit: Aimanness Photography (Creative Commons)

You want people to notice your blog. But despite your best efforts, you’re not seeing the results. No one is subscribing, no one is commenting, and no one is re-tweeting your posts.

And if they are sharing and subscribing, it’s at such a small scale, it doesn’t even feel significant. You may be frustrated. You may even feel tempted to throw in the towel.

Admit it: You’re in trouble

You’re letting the noise overtake you. You are drowning.

When bloggers feel like they’re drowning, they typically start to panic, flail, gasp, and yell even louder to be heard.

It’s the same knee-jerk response inexperienced swimmers take when they start to drown.

And while most of us recognize this is foolish, it’s amazing how often bloggers react this way.

How to stay afloat

Continuing the swimming analogy, let’s look at what a swimming instructor would advise.

They would:

  • Teach you a few simple swimming techniques to help you become more comfortable and confident in the water.
  • Warn you about how self-destructive it is to be so tense.
  • Advise you to stay cool, calm, and collected.
  • Focus on the basics and fundamentals of swimming.

In like manner, the blogging instructor would tell you to:

  • Learn your craft and write significantly better.
  • Stop wasting your time yelling, campaigning, kicking, and screaming. Just get to work and write every day.
  • Stay cool, calm, and collected. Relax and have fun.
  • Focus on the basics and fundamentals of writing. Avoid errors that make you look dumb.

It’s really that simple.

However, if you found yourself feeling completely sunk and on your last breath before doom, do these three things right now:

1. Continue breathing (and writing)

The body is naturally buoyant. By lifting your head out of the water and remembering to simply breathe, you’ll be able to float much better.

Translating this to the blogging world, keep writing day-in and day-out.

Don’t write to be heard.

Write because it’s like breathing. Because it’s your passion.

Because it’s fun.

2. Remember to rest

Lay on your back.

This is a great maintenance posture to have in any walk of life, especially when it comes to swimming. You breathe so much easier when on your back. You gain control of the situation.

I’m convinced bloggers need to “lay on their back” more often. Get comfortable being in the vast sea of mediocre bloggers, and don’t let it stress you out. Let it be fuel to make you an even better writer.

Be confident in yourself, too. If you don’t believe in yourself, what makes you think others will?

Don’t burn yourself out, either. Slow down and catch your breath.

Remember: Finding rest is essential to creative inspiration.

3. Just keep swimming (and shipping)

Now that you have gained control of the situation, just continue breathing normally, and start to swim.

Bloggers have to continue improving their craft. Write every day, and just keep at it.

As Dori from Finding Nemo would remind us, “Just keep swimming…”

In other words, ship. This is the most basic and fundamental technique to gaining momentum with your blog. If you don’t ship, don’t expect any loyalty.

And don’t forget: If you find yourself drowning in a sea of a million mediocre bloggers, you can “out-swim” those who are lucky and outlast those who are lazy.

Ultimately, you win.

What do you do when you feel like you’re drowning in the blogosphere? Share in the comments.

*Photo credit: Aimanness Photography (Creative Commons)