I’ve just realised something about my struggle to start blogging:
I’m not doing anything worthy of blogging about.
Let’s take a step back.
I can easily write (and do write) 2000 word + posts about a range of different topics.
This is regular too.
I’m talking 2000-5000 words per week.
This is not loads by some peoples standards, but it is certainly a decent amount.
It’s often planned out too. I enjoy researching, outlining and mapping keywords to content. I like putting it into a content calendar. I like looking for bits to automate and speed up my work.
Yeah, I’m sad.
In summary: I enjoy the process.
But when it comes to my own work and my own blog, I stumble.
And by stumble, I actually mean, I don’t do anything. Or at least not with any consistency.
I think one reason is because there isn’t an inherent reasons for a blog in the early days.
Blogs are a living thing and they grow up overtime. They start as one thing and morph into another.
But I’m not selling anything. So what’s my goal?
My blog is early days so it hasn’t yet found its purpose or audience. It doesn’t really have a point.
I think this is the roadblock for me.
Writing for others is easy by comparison.
They have goals. Increase email signups, get more customers, increase traffic, rank for buyer intent keywords etc. I know what to write.
Everything I need to write has been plugged into a calendar.
But my blog doesn’t have a clearly defined goal yet.
- Do I want to be a big name in the SEO industry? Nope, not really.
- Do I want to rank for those big SEO keywords and get juicy leads? Nah, I’ll leave those kind of leads to big deal Neil.
- Do I even know what I want from my blog? No. Hence this.
I don’t want to write myself into a corner. This is a personal blog after all. It equally, it needs to be about something.
Stealing from others
So I took the advice of one of my favourite bloggers, Nat Eliason and started a niche-less blog so I wouldn’t be confined to a single narrowly defined niche.
I could write about anything. Which is a advantage wrapped in a disadvantage.
I quickly realised that I needed to narrow down. So I did. I decided to write about two distinct topics. Things I liked & things I wanted to get better at. Sometimes topics fell into both categories.
Here’s some of the thing’s I want to write about:
- SEO, keyword research and content
- Hacking my own Google Sheet based tools
- Rock climbing
- Trail running
- Learning more technical marketing
- Physical fitness
I could go on.
So I’m not short on ideas. But yet I’ve only written a few sporadic posts.
Obvious = 💩
I’m hesitant to write the obvious.
The internet doesn’t need anymore recycled SEO articles. It doesn’t need more generalised fitness articles written by armchair trainers and keyboard warriors. And it definitely doesn’t need more gurus.
There are some great articles that offer a unique angle on something or a specific tactic. But there are more that just say the same thing.
I get it. Coming back to the SEO world, a lot of SEO content is to generate leads. But I don’t wanna write that kind of content.
I want to write content that I find interesting. That I would want to read.
And now we are back to the start.
How do I write content people want to read when I haven’t got a focus aka something to sell?
I guess by being authentic.
By writing about things I have done. Things I have observed. And the processes I have used.
Then it hit me.
Like a sledgehammer to a watermelon.
The fruity innards drop to the floor and show me the truth:
I had no interesting angle to go at because I haven’t done anything interesting.
The smashed watermelon has spoken.
It’s like that saying about eating healthy: garbage in, garbage out.
I haven’t done anything interesting in terms of the topics I want to write about, therefore I have nothing to write about.
So the solution is simple:
Do more stuff. Then write about that stuff.
It sounds so obvious now.
It just took a bit of time (and a smashed imaginary watermelon) to realise it.