Questions at WordCamp: Is it Hard for You to Keep Blogging?

Last year, while at WordCamp, I was posting live coverage of the event for the Blog Herald. This year, I’m here representing b5media along with most of the tech team and Jeremy Wright, our CEO. Good times.

I figured I’d post about WordCamp again but I just don’t find any inspiration in giving you the blow by blow. I’m guessing you really don’t care, right? If you’re not here, you probably won’t really catch the groove.

Instead, I will post questions people have asked me while chatting here at WordCamp. If you are here, please say hi and feel free to ask a question. I may answer it here on the blog.

Q: Do you find it difficult to find inspiration to write posts regularly?

When I first got started blogging, I fell prey to the prison that most bloggers do. That prison is that you must produce content to stay relevant, have traffic and move up in the rankings. In other words, you must produce if you’re going to be successful.

While this is true to a degree, it really is something that bloggers as a whole have to get away from. In the past few weeks, I can count on one hand how many posts I’ve written. In that time, my RSS subscription numbers have jumped from approximately 680 subscribers to 750. Go figure. Why?

I boil this down to a number of factors that I have very explicitly tried to do here at Technosailor.

  1. Produce great content optimized for search engines. Recognizing that many people come from Google, I’ve made a point to think proactively about what kind of searches I’d like to have drive traffic to posts and then making sure I follow good practices in ensuring my posts ranks well. This means using keywords, great markup, etc. While this post won’t address SEO for blogs, you can find lots of great advice from folks like Aaron Wall and the people over at SEOMoz.
  2. Produce timeless content. This is a problem for newsy blogs or political blogs or current events blogs of any time. At Technosailor, I’ve spent more time trying to create content that, despite a timestamp, is relevant 3 years from now as it is today.
  3. Cultivating RSS subscribers. With premium content recently – that is, content that I only offer to my feed subscribers – and otther techniques, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to cultivate RSS subscriptions. RSS subscribers never have to deal with the frustration of clicking over to a site and being disappointed when no new content is available. It’s somewhat like watching paint dry. Why watch? Just get the content when it becomes available automatically. RSS subscribers get the benefit of carrying on doing their own thing and getting the content whenever I decide to write. It’s so much more low maintenance.

These are just three techniques I’ve used to build traffic without having to feel the chains that hinder bloggers. Bloggers feel like they have to keep producing, and producing, and producing. That’s a good way to get blogger burnout. If great content is produced that is optimized for search engines, timeless and you move your readers away from the constraints of “checking out your site” and instead consuming your content via RSS or newsletters, you’ll find a tremendous amount of freedom from the constraints of being a content production slave.