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Blogging fear: Opportunity costs

June 1, 2015

notebook keyboard

Photo: Pete O’Shea (CC)

I asked for your biggest fears in blogging, and y’all came through.

This week’s fear: “I’ve reached a fairly comfortable level with my traffic and comments, though I’d always like to see more. I long for that hugely viral post where I can’t even respond to all the comments I receive.

“One of my biggest fears? Blogging can become a bit like a drug or an obsession. I’m concerned that I’m spending too much time in blogging activity with no real end benefit pertaining to my actual writing goals.”

— Arlee Bird, A-to-Z Challenge co-host, Tossing It Out

It’s a tricky balance, but live the life you want to blog about.

That’s a tweet I send out annually as part of my #dailyblogtip series. It speaks to opportunity costs and living beyond the space in front of screens.

I’ve spent many a long night and day in front of screens as a writer and a journalist, and now as a consultant and a conference director. The value of having a flexible work life is that as long as my screen has Internet access, I can place it wherever I want.

That also makes it difficult to escape.

Many bloggers happen to enjoy blogging, whether it’s coming up with posts or watching the numbers rise. They also enjoy the routine, always ready to do a few more laps on the hamster wheel.

I use goals to break the routine. If you have clearly defined goals, you can skip some of the time wasted on routine blogging for more productive pursuits.

What are your writing goals? How are you measuring your progress? How does blogging help you achieve those writing goals?

For example, your writing goal might be to sell a novel to a publishing house. Blogging may help or hinder that goal. You may find simpler ways to achieve that goal.

Examine your writing goal critically, and make sure blogging is a useful tactic in accomplishing it. If not, make the hard choice to cut back on blogging to do the essential steps to achieving what you really want.

Don’t let the highs of blogging distract you from becoming the writer you can be.

Tell me about your biggest fear in blogging,
and I might answer it in a future post.

More in our Blogging Fears series.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Arlee Bird permalink
    June 1, 2015 12:52 am

    Excellent advice, Wade. You got it right for me about enjoying all aspects of the blogging which is why it becomes such an addictive obsession. Deep down I know what I need to do, but I need to balance it all and set those goals like you describe.

    I have been working on some things that might help me. If they don’t come through I’ll have to go with another plan. Always best to have at least a plan B and maybe even a C and D waiting to fall back on.

    Thanks for answering my question and hope that helps some others as well.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    • June 1, 2015 2:34 pm

      You’re welcome, Lee. Wishing you much success in your writing and blogging.

  2. June 1, 2015 1:22 am

    Sometimes I find myself going out of my comfort zone and using “do it for the blog” as my motivation, so I love the idea of living the life you want to blog about. Excellent post!

    • June 1, 2015 2:35 pm

      Kudos, Sabina, for leaving your comfort zone. That’s an excellent way to figure out new ways to expand your skills and audience. Thanks for your kind words!

  3. June 1, 2015 1:47 am

    I am a blogger since 1 year now. I started it as a hobby and I am still blogging on the free wordpress blog. However I do want to start earning from my blog some day. But it does get too time consuming at times since i am a full time working doctor.Also i fear that I might stop writing because of lack of opportunities to reach the final goal.
    But I really appreciated the idea of living the life you want to blog about!

    • June 1, 2015 2:39 pm

      Congratulations on your first year of blogging! If you want to earn income from your blog, best to set a measurable goal now (traffic, number of posts, revenue) and start working toward it. Your time is limited, so you want to make the best use of it from here on out. Good luck!

  4. June 3, 2015 2:27 pm

    I was just asking myself this question today. I think most bloggers dream of being published. If so, it’s definitely important to pursue that at the same time. At least blogging allows you to keep practicing and you can see what gets good feedback or not.

    • June 3, 2015 9:16 pm

      And yet, so many writers are shy when it comes to blogging.

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  1. The 2015 index to posts | Birmingham Blogging Academy

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