Originally posted by Darren Rowse, Updated for 2024

Starting a blog is an adventure—a journey I’ve embarked on more times than I can count. And along the way, I’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes to keep that momentum going. Today, I want to share some updated insights on maintaining your blogging momentum, reflecting on today’s digital landscape and planning for success from the get-go. If you already have a blog, reading this article might help you refocus or unlock the solution to a problem that has been standing in the way of your success.

1. Choosing Your Topic Wisely

The breadth of your topic can make or break your blog. Too broad, and you’ll be overwhelmed. Too narrow, and you might quickly run out of steam. Here’s how to find that sweet spot:

  • Modern Research Tools: Beyond Google News, tools like Ahrefs, BuzzSumo, Google Trends and Answer the Public can offer a wealth of insight into what’s trending in your niche. Use these to gauge the pulse of your potential topic.
  • Real-world Success Stories: Let’s learn from blogs that have nailed their niche. For instance, look at how “Minimalist Baker” thrives by focusing on simple, delicious recipes requiring 10 ingredients or less, one bowl, or 30 minutes or less to prepare.

A practical exercise that I encourage you to do is to simply brainstorm what posts you could write on the topic. Simply put down on paper as long a list of post titles as you can as quickly as possible. If after 10 minutes you only have a handful of potential post ideas you might want to either widen your topic or find another one. To get your imagination going, you could start with a mind map.

2. Fueling Your Passion

Does the topic excite you? Are you motivated enough to write about it for the long term?

The energy you bring to your blog is its heartbeat. Without genuine interest and passion, your blog might not withstand the test of time.

Ask yourself what your passion and energy levels are for the topic you’re considering blogging about. Be brutally honest about this because as I found, we can sometimes fool ourselves into thinking we are interested in a topic when we are not.

Here are a few questions you might like to ask:

  • Can you honestly see yourself writing on the topic in 2 or more years time?
  • Is the topic one that you’re proud to be covering?
  • Do you want to be known as an expert on this topic?

I’m not saying that you can’t start blogs on topics that you don’t want to be known for or that you’re not interested in – but these questions will help you to work out what your motivations are which is an important step in the process of building a sustainable blog.

If you’re not interested in your topic your potential readers will sense this and the chances of success will fall.

Successful blogs are almost always long term efforts and most do not really begin to see significant ‘success’ for 12 or more months. They take a significant investment of time and energy and I guess all I’m saying is that it’s worth considering if the topic is something that you want to invest your life into for such a significant amount of time.

Here’s what to consider:

  • Align With Your Personal Brand: Ensure your blog reflects what you’re passionate about and how you want to be perceived professionally. It’s not just a blog; it’s a part of your identity.
  • Community and Engagement: Joining blogging communities and participating in online forums can reignite your passion and provide fresh perspectives. Platforms like Reddit or LinkedIn groups are gold mines for such interactions.
  • Balancing Blogging and Life: Remember, your well-being is paramount. Embrace tools and practices that support a healthy balance, ensuring your blogging journey is sustainable and enjoyable.

I’ve written more extensively about “Finding Your Spark” on my own personal blog. In that article I identify four places to look first for inspiration.

3. Realistic Time Management

How much time do you have? Do you have time for this blog?

Every blog demands time, but how much can you afford? Here’s how to ensure you’re not biting off more than you can chew:

  • Leverage Time-saving Tools: With Trello, Asana, or Notion, you can streamline your blogging process, from brainstorming ideas to scheduling posts.
  • Automate Where Possible: Use tools like Buffer or SEMrush to automate social media posting and SEO tasks, freeing up more time for writing and engaging with your audience.
  • Quality Over Quantity: It’s tempting to run multiple blogs or post daily, but focusing on creating high-quality, impactful content will serve you (and your readers) better in the long run.

Wrapping Up

As we look ahead, remember that blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. Embrace the journey, stay adaptable, and never stop learning. Whether you’re refining an existing blog or starting a new one, these considerations will help you build a solid foundation for success.

Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll dive into strategies for sustaining momentum once your blog is off the ground. Happy blogging!

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