Three ways to stay motivated as a blogger with a small readership

I’ve kept a blog since 2008. For the last twelve-or-so years, I’ve been writing inconsistently and haven’t met with much “success” as a blogger. I write mostly personal stories and share my ideas on various things. In many ways, my blog has been and is a public diary.

My motivation to write has ebbed and flowed over the years. At times, I can’t help but write. Other times, I can’t write. But, no matter how much I’ve written, I always want to write more – the one consistent “thing” with my blogging. Writing is always sitting at the back of my mind. For me, writing is a refuge.

Today, I’d like to share with you three ways that I’ve found to keep myself motivated to keep writing blog posts. These three things are what most often inspire me to keep writing.

Some context

Over the last five years, my best year for viewership was 2016, with 2847 views. From then until last year, I was on a steady decline in terms of the number of views I was getting. I bottomed out at 593 views in 2019. These are hardly aspirational numbers for anyone who is writing on the internet.

At times, the numbers prevented me from writing. I figured that it wasn’t worthwhile to keep writing blog posts for so few people to read. I decided that I was better off putting my energies elsewhere. Not only that, I let the numbers influence how I viewed myself as a writer. “Obviously, you’re not good at this,” I’d tell myself.

But, the truth of the matter is not complicated or nuanced. The numbers only reflect how many people read my blog posts. The truth is simply that I got however many hundreds or thousands of views. Nothing more, nothing less.

Some ways to keep yourself motivated

Of course, you’ve already read or watched at least twenty-seven or twenty-eight different articles or videos on how to stay motivated and be a better writer. You’ve heard things like:

  • be consistent
  • write every day
  • build a routine around writing
  • share on your social media platforms
  • edit and then edit some more
  • don’t focus on your stats
  • read anything and everything

Am I pretty close? Anything else that I should add to the list (comment below)?

These are all good tips. In most cases, you do need to do these things in order to be successful at blogging. I know because I’ve not done many of them and that’s what got me to where I am today. And, it’s because of where I am today that I’m able to share with you how I stay motivated to write blog posts.

Write with a different pen

Each pen has its own ink.

Using a different writing tool can inspire you to write because it draws your attention to the actual process of writing. It’s a small discomfort that can start you thinking in different ways. It can be as simple as switching between a fineliner and ballpoint pen, or as drastic as purchasing a Remington typewriter from the farmers’ market.

The point here is to find a writing tool that’s familiar enough to keep you writing but different enough to distract you a little bit by getting a part of your brain thinking about how to use it comfortably and effectively.

Write more than you publish

You have to eat the meal before dessert.

For the last several years, I write Morning Pages on most mornings. This has become so much a part of my routine that I feel it when I miss a day. More than that, it helps me clear my head of things. It clears out some of the clutter and makes room for me to take on new ideas. Writing Morning Pages also clears up enough space for me to be able to move ideas around in my head.

Journalling is a great way to keep writing, even though you’re not publishing. You’ll quickly find that ideas bubble up to the surface and you’ll be able to expand on one of them in a blog post. When you do strike on these nuggets, write them down in a notebook so that you have a record of them.

Keep writing

I hope that you’ve found some of these ideas helpful. Give them a go if you’re struggling to stay motivated to keep blogging. I’d be interested to know what your experience was like, so please let me know in the comments.

Also, drop a link in the comments to your blog and I’ll check it out. You’ll get yourself one more reader.

Since you’ve read to the end, here’s a bonus tip: write down your motivation for blogging on a small stickie note and post it in an inconspicuous space, somewhere only you can really see from where you most often sit when writing.


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