Do you believe that blogging does not work? That is has failed you in your effort to accomplish your ends? Might you consider that it hasn’t, but instead that you are dealing with cognitive dissonance?
Cognitive dissonance is that feeling of discomfort you get when what you believe runs counter to what you are doing or new information you have perceived. A common reaction to this is to “explain away” whatever is causing the discomfort.
My blog is not working right now, therefore it is the problem.
Cognitive Dissonance is the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.
Why do I ask you to consider cognitive dissonance? Well, lets consider your investment. First you had to make the decision to blog and commit to doing so. Then you spent time setting it up. Maybe you took that on yourself or hired someone to do it.
That in itself was some work, but now you need to start writing. So you do and you start sharing your work with the world. You have done the work, shouldn’t you be reaping benefits?
If you are not reaping benefits, something must be wrong. Blogging must be not as rewarding as your learned. Therefore, blogging does not work, at least not for you.
This could very well be true, but before jump to that conclusion, please consider some hard facts about blogging.
- Blogging is rewarding on different levels. While monetary success is certainly a driver for many, the respect of your peers and the knowledge gained through blogging might be a worthwhile consideration. Those two are very important because…
- Blogging is a cumulative activity. The more you do it, the greater the reward. It is easy to jump ship if you do not get a quick results, but you need to give your actions a reasonable amount of time.
- You might be in the wrong niche. Maybe the world isn’t ready for your niche or perhaps you jumped into a very crowded one. You could consider focusing or broadening your appeal and see if that improves your results.
- Blogging is about connecting with other people. While the writing is important, who you are writing for and connecting with is a lot more important. Would you rather reach 1000 random readers or 1 person in the right place?
- Blogging is another job. This is just a cold hard fact. If you think this will be easy or that you can take short cuts, you missed that boat by about two decades. Nowadays, the internet is crowded with humans and robots trying to take shortcuts towards success. It is a route you can take, but it will not be rewarding on the levels I mentioned in my first “Hard Fact”.
I am not saying you shouldn’t give up blogging. I just want to make sure you haven’t given it up for the wrong reasons. So before you stop, please consider your perception of blogging. What is it, and what is your place in it, before dismissing it completely.
The good news if you decide to keep at it? If you can identify and work with the discomfort caused by the mismatch of your actions and beliefs, you can use them to actually be a better blogger. For example, when you realize that your blog is stale or you are not reaching new people, the solution is to take action.
Altering your behavior to match your belief will reduce the discomfort caused by your cognitive dissonance and you will be a better blogger and feel better. One caveat though, you need to believe in blogging for this to work.
Look around? See all those blogs out there? See all of those people whose names you have come to recognize in your field? Many of them have used blogging to make a name for themselves. It works.
You just need to believe.