Dogged Determination

This entry is part 6 of the series Build a Better Blog

Today we look at D as we seek to Build a Better Blog.


No person who has been blogging for any length of time will tell you blogging is easy. Some posts just flow. Other times they seem to run into a blocked dam. You wonder why on earth you ever thought you could blog regularly. So here are some suggestions to help you cope when these times arrive.

Determine to make your blog a success. 

It doesn’t matter what type of writing you’re doing. Whether you write poetry or comic strips, novels or technical manuals, if you’re going to write, you need to be determined to succeed. That includes blogging.

Once you’ve decided to blog, you need to determine how often, what your topic will be, and in fact why you want to blog at all. Once you know these facts, be determined to see this as a priority.

A blog that happens now and then will not be supported. I know. I’ve tried to do it and my support dwindled to almost nothing. I’ve also stopped following blogs where the topic was good, but they didn’t post regularly, as I never knew when to go there and eventually gave up.

Determine what facts your readers will take away from your blog.

What is the purpose for your post / series / blog? People won’t come back if they don’t benefit from the material you give them. It may be simply a blog about the family. If you just list what they have to eat, you won’t get visitors! Think about what brings visitors to your blog, then give them something to keep coming back.

Declare war on apathy.

I suggested in an earlier post you write a series. That helps you know ahead what comes next. Determine to find creative ways to breathe life into your blog. Keep notes, or even work ahead with topics,  giving your title and your initial thoughts, then scheduling them for the day you want them to post and save them as drafts.

That last point is in bold, because it’s an easy slip to make, to save it as scheduled and to publish. I once drew up a whole list of blog posts and jotted down a few points for each, then scheduled them to appear each day for the next two weeks. I intended to work a few days ahead, writing the blog in a correct format and adding illustrations. Then life happened. (It has a way of doing that, have you noticed?) We had a family emergency and my blog fell out of my mind. When I came back to my blog it was to find about six blog posts happily published on my blog for the world to see with only a few random thoughts on each one!

Determine to supply your readers with valuable information.

How do you do this? By asking. Always end with a carefully-thought-out question and encourage them to leave a response. I find this a real challenge. People visit my blog. Sometimes they comment on Facebook or drop me an email. But I want them to comment on the post itself. This helps me see if I’m meeting a need, and others benefit by their comments.

If you visit a blog post, leave a quick comment. It does make a difference. Click To Tweet

If you’re writing a family blog, you can post an occasional favourite recipe, or a website with helpful hints for mothers or dads. Add at least one note of interest, no matter what your topic.

Draw up a list of like-minded blogs.

Social Media is a good place to start, and Google has a wealth of lists in every niche imaginable. (More on these when we get to them.) In the meantime, you can find a list of just about any type of writing blog on My Name is Not Bob!

Visit other blogs.

This is one of the wonderful things about the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I got to read blogs I would normally never look at, and I’m constantly amazed how much I learn in the process, not to mention the lovely people I meet. One way of visiting blogs is just to click on links when you’re reading a blog you visit frequently.  Another way is to join up with one or more blogging groups on Facebook. I love the fact that one of the blogging groups I frequent seems to be almost made up of folk who live in India! It’s such fun getting to know them, and I find many of them interested in my South African way of life.

Determine how many you can visit a day, and look for a list of blogs in your field. You don’t need to read them in depth. Skim through them, pausing on the points that leap out at you. Is there something beneficial? Do you want to visit them again? Bookmark them! Do you like their format? What can you learn?

Do you have a blog about blogging? Please visit and leave your URL and I'll visit you. Click To Tweet

Determine to use your posts  in more than one way.

If you’re just going to post for the sake of posting, you will soon become discouraged. You will be wasting a lot of time. For example, I am responsible for the Friday Devotional slot on the International Christian Fiction Writers (ICFW). I also send out a devotional email, Closer Walk with God, to all who sign up for a weekly message of encouragement. I have learned to watch my blog posts for excerpts that I can turn into devotional messages. I’m also planning on using this current series in an e-book in the future, and I will probably write one or more articles on blogging for writers’ magazines.

Get yourself a library of books on Blogging.

Do you have a Kindle? Go to and type in Kindle blogging book. You will find a number of excellent resources on the topic of blogging for free, or for very little. Skim through them for further inspiration.

If you do not have a Kindle, download the free app and start to read on your computer or iPad. Before either of us owned a Kindle, a friend and I collected Kindle books on our computers whenever there was a freebie we fancied. When we eventually got real Kindles, we already had good-sized libraries that were automatically downloaded to our e-readers.


Do you have a site or book to recommend to other bloggers?

Please share the URL in the comment section below. 

Which of the points in this post resonates with you?

These posts were originally posted as part of the 2017 A to Z Blogging Challenge. Because I’m re-posting them with updates, I have reverted the originals to draft. I apologize if this causes any problems with missing links, but all the posts WILL repeat – on an approximately weekly basis.

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38 comments on “Dogged Determination

  1. SInce the time I began my new blog, Metanoia, I have been doing a lot of homework, the kind you have discussed here. Like, jotting down topics, some points to begin the post with and the points that can be discussed in the post, as well as images/illustrations that I will be including in the post. I prepare rough drafts of the posts, schedule them and work on them a day before their publishing days, i.e. Monday and Thursday. I post art work on Saturdays. I also visit blogs through the blogging communities I am a member of and that way I get visitors to my blog, as well.
    Reading your post on blogging, I feel I am going in the right direction! So, that feels good! 🙂
    Thank you, Shirley!

  2. Some great tips and inspiration for bloggers. One of the things I practice is to maintain an editorial calendar and write posts in advance for at least 7 days. I have been fortunate not to be hit by writer’s block so far.

    • Thanks for your visit, Neha. Yes, I try to work a week in advance too, but as I mention I discovered it’s wise to save as a draft until it’s definitely ready for publication!

  3. Determination is certainly the key to success. I only been blogging for a little over a month and my biggest problem is what to post. I have over 45 blogs that o haven’t posted because it opens me up to the world and I’m a little afraid. However, I am so determination to release myself to the world, a little bit at a time. I love the tips!

    • Hi Lavanda. Go through those blog posts and choose one that is the least “revealing” and go for it! Once you start, you’ll get used to the idea. Don’t forget to put your URL up on the group you belong to so others can visit you. You’ll find bloggers are usually very nice people. 🙂

  4. These are some nice tips for people who aspire to be a niche blogger especially. Determination is anyhow required to do anything be it blogging or any other hobby or profession. Good post!

  5. I don’t believe I been here before and would like to say “Hello from Idaho” and determine could be good/bad thing depends what it is.
    I found you your blog by the way of Alana
    If you fine the time stop in for a cup of coffee

    • Hi, great to meet you. Idaho is the one place I’d like to come for coffee as I have a grandson in Nampa whom I’ve never been able to visit! I live in South Africa which is kinda far away! So I guess it’ll have to be a cyber cup of coffee!

  6. Goodness, you’re a keen blogger! Mine, when I’m not on the Challenge, is about children’s, YA and genre fiction, which are my passions. I do post regularly and follow other blogs that are on subjects that interest me. I review books, then put them in my school library. Cheers!

    • Thanks for the visit Sue. You probably blog more than I do. I’ve been blogging for years! I’ll pay you a visit in the morning. (I’m in S.Africa where it’s 1.30 am.)

  7. I am so enjoying your posts in the A-Z Challenge Shirley! You have some very sound advice and I lately if I’ve had an idea I’ve set up a draft version in WordPress with salient points so I don’t forget. I have done some series posts which can be helpful as well. Thanks for the tips I’m pinning.

    • So glad you’re enjoying my posts, Sue. What a brilliant idea to set up a WordPress draft blog. I’ll be over to see your Email tomorrow or rather later today (groan!). I woke at 1 and couldn’t get back to sleep so checked my posts on my tablet.

    • Thanks Laurel. The first run through I had no comments and hardly any visitors. I knew nothing about SEO. This is a learning curve for me and so far it’s going well.

  8. Beautiful content as always..I’ve always has a passing thought to draw a list of like minded blogs. You have just given me a reason to actually see it through. Thank you for sharing.

    • Yes, Phaytea, I have thought that way too. It’s fine for the month of April, but we really should make a point of keeping in contact throughout the year. Thanks for this.

  9. I think finding a tribe of like minded bloggers was the biggest thrill I’ve had from blogging. Page views and writing and publishing are all well and good, but those connections and the encouragement I receive from them just can’t be measured. They inspire me to keep going because I’d miss them if I stopped. You’re right about the A to Z introducing you to new blogs – I find that a really interesting part of the process.
    Leanne | cresting the hill

    • You’re so right, Leanne. I think that’s one of the greatest things about the A to Z challenge, finding like-minded topics, even if the theme of the blog is different. Great to meet you (I think we met up before at a previous A to Z. Should try and keep in contact this time!)

  10. The point about finding other like minded bloggers resonates. I do belong to some blogging groups, but none specific to the topic I want to devote a specialized blog to.

    • Yes, it’s not always easy to find someone with the same interests as you. I hope you find someone so you can follow each other. Thanks for the visit, Alana.

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