What Is The Hardest Part Of Blogging?

Contortionists, Union Square

What happens next?

The answer to the question is what happens next or at least that is the first thing I think of.

The truth is it is a subjective question. Ask a dozen experienced bloggers or a 100 inexperienced ones what the hardest part of blogging is and you’ll receive a variety of answers.

With some luck most people won’t answer your question with a fragment of a thought so let me flesh it out a bit for you.

What Happens Next Means….

The larger goal of your blog post is to get the reader’s attention and to convince them to read your post(s) and then respond to whatever call to action(s) you placed within it.

When I think about what happens next it means “now that I have your attention how do I keep it and convince you to do whatever it is I want you to do.”

Sometimes the answers are relatively easy.

If I write a post outlining why Joshua Wilner is among the best writers out there and how I can help your company do a better job of creating compelling content that will help your company grow and sell more widgets the simple answer to what comes next is convincing you to hire me.

What is simple, clear and evident to some isn’t necessarily true for all so sometimes you have to create a framework that helps illustrate your point-of-view in a way that others can understand and relate to.

Yet that is not all what happens next means to me.

What happens next is more than answering the questions of why someone should hire Joshua Wilner. It is asking how do we build a foundation in which we can build a relationship and then determining how to move it forward.

Or maybe a simpler way of saying it is “once I have your attention what do I intend to do with it?”

Linkbait, Movie Trailers and Great Stories Are Tied Into This Too

When I was a kid my favorite part of going to the movies was to see the trailers. There was something about the preview of a movie that was coming that really excited me.

I can’t tell you how many times the real movie started and I was still thinking about the trailer I had just seen. I wanted to know how James Bond was going to escape and how Luke was going to stop the Empire from taking over the universe.

Books did it for me too. When I was reading a great story I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next and spent more than a few nights burning the midnight oil so I could find out.

Somewhere during the time between my childhood and now things changed a bit and what happens next was affected by it all.

I can’t tell you when it happened but somewhere during now and then marketers decided that it was impossible to get and or hold a person’s attention without being more outrageous, blowing more stuff up or being more violent than in the past.

This Is Not A Political Statement

Don’t let those last few lines muddy the water or confuse the issue here. I am not making a political statement. I am not asking for a return to a quieter and gentler time.

I like action movies and I like the antihero.

You can sell Walter White action figures at toy stores and I won’t complain. I am an active and involved father and I don’t parent from fear but that is a post for a different time.

What I am really talking/thinking about is what happens when you go to those outrageous places to get attention? What happens when you use linkbait encourage people to click on your headlines?

When you get someone’s attention what happens next?

What do you do with it and how do you keep it?

People love the unusual and the outrageous but you can’t escape the challenge of what happens next. If you don’t believe me look at what happened with the series finales of Seinfeld, Lost and The Sopranos.

All three were powerhouses that had devoted audiences and all three had series finales that made people tear their hear out and scream. Some of them are still doing so now.

What Is The Hardest Part Of Blogging?

What happens next is the hardest part of blogging to me by far.

I got you to read a post. I got you to subscribe. I got you to comment. I got you to buy. I got you to do X,Y and Z now what happens next.

How about you? Got a comment? Are you a blogger? What do you think the hardest part of blogging is?

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  2. The Rookie Dad October 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    The hardest part for me is creating content that people want to consume. Sometimes you can write a beautifully crafted piece and no one wants to read it.

    • Josh October 27, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      @therookiedad:disqus One of the strangest things about the blogosphere is what people choose to read and what they don’t. After ten years the one thing I know is that sometimes the stuff I think is awful is read while the content I am most proud of is not.

      Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason.

      • The Rookie Dad October 28, 2014 at 7:47 am

        Yeah that is what I have noticed too. I can come up with some crap post that I would be almost embarrassed to publish and it gets rave reviews but the moment I put something of quality up, it doesn’t get seen. The joys of the internet!

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