What Daylong Deer Hunting Taught Me About Blogging

It’s not easy to sit in a tree for 10 hours waiting for a deer to walk by

Oris Pocket Watch

I’ve always enjoyed spending time out in the woods, in my tree stand, with a Thermos full of extra black coffee, waiting for that trophy buck to walk past.

Recently I was out in the woods on a crisp, chilly, brisk Wisconsin autumn morning and about halfway through the day I got to thinking about blogging (there is a lot of time to sit and think out in the deer woods).

A day in the woods waiting for deer to walk by is a lot like the process of starting a blog.

Let me explain in more detail…

Initial Burst of Excitement

Hunting

Usually when I get to my tree stand (about 20 to 30 minutes before sunrise – shooting time is typically about 10 minutes before sunrise) I find that the first 45 minutes to an hour of sunlight is the best time to see deer during any hunt.

I like to hunt in travel funnels so in the morning the deer are typically moving from their evening and nighttime feeding areas and heading back to their daytime bedding areas. They typically do this right around sunrise when the temperature is cool and the daylight still low.

There is often much excitement in the deer woods in the early morning. It’s fun and thrilling and I’ve harvested most of my deer during this time.

Blogging

Starting a blog follows much the same trend of an all day deer hunt.

When you start a blog for your personal passions or for your business passions you will likely become excited during the initial days and weeks of the blog as people discover your writing, leave comments, and even share your posts on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

When you first start a blog you’re also usually excited about the new undertaking and you’re telling anybody that will listen about your new blog. You’re being more active in the various communities on the Web and you’re getting people interested.

It feels great to be a blogger who has just launched a blog.

Midmorning Lull

Hunting

After the early morning rush of deer there is usually a drop off from about 9am to noon.

Things quiet down in the woods as the deer are finding their daytime bedding areas. They stick close to their beds as they chew on their cud and rest for the morning. There is never much movement during this time.

I have seen deer during this time of course. They’re usually running, being chased, or possibly looking for some acorns very close to their daytime bedding area.

This is usually the time during my daylong hunts that I take out a good marketing book and take some time to read.

Blogging

After the initial excitement of starting a blog wears off (and it typically does) there is a lull in activity – both from you and your initial readers.

The drive and excitement from you tends to wear out as your initial rush of ideas for blog posts wanes. The traffic of curious visitors can wear off as curious hunters continue searching the Web for new blogs to frequent. It’s difficult to get loyal readers especially in the first few days and weeks of blogging.

There is typically a lull period of blogging that takes place. Don’t let it discourage you. Take this time to look back on what was successful with your blog initially and work to implement new posts and activities to build on the success. The lull is a great time to study your blog and expand on your initial successes.

Midday Uptick in Activity

Hunting

Four seasons ago I spent the entire opening day and second day of the Wisconsin deer gun season in my stand. I typically like to spend the entire day in the woods, but sometimes it’s difficult to stay out from noon to 3pm as my beloved Packers are usually playing.

Well in 2005 the Packers were on their way to a less than stellar 4-12 campaign so I knew I wouldn’t miss much if I stayed in my stand during the midday.

At about 1:30pm a nice 11 point buck walked up the logging road to my stand and I was able to harvest him. It’s been the nicest buck of my hunting career. (The Packers are struggling again this season and they play at noon next week so we’ll see how things shake out).

Deer sometimes like to move around midday. It’s nothing like the morning or evening, but there is some movement – typically by bucks. I’m not exactly sure why, but I hear stories of hunters taking deer as they walk to their trucks for lunch.

Midday is not a burst of excitement, but it’s a good time to hunker down and wait patiently.

Blogging

After you start your blog and you get past the initial excitement of launch and you make it through the lull that follows there is a time when you’ll start to see your traffic begin to increase – usually at a slow, but steady rate.

This uptick in activity on your blog usually happens because you’re starting to establish your blogging voice. During your blog’s lull you took the time to analyze a few of the trends on your blog and now you’re focusing on writing the types of posts that connect with your target audience. You’re starting to build a group of loyal readers who look forward to your posts on a regular basis and when presented with the opportunity they share the news about your blog with others.

This is a slow building period for bloggers, but it’s usually enough to keep you driven as your traffic and impact continue building.

Evening Rush

Hunting

About an hour or two before sunset there is another exciting rush of deer activity in the woods. Deer will now make their way from their daytime bedding areas to their evening and nighttime feeding areas. They’re beginning to get hungry and they’re well rested from their daylong sit.

The does will make their way to the feeding areas and if the rut is in full swing the bucks will be crossing their travel routes hoping to find Miss Right.

It’s a fun time to be in the woods as there is lots of exciting activity. And this activity seems to continue right up until it’s too dark to see your own hand in front of your face.

Blogging

As your blog slowly builds a following over the initial few months and even years you’ll start to see an increase in the number of followers and visitors. As more and more people discover and spread the word about your blog you’ll begin to see exponentially increasing numbers.

It’s a fun time to be a blogger as you seem to hit your own critical mass. This is what all bloggers dream about when they start their blogs.

However, most bloggers don’t make it to this point because they get frustrated with the time it takes to reach this point.

Conclusion

Just as with hunting all day – most hunters don’t make it through an all day hunt and as a result can miss out on opportunities.

Put in the time and effort to make it all the way through your blogging cycle.

It’ll pay off over time.

What are your stories of success in the blogging world?

What stage of blogging are you in?

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image credit: wwarby

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Dayne Shuda

I'm a blogger and hunting enthusiast. Follow me on Twitter.