We all go through times when we wake up in the morning, take one look at the clock, and pull the covers back over our heads wishing we could spend the day cocooned away from the world.
We have those days (or weeks!) when it’s hard enough to force ourselves out of bed, much less make ourselves sit down in front of our laptops and try to come up with something witty and interesting to say on our blogs.
Most of us have had the blogging blahs at one time or another, those times when we run out of things to say. Or if we have ideas, we feel like no one really cares what we say, so why bother.
Since consistency is important in building a web presence, how can we make it through those blah times? How can we persevere through the gloom to other side where everything is all sunshine and roses again?
1. Change our expectations.
The fact is, once the initial newness and enthusiasm of blogging wears off, we go through an indefinite amount of time where blogging isn’t fun and games anymore and may never be again. All of us go through the reality phase, where we wake up and realize blogging isn’t as enjoyable as it was at the beginning. Suddenly blogging is the four-letter word—WORK.
2. Accept blogging as part of the job.
So once we’re hit with the reality that blogging is actually WORK, then it’s time to just roll up our sleeves and treat it as part of the job responsibilities that come with being an author in the modern age.
We have to show up for our day-jobs whether we feel like it or not. In fact, we’re not only expected to show up, but we’re also expected to be there with a professional attitude and work diligently, every day, whether we’re in the mood or not. Professional writers should expect no less of themselves.
3. Change things up a bit.
If we’re bored with our blogs, then chances are high that our readers will be too. Take some time to brainstorm and make a list of things we can do to change the tone. Write about something different. Have a guest poster. Be creative and do something fun. Post about something controversial. Stir up discussion.
4. Dig deeper within ourselves.
I'm always on the lookout for ideas and posts that move me in some way. I figure if the topic is something that interests me, then I’ll be able to write about it with more passion and enthusiasm. If it’s not anything I care about, how can I expect to convey it in a way that will make my readers care?
5. Find a way to engage in community.
Blogging is most fulfilling when we have people reading our blogs. If we’re pouring our hearts into our posts and not getting anyone reading or commenting, then it gets discouraging to want to keep at it. It’s at that point we have to ask ourselves, are we sitting back and waiting for others to reach out to us? Because you know, that rarely works in real life or online.
If we want to make friends, we usually have to make the first move and reach out the hand of friendship. When we begin to genuinely engage others, we’ll find them engaging us back.
6. Re-evaluate our blogging schedule or take a vacation.
Rather than letting the blogging blahs derail us entirely, there may be times where we’ll need to step back, take a hard look at our schedules, and decide that it’s time for a change. I had to do that last fall when I decided to cut back from three days to two. Or we may need periodic breaks throughout the year. Everyone needs a vacation and writers do too—even from blogging.
So what about you? Have you ever hit the blogging blahs? What did you do to get yourself out of the slump?