It’s a day that every blogger dreads. You wake up and, though you feel pretty good, you don’t really feel like blogging. Maybe you feel like working on your car, going for a walk or simply doing something else. No matter what though, you know you definitely don’t want to sit down and write a blog entry.
It’s a terrible feeling because it’s the moment where we watch our blog, something we most likely started because it was fun or something we were passionate about, go from being a joy in our lives to a burden.
Though the first time it happens, the feeling is probably only temporary, it’s a defining moment for you and your site. Furthermore, it’s a warning of what might be around the corner. Sadly, this feeling of loathing is one of the most common causes of blogging abandonment and what winds up killing a lot of great blogs.
So how do you prevent your blog from becoming just another job that you loathe? Keeping the passion alive isn’t easy, but it’s critical for the long-term success of your site.
The Problem with Passion
As humans, we are naturally more passionate about things that are new. This is part of why new product announcements are so headline-grabbing.
So when a blog is new, it’s easy for us to be passionate about it. That’s a very good thing because those first few weeks and months of any new site can be very difficult as they involve putting hours of work into a site that almost no one is reading.
But, as the blog becomes less and less “new” sometimes the passion fades. If traffic hasn’t picked up, many people will just abandon their site since they have no audience and no desire to continue. Others, however, will plug on through the peaks and valleys of their interest and, if they aren’t careful, their writing will suffer for it.
The problem is simple. If you’re passionate about your topic, that interest and excitement shows up in your writing. It doesn’t matter if your writing style is matter-of-fact and plain, the energy is obvious to all who read it and it.
It also shows up in other, more subtle, ways such as choosing more difficult, but more interesting topics, spending more time ensuring grammar/punctuation is correct and the finer tuning of headlines and subheads.
When you don’t want to blog, those little things often get put onto autopilot and start to slide. That, in turn, begins to impact your site in other ways, including declining and less-engaged readership.
So, to blog at your best, blogging has to be fun and exciting for you, it has to be a passion. But how do you keep that alive month after month, year after year? It isn’t easy to do, but it is very much possible.
Keeping Blogging Fun
The first and most obvious step to keeping your blogging passion burning bright is to choose a good topic for your blog.
The reason is simple: If you don’t choose a good topic for your site, nothing can help you keep the passion going.
If your topic isn’t interesting to you, a niche that you can own and something with an audience, there’s almost no way to keep the fun going.
However, even if you do everything perfectly with setting up your site and choosing your topic, you have to assume that the newness is going to wear off and that, at some point, you’re going to have a bad day. As such, it’s important to be prepared and to take steps so you can be ready when that day comes.
On that note here are a few tips to help you get through the days where blogging becomes a major struggle:
- Use an Editorial Calendar: First, if you have a good string of blogging ideas you’re interested in writing about, it’s much easier to keep your enthusiasm up. The editorial calendar plugin for WordPress can help with this greatly and is probably my new favorite plugin. Every time you come up with an idea you’re excited about, put it in the calendar and, even if you don’t feel like blogging that day, the idea may excite you anyway.
- Work With Your Cycles: If you really don’t want to write and don’t feel the spark, don’t do it. However, when you do feel the urge write and write a lot. Try to get a few extra articles ready for those days where you just don’t feel like picking up the pen.
- Get a Guest Blogger: If you don’t want to write, let someone else do it who is interested. Use a guest blog post and walk away from it for the day. If nothing else, maybe you can feed of their passion and their perspective in a future post.
- Do Some Grunt Work: If anything you write is going to feel like grunt work, then don’t write and do actual grunt work. There are theme elements to polish, comments to respond to, promotion to do and a million other “busy work” activities that are important to blogging. Do one of those tasks instead to keep you working on your blog but without hurting your writing.
- Try Something New: Finally, sometimes you can tap into that newness factor again for a quick boost by just trying something new. Maybe writing on something tangential to your main topic or even trying a new format. Injecting a little freshness into your work might be a breather for you and your readers alike.
Obviously, none of these are cures for bad blogging days, those will always happen, but they are ways to get through them and to keep the energy alive even after it starts feeling like work at times.
In the end, no passion and no love is perfect. Few, if any, bloggers are passionate enough and enjoy their work enough to the point that they wake up every day anxious to get writing. Those who do without an off day now and then probably have a mental problem.
So it’s important to be prepared for the days when blogging isn’t fun and to be able to handle them in a productive way that not only prevents you from walking out on your site, but also keeps your content quality high.
It’s not easy and it involved a bit of personal honesty, some people just don’t want to believe they aren’t having fun, but if you can do it your readers will be much more grateful.