It happens even to the best of us: you started a blog, highly enthusiastic about all of the great things that you were going to post there, only to start losing steam just a few months in. Your blog becomes more of a chore than a creative outlet, and you begin to feel guilty when you aren’t posting as regularly as you used to. It’s the classic “blogger’s rut.” In case you yourself have hit a rut in your blogging, here’s a step-by-step guide to rekindling that blogging excitement you had when you first started your blog.
Reassess what you want for your blog.
What is it that you want out of your blog? It’s a good idea to take a step back every once in awhile to reassess what you want your blog to offer to the world. After all, if you’re not passionate about your blog anymore, who else is going to be when they read it? Maybe you started out doing crafty DIY tutorials, for example, but want to move more into photography. Create a list of the general topics you want your blog to hit and then determine how your blog posts are going to have to be different from here on out as a result. Once you have a mind for the direction that you want your blog to go in, it is a lot easier to rekindle the same enthusiasm you had when you first started your blog.
Brainstorm blog posts that fall under these topics.
Okay, so you have an idea for where you want your blog to go. Now it’s time to come up with the blog post topics that will take your blog there. Going along with the DIY-turned-photography blog example, you might decide to do some posts that simply feature your work, some posts that discuss a technique you’re trying to master, and some posts that tutorial certain photography and post-production techniques. Here’s a sample list of potential photography-related blog post topics:
- Photos from my trip to Iceland
- Photos from my morning hike
- Photos of my cat
- Adventures in shooting with film
- Playing with bokeh at night
- Light painting
- How to whiten teeth in Photoshop
- How to load a film camera
- How to take better candid photos
Categorize your blog posts by type.
Once you have a good list of all the potential blog posts you can envision yourself soon writing, it’s a good idea to categorize these posts by type. This will help you take an organized approach to rekindling your blog, and it will especially come in handy when it comes time to create a working calendar for your blog (see next tip). So in the photography blog example, you might delineate three types of blog posts: 1) showcasing work, 2) discussing life as a practicing photographer, and 3) photography technique tutorials.
Create a working calendar.
Now it’s time to draft up a working calendar for your blog. Aim to create a calendar that will cover the next few months or so. This will help hold you accountable for creating all those blog posts you’ve just thought up. With your DIY-turned-photography blog, for example, you might decide that three posts a week works best for you. With this being the case, you can assign, say, Monday as “showcase your work day,” Wednesday as “my adventures in photography day,” and Friday as “tutorial day.” Assigning certain themes to certain days of the week will help take the work out of scheduling and give you somewhere to start from when you need to come up with fresh ideas. And once you have these general scheduling guidelines in place, you can start to schedule specific blog posts for specific days in the coming months.
Create the posts you can do now.
Now that you have a working calendar, you can take an overhead view of what’s to come on your blog and what you need to prepare for. Are there any posts that you can do now, without having to go out and take more photos? Do those first. Draft a few—or even several—blog posts early on to keep that motivation up. Then use convenient CMS platform features like scheduling to schedule all those posts out. (You can read more about using various CMS platforms here.) Just knowing that your blog will have continual content to fall back on in the weeks to come will help keep that energy up.
Make plans to create content.
Here’s the step that will require some drive on your part. But if you’ve completed every step prior to this one, you should be able to go into it with a little more gusto. Take a look at your working calendar for the next few months again, and determine what things you need to go out and do to make those happen. If you run a photography or lifestyle blog, for example, that might mean that you need to plan out a few photo shoots—or make plans to do something adventurous so that you’ll have something to photograph. If you run a baking blog, you’ll need to plan out your recipes, trips to the grocery store, which days you’ll be baking on, and when you’ll be able to photograph what you bake. Or if you run a language learning blog, that might mean you setting aside time to create educational posters and to film an educational video. Pencil these plans into your calendar so that you’ll always have an incoming flow of content to work with.
Keep up with your calendar.
Once you settle into blogging with your new working calendar, you’ll gain a firm grasp of what is working for your blog and what is not. Adjust blog topics as needed, and be sure to repeat the processes of brainstorming, scheduling, and planning regularly to keep the blog creativity going!
Learn what fuels your creativity.
Finally, you’ll want to find what fuels your creativity and inspires you to keep going with your blog. Maybe it’s seeing the things that artistic people you admire post on Pinterest. Maybe it’s reading about a subject you blog about. Maybe it’s TED talks, working with other creatives, or simply doing something like yoga to keep your mind clear. This article has a lot of great tips on nurturing creativity when it doesn’t seem to be coming naturally.