Yesterday, I wrote about how bloggers can lose their blogging path, often without noticing. I offered some clues I use to detect when I’m straying from my own bloggy path to help you determine when you may be going astray.
Everyone has their own clues, the symptoms that speak loudly, even if they aren’t listening, that say, you’ve lost your way. I’ve been watching the DVDs for the popular television show, House. Basically it’s about a brilliant doctor who can look at a patient and diagnose them – at least for the typical ills – with nary a word from the patient nor test. While assumptions like these don’t often work in the real world, nor on the television show, the idea of noticing the small clues to help with the diagnosis rather than only relying upon big open wounds and obvious ills, or even what the patient says, is fascinating, and keeps me slipping in the discs, one after one.
The truth is, we are often clueless when things are starting to fall apart. We live in denial, assumptions, and the believe that if we ignore it, it will either fix itself or go away. Some things don’t. Some things do.
We also think this is natural, which it is, so we continue to go down the wrong path, just going with the flow.
Want to know the biggest clue that you are going down the wrong path with your blog?
Your readership changes.
Numbers drop. The audience shifts. The responses shift. Instead of attracting positive, insightful readers and commenters, you start to find negative whiners and more time waster commenters. Your readers notice the downhill slide and respond accordingly, consciously and unconsciously, following the tone you set.
When your blog goes off track, there are things you can do to get it on the right course, but you have to notice that it has left the tracks first.
When you have noticed, what do you do about it?
Getting Back on the Bloggy Track
To get back on the right path with your blog: STOP!
Whatever you are doing, stop it. Stop publishing. Stop writing. Stop walking down the off-beat path. Just stop.
Make an appointment with yourself to just stop everything else and pay attention to what is going on. Then ask yourself the following questions – and answer them honestly.
- Why am I blogging?
- Who am I blogging for?
- What am I blogging for?
- What is my blog’s purpose?
- What is my blog’s mission?
- Where was my blog a year ago?
- Where is my blog now?
- Where will my blog be next year?
- Where will my blog be in two years?
- Where do I really want it to be?
- Do these answers make me happy right now?
If you can’t find the answers to those questions, make the stop permanent and take a new path with your blogging and online experience.
If you find the answers worry you, that they don’t match up with the reality of your blogging experience lately or in the past, then it’s time for a change.
Getting back on the bloggy track for your blog can be as simple as making a decision that your next blog post will be back on track, inline with your blog’s purpose and mission. You don’t have to make public your misstep on the path, just get back on the track and keep blogging.
It could mean that you need to redefine your blog purpose. Maybe the path you’ve taken brings you more satisfaction in the long run than the original course you took. It’s time to change your blog purpose and mission to make sure it continues to reflect what your goals are rather than what they were.
Blog because it gives you joy. It makes you get up in the morning with a smile on your face because you have something to say to the world. Blog because it stirs your passions, reviving that libido you knew you had in there somewhere but somehow lost. Blog because the return on the investment is fun, entertainment, and companionship.
In Zen and the Art of Remarkable Blogging by CopyBlogger, I found this bit of wisdom:
Another key to existential angst is an attachment to outcomes rather than simply focusing on excelling in our actions. The same is true for any pursuit, including blogging and social media marketing. When you focus on the outcome you expect from your content, you are almost invariably failing your readers. Moreover, while one great piece of content may change your blogging profile immensely, a failure to consistently perform at or near the same level will make you nothing more than a one-hit wonder. Focus on consistently producing excellent reader-focused content and effectively promoting it. The results will come.
And good, old Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same old things the same old ways and expecting to get different results” (paraphrased). The only way you’ll see changes in your blogging is if you change your approach.
Is it time you made some changes to get back on your blogging path?