How to Handle a Blogging Slump
When you start out blogging, you’re full of energy and ideas, and it’s hard to imagine that enthusiasm ever waning, but ask almost everyone who’s been blogging for a long time, and they’ll tell you that it does. Suddenly, where you once had seemingly endless articles waiting to be written, you feel like you have nothing to post about and not much interest in writing anyway. What do you do when you hit one of these blogging slumps?
There are several ways to approach it:
1. Plan for it. Be aware that the time is coming when you will be bored to death of your blog and keep lists of post ideas, half-written posts or even complete posts that are ready to publish.
2. Take a break. Sometimes, when you’re burnt out on blogging, a break will help re-energize you. Tell your readers up front that you are taking a hiatus, and let them know how long you’ll be gone. For most readers, this will be no problem at all as long as you let them know before you stop posting for a period. It’s very important to make them aware up front. If you don’t, they will think you’ve just disappeared and may unsubscribe and stop visiting all together.
3. Set a new goal. When things go really well, and your blog achieves some success and the goals you originally set for yourself have been surpassed, it can take the wind out of your sails a bit. That’s the perfect time to set some new, ambitious goals like doubling your subscribers within a set time period, or getting to the Technorati top 500.
4. Follow a pre-set blogging schedule. Sometimes a schedule that takes some of the decision-making out of the process that help you get over the hump and back into creativity and productivity. Set your own, i.e. how-to post on Monday, opinion post on Wednesday, speedlinking with comments on Friday, etc., or follow the excellent series at ProBlogger, 7 Days to Rediscovering Your Blogging Groove.
5. Ask for help. Tell your readers you’re having slump and ask what they’d like to read about, what problems they’re trying to solve, what questions they have for you, etc. You can even call for guest posts from your readers and bloggers you respect, to help fill the gap. Tell your blogger friends you’re feeling bored and ask for suggestions or just a kick in the pants.
6. Quit. Did you think you’d really enjoy blogging, and even had fun at it for a while, but now you dread sitting down at the computer to try and pound out a post? If you’ve tried everything and it still just isn’t any fun, then stop. Thank your readers kindly for all they’ve contributed to your blog and move on to something you do enjoy.
What are some other solutions for getting through a blogging slump? Give us your ideas so we’ll be ready for it when it hits.
Randa is a blogger and designer specializing in WordPress and logo design. Besides contributing to The Blog Herald, she also manages WordPressThemes.com. Read more about design, marketing, blogging, branding and all things creative at RandaClay.com.
Wow, such a great post. I have never thought about setting up a type of plan, or time-table. Very good ideas. I do make notes on ideas for blogging and keep all half written ideas in a document for later publishing though! Hehe.
If people are finding topics hard to come by, especially on a personal blog, I find that a bit of reminiscing with friends and family always brings some funny topics up, like silly stories about when you were young! These are always fun to share!
I just hope I will not reach # 6 :)
I know #4 helps me out a lot, but I have a bit of a different take. It’s not that I have a severe lack of post ideas (I’m still pretty new, I think… about 4 months old), but I feel stress when it comes to sitting down to write my posts. I have a regular M, W, F schedule that I keep to because if I just wrote when I “felt” like it or had time, I think I never would write! I do enjoy writing, but I need a system. On the weekends I like to plan the topics I will write about and create an outline for each post. It takes all the stress and worry about what to write about away and I can type out my ideas during the week.
My next challenge is actually getting ahead of myself and building up a reserve of posts (about 2 weeks worth), just in case that slump does hit!
Thanks for the great advice, Randa!