Perhaps — like me — you’ve encountered “bloggers’ block” or blogging burnout. You know, when you sit at your computer, open your blog’s dashboard, and stare at an empty screen wondering why you began the blog in the first place and what the hell you should write about next? You know: Those days.
(I wrote about this some time ago, so it happens from time to time: How to Let Go of Blogging Burnout)
What causes “bloggers’ burnout”?
1. Running out of topics and inspiration. As a writer, I know what it’s like to run out of ideas. It’s a frustrating place to be in! After five years of blogging, I can understand this. Sometimes you feel like ideas escape you, or you have too many in mind that you can’t escape stressing over them. As a result you don’t get anything done!
Solution: Talk to someone about possible blogging topics you haven’t thought about. There’s power in brainstorming, and also in accountability. This is why some people hire me, for instance, for blog coaching: I’m like their blogging “cheerleader,” encouraging them to blog their new ideas, or ideas we’ve worked on together.
2. Beginning and never finishing. Some bloggers use this strategy: They fill up their “drafts” folder with a load of topic ideas, hoping to one day return to those drafts and make something of them. The result? An almost impossible batch of unfinished posts, and a frustrated blogger.
It’s happened to me. It still does, sometimes! I’d get excited about ideas, jot them down, start writing about them, save them for later. Then, new ideas pop in, I start writing about those before I’ve even finished a previous draft from a previous topic or idea. This cycle of getting distracted by new topics and not finishing previously-begin blogs can be a problem.
Solution: Stick on just one or two topics a week, and be willing to throw away some ideas if you can’t get started writing about them. Be willing to work with a few ideas that you can really chew on, think about and process. Try taking photos to go with the blog post, or creating some art to go along with the post. Changing the pace and flavor of your blog post can help jumpstart you to finish it and publish it with pride.
3. No dedicated time for blogging. This is perhaps the most challenging block of all. See, a lot of bloggers blog “on the side,” and therefore see blogging duties as an afterthought, something to be done “when I have the time.” Trust me when I say that you will never find the time to blog — not unless you make time for it on purpose. I used to blog on the fly, but when I decided I needed to seriously build my blog up, I knew I had to treat it as seriously as I did the other parts of my life.
Solution: If you’re serious about blogging, you’ll create time to complete your blog posts. A lot of bloggers’ block comes from not being intentional about your writing and posting times. We have to set specific times per week to blog, to proofread our drafts, to edit them, add a photo maybe, and finally hit “publish.” For me, this means three weekday evenings, usually. For you, it might mean weekend mornings at the coffeeshop, or some other setup that works for you. Whatever works, do it. Creating a time for blogging has to be part of your system and schedule. Otherwise, blogging will just fall by the wayside.
4. Boredom. Yes, you can simply be bored over your blog and not have the motivation to put any effort into it. Trust me on this as well: It happens more often than you think! And, the solution to boredom is always the same: Make things exciting!
Solution: There are many causes for blogger boredom, so you must tackle the causes with a specific solution.
- If you’re bored because looking at your blog feels like looking at the same outfit for the past year, then maybe it’s time for a blog revamp, even a small one. Improving the look of your blog could get you back into an inspired groove to blog again. (I know it works for me, since I change the design of my blog every year!)
- If you’re bored by your blogging routine, then think about switching up your blog’s content and topics. Maybe you want to explore a new topic area, or launch a fresh new blog series and feature. Changing topics or adding fresh ones can often give you a boost of inspiration for new blog post ideas. Give it a try!
So, these are just a few of the ways you can “cure” that blogger’s block or burnout. I’m sure there are more, and if there are any you’ve tried, please do share them in the comments. Meanwhile, I’d like to invite you to attend my next workshop, “How to Get Rid of Blogging Burnout,” this coming September 13 (Saturday) and
25 30 (Tuesday). We’ll actually be dealing with the causes and solutions to writers/bloggers’ block, and we’ll be learning effective strategies from the online publishing world on how to keep going on our personal blogs and websites. (Interested? Hop on over to www.makeitblissful.com/workshops and sign up now)