Monday, October 26, 2015
11 Surefire Ways to Beat Blog Boredom When You're Stuck in a Rut
Over the summer, I found myself stuck in a blogging rut. I was transitioning from personal to professional blogging, and it was stressful. I was trying to please my old, long-time blogging buddies, but also trying to attract new readers who would want the services I was offering.
I guess it's pretty obvious that, quite naturally, I'm a people pleaser. I was always the star student and my boss' favorite. I like to do a good job. And when I feel like I'm not doing a good job (read: I'm not pleasing everyone and their brother), I just stop.
I told myself that I wasn't blogging as much because I didn't have time, but that's really not true. Blog posts were taking me 10-12 hours to write because I didn't know what to write about and I was constantly asking myself anxiety-inducing questions, like will anyone like this, does this line up with my intentions, is this on-brand, etc.
As you can see, I've come out of that rut and now I'm posting here like a madwoman (though I'm still planning on taking that two-month break I've mentioned, FYI).
So, what changed?
Well, #loudlady, I'm here to tell you all about it. Get out your planner and add some of these to your to-do list 'cause we're about to get busy.
1. ASSESS YOUR SITUATION
Before you do anything, you need to pause and look at your current situation. Jackie and I talked a lot about this in our webinar over the weekend (which expires tomorrow!) but just to reiterate: You need to figure out WHY you feel the way you do. Are you bored of the topics you've been covering? Is it time to rebrand, or just make small changes? Is there something in your personal life that is affecting your professional life? Nail down what's stopping you from enjoying blogging like you used to.
Related article: Getting Back to the Honeymoon Stage of Blogging via kaylahollatz.com
2. NICHE DOWN MORE
Are you trying to be everything to everyone, like I was before? That ends today. Narrow it down. The more specific you get, the easier it'll be to come up with ideas. When you know who you're writing for, you'll know what to write about. Don't be scared of the unsubscribes; I celebrate them. Those people don't need what I have, and when they leave it makes room for more readers who appreciate what I have to say.
3. GO OUTSIDE
I get the best ideas when I'm NOT sitting at my desk in my nurffice (nursery + office, if you're new). Take your work to a coffee shop or leave your laptop at home and head to the beach. No beach? Jump into a pile of leaves instead or simply go for a walk around the block. Get out, clear your head, and give yourself some new surroundings to get inspired by.
4. GET A SECOND PAIR OF EYES TO TAKE A LOOK
It's important to get the opinion of someone else who understands your industry (which is why I offer my Blog Analysis). When you're stuck, you need an objective point of view to hash out ideas and give you suggestions. You might be a solopreneur, but you can't do it all alone. And if you're unable to move forward, you'll benefit from a little push.
Related article: Why Coaches Need Coaches (If They Plan on Getting Better) via mayaelious.com
5. START JOURNALING
If you've got blogger's block, start a casual, for-your-eyes-only journal. Write in it daily, just to get in the habit of always writing something new. Many of my ideas have happened because I was freewriting and letting the creative juices flow in a private setting. You can also do this by recording your thoughts verbally. I like using the voice recorder app on my phone and just seeing what comes out.
6. READ SOMETHING INSPIRING
If your confidence is low, it's going to be hard for you to get anything done. Read an inspiring success book (NOT other blogs during this time, so as to avoid the comparison game while you're already feeling small). I am constantly poring through self-development and business books. You don't have to spend money for good reads, either; I recently checked this one out from the library. No idea how I forgot that everything is free there. FREE!
Related article: What to Read When You're REALLY Ready to Start Your Business via femtrepreneur.co
7. EXPAND ON + REVAMP OLD POSTS
I'm currently taking a class on creating content, and one of the things I've learned is that you can take a list post (much like this one) and expand on it by writing an individual article about each point (so, I could potentially create 11 new blog posts here). Genius idea. You can also go through and revamp old posts with better graphics and content upgrades to spark inspiration.
8. RETHINK YOUR VISION
Now, I know that there's no one like this reading my blog because you are a hardworking, super-driven boss chick, but if you don't know the answer to 'where will you be in 5 years' you need to think about it. If you've already thought about it, and that vision for your life isn't driving you to create kickass blog posts, then maybe you need to rethink it. Why are you blogging in the first place? If it doesn't excite you, maybe you don't have a real, genuine reason for it -- or perhaps you don't believe enough in the vision you have for your life. It's time to change that.
9. TRY A NEW SOCIAL PLATFORM
Try a new platform you're not used to yet, like Periscope or Snapchat. Study it, analyze it, use it like crazy and then write about what you learned on your blog. Or, if you're already a pro at 'em all, that's even better. Write about that. Not a blogger who writes about social media? Try something else in a new way. If you're a food blogger, come up with a new recipe with ingredients you've never tried. If you're a fashion blogger, mix it up and wear an outfit you normally wouldn't. If you're a DIY blogger, make a craft and share the tutorial in a new way -- videos, anyone?
Related article: Periscope Tips for Introverts via yourwordselectric.com
10. GO EASY ON YOURSELF
If you're feeling stuck, don't rush the process. Understand that it's normal, and we all go through phases with the things that we love. Give yourself time to get out of your rut, even if it takes a few months. Focus on what feels good to you and don't force it. You're exactly where you're meant to be, friend.
11. START MAKING MOOLAH
When your blog is supposed to be a business and it's not making money, I'm sorry to say it's not quite a business -- yet! And even though they say money don't buy happiness, well... it's hard to be happy when you're broke. The good thing is, there is help. Today on Periscope I talked about how I increased my income this past month and of course, I'll be giving you all the deets in my monthly report next week. For now, you can grab 60+ pages of lessons on being bold online (so you can get heard, noticed, and paid) right here.