Are you still zesty?
When you first start blogging, you are like a kid in a candy store with a million bucks to spend. Ideas flow readily, creative juices are on tap, and the world is yours. Who knows how many shares your next post will get? Maybe you’ll hit the bigtime and huge brands will knock on your door to advertise. Maybe you’ll get a book deal!
Many posts are written.
Daily demands start to distract you from your initial excitement.
You go three weeks with no comments.
No book deal yet.
It’s been a year or so, the magical tipping point, right?
Where are all of my readers? Why doesn’t my Google Analytics page view chart look like the Himalayas instead of a flatlining heart patient?
Stop the shame spiral, and stop torturing yourself.
How to Get Your Blogging Zest Back
Take a short break
Maybe you’re posting too frequently. If you are pushing to crank something, anything out several times a week, and it’s a chore, consider scaling back to once a week, or even every two weeks. If you need to get more drastic, tell your readers you’re taking a sabbatical of one month and stop blogging for a while. I promise the world won’t end.
Go someplace weird
Maybe it’s time to get out of your rut. When is the last time you tried something new, or went to a strange location? Stimulating our senses or intellect with new experiences is a great way to get a jolt. Take a road trip, go skydiving, start the cold shower regimen recommended by Julien Smith…anything that shakes up your world.
Have an at-home retreat
You know those corporate retreats where everyone does the trust exercise? You can do that for yourself. Set aside a weekend, or a couple of work days to focus, and revisit why you started the blog in the first place. What made you say, “I’m going to be a blogger?” Write down your reasons, and keep them handy.
Pretend you shuttered your blog
How would you feel? If it’s relieved, then it might be time to actually do it. Blogging should be joyful and rewarding. If you’re doing it right, it’s an outlet, not a draining slog. In fact, ask yourself if you would keep blogging even if no-one was reading it. That’s where you need to be.
Get an outside opinion
Talk to your friends or colleagues who have read your blog. Ask them why they read it. Do a quick survey of your readers (even if that’s only a small group of people) and find out what they think. You might find out that your writing is inspiring people. A lack of comments doesn’t mean a lack of impact. Read this amazing story about the power of 5 blog readers, if you don’t believe me.
Write for the trash can
Maybe you’re trying to live up to a blogging ideal that’s unrealistic. Take the chains off for a while, and just start typing. Write as if no-one will ever read it (hey, you already think no-one’s reading anyway). Get all of that stuff out of your head and onto the page, and then sort it out later. Sometimes a loss of zest is simply coming from an out-of-control negative voice. Shut that sucker down and get your groove back.
Share something personal
Even if you’re writing a pure business blog, you can let your human side out. Maybe you’re having a hard time because you’re trying to put on a facade of “corporate” when all you want to do is run through the sprinkler. Don’t go TMI, but try adding a personal story into your writing and let your community inside. Perhaps that will encourage your readers to come out of the woodwork and share their own personal stories too.
What do you do when you’re feeling squeezed dry?