Blogging. The writing of random articles online. That’s easy!…Says anyone that doesn’t blog. It’s not always a basket of roses. There are many things that can stop you from posting any given week, or even posting regularly. A missed post isn’t the end of the world, but if you’re not careful, you’ll end up in the middle of the Twilight Zone wondering how long you’ve been gone. One week, two weeks. Three weeks, four months?!
Maybe your week was stressful, maybe a family matter came up. Perhaps your work schedule went into hyperdrive and you didn’t have the time. Sometimes you can find it hard to stay on topic or keep your focus. After a break, you will find it tough to get back into the swing of things. You will have to completely re-plan your process. It can be daunting. But it can be done.
Here are five tips to get back into blogging after a long break.
1. Evaluate your content.
When you’ve taken a break from your blog, it can be easy to forget what it looks like to your visitors. The same can be said for those who go into the back end of their website and fill in the pages without logging into the website itself. Look at it with your newly rested eyes. Check out other websites and blogs in your niche too. Active competitors will be a good reference for aesthetics and content.
Some things you might not even think of could affect the traffic your website gets. Are you writing about the current topics in your niche? Are you putting out quality information? Has there been an event in your niche lately? Keep an eye on your topic in the news and social media. If there’s something going on, you should be referencing it.
For more information on evaluating your content, check out How To Complete A Content Audit.
2. Timing is Key.
Be sure that when an idea happens, you write it out. Don’t just shorthand your thoughts either. If you don’t have time to write the article in its entirety then you need to make bullet points at the very least. How many times have you found a slip of paper with a phone number and no name and completely forgot what it was for? I have the tendency to write random thoughts for stories or for work blogs.
When you finally have an idea – even if it is just a small one, don’t wait up until you can turn it into big ideas. If you keep things aside for a while, you might forget about it and before you know it, you are back into a long break. Jump right into it! It doesn’t have to be perfect at first. The important thing is that make the ball rolling once again. Just start writing and more ideas will come soon after.
You shouldn’t feel bad that you took some time off from blogging, but you should encourage yourself to get back into it. Take small steps in writing new blog posts so as to restore your excitement in creating content in the future. Don’t stay too much on the thinking part, and start implementing what you have planned right away.
3. Personalize Your Content.
Whatever you write about, be sure it reflects you. Your message and your voice should be coming through. That is what gives your words a hook that interests your audience. If your blog is dying, think about your voice. If you’re writing in a “writer’s” voice, or the voice of your profession, maybe you should switch it up. At my last agency, I wrote with MY voice. You know the one. I use it here all the time. Conversational and witty, yet knowledgable. I tend to know what I’m saying, (or I’ve researched it like crazy), so I feel free to write it the way I would like to read it. Personalizing your content this way is a huge step to overhaul your blog after any amount of time. If you posted yesterday, you could realize your voice is all wrong and pull a switcheroo in the next post. It doesn’t have to wait for a long break.
Some people like to post separate pages on their site. Perhaps like, “Work With Me” or “Blog With Me” to distinguish different styles or topics. This shows your voice as well as your personality and interests. Yes, you know a lot about your career in personal fitness, but did your readers know you’re an expert fly fisher? I use a page for my professional knowledge (you’re on it now!) and a separate page for my personal writing. That way, when you come to my blog for SEO tips, you can go to just that page if you wish, or you can take a peek at what it’s like in my head. This lets your readers connect with you and feel more comfortable opening up in say comments, likes, or subscriptions.
4. Organize To Strategize.
After a break, your goal will be to stay consistent. You’ll want to be sure you have lots of topics to write about when you return, you know what is trending in your field while you’ve been awol, and that you’re not just dumping information. Keep to your brand, and think about how readable your articles are. Yes, I said readable. If you have giant blocks of dry text that make no sense because you were rushing to get anything on your page, people won’t read it.
Take a breath, organize your thoughts, then organize your blogs. Write a bunch of them in a day or two when you don’t usually post to practice getting back into things. You get back into your work, and you get ahead in your posting schedule. Double whammy! That being said, do you have a posting schedule? Now would be a great time to make one.
5. Be A Goal Getter.
A huge demotivator for anyone is unatainable goals. Mayhaps this is because we set end goals with high self-expectation without breaking down the little steps to get there. You have to approach your blogging like you approach any other goal. Have you ever tried to lose weight? Did it work better when you said “I’m going to lose 20 pounds” or did it work better when you said, “I’m going to lose 20 pounds, at 2 pounds a week, that would be 10 weeks”? If you chose the second option you would be correct! The first goal had no idea of timeframe which automatically puts your brain into thinking now. Sadly, this is how the world works these days. With the internet, and fast food, and streaming on the tv, everything is instantaneous; so your brain will look at that general statement and think instant results.
To avoid another hiatus, you have to set clear goals that are well thought out and realistic. Whatever goals you have in your life, be it blogging, or losing weight, or writing a book, or winning that fly fishing tournament, make sure you have ways to measure your success. Hold yourself accountable with schedules, and analytics on your journey. It will become a second nature again in no time.