Running a blog is like feeding a voracious baby – and the food it wants is regular, fresh content. Preferably GREAT content. But content on a regular basis. Twice a week. Three times a week.
Your blog will take whatever you can feed it. Only manage a link post….yum yum. It will take that. Or a short announcement. Gobble, gobble, gobble. It will take that too. Juicy and controversial 2000 word post. Slurp and burp! Your blog LIKES that.
There are times when blogging is hard. Times when the old writing quote seems apt: “writing is easy, you stare at the blank page until drops of blood form on your forehead.”
The newbie blogger, in a rush of blog-love, never foresees the day coming when he or she will struggle to find something to write about. Or worse, have something to write about and just not feel like putting in the time and doing the writing.
They never see Blog Fatigue coming.
So How Do You Feed Your Blog On Those Days You Don’t Feel Like Blogging?
There are multiple strategies you can take. Before you can use the right strategy though, you need to identify the symptoms.
Here are the main causes that I’ve found of ‘Blog Fatigue.’
Some of us ‘blog’ as a part time activity and have busy family life/jobs etc. And we have to squeeze our blogging time into hours at the end of the day, or the start of the day. Over time there can be an inevitable energy drain and you can feel ‘burnt out.’
The cure for this one is obvious – write at a time of the day when you’re fresher, and get more sleep. Eating the right foods can also help with energy levels – and although it might sound paradoxical, taking regular exercise also helps with raising your energy levels.
Higher energy levels helps you better cope with regular blogging.
Struggling To Write About Something
Sometimes a serious charge of resistance can be built up by not having anything ‘ready to write.’ One of the most important activities you can do as a blogger is keep a journal, or a list of ideas. I call mine an Idea Bank.
When you’re out in the Blogosphere commenting on other blogs you’ll come across rich comment threads – these are a gold mine of ideas waiting to be turned into posts. Or mine your own comment threads and see what you find.
Questions that people email you can also help identify good topics to write about.
Get into the habit of finding ideas to blog about and put them in your Idea Bank, so that there are always several blog post ideas ready to be written.
Life Getting In the Way
This is when you have to cope with the unexpected. One of your kids is ill. Or your wife is ill. (Or worse for the ladies out there, your husband is ill. That man flu has to be the worst man flu that there’s ever been). Or your dog is ill. Or your car broke down on the way home and you had to wait three hours for the tow truck. Life has a habit of getting in the way – my mentor calls this ‘Chaos Time,’ and few of us factor this into our blogging schedules.
Sometimes you can’t beat chaos time – it leeches hours from your day and can make writing a post impossible until the next day. The only way to ‘beat’ chaos time in terms of maintaining your publication schedule is to have some back up posts already written.
If you’re REALLY organized these back-up posts are already pre-written, pre-formatted and saved as a draft with categories and tags filled in and all you have to do is hit ‘Publish’ and although you may not have written anything, you’ve maintained the publishing schedule of your blog. (The bigger your blog gets, the more important this is.)
Carrying a notebook
Carrying a notebook or much better, a digital voice recorder (or an app on your iPhone) – at all times is great because it allows you to do SOMETHING when chaos throws up its ugly head. You can make notes of ideas. Outline posts. Mindmap a new eBook. Something positive for your blog.
General Blog Fatigue
This isn’t a single identifiable symptom, you know you’ve got to write a post, and you just don’t feel like it.
On days like this I give myself permission to not blog – providing that I at least sit down for 10 to 15 minutes and write something. Or create an outline for a blog idea from my idea bank.
Most days the act of writing for 15 minutes is enough to get over blog fatigue and kick start my writing for the day. If it doesn’t, then I’ve at least done something.
Other Strategies You Can Use To Overcome Blog Fatigue
When you feel flat the biggest challenge is to actually start. There are three methods I’ve used successfully to help get going.
The first is to prop my iPad next to my computer, find an article or a piece of writing that I really like and start copy typing it. Now I’ve been professionally tested (where they take your speed and deduce words per minute for mistakes) and came out at around 80 WPM. So when I’m not bothered about mistakes I can copy type around 100 words per minute.
Ten minutes of copy typing often works to get the brain firing as it starts to react to the words I’m copying.
Method 2 is to rewrite an existing post. Now as you probably know I have a bass guitar website, and I’ve written a bunch of articles over the last couple of years for that website. So what I do is pick an article at random, and then rewrite it so that it works for THIS website.
The third is to write a ‘quick’ article. Now I’m developing a relationship for writing ‘long’ posts. The last time I wrote a short post I had an email from one of my Mastermind group asking if I was ill! (LOL!)
But there are two types of posts that you can create quickly that still add value to your blog. One is a List Post. And the other is an ‘Ask The Audience’ type of post.
You can create high value posts of these types in 10 to 15 minutes – and the ‘change of pace’ can add much needed variety (and brevity!) to your blog.
Sometimes Blog Fatigue Wins
This is important to recognize. We’re only human. Shit happens. And sometimes blog fatigue wins. And we don’t get much – if anything – done.
It’s happened to me. It will probably happen to you. If it does, turn the ‘negative’ into a positive.
Take some time off. Go read an awesome book. Or watch a great movie. Or listen to the music that’s transcendent for you. (You know the music that takes you another place or another time.)
Put something creating and inspiring into your system. Computer programmers have an acronym for when a computer program doesn’t work. The acronym is GIGO. It stands for Garbage In, Garbage Out.
Sometimes we get so caught up with life, with the mundane weekly and daily tasks of blogging, that we forget to input enough of the truly good stuff.
If this is what’s happened, have a day off. But feast on some inspiring stuff – books, music or films, or paintings if that’s your thing.
And go to bed early and get a great night’s sleep. Tomorrow’s another day…blog fatigue happens to all of us from time to time, but with the right treatment it’s something that doesn’t last long.
Feeding a blog can be hard work. If you post three times a week, that’s 150 pieces of content that you need to write. That’s a lot of writing. Sometimes blog fatigue can set in.
If it does, recognize the cause of that blog fatigue so you can fix it:
- Symptom is tiredness – cure is more sleep, exercise and better diet.
- Symptom is nothing to write about – cure is to cultivate an idea bank.
- Symptom is life gets in the way and eats your writing time – cure is to have posts pre-written so your publication schedule isn’t affected. Also carry notebook and/or voice recorder around to be productive in unforeseen situations.
- Symptom isn’t anything specific – but you just don’t feel like it. Cure is to try goosing your brain with copy typing, or rewriting of existing articles, or creating a quick post (link post or questions post).
And sometimes Blog Fatigue wins. If it’s not life or death, don’t let it be. Feast on some inspiring stuff and get good nights sleep. And come back the next day bigger and badder and better prepared.
You and your blog will be better for it.