Getting Over a Blogging Slump
It’s no secret that every now and then, bloggers hit a content slump.
You run out of topics to write about; your personal or professional life gets busy; you take an extended vacation; you get hit by a bus and are incapacitated for three months, thus leaving your blog to collect dust on the Internets.
Okay, that last example is a little harsh, but you get what I mean.
Sooner or later, bloggers have to face the fact that they have simply run out of ideas and have nothing to write about. Gini Dietrich has written about this problem, and I have owned up to it as well.
How do you get over the ever-looming blogging slump? How do you keep your creative juices flowing? How do you keep writing well-thought out and organized posts for your readers?
Oh, the blogging horrors!
Don’t despair or give up completely from writing about topics and issues that matter to you because of a little hiccup. It is possible to get over the occasional content hurdle.
Here are some tips from personal experience in getting over my blogging slump:
Make time for blogging. Sure, easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. Chris Brogan had a great series last week about making time to write a book, and his first tip was to make time no matter what in order to do so.
If this means I have to turn off the TV for at least a half an hour each night to work on drafts or outlines of future posts, then so be it.
When pressed for time, I even close my office door during my lunch hour to write a post if that’s the only conceivable time to squeeze it in between work and personal engagements (that’s how I accomplished writing this very post!)
Brainstorm for future/evergreen topics. It sounds elementary, but I find it helpful to take a notebook and brainstorm categories of topics I feel confident writing about. Then, I list headlines of articles that fall under each category.
This helps me identify what topics I can write about off the top of my head and what topics I need more time to research. These make for a good stock of evergreen posts to schedule throughout the weeks.
Work from a flexible content calendar. Yes, I actually have a calendar at home with my posts parsed throughout the year. That’s not to say I have to write about the scheduled topic each week. In fact, this very post was slated for some time back in July. But I got other ideas I didn’t want to shelf, so they were posted first.
Not everyone works with a content schedule or editorial calendar, but I find it helps to turn to when in need of content ideas. Just try to keep it flexible for when timely posts/rants/observations are more pertinent.
Listen to other bloggers’ content-generating tips. Many people who blog fulltime know what it’s like to get over a creative slump. And more likely, they’re going to share with the rest of us now they keep their blogging machines going. When I run across these posts, I print them out and keep track of tips from other bloggers who share their ideas.
For example, Arik Hanson has a great list of how to “feed the blog beast”. Ken Mueller recently shared his ideas for generating content ideas and if you click on Ken’s post, he also links to Marijean Jagger’s guest post on blogging inspiration.
The lesson in this all is not to despair over your next blogging slump. You have a wealth of information that you can share , but don’t force the process if it’s not working.
If you want to take some time off to get your thoughts and posts organized, be honest with your community about it. I don’t hold it against other bloggers if they admit they are human and need to take time off to recharge their content batteries.
This is just what I do personally for my blog. I’d be interested to hear from any other bloggers out there– what you do to get over blogging slumps? Any additional tips to share?