Today’s post comes from Melissa Firman of The Betty and Boo, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh Bloggers. You can see my post over on Tall Tales from a Small Town, where I discuss Social Media for Social Good. (List of posts from this event)
It happens to the best of us.
If you’ve ever started a blog (and given that there are roughly a kagillion or so blogs on the Internet, there’s a good chance that you have) you may be familiar with this scenario:
You’re all excited. You’re convinced this is your ticket to fame and fortune. You craft what you think is pure genius, words that Shakespeare and his would-be blogging cronies would envy. Your fingers shake as you hit Publish Post. You tell all your friends and relatives that you’re A Blogger. You feel like you’ve won a Pulitzer when someone comments on your words of wisdom. You vow to post something Every. Single. Day.
And then, after a few weeks or months, it happens.
You skip a few days, then weeks, thinking that nobody will really notice. Weeks become months. You start feeling that every post must be perfect, free from errors, go viral in nanoseconds, attract hundreds of comments. You come down with a raging case of Blog Guilt.
And there your blog sits, collecting dust, trapped in blog purgatory.
You, my friend, have lost that blogging feeling. (Cue up The Righteous Brothers.)
It’s like our blogs are a car and our posts are the battery. If you find yourself in such a situation (as Will admitted to me when we found ourselves paired up as partners for this project), here are 10 ways to jump-start your blog to try and get your blogging mojo back.
1. Do a restaurant/movie/book/TV show/area attraction review. People love to get opinions from real people who they already trust. As a book blogger, I know that my readership looks to my blog (and others) for interesting books. If you’re not a reader, have your kids write a book review or blog about your favorite books from childhood. Re-read them now as an adult and tell how they have or haven’t changed. Discuss a recent movie or TV show. Tell your readers about a little-known or off-the-beaten path attraction in your community.
2. Offer up your commentary on issues in the news. You don’t need to be a political analyst or a lightning rod for the hot-button issues of the day, unless that’s your schtick. Do you have a personal connection to an issue that’s being discussed in the news, either locally or nationally? Those are the kind of posts readers connect with and that help to put a human face on the issues.
3. Poll your readers. Ask them what topics you’re an expert in. You may be surprised at their answers. That could lead to a series of lists or Q and A posts.
4. Pop culture is blogging gold. When I attended BlogHer in August 2010, then YouTube sensation 12 year old Grayson Chance performed. I didn’t know who the hell he was (he’s a boy teen-star singer type, for those not in the know), so I blogged about my befuddlement – and needing a Facebook lifeline from my other 40-something year old mom friends. That post went platinum, becoming my most popular post for months and, two years later, is still among my top posts. You never know what will resonate with people.
5. Photos, photos, photos. Did I mention photos? Readers love photos. And you know what? You don’t have to have a fancy-schmancy $3,000 Nikon to do a photo post of your garden, your holiday traditions, your everyday routine, or your dinner. If you think you do, you’re just post-crastinating on writing your blog post.
6. Speaking of dinner, you don’t need to be a food blogger to write about food. Do you make a mean minestrone or manicotti? Set a place for your reader at your table and give us the recipe or wax nostalgic about a dish or restaurant you once loved.
7. Dig through your archives. What were you writing about a year or six months ago? Are there updates? Changes? Maybe your readership would be interested in hearing how a situation or a problem turned out.
8. Be charitable. Do you support a particular non-profit organization? Is there a cause that has touched your heart? Are you participating in a charity fundraiser? Tell your readers about it. (As a former director of development, I recommend double-checking with the nonprofit itself before using logos. Chances are, they’ll welcome and greatly appreciate the additional public relations.)
9. Ask for guest posts. Bloggers are a compassionate bunch. We love to help each other out, so put out a call soliciting guest posts to include on your blog. A blogging friend would be thrilled to recycle a favorite post from their site to attract new readers.
10. Hang with like-minded friends. Here in Pittsburgh, the blogging community is a pretty social bunch. We have a Facebook page (Pittsburgh Bloggers) and in-person events such as Pgh Tweetups and Podcamp Pittsburgh, just to name a few. If you’re not nearby, see if your community offers something similar or try to organize a blogging get-together. (And blog about it!)
Soon, you may find that you’ve been able to bring back that blogging feeling for good – before it’s completely gone, gone, gone.
Melissa Firman, a corporate content writer and editor for independently and self-published authors, has been blogging since August 2008 at The Betty and Boo Chronicles. She writes about the books she’s reading, the novel she’s writing, the perplexities of pop culture and politics, raising a child with autism, and getting dinner on the table … all with a native Philadelphian accent and a love for her new city of Pittsburgh.
Connect with Melissa,