After I had been blogging for a little while, I seemed to take the Chicken With Its Head Cut Off approach to writing. I was all over the map – trying all sorts of writing styles, topics, giveaways. I’d grasp at any last thing to throw up on my blog. My philosophy was…if I put enough out there, something will stick!
Well, things did finally stick, but a lot of things fell off, too. Here’s what I like to keep in mind to help keep my writing “alive.”
1. Remember your roots. When I say roots, I mean a)why you began blogging, and b) your initial group of followers. Your first few followers are probably still your most loyal. Stay true to them! Keep them engaged. Also think about why you began blogging. Each post should reflect those motivations in some way.
2. Remember your voice. Try to approach each blog post with an eye toward keeping your blogger’s voice consistent. It’s always great to branch out a bit and experiment with new topics or genres, but do it in a way that still sounds like the “you” people fell in love with when they first followed you.
Of course, first you have to FIND your voice. This can take time.
3. Remember your goals. It’s very easy to lose focus as you spend more time blogging. If your original goal was to be a deals and coupons site, and you suddenly turn your blog into True Confessions, it can confuse people. If your goals have changed, or gotten bigger, you should either: 1) clearly communicate that you’re trying something new, or 2) consider starting a second blog focused on that specific topic.
4. Remember your past successes. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! If you’re struggling with what to write about, look back at your archives and see what posts have generated the most comments or controversy. This will help you refocus your writing on the themes that resonate most with your readers. Try tackling an old topic from a different angle or extend it into a different direction.
5. Remember your fellow bloggers. Collaboration can inspire new topic ideas or creative outlets. I’ve been inspired to write a post simply by a sentence or two that I’ve read on another blogger’s site. Reach out to your favorite bloggers and propose a joint post, guest post, meme, contest, a “two sides of the same coin” collaboration or other cooperative effort.
6. Remember That To Blog Is Human, To Edit, Divine. I almost never publish a post as soon as it’s written. I lean toward being wordy (can you tell?) and rambling. The more I edit, the better each post gets. This post has been edited 12 times already and in those edits, I’ve shortened it by 400 words. Same message, delivered in a much crisper way. Edit!
Go check out Battling Writer’s Block if you struggle with keeping the creative juices flowing.