How to get yourself out of a blogging rut

by Peter Falconer

So you’ve hit a brick wall with your writing. You feel like you’re not getting anywhere with your blog. A lack of comments to your posts, engagement on your Twitter account and rankings in the search engines have started to get you down. You’re probably wondering if you should throw in the towel right? Wrong, you’ve only just begun.

Developing a well-respected and popular blog can take a lot of time. You are competing against any number of people to get your message across and with the amount of spam and general background noise out there on the web it can be a real tough battle. But don’t give up. Hope is at hand. You need to stay the course and work things through for so long as quality and message are at the forefront of your efforts you will make a success of your blog, and here’s how.

1. Stay positive. Feeling morose about the number of readers on your blog has no doubt led to a negative feedback loop developing within your writing style and comments. Nip that in the bud straight away. It’s not going to do you any good and it certainly isn’t going to impress your readers.

Whilst a little self-deprecating humour can go a long way too much morose conversation is enough to put even the best of friends off at times. By all means be honest in your writing about your state of mind and condition but make sure to make yourself the butt of the joke.

People like to know they are not the only loser out there so a little empathy and honesty can go a real long way. After all nobody deep down likes the know-it-all’s or the talented egotists so reach out and fill that void by making people warm to you and your situation.

2. Be realistic with your time commitments. A daily blogging schedule is tantamount to a full time occupation. When you’re not writing you’re thinking about ideas for future posts, reflecting on the poor choices you’ve made, questioning your on-going promotion strategy and worrying about how to get everything done, still maintain a happy homestead, hold down a job and find time to sleep. It can become a 24/7 cycle of guilt, misery and moaning.

So do yourself a favour and plan what is realistically within your means and then stick to it. A well written, thoughtful, researched post that goes out just once a week is better than a confused mess of random posts throughout it.

Plan out what you want to write about, clear some space to write and then take the time to edit the piece until you are happy. Whilst the combined hours may come close to the time it previously took to write 2, 3 or even 4 posts, the improvement in quality should ensure that any reader who happens upon it will be that much more engaged and encouraged to share it with friends and colleagues.

3. A change is as good as a rest. If you’ve been in a rut step out of it by trying out a new subject matter. The research and investigation required in order to write authoritatively on the topic may very well inspire thoughts and ideas that have previously been blanketed in a fug of repetition.

Like a fine aged wine take the time to swill the heady mixture of free and fresh thought before sitting down to write. You’ll know you have hit a rich seam when the words overtake your mind and come spilling out onto the page.

Take inspiration from recent reviews, articles, investigations, comment, DVD’s or something you’ve witnessed. Whatever it is embrace it and look at things afresh.

That is what blogging should all be about, not some constrained enslavement to deadlines and repetition.

4. Befriend your fellow bloggers. Do not act in isolation. Leave thoughtful comments with those in your niche which prompt a response. Most bloggers will return the favour by checking out your posts. This could be just the encouragement you need to continue.

It’s also worth posing a fresh question to end each blog post. Think Carry in Sex in the City as she left a question hanging at the end of each episode. The same applies to blogging.

5. Spend time in social media channels. Promote, promote, promote. Create a Facebook page for your blog. Automatically upload all your posts to it using RSS Graffiti. Auto sync your Twitter account with the RSS feed from your blog. Cover these basics and then interact with the two communities. Post messages, invite people to be friends, reply to all @mentions on Twitter, join groups and contribute on Facebook, become known as the go to guy/gal for advice on the given topic and you should see your community of regular blog readers grow without a problem.

And if you’re still stuck after all this then see me after class!

Peter regularly writes about social media, small business issues and more. He operates a successful ecommerce store selling havaianas flip flops online.