You do anything long enough, the routine is going to get a little stale. Cooking, work, driving, exercise, the next door neighbor. Keeping it fresh is key to a successful long term relationship. This is true in blogging as much as it is in bed. Err, life. I guarantee you, at some point, your blog is going to feel redundant, uninspiring and generally, a whole lot more work than it does fun. So why would you continue?
Because if you hit this obstacle, it means you’ve blogged enough that you’ve advanced from where you began. You’ve changed and grown and become something bigger. Something better. It’s in this moment, that you need to change things up to elevate your blog to your new aptitude.
Here are 5 simple ways you can keep it fresh, reinventing and leveraging your blog to pro-blogger status.
1. Be the change you want to see.
First things first, look at what you’re currently doing. If you want to keep it fresh, you need to know what’s working and what isn’t.
Grab a piece of paper and on one side, write down everything that you love about your blog. Now on the other side write down what you don’t. Be as specific as possible. Now, what can you do to alleviate the issues on that second side? What can you do to enhance or encourage the list on the first? Writing it down will not only help you see where you’re at now, but it will also create new blogging goals to strive towards. It’s okay to change the blog’s direction, posting days, themes, topics, blog design and/or social strategy. Make it interesting, keep it fun and of course, stay focused. Get it out so you can get into it.
2. Reach out and touch somebody.
Making connections is a key component to blogging successfully. Take part in link ups, comment on more blogs, join an online networking group in your field, email like-minded people and ask them to guest post. Once you make a connection, mark it in your calendar to follow up with them in a couple of weeks in case they fall by way in the busyness of your day to day routine. These connections may evolve to become professional or personal relationships but the point is – you aren’t doing it alone. As human beings, we’re social creatures. Make the most of that and be social!
And I’m not talking 50 Shades of Grey. Stop being a follower and take control of something. Organize monthly Google Hangout for those in your industry. Coordinate a bi-yearly product swap. Host a linky party. Start your own LinkedIn Group. Conduct a meet-up in your area. Engineer an industry-specific online summit. All of these ideas are ways to connect further with your audience and leverage yourself beyond just content production – rather, you’ll quickly become a connection facilitator not just for yourself, but those in your online community as well. Can anyone say “industry leader”?
Just kidding… But seriously. Alcohol. Heh….
4. (for real this time) Size matters.
So does the way you use it. I often struggle to keep it fresh when I feel like I have to post long, wordy content. Like what you’re reading now. Sometimes, I just want to throw out a 100 word post with a few images. I’m going to say something here that might get my little hands whacked by the powers that be: There’s nothing wrong with that. You can produce great content in less than the 300 word recommended minimum length post – just be sure to do it intelligently. There’s one food blog in particular that does this brilliantly and I go back, time and again, because she does it well. That being said, I also enjoy a longer, more informative post as well. There’s no reason you can’t do both if it pleases you; write in ways that both provide value to your audience and bring you joy – it’ll make blogging a lot more fun.
5. Take a break.
Sometimes, we just need a little “me” time and that’s okay. Too often we get worked up about missing a posting day (or 8) and think we’re going to lose our audience. Guess what? You’re human. And your readership is too. They need vacations from time to time as much as you do and if you communicate that to them, they’ll get it. They don’t want to read drawn out, uninteresting, posts any more than you want to write them. If industry research has shown anything, it’s that posts with passionate and thoughtful prose that get return visitors. If you’re so worn out or uninspired by your own blog that you’re spitting out updates because “you have to”, people will feel it. They aren’t stupid and your voice comes through. They want you to keep it fresh. Take a break – be it a few days, a week, a month, or in some cases, longer – as long as it’s really just a break and not a break up – you’ll come back refreshed, ready and newly energized. And so will your audience.
What do you do to keep your blog fresh? Are there certain persisting problems you have trouble overcoming? What has worked for you in the past? What hasn’t? Any other suggestions to add to the list?
In the meantime, read:
- Part 1: 10 Reasons Why You Need A Blog
- Part 2: 7 Easy Steps to Start A Blog
- Part 3: How To Create A Blog Schedule (Free Printables!)
- Part 4: How to Write Great Shit (& Own It!)
- Part 5: How to Build Your Blog Audience
- Part 6: 10 Things your Blog Should Definitely Have (Free Infographic!)
- Part 7: Keep Your Blog Fresh!
- Part 8: What NOT To Do To Your Blog
- Part 9: Beyond Blogging: What To Do Moving Forward
- Part 10: How to Do It: Free Ebook for Entrepreneurs, Bloggers and Brands!