Hello, and welcome to our very first Third Thursday #SCBWIsocial Blog Link Up! For our part here at As The Eraser Burns, I’m using Eastern Penn Point’s monthly submission theme: The Business of Books. And since blogging is a part of many of our social media business plans, I’m sharing this for those who are trying to figure out:
When it comes to my own blog, for many years, I’ve been suffering from lost mojo for many reasons. Lack of time. Procrastination. No sense of direction or purpose. Losing my voice due to low confidence and fear. I’ve even considered giving up. I mean, does the world truly need another blog? Shouldn’t I be devoting that time to fiction writing instead? But the truth is…
I love blogging.
And I missed it. So I took some time to think about how to get back my own blogging mojo. I’m not 100% there yet, but I’m getting closer every week! If you’d like to reclaim your blogging mojo, too, then here’s my top eight tips.
1.) Identify your Roadblock
Step back and ask yourself, “What’s holding me back from blogging?”
Is it a lack of traffic? Lack of reader participation? Do you often not know what to write about? Is it taking too much time away from your writing or art work? Are you keeping too ambitious of a posting schedule?
Or do you really hate blogging?
If you hate blogging but feel as though it’s a necessity for your social media platform … well, maybe it’s time to reevaluate your platform because you don’t have to blog. There are plenty of other ways promote your books.
If low traffic is your barrier, there are MANY ways to improve your page views, far too many to mention in this post. If not knowing what to write about is your roadblock, do a quick “blog ideas for writers” Google search and BOOM, you’ll find tons of ideas at your disposal.
For me, one of my roadblocks was an overly ambitious posting schedule of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday that I clung to. Why three times a week? I don’t know. It just felt right. But three posts a week was overwhelming.
Overwhelming for me = procrastination.
So for now, I’ve dropped down to a realistic schedule of one post a week on Fridays.
Realistic for me = Doable.
2.) Figure Out Your True Goal
What is your purpose of blogging? What are you hoping to accomplish, sell more books? Connect with readers or other writers? Who are you writing for?
For years, this was my biggest roadblock. I had no clue who I was writing for. Other writers? Runners, since many of my post were race recaps and training updates? Readers? So earlier this year, I thought hard of why I wanted to blog. The answer was easy:
To free my stifled voice and get back to writing without reins again.
Which, of course, is a rather selfish reason. But that’s okay, I’m allowed to be selfish when it comes to my own blog. So for now, I’m writing for just me in hopes that one day, the pieces will fall into place and I’ll find an audience. I’ve also fixed my direction issue by creating a fitness blog with friends called Joyful Miles where I can discuss running and racing to my heart’s content!
So think hard about what your true goal for blogging is. What your passion is. What you want to share with the world and if that passion is marble collecting, then by God, making it the best marble collecting blog ever.
3.) Give Your Blog a Makeover
Come on. Who doesn’t love a makeover? Spend an hour or so giving your blog some love. Change your profile picture. Update your About Me page. Fiddle with font sizes and download fresh, eye-catching ones by using www.dafont.com. Upload a pretty new header image. Try a new theme or widget. Create a tab in your menu for specific category posts that get good traffic. Experiment with a new color theme by using www.colourpalette.com.
And hey, what about Pinterest? It’s a fantastic tool to gain blog traffic. Try creating a board for your blog and pin your most popular posts to it.
Just freshening up your site and getting excited about it again can bring back that mojo you’ve been missing.
4.) Create New Blog Features
Features are awesome. Not only to they bring a sense of familiarity to your blog and give readers something to look forward to, they also can cut down your stress level by providing a topic template. How about:
- Monday Musings, Munchies, or Movies?
- Tuesday Ten?
- Wednesday Writing?
- Thursday Throwbacks?
- Friday Five?
Perhaps those suggestions aren’t original, but you can mold them into something that is in accordance with your goals and personal style!
5.) Harvest Personal Stories to later use for posts
One thing I’ve started this year is keeping a small journal to jot down any personal stories that pop into my mind. Like the time my mom screamed, “Laura, we’ve been in an accident,” while our truck was flipping to the side. The time when a nasty horse show mom called me a boy after I beat her daughter. How my father changed his voice while reading picture books. The vacuum I just got rid of that kept spitting out dust, creating more work.
Just by thinking of these stories is already sparking blog ideas for me. I could use the nasty horse show mom story as the beginning of a blog post about antagonists. Dad reading pictures books for a post about character development. That old vacuum for a post about time management. Get it?
6.) Start a Blog Idea Notebook
It never fails … you always think of fantastic blog ideas while in the bathroom, waiting in a line at Walmart, or while watching your kid’s baseball game, right? Try jotting them down in a notebook. This is another challenge I’ve started this year, to write down a new blog idea every day of the year and also jot down thoughts for the post’s content.
*BONUS – You can then use those notes as a killer Blog Ideas post later on!
7.) Create a Stockpile
Seriously, it’s so stressful sitting down at a computer on your scheduled post day and pounding out a fast entry. It always makes me feel like I’m in an old Western, where the bad guy is shooting bullets at my feet and saying, “Dance, puppet, dance!”
Here’s where a stockpile can be your best friend.
Recently, while spending a long time on the road, I used the WordPress App on my iPhone to hammer out ten different blog post drafts for Joyful Miles. Then later at home, I formatted them, created pinnable images, and scheduled them using a Calendar Plug-in. Now, guess what? ALL OF MY SUMMER POSTS ARE DONE.
Seriously. The relief is tremendous. Who’s dancing now, puppet?
Susan Mannix and I have also had blogging parties before, where we get together and see how many posts we can pound out in a session, using each other to bounce ideas off. Two years ago, we pre-wrote all of As The Eraser Burns summer posts in one session. It was awesome.
[Note to self: Schedule blog writing party with Susan soon.]
So yeah. Stockpile, stockpile, stockpile.
8.) Build Your Community
Blogging doesn’t have to be an isolated journey. Try connecting with other similar bloggers by leaving sincere, non-spammy comments on their posts, inviting engagement. Go to Facebook and search for blogging groups – I’m a member of three and it’s a fantastic way to ask questions, learn new tricks, help each other promote, and make friends! Join community boards on Pinterest … or create your own!
Try registering your site at Bloglovin and use their awesome website as a way to discover other great blogs!
And of course … find blog link-ups like this one to join! Or hey, create your own and be sure to tell me about it!
Now, speaking of blog link-ups … it’s your turn to participate by following these simple rules!
Thanks for reading, and let’s get our link on!