6 Ways to Beat Blog-lag and Get Writing Again
You know what it's like. At first there are so many ideas, posts almost write themselves. Then you get busy and miss a week. You go on holiday, miss two weeks. Blogging turns from passionate affair to miserable millstone in less than a month.
The problem isn't purely one of finding the time. Building a successful blog means coming up with regular, helpful and interesting ideas and maintaining momentum through the ups and downs of running a business.
If you've got blog-lag I totally sympathise. These six tips should get you writing again.
1. Forgive yourself
Running a business is hard work. There's the bit at the beginning where all you do is sit in your kitchen blogging and wondering why you're not getting any work (or was that just me?).
Then the work starts to drift in and woah! It's time to stitch all your braincells back together because all you've done for the last three months is sit in your kitchen blogging.
Once you're getting work you have to learn a new skill; juggling the work and the admin, dividing your time between paying the bills and making sure you'll be able to pay the bills next month. Once things settle into something like a manageable workload, you'll find a time and perhaps a physical place where blogging is right and proper.
But really, if your audience is still your mum and your best friend, they won't care that much about a two-month gap. Just pick yourself up and start again, perhaps aiming for a monthly or fortnightly release until blogging finds a way to slot itself into your schedule.
2. Pull your socks up
Once published, this post will read like it wrote itself on a magical dancing typewriter. But I'll tell you a secret; writing it has been haaaaard work. That's because blogging is a muscle you've got to exercise. Write regularly and you'll write quickly with agility and style. Leave it too long and you'll be stiff and clunky in no time.
So whatever you do, don't stop.
3. Remember it's worth it
A client of mine gets 90% of her website traffic from one blog post. She has struck long-tail keyword gold, and she's ready to channel all that lovely traffic into an email list to which she'll market all her brand new services (targeted specifically at the people who search for that post).
Keep going and you could strike blog post gold too.
Need more good reasons? Blogging provides you with material to post on social media, pleases the Google gods, helps you develop ways to process and present your knowledge, demonstrates your expertise, makes you human and allows you to stand out from the crowd.
4. Blog about it
You can read all the ‘how to' blog advice you like — and there are plenty of solid principles to follow when it comes to titles, keywords and audience targeting — but what the best bloggers do best is share their personal experiences in an honest and relatable way.
So. What's been hold you back from blogging? A lack of ideas? A lack of time? If you've been busy, what challenges have you faced with your latest clients? What have you learned? Are you suffering an existential crisis and wondering whether to go back to the nine to five?
Write it up.
If you went travelling recently, is it ok to blog about that instead? Go for it. As long as you find a way to tie what you write in to your business or your thing in some way, and maintain a consistent voice, the post will make sense. It will also help your readers understand a little bit more about the real you.
5. Go out and pick some brains
As a sole trader/freelancer/entrepreneur it's easy to disappear into your inner world (aka your kitchen) and start to lose perspective. Make time to attend networking events and meet up separately with other professionals in your area. I love the The Oxfordshire Project because it's more about mutual support than relentless lead generation (which happens naturally anyway).
Feeling the full force of blog-lag last week I went to a networking talk about social media, hosted by Social Media magician Sarah, from Mushroom Soufflé. It included partnering with an unrelated business and asking each other questions about our work. I came up with three or four great new ideas right there on the spot.
Try telling a friend or family member a bit about what you do then get them to ask you questions. What they want to know could be your next big post.
6. Let your ideas stew
I came up with the idea for this post last week, but instead of putting fingers to keys straight away, I parked the title deep inside the blogging centre of my brain and left it to develop. Crafting each sentence was hard work, but the actual tips were ready to go when I opened my laptop.
So, what's the best way to beat the blog-lag? Push blogging back up your list, and write.