Every now and then us bloggers lose that passion for writing and just feel a bit ‘meh’ when it comes to our blogs. Lately I’ve been going through this and just don’t have the same urge I usually get to sit down and thrash out a post. The words aren’t flowing and I don’t have a long list of topics I’m itching to write about. It’s not the first time this has happened, but it can be a little unsettling when it does.
Rather than beat yourself up about it, or writing half-arsed posts that you won’t be happy with, there are heaps of things that you can do to help build your blog in the meantime. Of course, all of this actually falls into ‘blogging’ and I use that title loosely to mean actually writing blog posts.
So, here are some other blogging tasks you can get cracking on until that light bulb reappears once again…
Other blogging tasks when the words don’t come…
1. Grow your social media following
We all know that social media plays a vital role in driving traffic to a blog. Brands will also want to know how many followers you have, so it’s definitely worth dedicating some time to your social media if you want to earn something back from your blog. In addition, our interactions and follower numbers on social media affect our Klout scores, which in turn affects our ranking on the likes of Tots100 and the Parent Blogger Leaderboard (if that’s of interest to you).
So although it can be time consuming, it’s worthwhile when you see your engagement continuously increase. From Twitter to Instagram, I’ve learned that the key to all social media platforms is to engage – people soon lose interest if you just continuously publish links to your posts. Take advantage of your writer’s block by dedicating some time to your communities and nailing each platform one by one – one size definitely does not fit all. Which brings me on to…
2. Make your images Pinnable
I don’t know about you, but as much as I try, I don’t create Pinnable images for every post. I just run out of time or get too excited about hitting publish – and then it’s onto the next. But what if I told you that Pinterest has been my biggest traffic driver this year? And I really only have a handful of posts with Pinnnable images (by that I mean scaled to size and designed with text). You would tell me to get on it and get pinning! According to Google, the perfect sized image for Pinterest is 736w x 1104h in pixels which is the size I scale my images to. Don’t quote me on that though…if you need any more convincing check out this post by Katy at What Katy Said about Why Pinterest is her biggest source of blog traffic.
3. Add internal links to your old posts
Again, this is something I’ve not been too hot on – especially in my first year of blogging when I didn’t really understand the importance of internal/external links within blog posts. Links help to improve your Domain Authority which is basically how well a website performs on search engines. This is important if you want to work with brands and increase traffic to your site. If you have a heap of published posts with no links, go back and update them. The more posts you write, the more content you have to link back to.
4. Update plugins and install new ones
Since going self-hosted last year I’ve been taking full advantage of the many fabulous Plugins you can get on WordPress. I’m not going to go into them here but it seems that there is literally a Plugin for everything. If you want an initial list to get you started, read Stevie’s post over at A Cornish Mum – Top WordPress Plugins for Bloggers. Make sure you keep them updated and review their notifications regularly to keep your site performing at its optimum.
5. Respond to comments
I recently wrote about my struggle finding the time to respond to every comment on my blog and questioned whether there are better ways for bloggers to spend their time and create a sense of community. I still stand by that post, but in reality, I do find it almost impossible to not respond to comments – whether or not people actually read my replies! However, I try to limit the time I spend on it to my downtime, fitting it in and around my other blogging tasks, rather than dedicating a set period of time to it each day. If you’re feeling the comment guilt because you have a backlog, or simply need more time to procrastinate about that blog post you’re planning, get responding to your lovely blog pals.
6. Read and gain inspiration from other blogs
When you feel a bit ‘meh’, sometimes all it can take is a bit of inspiration from fellow bloggers to get your creative juices flowing again. If I’m ever struggling I find that having a look at some of my favourite blogs or having a browse through Pinterest can help trigger a new blog post idea. Linkies are also a great way of discovering new blogs, being part of a community, and getting more eyes on your posts. Some of my favourites include KCACOLS hosted by A Moment with Franca, Coolmumclub hosted by Mum Muddling Through/ Motherhood: The Real Deal, and Best and Worst from Run, Jump, Scrap/All The Beautiful Things.
7. Purchase a new theme
Sometimes you just need a bit of a makeover to help redefine your identity and make you feel like your better self again. Most themes cost around $40-$50 and can breath a new lease of life into your blog. When I updated my blog theme last year, it really set the tone for my posts and everything I wanted the blog to stand for. I feel like I need a bit of a refresh again and I’m considering another new theme soon, so watch this space!
8. Update and republish old posts
We all have a heap of old blog posts from when we first started out. I think my mum was probably the only person who read my first 15 – and yet there’s some pretty decent content there (aside from the appalling photos of course!). If you’ve been blogging for some time and have some ‘evergreen’ posts in your archive, it’s worth giving them a refresh and republishing them for your much larger audience of today.
9. Shoot and edit photography for future posts
Recently, I’ve started to try and plan my post photography in advance so that I can get photography for all of my planned posts shot and edited in one morning. It’s so much more efficient than having to get the camera out and set up shots multiple times each week. If you don’t feel like writing, get out your camera instead.
10. Create a newsletter
Admittedly, this has been on my ‘to-do’ list for ever and I still haven’t got around to it. But having read this post from Aby over at You Baby Me Mummy, I’m convinced I need one and that actually, it’s really not that difficult or that time-consuming to set up. Read her post The 5 Minute way to create an awesome newsletter for a brilliant step-by-step guide.
Do you ever have writer’s block? What other blogging tasks would you add to this list?