Do you ever struggle to come up with ideas for a blog post? If you're like me, you probably suffer from ebbs and flows in inspiration and motivation. Even when I have a good idea, I don't always have enough writing mojo left at the end of the day to translate it into great copy. On other days I can put 500 or more words on the page before I realise I haven't really said anything, or anything that hasn't already been said about a million times. It's not writer's block; it's more like blogging fatigue.
If you're going through a rough patch with your blog, here are some things I find helpful when I need to lift my game.
Enter a Contest
It may sound like odd advice but the structure of a contest can help focus your writing. Bloggertone and BizSugar run the Sugartone Sweet Business Blogging Contest providing a good opportunity to make a big effort. I've recently come across the We Love Bloggers competition being run by Heidi Cohen. I'll be joining to see if it motivates me to sharpen my game. Let me know if you're going enter, too.
Take the Problogger 7 Link Challenge
Last year I participated in the Problogger 7 Link Challenge and was surprised at how much it motivated me. Essentially a pop quiz about your own blog, it made me consider my body of work with a new eye. Darren Rowse did a superb job of resetting my perspective with his challenge. Try it and see if it does the same for you.
Join (or start) a Festival
Blogging festivals are all over the place. Some are competitions and some are just looking to get as many people in one place as possible. My friend Michelle Gay inadvertently started a festival (and a movement ) when she `exposed' herself in a post on her Eating Journey blog. She's had bloggers from more than five countries join in. More than a year later, her Exposed movement is still going because it's motivated so many people to join her. If you ask Michelle, she'll tell you it's inspired her blogging in ways she never imagined possible.
Use a blog marking service
Have you heard of blog marking? I've only recently come across the term even though I've been using a blog marking site for some time. Blog marking is the practice of publishing your posts on another website to expose your writing to different readers. I use BizSugar, a website focused on small business. The comments and encouragement I receive on my posts often inspire new ideas. Interestingly, work that tanked on my website can get a lot of traffic on BizSugar, going a long way to erasing the feeling of disappointment attached to a post that didn't perform so well. Blokube is a new blog marking site generating a lot of chatter but I haven't used it yet.
Volunteer to write for another blog
Guest posting or contributing to a crowd sourced blog is a great way to generate enthusiasm for blogging again. I find when I'm writing for a different audience, I'm more alert to what I'm doing and I spend more time refining my ideas. There's almost always collaboration with the blog owner or an editor which helps, too. Blogging is often a solitary exercise but working with other people on a post often pays dividends in the motivation department.
Consistently producing quality content on your blog can wear you out. The best bloggers employ special techniques to get them back into a blogging groove. Consider trying some of the things I've found helpful when faced with waning inspiration and motivation. I'd love to hear what works for you.
What techniques help you get your blogging mojo back?
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Image Credit: Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos Blogging, after Franciso de Goya y Lucientes by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com, on Flickr