Friday, December 26, 2014

4 Ways to Deal With Blogger's Block

Blogger's Block 

If you're a blogger, you probably already know that blogging is a tough undertaking. With other projects, when it's done, it's done, but blogging is a never-ending project. As soon as you hit "publish" on your most recent post, it's immediately time to move to the next one or work on behind-the-scenes details.

While I love blogging (I've been blogging for 2.5 years now!), there are times where the dreaded blogger's block strikes. To me, blogger's block is a little different from writer's block because blogging is a different medium. Sometimes the nature of blogging can cause burnout, or it feels difficult to come up with new and exciting posts. For those of us who blog as a hobby, real life can get in the way. And sometimes when you take a break from blogging, it's difficult to get back into the swing of things.

Here are a few tips and strategies I employ to keep me blogging.

1. Keep an Editorial Calendar

Maintaining an editorial calendar, more than anything else, has helped me maintain a more consistent posting schedule. It's like my blogging secret (except I tell everyone who will listen)!

At the beginning of each month, I create my new editorial calendar. First, I decide which days I want to post (for example, Monday-Wednesday-Friday) and mark that in the calendar with bold. Then, I think about the post series that I want to continue, like Cosplay 101 or my monthly activities posts, and add them into the calendar on the days I've marked. Then, I fill in the gaps with other ideas.

Editorial Calendar for Blogging
My January editorial calendar - in progress.

I find this method keeps me motivated because I can plan in advance for posts that might take longer, schedule around personal conflicts, and make sure my blog is covering different topics (instead of, for example, three posts about cosplay in a row). Plus, with a plan of what you'll post about, you can schedule ahead on days that writing is coming easily to you, and fall back on those posts when you're not feeling it. Of course, I don't always follow the calendar exactly -- it moves and changes as my ideas do. When I use this tool, I find blogging comes easiest to me.

Inside my editorial calendar, I also have a tab for post ideas. This is helpful when filling in my calendar every month.

2. Try Something New

One way to beat blogger's block is to try something totally out of your wheelhouse. Film a vlog of your day, start a new post series, write an essay about something you care about, interview another blogger or someone in your field, review a website or app you love, make a playlist for your readers... the possibilities are endless! If you are not interested in your regular content, brainstorm ways to get out of the box.

3. Keep it Simple

If I am having a tough time coming up with a post, I will stick to something that is simple but works. Instagram round-up posts, for example, are interesting to read, but easy to put together. You don't have to re-invent the wheel with every post! When I'm in a rut, that's a simple way for me to get back in the groove.

4. Take a Break

This advice goes against what a lot of people recommend -- "Keep a consistent schedule," they cry, "Or it'll confuse your readers!" While a schedule is important for many reasons, I think quality matters more than quantity. Don't force yourself to write a post if you aren't feeling it. Your attitude will show in the work you put out, and most of the time, your readers won't notice or care if you take a short break. I've taken regular breaks in blogging and I think it's only made me a stronger blogger. Taking a break gives you an opportunity to assess what's working for you and what isn't, come up with new ideas, and spend quality time on the other aspects of your blog.

How do you deal with blogger's block? 

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