Blogging isn’t easy. After all, we’re (usually) a 1-person team that has to write, edit, photograph, and promote our work. With many of us doing these blogging tasks in addition to our day jobs, it’s easy to say that our schedules can become extraordinarily compact and overwhelming. Needless, to say, it’s easy to become burnt out and fall into a blogging slump.
A blogging slump can be a blogger’s worst nightmare and can have several different “symptoms”. During mine, I began doubting my niche, my blog’s direction, and whether blogging was truly the right path for me. These problems were hard for me to face up to, but as I did, I began to settle on the right questions:
- Where can I find new sources of inspiration?
- If I’m feeling uninspired to write more posts, what can I do instead?
- What is my blog missing that could make it better?
As these questions (and more) began to come to me, I realized that it’s okay to go through a blogging slump. If anything, a blogging slump can be beneficial, because a blogging slump can allow you to…
1. Analyze Your Blog
Have you ever written an essay, think that it was perfect, and then come back to it a day later? Most likely you could clearly see all of your errors and places where the essay could have been improved. Although they were hard to see at the time, you could clearly see them once you took a break from it.
That’s a lot like blogging.
Since bloggers are constantly working on their blogs, it’s easy to become engrossed in everything that’s going on and then make silly mistakes.
Even if there are no mistakes, our writing voices and blogging expertise is constantly developing and improving, meaning that we now have the ability to make a blog post, our site’s theme, or even our marketing tactics more effective then they used to be.
Here are examples of things to consider when analyzing your blog for improvements:
- Style of Writing Voice
- Blogging Theme
- Design of Pinterest Graphics
- Photography & Editing Style
- Blogging Connections/Networking
2. Examine Your Progress and Goals
Dreaming of making it big as a blogger, but having a hard time reaching your goals? A blogging slump is a great time to step back and examine the progress you’ve made and your blogging goals.
Start by examining your list of goals, or if you don’t have any yet, make some. Create weekly, monthly, and yearly goals, along with a plan of how you plan to reach them.
For example, let’s say you have a goal of 10,000 pageviews by the end of the month; this isn’t going to magically happen by itself. Create a list of things you are going to do to reach that goal. This could include:
- Writing 2 new blog posts
- Creating new Pinterest graphics
- Promoting more across social media platforms
- Working with other bloggers to generate more backlinks to your blog
- Improving your blog’s SEO
Another big step is to analyze the progress you’ve already made and how you made that progress. Look at statistics such as your bounce rate, number of sessions, and pageviews. Which blog posts did the best and which did the worst? Which Pinterest graphics, Instagram photos, and Tweets receive the most engagement?
Identifying your successes can help you make improvements to things that didn’t do as well, helping your blog to perform better as a whole.
Additionally, I recommend setting up a spreadsheet to input your blog and social media statistics each month so you can see how you’ve improved from month-to-month and year-to-year.
3. Audit Old Blog Posts
A blogging slump is a great opportunity to change your focus from writing new posts to auditing old ones, especially now that you’ve analyzed your blog and your progress/goals.
So what is a blog post audit? I’ve written an in-depth guest post about it on Samanthability, but essentially it’s the practice of regularly going back to old blog posts to improve them. This includes editing/re-writing old posts, improving the post’s SEO and readability, changing the title and keywords (if needed), looking for errors, testing links and/or adding new internal and external links, etc.
Why should you audit old blog posts? Simple. Auditing old posts can increase your pageviews, revenue, improve your SEO, and more. After all, a post may just be unpopular because of a confusing title or uninteresting Pinterest image!
Plus, auditing your old blog posts may just re-inspire you to write new ones and pull you out of your blogging slump.
4. Audit Other Areas of Your Blog
In addition to old blog posts, you can also use your blogging slump to audit other areas of your blog.
This can include your site itself, your newsletter, and even your social media channels.
Some examples of areas of your site to audit include:
- Site Theme
- creative rut
- About Me Page
- Media Kit
- Blogging Voice
- Photography/Editing Style
A blogging slump is a perfect opportunity to improve all areas of the blog and break out of your creative rut. It’s especially good if you can find something to improve that’s enjoyable, rather than stressful. So whether it’s playing around with post titles, your layout, photography, or your graphics, find something that you love to do and just run with it!
5. Take a Break from Blogging
While blogging is something that we all love and want to spend time doing, we need to remember to step back every once in a while and rest. Entering a blogging slump is just a reminder to spend time doing that.
So while yes, you can do all of the steps above (and they can help), don’t be afraid to spend some time away from the blog; watch a movie, go out with friends, or take your dog for a walk.
It’s important to find a balance between blogging and the rest of your schedule. Once you find it, you’ll be less likely to get burnt out and you will be much less stressed.
Once you’ve taken a blogging a break, come back and work on the steps mentioned above.
I speak from experience; while my blogging slump was a great opportunity for me to work on other areas of the blog, it was first and foremost an opportunity for me to take a step back from blogging for a while. This took a major stress off my shoulders as I re-focused my efforts on work and school, and when I came back to blogging, I was able to work on the previous points and write new content again.
And do you want to know the best thing of all? Taking a break allowed me to come back with a clearer mindset and more inspiration than ever before.
Blogging slumps can be stressful and aggravating. In an industry where we feel it’s necessary to regularly post new content, a blogging slump can feel like your worst nightmare.
But it’s important to remember is that it’s okay to have a blogging slump. In fact, as we have seen, a blogging slump can be beneficial. It’s also an opportunity to focus on other parts of the blog besides writing that might have otherwise been neglected or looked over. Even more, a blogging slump is a reminder to put our mental health first, to take breaks when needed, and to find balance in our busy schedules.
So my question for you is what’s your opinion on blogging slumps? Should they be avoided at all costs, worked-through until they’re gone, or utilized as a well-deserved break? Let me know below!