Bored Writing your Blog? Time to set Fresh Goals!

Bored writing by Gonzalo Arnaiz CC0 Public Domain from Unsplash

Bored Writing?

 

If you are bored writing your blog, your readers are likely just as bored reading it. Could this be the time to change it up, do something differ­ent. Set some new goals. Perhaps start again. Stop getting bored writing, time to get excited again!

 
It is the nature of blogs to write about special­ist subjects. Then you realise that you have covered that topic before. But you are aware that repub­lish­ing old mater­i­al is not a good idea. The question remains how to breath new life into old mater­i­al. Then the reason for writing it in the first place goes away, leaving the blogger puzzled about what they are doing. So, do you need to look at the problem from a differ­ent angle?
 
How do you reset the spark and write once again with new vigour? Every blogger will face this challenge. This page contin­ues the theme started by page “Bloggers: Do you know your Writing Goals?
 

Start all Fresh?

 
Freshen up by Noah Buscher CC0 Public Domain from UnsplashWhat caused you to write your blog in the first place? You were probably not bored writing at that time. You need to re-examine those thoughts, challenges etc. Perhaps, it is time to redefine the object­ives of your blog, move it in a slightly new direc­tion. Don’t worry — every blogger will go through this self question­ing from time to time.
 
Who are your audience? How do they receive your work? At times a self-critical examin­a­tion is neces­sary. Look at your motives then reignite your desires. In speak­ing to writers I find that most are well received — a feeling that should drive people to achieve more. Few writers set goals. Question what they are writing or when should it be published. That lack of goals might be sympto­mat­ic of becom­ing bored writing.
 
Unlike a new blogger you have built a community, especially if you have estab­lished a regular routine. You should have been publi­cising your work on Facebook and Twitter at the very least. You may also have published links on Google Plus and LinkedIn (and poten­tially other networks as well). It isn’t neces­sary to build a history of mater­i­al — you have already published it over the past couple of years. You already have an audience and are sharing expert­ise. The new blogger has to build all of that.
 

New Goals

 
Yet you will need to define new goals from time to time.
 
Do you need to refresh to look of your site? A fresh design often helps excite the writer once again. Perhaps widen the scope of your writing? Perhaps narrow it? Should you set new goals for the next 3 – 6 months? Examine what you have written, find out if there are missing subjects then work so to plug that gap. Reviewing a few books in your speci­al­ity is always a good idea — it helps build your ability to critique things.
 
With all these possib­il­it­ies for change set some new goals. Aim to achieve them by a certain date. Don’t try to achieve everything right away. Make your deadlines reason­able — perhaps embark on a year of change. Tell your audience your plans; involve them.
 

Always Have Goals!

 
There is a gener­al impres­sion that blogging consist of random thoughts bundled togeth­er on a web page. Some are, but the most success­ful require planning.
 
Random Lego heads by Carson Arias CC0 Public Domain from UnsplashBlogPress suggests you set your goals when blogging, because you always want to work on something. You may have three or four projects you are working on. One — an idea, being jotted down in your journ­al. Another, an idea being researched. The third — an article being written. Fourth, the piece you are prepar­ing for public­a­tion.
 
I take lots of notes, using Evernote. Some ideas may take months to mature, others only days. Add each to the relev­ant location in your writer’s journ­al. Once I know that they will become an article I add them to my blog sched­ule, setting a loose deadline. The list of articles I plan to complete in:
 
  • The next 6 weeks
  • 6 weeks to 3 months
  • 3 to 6 months
  • etc.
 
This is my rough public­a­tion plan. Of course urgent discus­sions get aired, written, and published more quickly. Every few weeks I review my sched­ule — which keeps it fresh in my mind. I resched­ule when prior­it­ies change.
 

Special Note: Business Blog

 
What your employ­er is working on is largely respons­ible for setting the goals for the business blog. According to Suzanne Vara “in creat­ing our blog, we think about the topics, readers, how we will promote, leaving very little thought on the goals of the blog”. It is time to look at those thoughts.
 
Consider those goals. With your colleagues, take a fresh look at them. Redefine them, or update them when they are out of date. Business blogs should involve multiple people. It is NOT purely a market­ing effort. It is not purely a technic­al effort. The business blog needs to answer the needs of the client. What are they?
 
Business blogs should have multiple contrib­ut­ors.
 

Best Blogging Practices

 
I have been using the follow­ing are the guidelines for some time to keep my blogging focused:
  • Topics — build a public­a­tion plan and review it every 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Presentation — make your blog welcom­ing to a new reader.
  • Blog post ideas — publish an inter­est­ing mix.
  • Writing — commu­nic­ate with author­ity.
  • Influence — make connec­tions and build your audience.
  • Promotion — find ways to increase your reach.
  • Search — ensure your blog posts are visible.
  • Consistency — keep at it.
 

Results to Date?

 
Do you check perform­ance? Marko Saric suggests that as a blogger, it is import­ant to do an overview of the blogging results, reserve some time to reflect and evalu­ate the results of the blog sincerely.
 
Performance graph
 
Looking at perform­ance graphs is not for every­one. but they do show vital inform­a­tion. The sudden spike of readers — what happened on that day? Also when reader­ship drops to zero — what happened? Did you forget to post on Facebook? Questioning aids under­stand­ing, which helps you learn, adjust, and grow again.
 
Blogs needs time to grow. The first year of blogging will be mainly a case of getting more and more organ­ised. This is normally a challenge for the new blogger though. Once you publish regularly for a year or two then an audience is also estab­lished. You should now be working towards longer-term ambitions. These do, however, need defin­ing and redefin­ing.
 

Your Audience

 
Buffer’s Social blog takes the view, that a better under­stand­ing of the audience means that you will have a better idea of what content will reson­ate with them, which is a good begin­ning to write blog entries. 
 
Audience by Nicholas Green CC0 Public Domain from UnsplashWe can never under-estimate the value of our audience. I wonder if we should involve them more. But, how can you involve your audience? There are many sites I have written on where I gather numer­ous comments, yet on GobbledeGoox I get few. I know people are paying atten­tion even if they’re not comment­ing. I see comments on social media and receive thank-you emails.
 
One of the problems of audiences is they are hidden from view. A blog is not like a telephone conver­sa­tion. We don’t see readers until they comment. How do we get the more engaged? Have polls? Create a Facebook group? I have tried each of these with moder­ate success. Most likely it is a case of keeping plugging away. Have faith they hear and under­stand you.
 
Through social media you will meet hundreds of people, but not every­one is listen­ing. Those that are, you may impact for a few moments. That is often all that is neces­sary.
 

Objectives

 
Make sure your goals are realist­ic. Publishing a blog post every day is a dream for most writers. The problem is finding something to talk about. There is a view that bloggers must post daily to gain traffic. This is false. Bloggers should write every day, but only publish when they have good-quality mater­i­al to post
 
When your blog entries are getting short­er and short­er, it is a clear sign that you are running out of ideas. Readers are not impressed. It is time, once again to look at your object­ives. Please remem­ber readers are looking to be:
 
  • Educated
  • Informed
  • Trained
 
Avoid short articles at all costs. Each blog post should be as long as is neces­sary to inform your audience of the subject at hand. People who produce 300 word posts tend to produce them as parts, but never complete the whole. Instead of produ­cing part 1, part 2, part 3… complete the whole discus­sion. It doesn’t matter if your piece is 5,000 words in length. If it informs, educates, or trains, then people will read it.
 

Learn to Edit

 
Spelling and grammar are import­ant aspects of writing. Don’t assume you will get it right on the first cut — you won’t. According to Shane Arthur there are 7 simple edits that make your writing more power­ful. These include:
 
  • Avoiding use of grammar explet­ives.
  • Don’t weaken action with wimpy words.
  • Avoid feeble phrases.
  • Trim verbose words and phrases.
  • Use commas for clarity.
 
Don’t be afraid to cut unneeded mater­i­al. Writers love words and love to overuse them, use fancy words when plain ones will do. The job of the editor is to think about the needs of the reader and ensure the mater­i­al provided is meaning­ful to them. To be an editor you must put on a differ­ent hat, think differ­ently.
 
There are hundreds of rules of grammar. When editing you have to bear in mind the needs of the reader. Remember they do not share the same insight you do. Explain the story as effect­ively as you can. Use active, rather than passive voice (although the latter cannot always be avoided).
 

Still Bored Writing your Blog?

 
Bored writingI suggest the reason you were bored writing your blog is because you lost sight of your goals, albeit tempor­ar­ily. This article should have helped you redefine and restate them. Can you move ahead with renewed vigour?
 
One possib­il­ity is to write a guest post for someone else. 
 
What are your writing and blogging goals? Please share them, lets discuss then and bounce ideas off each other.
 

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2 Comments

  1. Goals are vital for anything you wish to achieve. Thanks for remind­ing us. I have to get back to blogging, perhaps react­iv­ate my site, if it is still on Blogger.

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