You’ve read (here and elsewhere) that consistently creating epic content is the key to success. Once you’ve done that, you’ll grow your list, money will come falling from the sky, and you’ll be able to tell your boss exactly where to put that TPS report because you quit!
But sometimes? You just don’t feel like blogging. You sit down and stare at a blank screen, and you want to write, because you want to connect with your audience, but you can’t think of anything to say.
Sure, you can write something anyway, but you’ll find that it’s harder to write 100 words when you’re in this kind of funk than it is to write 1000 words when you sit down all fired up and inspired.
Never fear! There are so many things you can do when you don’t feel like blogging that will have a very serious positive impact on your blog. Ready?
10 Things to Do for Your Blog When You Don’t Feel Like Blogging
1. Create 10 New Pins
This is an easy one. Take your most popular pins according to Pinterest and create new pins for each of them. Then, schedule those pins to your boards and group boards. Make sure the style is different than your original style (which, of course it is, because your style evolves every single time you play around with PicMonkey, right?), and remember: no faces in your images, use images with plenty of whitespace, and go for light over dark.
2. Put a “New Coat of Paint” on Your Top 10 Most Trafficked Posts, According to Google Analytics
Take a look at your top ten posts according to Google. Unless you only have ten posts on your blog, it’s likely that your top ten most searched posts have a lot of “internet dust” on them, and can use a little fine tuning. Go through each one, and:
- Make sure all the links work
- Make sure you have a link or two to something that earns you money (whether that’s ad code or a link to a relevant affiliate)
- Make sure the copy still makes you proud. You’re a better writer today than you were when you started. I know this is true. But that’s the beauty of internet writing — there’s nothing set in stone (or, heck, even paper!) so there’s nothing preventing you from rewriting a few things. Don’t delete too much, but if you can add 500 or so words to an already existing posts, you’ll help it do even better in search results. And, if you change it enough, and it’s been long enough, you can republish it on your site! Oh hey new post with minimal effort that already gets love from the search engines!
3. Take a Look at Your Menu Structure
When was the last time you clicked through each page on your home page? Do they still reflect your brand as it stands now? I know I need that reminder from time to time. We’re constantly updating who we are — let’s make sure new people coming to our site can understand us!
5. Create (or Update) Your “Start Here” Page
Do you have a “start here” page? What do you want people to do when they come to your site? Put yourself in the shoes of someone who has never been to your site before. What do you want them to do if they end up on your home page? What about if they end up on one of your popular posts and want to do more with your site? If you need inspiration, check out the for-profit blogging start page.
6. Create a New Content Upgrade
While you’re looking at your top ten posts from Google, see which of those you can turn into a content upgrade. My most popular post on the site is a list of free stock images that you can use without giving attribution. Pretty sweet, right? Well, thanks! The content upgrade that naturally fits is a PDF version of that list, because, unless you want to bookmark that page and revisit it every time you need a new image for one of your blog posts (and wow that would be awesome) you’re likely to exchange your email address for that PDF so you can keep it in a file somewhere. Remember, your content upgrade does not have to be something you put a ton of time and energy into. In fact, something quick and easy that provides value to your reader will have them happily joining your mailing list. Studies show that the more content upgrades you have, the faster your mailing list will grow. And speaking of that mailing list…
7. Send an Email to Your List (and Ignore Unsubscribes)
When was the last time you sent something to your list? Do they even know you by name? If not, it’s time to send an email. It’s easy to neglect sending emails to your list, and it’s a negative feedback loop, because if you don’t email your list for four months, then, out of the blue, you send an email asking what they’re up to, your unsubscribe rate is going to skyrocket. You’ll think, “jeez! I should never have emailed my list!” which is decidedly untrue. You need to email your list consistently, and not just when you want to sell something. Give them a peek behind the curtain. Let them know what you’re up to. One email I’ve been sending is called “Five for Friday,” which is (admittedly) pretty random. I’ll link to a recent post I’ve written, talk about a movie I’ve seen, link to something I’m reading (either online or off), or talk about what’s in my head at that moment. I don’t send them every Friday, but I send them often enough that people aren’t surprised to see them in their inboxes.
8. Proactively Dork Around on Facebook
See, if you needed permission to take a break from writing, here it is. But it has a caveat (as do all things that sound too good to be true). You need to go network where people are asking questions you can help answer. Join a couple Facebook groups where “your people” are hanging out. Go, provide value, do NOT link to your site unless you have a post that explicitly answers the question asked and you see other people linking to sites. But! Make sure your website is in your Facebook profile, so that when someone hovers over your face, they see where they can find you on the wild web.
9. Ask People in Your Facebook Groups to Write a Post for You
I don’t mean asking for guest posts (though you could do that, too.) Let’s say you write a personal finance blog. Ask people to give you their #1 savings tip. Set up a Google form to make it easy for people to give you the information you need. Plus, it’s easy to copy and paste their answers into a big blog post that is excellent for the search engines, gives you a traffic boost, AND provides value to your reader. We did something like this at Stacking Benjamins a long time ago, and it’s still one of our most popular posts on the site. Check it out: 41 Inspiring Money Tips from People Who Know
10. Find — and Share — Inspiration
It’s so easy to get into a rhythm of writing and posting your own material and forgetting why you started blogging in the first place. I know part of the reason I started was to be a voice among many. I loved reading other blogs. I loved sharing what I’d read to all seven of my Twitter followers. Now, I have to say, I don’t read blogs the way I once did. Or if I do, I’m not leaving comments. But lately, since I’ve been getting information from readers like you about the kind of content you want to see here, I’ve been reading more, and sharing (using Buffer, which I love, but you can use any number of other social sharing tools). And the posts I’m sharing (especially on Facebook, but on Twitter, too) are getting seen. Some of them are getting shared. None of them are “hey look at this post I wrote” shares, but they’re all in adjacent space, and they’re inspiring. There’s a great deal of truly excellent writing out there. We just have to put ourselves in a position to find and share it.
Working on your blog doesn’t necessarily have to be writing. If you implement any one of these ten things, you’ll do more than simply contribute 500 words of “I haven’t blogged in awhile, I should probably write something.” If you do all ten, you’ll have done more for your blog in a week (or however long it takes you to complete this list) than a lot of people do in a year.