If you’re a blogger then you likely asked yourself a few questions before, like ‘why am I doing this?’ ‘What’s the point?’ ‘Would anyone really care if I stopped?’. You’ve fallen into a blogging rut, and you’ve questioned basically your entire existence. I say this because, if you’re a dedicated blogger, as most bloggers are, then blogging is basically your entire existence, or at least a huge part of it.
Blogging is hard work. It takes a lot of time, and it isn’t a ‘side hobbie’ – it’s a full time job. But, unlike most full time jobs, blogging doesn’t make you money. Not until you get really good at it at least. Most of the time, bloggers blog because we love it. It’s who we are. We wake up and go to sleep thinking about the next blog post, what to share with our followers, and how to answer the latest comment.
But, just like any other passion or profession, blogging will sometimes drag you into ruts. Days where you feel like there is no point in continuing, and like no one reads or cares what you have to say. All you have to figure out is how to make it through these days, and get back around to the days where you wake up excited to share your content. You can have days of doubt, but falling into a rut means that your doubts start to affect your blog and its content. Doubts are okay, falling into a rut is not. So, how do you survive these ruts, or better yet, avoid them all together?
Remember: You’re not Alone
I have never met another blogger who hasn’t had days of doubt. No bloggers think blogging is easy or that it isn’t a lot of work. No one ever woke up one day, thought of a brilliant blog idea, started their blog the next day and had millions of followers by the end of the week. Even the most successful bloggers, at one time or another, were where you are right now. They were working hard, keeping their heads down, and seemingly not getting anywhere. They considered quitting just like you do every now and then. But they didn’t – that’s the key.
Remember: You’re still not Alone
Everyone in the world, whether they’re a blogger or not, has questioned themselves and their path at one point or another. Doctors wake up some mornings at 4am (or whenever their rotation starts) and just do not want to go to work. Business executives on Wall Street, grocery store clerks, lawyers, and even the president thinks about whether they maybe didn’t make the right choice in becoming who they are and doing what they do. Whether you’re a blogger, or you’re working in one of those ‘real jobs’ that everyone likes to compare blogging to, you’ve questioned yourself.
Now that we’ve established that you and everyone else you know has doubts, we know that it’s okay. Your doubts are normal, and you shouldn’t have to fight through them. You should be able to accept them. Now, here comes the exciting part about blogging. While doctors who wake up and don’t want to go to work still have to get dressed and go to work, bloggers who wake up feeling uninspired don’t have to get up and keep blogging. They can roll over and go back to sleep, or simply take a break to find some new inspiration.
You should never be at the point where if you don’t get a task done today, your blog will suffer tomorrow. I work hard to make sure that all my posts for the week are written and scheduled by Sunday night. I schedule all my tweets and Facebook posts ahead of time, and I also try to curate third party content and schedule it for sharing ahead of time. This only leaves sharing more content, answering comments, and interacting with readers and other blogs for my day-to-day, and this is stuff that isn’t absolutely essential. If I want to take a break for a day because I’m feeling uninspired or unmotivated, I can, and you can too. If you schedule and plan far enough ahead of time, you should never have to blog when you don’t want to.
Planning ahead sounds good in theory, but life happens, and sometimes we just don’t get things done ahead of time like we’d like to. So, you need some resources in place so that if you absolutely have to blog when feeling uninspired, you can. Though you want to plan ahead as often as you can, because blogging when you don’t want to will make it a chore. And if you have to do chores too often, you’ll start hating them.
Next time you’re feeling really inspired and the juices are flowing well, start brainstorming. Make a list of blog post ideas, and then expand on a few of them so that you have an outline for each post ready to go. This way, if you absolutely have to write a blog post on one of your doubt days, you have some help. Writing a blog post when you’re feeling uninspired is one thing, but having to think of an idea and plan a post from scratch while uninspired is another, much more awful thing. Anyone who has ever sat staring at their computer and coming up with nothing knows what I mean here.
If you’re having trouble thinking of ideas or finding the motivation to keep blogging, try something new. If you’re struggling, your old sources of inspiration obviously aren’t working anymore, so you should try to find some new ones. Try some new events or activities, or read some new blogs to find some new ideas. Browse Pinterest in your niche and the topics around it. Think about what you’ve been writing about in the past and expand upon it. Trying new things will always present you with new sources of inspiration, even ones you didn’t expect.
If you’ve tried all the options above, and nothing is working. You’re unmotivated, having doubts, not finding time to plan ahead and not finding the inspiration to do anything, maybe you should just embrace your doubts. If you have an issue or question, it’s likely your readers to do. Share your doubts with your readers. They will appreciate your honesty and likely have a few sympathetic words, or maybe even some tips for you. Make sure you tie your doubts into your niche, but since your doubts are about your blog, it shouldn’t be too hard. Be honest – it will get you farther than you think, and it will probably be a great outlet to help you overcome and move past your doubts.