"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Perils of Blogging While Bored!


It’s a Monday. You’ve made the rounds of all your favorite “Blog Roll” sites and discovered that everybody who’s anybody has posted something new to their site.

Or, it’s a Wednesday, or Friday---in fact, the day of the week is irrelevant. What is relevant is that when you scan your blog you realize you’ve not posted any new content in weeks. Where did the time go? You panic. You feel pressured.

All because one of the cardinal rules of blogging success is consistency. Right?
So, you sit at your keyboard and start typing. La, la, la, la… You really have nothing new or noteworthy to share. You figure you’ll wing it.
After all, a Blog is simply an online journal with informal writing, and you reason that you should be able to share your myriad of moods--even the “blah” ones. Right? Wrong.

Here’s a typical scenario…a (bored) blogger shares what he or she ate for breakfast. And then rants about some random client or rambles on about something of which most of his reading audience has no real connection or interest--like throwing a surprise birthday party for his pet cat. Surprise! At the end of the day there are few to no comments . Really?

Houston, we have a problem!

Now you’ve made your audience a hostage in this “crime”. ’Cause we’re bored too.:-)
Adding insult to injury is that many have wasted valuable time reading on their 9 to 5 jobs when they should have been working (just kidding). Time, much like our youth, can never be recaptured. So we feel cheated. The penalty? If done too often---lost readership and lost credibility.

Don’t get me wrong: a dull day can be made funny. A rant can have redeeming value. A bad day can be rebounded. If you approach this blogging thing the right way.

HERE ARE A FEW THINGS TO CONSIDER:

7 Ways to take your Blog from zero to hero!

1. QUALITY always trumps quantity.
True, consistency is crucial, but content is still King! Better to leave readers waiting than to leave us wanting. There is great truth to the adage “less is more.”

2. Even posts of a personal nature should have some take-away value for your readers.
Will they learn something useful about the writing life? Relate to a universal lesson on relatives? Laugh? Cry? Be inspired? Be called to action? Persuaded to support a cause? Always look at the “big picture” for optimal results.

3. Challenge yourself.
See the blank screen as a blank canvas in which you create a potential masterpiece. Or at least something of which you can be proud. Tap into your senses. Use colorful language. Engage us in a conversation. Remember that boredom is temporary, but something posted in the Blogosphere is forever.

4. Words won’t come? Most of us are not immune to writer’s block in some form or fashion. Regardless to our experience or area of expertise. If this happens, try posting quality images along with motivational quotes. Or keep a supply of guest posts in your arsenal. Or perhaps conduct an interview with a person of interest in your niche. These techniques and strategies can help you to blog smarter, not harder, and enhance your site by providing variety as well. It’s a win-win situation for all.

5. Take a break.
Sometimes burnout can be the culprit. Don’t operate on auto-pilot. Instead, take the time needed to renew your spirit and your psyche. Many bloggers do.

6. Share the spotlight.
I’ve surprisingly found that several of my most popular posts are actually those in which I share the posts and links of other talented bloggers. If you “get around” the Blog Town, why not highlight other worthy hosts and authors? It provides value for your readers and creates good karma to boot!

7. Google the words “ideas for blog posts” and voila!
you’ll find an array of options available to peruse and pursue (1,680,000 entries at the time of this writing).


Blogging is no longer just a vehicle for venting or sharing views. (That’s so ’90s!) Today it’s been elevated to an art form with major players, job opportunities, and platform building avenues for writers of all levels and genres.

So, the next time you find yourself at the keyboard with the “blahs” be mindful of these tips. Or minimally, “phone a friend”.

Image Stock Photo

20 comments:

  1. The only thing worse than blogging while bored might be blogging while drunk. (Luckily, posts *can* be deleted.)

    There's a great blog here: http://www.thewritingreader.com/blog/ that I follow where she offers a new prompt every day - you can't scroll through a week's worth and not get inspired by something

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  2. Thanks for the wonderful tips. I have found myself blogging at a sparser pace, searching for 'just the right write' and wondering if I should just write whatever comes to mind... obviously that is not necessarily a good idea.

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  3. Jennifer:
    Your post is something we all need to be mindful of. Thank you.

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  4. These are great points to consider. I get stuck or am uninspired now and again; it is frustrating. These ideas can help us get through, not just for blogging, but for other types of writing too. Thanks, Jennifer!

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  5. Hi there, J.A.,
    Glad you liked. Thanks for stopping by and starting us off today. :-)

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  6. Beverly,

    Yep--you make a good point. lol
    Thanks for sharing your comment and your blog resource. Much appreciated!

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  7. Karen,

    No doubt, we all get stuck from time to time. The key is to keep moving forward. Right? :-)

    Thanks for adding to the mix.

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  8. Reflections,

    Good to hear from you. Take the time you need to post the piece your readers deserve. :-)

    Wishing you much success!

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  9. When people are bored, I would encourage them to try a new style of writing. Warn readers first because if they attempt humor and bomb, at least there is a warning. Or try to be poetic. Varying writing styles could be quite entertaining. If all else fails, just borrow a relevant YouTube video to post.

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  10. Am loving number 7. Will be keeping that one in my back pocket! ;-)

    I keep a running list of blog ideas that tie into one another. It's feast or famine in terms of my creative spurts and, when the ideas come, I scribble them all down to be referred to in drier times when the creativity isn't flowing as abundantly.

    As always, thank you for your practical tips infused with a bit of humor to keep us smiling throughout.

    Be well.

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  11. Marcie,

    Thanks for the input. Though "success" in blogging can be subjective, numbers don't lie. Bloggers can determine if they've "bombed" by the response and number of comments received.

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  12. Hi Janette,

    You say the sweetest things. :-) It's readers like you that keep me motivated.

    Rock on!

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  13. I think the take away value is important. It can be information, guidance, entertainment, or inspiring, but I always feel better spending my time on something when I walk away feeling it was time well-spent.

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  14. Rebecca,

    Well stated. And it's such a small thing for such a big return. We should always value readers' time. Thanks for your thoughts.

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  15. Haha, great pointers! You cracked me up when your said, "Adding insult to injury is that many have wasted valuable time reading on their 9 to 5 jobs when they should have been working (just kidding). " <-----totally guilty of doing that!

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  16. Yvonne,

    Your secret's safe with me. :-) Glad I could bring a chuckle your way. Good to hear from you.

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  17. ah, you've discovered my secret - the trick with google that is. All good points and lots to take away here Jennifer.

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  18. Jennifer Brown BanksOctober 13, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Thanks for your thoughts, Anne. Great minds think alike. :-)

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