"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.

Friday, October 7, 2016

4 Alternatives to Hanging up Your Blog Hat


Let’s face it: blogging can bring on a myriad of emotions and contemplations.
It's an online journey that can be a bit like a roller coaster ride for most of us.

Here’s a familiar scenario…

One week we’re riding high with showered comments and kind thoughts from readers.
The next week?
Our spirits are plunging from a lack of feedback from anybody, even spammers.

( “Don’t it make your brown eyes blue?” )

And the plot thickens.
Add to this, the constant grind. Coming up with new, engaging topic ideas, crafting quality posts, scouring the Net for images, and promoting our platforms as feverishly as politicians before an election.
Daily. Weekly. Monthly.  
It’s a tall order.

Regardless to how much we love it; it can be overwhelming.
It's no wonder so many bloggers consider quitting. Perhaps you’re one of them.

If so, read on.

THE ALTERNATIVE:

TAKE SOME TIME OFF
In the words of Sarah Palin, "Don't retreat, reload!"  Take a break. Gather your bearings. Don't have second thoughts; just get a second wind.

THE ADVANTAGE:
Just like the body is restored through sleep, taking periodic blog breaks helps to give your creative muscles a rest and re-energizes the spirit. It also helps readers to miss you in your absence, and hopefully cultivate a greater sense of appreciation for your efforts.
Word to the wise: whether it's a two week break or two months, always keep readers in the loop of what's going on and your expected return date. It's a basic courtesy. And it shows good form.

THE ALTERNATIVE:

ACCEPT GUEST POSTERS
Start by placing a "Write for us" tab on your site. Establish simple guidelines for optimal success.

THE ADVANTAGE:
Think of it as a "pot luck" gathering. It provides a variety of different offerings for your readership's diverse tastes, while allowing you to devote your time and attention to other projects. Additionally, you have the added bonus of having other bloggers to promote and share their guest posts to folks in their social media circles; which increases your blog's visibility and reach. It's a win/win for all.

THE ALTERNATIVE:

FORM A TEAM
Many popular blogs today are the product of collaborative efforts of multiple writers. A few examples here are The Muffin, The Write Conversation, and The Write Life.

THE ADVANTAGE:
There's great validity to the expression: "There is strength in numbers."
Team blogs harness the power of different talents, broader expertise areas, and expanded topics.
It also takes some of the pressure off of you, as an individual, for coming up with all the content and uploading all the articles to the site. Think long term.
If you're a Christian Writer, for example, you could align yourself with other Christian bloggers, find a clever name for your group and form an alliance. The same works well for cooking blogs, etc.
Get the idea here? More than likely you're already communicating with and supporting each other as followers.

THE ALTERNATIVE:

CHANGE YOUR BLOGGING MODEL
Blog less frequently or compose shorter posts.
In the infancy of my blogging career, I was pretty ambitious. I started off posting 3x a week.
Let me say that though the idea seemed awesome in theory, it's not always prudent or practical.
Why? Because you'll burn out quicker. Because life gets in the way. Fast forward...I've been doing this for almost eight years now. I've won some awards, lost my direction, and got back on track.
And I've learned a lot along the way. (Note to self...do a future post on blogging lessons learned).
Trust me. Sometimes less is more.

THE ADVANTAGE:
Experimentation is important to blog success and greater clarity.
Don't always do what "experts" say.
What does your heart say? What does your gut say? What does your traffic numbers say?
What does your lifestyle dictate?
When you're true to yourself and your vision, you'll rarely go wrong.

Keep these four options in mind, whenever you come to an impasse in your blogging journey.
Though they may not change your course of action, they'll help you to make a more informed decision in times ahead. With fewer regerts  regrets.

Thanks for reading.
Thoughts? Which option appealed to you most here?

14 comments:

  1. Hi Jennifer -

    I've found that taking a blog break is the only way I can make my blogging world stop spinning. It gives me time to set up guest posts, read books for review, and gather links I want to share with readers. Scheduling posts also helps take the pressure off. Have a great weekend.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Susan,

      Good to see you here. Thanks for your input today. :-)

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  2. Hi, Jennifer: I like the idea of taking a blogging break, or goinng unplugged. It helps me to get my spirits rebuilt. I believe that for 2017 I will have PLANNED breaks, so I won't feel so ragged as I sometimes do. Do you have any suggestions as to the frequency of taking a break?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Celeste,

      Though there is no "right" or wrong time to take a break, I would recommend taking one whenever your body, mind, spirit, schedule, dictates that you should. Also, around the major holidays (like Thanksgiving, XMAS, New Years). During these times, readership levels are typically down anyway.
      Hope this answers your questions.

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    2. P.S. I also take breaks during the summer months, when many readers are traveling and vacationing, and less likely to do a lot of blog visiting and commenting.

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    3. Thank you for the information. I am planning my blog themes at present. I will incorporate the breaks into my planning calendar. Thanks again for your help.

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    4. You're quite welcome, Celeste. Keep me posted on your progress. :-)

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  3. I agree. All of your ideas are great alternatives. Blogging breaks are the biggest help to me. I need the time to recharge, regroup, and just get a break. Appreciate the insight and encouragement, Jen!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Karen. Just don't break for too long; We'll miss you. :-)

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    2. OOps. That was a typo. S/H/B/ ;we'll miss you.

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  4. Great points, and remember, even the most famous go on hiatus.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lin, for adding to the mix here. :-) I appreciate you.

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  5. For what taking some time of is concerned - since I also have several other blogs - I basically only post whenever I feel Inspired to post something.

    For what the changing the Blogging Model is concerned, it still is a Work in Progress, and I am thinking about putting more focus on things like Copywriting and I recently changed my tag-line into:

    'Making Writing FUN and Fruitful,
    for Bloggers & Webshop Owners'


    Since I happen to have a Graphic Design Studio, and Online Webshop(s) - that I sell products on with our own graphic designs - I need to write product descriptions look at the right keyword phrase for the Search Engine Optimalisation (SEO) and things like that.

    Talking about SEO, and what forming a Team is concerned, I do believe that could use a Team of frequent commenters to get better search engine ranking.

    (or even better a team of
    frequent product buyers :))

    In a recent post on the writing blog I wrote about some Specially Designed Inspiring Products for Writers, with among other things a Stylish Serving Tray.....,

    and a Bestseller Writers Coffee Mug with 'Typewriter Style Lettering' design for your Coffee Breaks.

    (BTW I am also researching possible
    tea cup designs for Tea Breaks)

    and also have several other products such as:

    Laptop sleeves, USB-stick, and Writer's Stickers and Bestseller Writer Pens

    All in the same matching Typewriter Style Lettering Designs feel free to have a look and let me know what you think about the designs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you're making good progress, H.P.
      Thanks for sharing here. :-) Much continued success.

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