… by Tara Alley
When it comes to our blog, sometimes we just hit burn out. A blog, by nature, typically encompasses just one theme, with potential for sub-categories. Lets look at BlogWorld for example. You can bet that every single post is going to be about blogging in some facet, even if there are other categories (Social Media, Photo, Mobile, etc.). However. The bottom line is that the writers of this site get to write about blogging. A lot. When burnout or fadeout or the dreaded sigh and dreary feel of “what-am-I-writing-today” starts to creep in, sometimes all it takes is a few days of something new, of a plan that allows you to break out of what can turn into the “doldrums” of blogging. If that’s you now or if you’re at all leery that someday in the future you just might start to fizzle on super witty stock market posts, here’s a revolutionary 1 week plan for you. Actually, it’s just 5 simple days. Try these ideas for five days straight and see if your brain doesn’t bounce back fresher and more rejuvenated than before.
Day 1: New Voice Day (Or: Who’s That?)
Day 1 is all about having some fun. Today is your day to explore a new voice. [Disclaimer: If your blog is a professional one in which suddenly appearing with a whole new tone/style is not appropriate, then consider posting under a guest author status.] Do you often wish you could be more sassy, witty or humorous? Or maybe that’s what you are all the time and you long to write a straightforward piece to show off your brain? Do it. Be the voice you’ve been wishing you could be. Throw your typical “you” out the window, just for the day. Let your hair down, pin it up or curl and primp the heck out of it. Whatever you feel like. Get some attitude goin! Get some brilliance shining forth. Shoot high and leap without abandon. Yes, have some fun here people! *Watch out, your readers may even like”this” you better than the other one.
Day 2: Co-Write Day (Or: Who are they?)
The thought here is that two minds are better than one. However, correlating two minds to the same page can take some serious effort. So, while yesterday may have been about reckless abandon (and today still can be too, depending on just who you’re co-writing with), today you’re going to have to combine your thoughts and ideas and tone and style and blend it seamlessly with someone else’s thoughts, ideas, tone and style(s). The upside is that posts that are jointly written (and done well) can quite frequently turn out to be masterpieces. It’ll also train your brain to leap ahead when appropriate and pull back a little when necessary. Checks and balances don’t happen all that often in the blogging/freelance world, which is often a perk, but it can also feel really good to work in tandem on occasion. Make it a lunch date and whip up some breakthrough content.
Day 3: Research Day (Or: Wow.)
You should plan to start this one in advance because it’s going to take some time. In fact, this one should take the most time of any of these days. Day 3 is your chance to really show off. I want you to research, deeply research some particular facet and niche of your subject. I’d also consider creating charts/infographs/etc. to put everything together for this one. The goal here is to dig a little deeper than you typically have time for. When doing full-time or nearly full-time blogging, you don’t typically devote hours and hours to research something for just one daily post. For this post, though, you should. You and your readers will both benefit greatly from this. It will likely re-invigorate some of your excitement and passion as you see what’s been going on under the surface or what underground ideas are starting to bubble up. Who knows, you might just find something or compile some new ideas in such a way as to be the first to show it in that light and your readers will be the chosen few who get first dibs. That establishes some serious loyalty.
Day 4: Guest Blog Day (Or: I’m over here)
Ah, bored of your blog and the whole topic? Hereís your chance to write about something completely non-related. Go blog about hiking or baking cookies or taking your son out to play a round of golf. There’s a blog out there for everything. And sometimes the ability to write about something else you’re passionate about can re-awaken your enthusiasm for writing itself. Maybe you’re not burned out when it comes to typing words on the screen, maybe you just need to write a piece that doesn’t matter if it impresses or not, if it teaches or not. Maybe no one you know will ever even know this blog exists or that you wrote it. It just is. And that will be enough.
Day 5: Reader Day (Or: I love you all)
Like Day 3, you’ll also need to start this one in advance. Day 5 is all about your readers. Phase 1of this is to ask earlier in the week what your readers most want a post on. Tally up the results and write this piece specifically for them. Focusing on your readers, your gratitude to them for sticking with you through the doldrums and the high points will hopefully power you through creating a masterpiece for them today. It might take more work than normal, maybe more research, maybe more time, or maybe half the time if they want to know something personal, like what makes you fall asleep with a smile on your face. Who knows. Today is about them. Phase 2 is to give back. Catch up on some comment love. Write some personal emails to your most dedicated readers. Go read your own reader’s blogs. Comment on their blogs. Maybe even ask a few of your favorites to write a guest post to be featured on your blog. Offer a small giveaway if possible. Just love your readers today. You won’t regret any extra effort put in, and you can be guaranteed they won’t either.
Freelancer Tara Alley is dedicated to staying passionate and enthusiastic when it comes to blogging. She’s currently writing for baseboard heaters and knows firsthand the importance of keeping it fresh, no matter what the content.