We’ve all hit that time when blogging just doesn’t seem like a priority anymore, and before you know it, your last post was timestamped three months ago. Or maybe at the beginning of last semester? I mean, I guess college should be a pretty high priority, but it definitely kept me from blogging all of last fall, and trying to start posting again was a huge struggle that winter. I’ve had several bloggers email me recently about how excited they are to start blogging again now that summer is in full swing, but that they don’t really know where to start. So to any bloggers facing that struggle right now, here are 10 tips for getting back into bloggiarng!
Reevaluate Your Purpose
Between now and the last time you blogged, your interests have probably changed a bit. That could be one of the reasons why you’re finding it hard to start writing again, because who wants to blog about something they don’t find interesting? Think about what it is you want to blog about, and come up with a few main topics to base your posts on. It’s okay if these topics are completely different from what your original blog was about, so don’t feel like changing things up will ruin your reputation!
Spruce Up Your Design
If you look at your old blog and don’t love what you see anymore, it’s probably time for a new design, or at least some cosmetic tweaks. Even changing the color scheme can make an old design seem new! If you’re not much of a coder, I have some tutorials in my blogging archives that might be helpful for this step. Another tip: update everything! You might have the wrong age in your bio, or an old picture on your homepage that can be replaced. This goes for social profiles too!
Jot Down Some Post Ideas
Now that you have some topics picked out, coming up with post ideas will be a lot easier. What I’ve found useful is creating a document in Evernote with all of my topics, and listing post ideas within those categories whenever one comes to mind. I have over 50 on that list now, and I add more almost every day! Now, when you’re stuck on what to write about, you can refer to that list and schedule out a few posts.
Make Yourself Accountable
If you’ve made the decision that you want to stick with blogging now, your biggest priority is probably keeping yourself from taking those month-long breaks again. There are a ton of ways to keep yourself accountable, and you should choose one that fits best with your lifestyle. For example, blogging calendars don’t work for me, because I never used them in the first place. I’m pretty sure I tried that out for a month, and not a single post I scheduled went out on time or at all!
My general rule is to have two posts go out every week. If Thursday comes along and I only have one post out, I tend to feel guilty about my laziness, and write one up late that night (literally what I’m doing right now because it’s midnight). Just figure out what has worked for you before, and experiment with incentives if you need to!
Clean Up Your Social Accounts
I’ve been posting a lot about social media recently, because I’ve finally started to feel pleased with where my accounts are. I went through all of them and unfollowed anyone who just didn’t relate to me or my interests, and while I felt bad doing so, it made posting on those accounts and interacting with my followers so much more fun! So if you decided to follow hundreds of people before just for the heck of it, now is the time to narrow down that list to people you genuinely want to hear about.
If you’re holding back because you think your family and friends don’t like your blog updates, consider making separate social accounts for your blog! I have a separate account for Twitter and Instagram, and it was definitely worth the extra effort.
Create A Devoted Blogging Space
You can do all the redesigning/cleaning up that you want, but if you can’t get yourself to make a post, it’s time to take things a bit further. Having a desk space that’s consistently organized will make it easier to sit down and start writing. I’ve seen so many gorgeous desk spaces, so get as creative as you want on this one! You can never have too many inspirational quotes or gold office supplies.
Join A Blogging Community
Blogging alone is boring. And, you need your readers to come from somewhere, so joining a blogging community is a win win situation. There are so many groups to choose from, so you’re bound to find one that fits your niche/location/age-group/etc. I’m a member of the InfluenceHer Collective, a group for college-aged women to connect as bloggers. Blogging communities are also great places to find guest/sponsored post opportunities, as well as potential partners for giveaways!
Follow New People
I find it crazy how I’ve consistently followed some people for over a year now, and kept up with their lives like I know them in person. However, that group is pretty small, because I’m constantly searching for new bloggers to follow and get to know, and I just can’t keep up with everyone. Following new people is kind of like a fresh start in itself, and it’s also a great source for new inspiration. I usually search through Instagram hashtags like #collegeblogger, or head to Bloglovin’ to search through their categories for new blogs to follow. Blogging communities really come in hand here, because you’re immediately introduced to hundreds of bloggers just like you!
Don’t Try Too Much Too Soon
As you dive back into blogging, you might be tempted to do a million things at once, like start offering sponsorships or guest post on 10 different blogs. Don’t burn yourself out too quickly! Focus on your own blog for a while by creating great content and solidifying your brand before expanding in too many directions. Once your own blog is under control, other bloggers will start appreciating your blog more, and you’ll be more likely to get sponsorship opportunities for yourself. Oh, and don’t expect to start making money off your blog right away if that’s your goal, because it really does take time! Truth: ads don’t really make you that much, and having sponsors on your blog can land you a lot less money than your time is really worth.
If All Else Fails, Start Fresh
Unless you’re an incredibly high-profile blogger, starting fresh isn’t that big of a deal. Sometimes no matter what you do, your old blog can never become what you want it to be, so creating a new one is the best way to go. After my semester-long break from blogging, I couldn’t find the motivation to start again on my old blog, and honestly considered stopping altogether. Instead, I completely rebranded/switched platforms/changed domains earlier this year, and I’ve been amazed at how well those changes went and how good they were for me. Don’t be afraid to make the leap and start fresh! There will always be new readers to find you, and if you love your new blog, so will they!