One of the coolest parts of my job is, by far, running the Outspoken Media blog. I’ve been part of the SEO blogosphere since February 2006 and it’s something I take a lot of pride in. I know others like to give SEO bloggers a bad rap, but there’s a lot to be said for the conversations and the insights that start on blogs and which foster great dialogue. But the fact that I love my job and this community doesn’t mean I always show up full of undying passion ready to set the world on fire with my words. Because, sometimes, I don’t. Sometimes I show up feeling a bit more sullen than I should. Like the passion has been sucked out of me, if only just a little.
And I know that I’m not the only one. Keeping up a blog, especially a corporate blog, is not an easy task. It’s a labor of love to continually feed it, maintain it and grow it. We all have our moments when we’re not feeling that love quite as strongly as we should be. So what do we do as bloggers? How do we re-find the passion and kick things back up a notch? Below are some things that work for me. I’d love it if you share how you get your juices flowing again too.
Re-Read Your Old Posts
Last week my friend Simon Heseltine gave me the chance to rediscover a post I wrote back in 2007 when he tweeted the link to someone one else. In reading that post I refound a voice I forgot I had. It was a younger version of myself telling people that your boss is not your friend and why, under no circumstances, should you friend him or her in social media. It was light-hearted and funny and reminded me of many of the posts I wrote when I first started blogging and things weren’t taken quite so seriously. Or maybe, I just didn’t take them quite so seriously. Sometimes little reminders of how you used to do things when you were new and didn’t know any better are helpful.
Find New Sources of Inspiration
When you first started your blog, everything was new. The blogs you read were new, the people you were meeting were new, every experience was your first, etc. Now it’s been a few years and everything feels a little too familiar, a little too comfortable, and a whole lot more boring. You know, like marriage. No wonder you’re lacking inspiration. Getting it back could be as simple as surrounding yourself with new faces; finding faces that are new to you, connecting with people who are new to the industry, or just grabbing coffee with a company you’d like to know more about. For example, yesterday afternoon Rhea and I had the opportunity to grab lunch with Ric Dragon and Eta Ivkovic of Dragon Search Marketing based in Kingston, NY. I had met both Ric and Eta before, but just spending an afternoon with people who are excited about what they’re doing, increases your own excitement for what you’re doing. And that’s a pretty cool feeling.
Change Up Your Style
Have you grown accustomed to writing 500 word blog posts every three days and then going home and having the same plate of chicken and rice for dinner? Yeah, no wonder you’re bored out of your mind. Why not make one of your posts video-based this week? Or create a post of images? Or aggregate some great slideshares you think your audience should be aware of? Or hold a webinar. Just because creating posts of long text is what you’ve always done doesn’t mean it’s what you should be doing or that you can’t change it up to give yourself and your audience a little variety. Go out wearing something new today. See if it suits you better.
Set New Goals
The reason that most blogs suck isn’t because of the content, it’s because of the delivery (okay, some of it is the content…). It’s because the blogger is just going through the motions of what they think they’re supposed to be doing. If you’re not excited about what you’re doing, it becomes really difficult to make anyone else excited either. Solve both problems by setting new goals for your blog and your content and give yourself something to work toward. Changing your outlook on what you’re doing and giving yourself something new to achieve, it’s going to rekindle your own spark and, in turn, rekindle the spark your readers once had for you, as well. Your blog should be helping you to achieve some of your larger business goals. How are you using it to help you get there? Create some milestones you can work toward.
Remember Why You Started
One reason why I like talking to people who are new to the blogging or the SEO world is because they unknowingly reinforce why you got into this space, as well. In talking to them and hearing about their passions, their reasons, what they’re struggling with, it reminds you why you started and what you wanted to accomplish. Maybe you wanted to help small business owners increase their Web presence and save money. Maybe you wanted to turn your blog into a resource for a certain segment of your niche. Maybe you wanted to build great Web sites. Whatever it is, remembering why you started down this road is sometimes all you need to build that fire inside of you to rock it again. It’s pretty easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day fight and lose sight of what you’re doing. If you’re feeling burnt out, take some time to remember.
Those are the steps that work for me when I’m not feeling the love as strongly as I need to. What have you done to rekindle the passion in your blog? Or perhaps it’s your passion for SEO or ORM that’s need a jolt? I’m pretty sure it’s something we’ve all experience, so let me know in the comments.