howto break out of a blogging rut

How To Beat the Blogging Blues

When you blog full-time, consistency is incredibly important.

I don’t mean to imply that bloggers have to stick rigidly to self-imposed posting schedules, or that you can’t ever take a break, but if you want to make a living from your blog, a regular supply of fresh content is pretty essential. Some days (or weeks, or months…) however, creating that content doesn’t come easy.  I think every blogger goes through the occasional phase where they feel a bit uninspired, or lacking in motivation, and if that continues for long enough, it can make you feel like giving up on your blog altogether.

Here are some ways to break out of a blogging slump and get your groove back…

how to beat the blogging blues

01. Take a break

It might seem counter-intuitive to stop blogging in order to re-discover your passion for it, and if your blog is also your job, the prospect of just not doing it might seem absolutely crazy. While I’m not suggesting you just give up altogether for a few weeks (or not if you blog for a living, anyway), I do think it’s essential to take a step back every now and then, even if only for a couple of days. As a job, blogging can be pretty all-consuming: the nature of the internet, and of social media in particular, can make it very hard to switch off, and if you have a posting schedule for your blog, it’s very easy to convince yourself that you MUST stick to it, no matter what.

I talked a bit about this in my post on blogging through the holidays, but I think a lot of bloggers get really caught up in the idea that they MUST post every day (or every second day, or whatever), when the reality is that the vast majority of your readers probably won’t even notice if you skip a day or two – and those who do aren’t going to be rushing to unsubscribe over it. Sure, your traffic might dip slightly if you don’t post something new, but it won’t be the end of the world, and taking a break is likely to benefit you more in the long run, than forcing yourself to produce content when you’re just not up to it.

So, first things first: if you feel like you need a break, take one. Nothing bad will happen, I promise.

(If you have a large readership who are used to seeing regular content, it might be a good idea to put up a quick post saying that you’ll be taking a break, rather than simply disappearing overnight: most readers will totally understand, and will still be there when you come back.)

how to get out of a blogging slump

02. Change your blog theme

So, you’ve had your break and you’re still feeling uninspired: now what?

It might sound silly, but if I’m really in a rut with one of my blogs, I sometimes find that changing things around a little, whether it be by updating my logo, freshening up the design, or even changing the template completely, can be enough to re-engage my interest, and kick-start my motivation. You don’t want to do this too often, obviously, or it’ll start to really annoy your readers, but sometimes even a small change can make your blog feel new again, and inspire you to want to make a fresh start with it.

blog tips: how to blog

03. Write something completely different

Another idea a lot of bloggers become stuck on is the thought that they have to stick to the same topic all the time, so if you have a beauty blog, you can only post about beauty, and so on and so forth. While it’s true that readers do get used to seeing certain types of posts from the blogs they follow, I think it’s also true to say that no one is going to seriously object if you occasionally mix things up a little, and try something different. If your blog is feeling stale, try writing something completely different from your usual content, whether it be a personal anecdote, a response to something you’ve read, or whatever you fancy. They say a change is as good as a rest, after all…

how to get out of a blogging rut and rediscover your passion for blogging

04. Go back to basics

Sometimes the more a blog grows, the more it changes. That’s not always a bad thing, but if your blog has changed beyond recognition, and has started to feel like a chore, it could be time to go back to basics: think about the reasons you started blogging in the first place, the types of posts you used to enjoy writing most, and what you can do to get back to that place. That could mean reviving an old blog series, reducing the amount of sponsored content or giveaways you’re doing, or reducing the amount of posts you write to give you more time to concentrate on each one. Think about the aspect of blogging you find most rewarding, and work out how you can spend more time on that, and less time on the other stuff.

read other blogs for blog inspiration

05. Read other blogs… or don’t read other blogs

I know – two pieces of contradictory advice, but this one can go either way. I know that when I’m feeling uninspired, a quick scroll through my Bloglovin’ feed can really help motivate me: I love seeing what other bloggers are doing, and I find it really inspirational, too. When I see another blogger doing really well, it really motivates me to try to make my own blog better, and to push myself to work on the things I’d like to improve… most of the time, anyway.

At other times, it can actually have the opposite effect: it doesn’t happen often, but comparison is the the thief of joy, and if I’m feeling particularly down about something, it can be more helpful to just completely forget about what everyone else is doing, and focus on my own blog: that way I don’t get caught up in feeling like I HAVE to do certain things – to follow blog trends or write in a certain way, and just get on with doing the best I can, whatever that may mean. As I said, you’ll know yourself whether reading other blogs is a help or a hindrance to you, so you can take whichever bit of this advice works for you!

bog tips and tricks

Anyone been through a blogging slump? How did you break out of it?

 

COMMENTS
  • Oh, I’m glad I found you! I’m not in a rut yet, but I am on the verge of growing into a change, and I am a little nervous about it.

    March 1, 2015
    • I typed my website address incorrectly by accident…maybe I am getting a little burned out!

      March 1, 2015
  • This is correct now.

    March 1, 2015
  • Myra

    REPLY

    Your advisory posts for bloggers are well considered. Have you thought of combining them and publishing a book? How is the word count on your first book coming along?

    March 1, 2015
  • Hey, Amber! I found your blog, recently (via Pinterest), and love your posts. Excited to hear you’re writing a book! 🙂

    Anyway. I’ve been blogging for 8 years now, and have occasionally run into these “ruts” you speak of. 😉 I have found that your advice is spot-on! Changing up the template, taking a break for a little while, and reading others’ content are all excellent ways to reignite the spark and get back into the groove. And you’re right — if you give a small explanation to your readers, saying that you need a break, they are very understanding, and are there waiting for you when you return. They’re all in the same boat — they’re bloggers, and they get it. Blogging is not the be-all and end-all… We all need space to breathe, regroup, and focus on family, too.

    Thanks for this!

    March 2, 2015
  • Taking a break is the most important one since you work for yourself… I’m lucky enough to go to uni and then I can just do other things rather than working on my blog all the time (because I’d be doing that If I wasn’t going to uni). Nice post by the way <3

    https://aspoonfulofnature.wordpress.com/

    March 2, 2015
  • I just recently started my blog so I haven’t really felt like I’ve been in a rut yet, but I’m all about knowing what to do if/when I finally hit one.

    Thanks so much for these tips. I’ll definitely have to keep these in mind.

    -Marisa | http://marisahendrickson.com

    March 2, 2015
  • This is great information. I feel this way sometimes, but it’s for the opposite reason. I am not a full-time blogger. I work a 9-5 in a “cage” and go to night school. I get frustrated because I see other great blogs and I don’t have the time to make mine the best it can be. I know if I put in the hours, it could be great, but I just am not in the financial position to give up my job to focus on my blog. When I was posting 5-6 times/week and spending 3-4 hours/day promoting my posts, I got a lot more traffic, but it just got to be overwhelming. Now I’m down to 3 posts per week. How did you get through that period of “not popular enough to quit your job yet” to having a blog that produced enough income to sustain you? Or do I just have to wait for something to go viral? 😛
    http://www.danastonestyle.com

    March 2, 2015
  • Hi Amber!

    This is such great advice – I’ve been through a few ruts over on my original blog and I definitely found taking a little break to get re-inspired helped. Your readers can tell if you’re writing a post your heart isn’t in, and I would certainly rather my favourite bloggers took some time to recharge than force themselves to write posts that don’t sound like them!

    Lynsey x

    March 3, 2015
  • I’m a relatively new blogger (7 months) so posts like this one really inspire me. I am in no way making a business out of my blog at this stage, and considering the hours I spend on it sometimes it does feel like “Why am I doing this?” For me changing it up has kept me motivated, I admire people who can stick to one niche but if I could only write about one thing I think I’d lose motivation, that’s just me though. At the same time this tactic means I don’t immediately have an audience, which means I need to try harder I guess! Anyway some very sound advice in here, thank you! 🙂

    March 3, 2015
  • Hi Amber, loved reading your post. I started blogging 2 years ago and then took a break and I am back now. I was trying to post everyday and it became too overwhelming to carry on with a full-time career on the other side. I am always trying to increase traffic and get demoralised if it doesnt increase by significant number each month. Did you worry about traffic in your initial days?

    Debs xx

    http://www.elegantlyfashionable.com

    March 3, 2015
  • Thanks for this post Amber – like the rest of your series on blogging it has really inspired me to pull my socks up a finally write a new blog! I had an anonymous blog a few years ago but it fizzled out, partly because of a dreaded ‘rut’, but also because I didn’t really want to be anonymous, I just didn’t have the courage to put my name to anything. These last few posts, particularly the ones about other people’s perceptions of blogging and bloggers, felt like they were aimed directly at me and really helped me gain the confidence to just go for it, so truly, thank you! It’s looking a bit rubbish at the moment – I haven’t quite got the hang of the layout yet and don’t have a decent camera right now, but it’s a start! Hopefully one day it will be as beautiful and professional as yours!

    March 3, 2015
  • I’ve been through a few blogging ruts where I felt as if I didn’t have anything on my mind worth writing/reading. Going back to basics and changing up my blog appearance have both worked in helping me get back into my regular blogging groove. I will admit, I ocassionally take a break here and there and I used to feel feel really bad about it, but not so much anymore. My initial blogging goal was a post a week and so far that has been a running success.

    March 8, 2015
POST A COMMENT