I remember my mom had a cookbook years ago called The Joy of Cooking. Though first published in 1975, amazingly it’s still in print. It’s almost 1,000 pages long and very, very comprehensive. One day, when time affords itself, I may write The Joy of Blogging! Actually, since there never seems to be enough time as it is, it’s doubtful I’ll ever get that done, so I’m going to have to let this blog post suffice for now.
As I’ve lived my life out on the blogosphere for over two years (I started in December 2003), I found it to be something very pleasurable. It started out as a hobby, then morphed its way into a business. Somewhere along the way, blogging ceased to be fun and started to become more like work. When it did, my posting slowed down dramatically.
I suspect some of you have experienced the same phenomenon. One of the most difficult thing about blogging is that it’s hard to keep it going and stay fresh. Here are a few tips to help you avoid this pitfall.
Blog about what you have a passion for. It’s much easier to blog about something you’re passionate about than otherwise. For a number of months I blogged at Weblogs Inc about life sciences, especially about illnesses – cancer, diabetes and heart disease. While I have great compassion for those who battle with those illnesses, it was difficult to post numerous times each day about things I had little experience with. Not having been a victim of any of those diseases it was not something I could speak about with great passion or fervor. What is it that you’re enthused about? What gets your blood flowing? Blog about that.
Read other blogs. If you find your blog idea tank running empty, it’s always helpful to read what others are saying. RSS feeds are an easy way to accomplish that, and I suggest that if you haven’t already done so, get an RSS reader like Bloglines or MyYahoo! and subscribe to feeds.
Take a blogging holiday on occasion. All work and no play makes bloggers a dull bunch. Sometimes it’s best just to stop for a while. However, don’t do what I did on this blog and wait three months, especially if you’re blogging for business purposes. You will find yourself quickly falling into blogging oblivion.
Set regular times to blog. Like anything worth doing, blogging takes discipline. That’s an ugly word in my vocabularly, but it’s an absolute necessity. Set aside time each week to blog. Fortunately, most platforms allow you to timestamp posts, so they don’t have to be written in real-time. I used to schedule Saturday mornings as my blog time and wrote several posts in one sitting, then timestamped them to appear throughout the week.
I hold great admiration for bloggers like Denise Wakeman, a marketing professional who seems to be a continual fount of information. She posts with great regularity and has done so for months now. Denise, and others like her, are a source of great inspiration for me.
I recenly got engaged to a beautiful lady from south Louisiana. She is a full-blooded Cajun! Though her I’ve learned a phrase associated with that culture, “Joie de Vivre!”, the Joy of Life. These folks really know how to have a good time. That’s really my point here. I’m learning to blog for the sheer joy of it again — the “Joie de Blog!”
If you’ve experienced similar frustrations, I’d really, really be interested in hearing your story, especially if you found ways to overcome those blogging doldrums.