Back in January, I resolved to blog once a week. I must confess that I haven’t lived up to that resolution. But the year’s not over yet. It’s time to get back on the blog.
Apparently, I’m a streaky blogger. We’re 37 weeks into the year, and my ten blog posts have me hitting .270. That’s well north of the Mendoza Line but hardly Hall of Fame material.
Looking back on what my past self wrote about blogging inspired me to get back to it.
First, it was helpful to understand how I got here. Like any New Year’s Resolution, my commitment started out strong. I churned out 3 blog posts in January. Not one a week but pretty close.
February was a good month for blogging with three more posts. Eight weeks into the year and I had 6 posts to my credit. Not bad.
March brought two more posts, and I was feeling okay about my resolution.
Well, it’s September and my last blog post was in May.
What precipitated my blogging fall from grace? Like any business owner, I started to rationalize. Things like the classic “I’m busy” or “I’ll get to it later.” I could make all kinds of excuses. You know the saying though, “Excuses are like…” wait a minute, this isn’t that type of blog. The fact of the matter is, for whatever reason, blogging stopped being a priority for me.
I’ve been stuck in a rut. I thought what better topic to get me back on track then blogging about overcoming Blogger’s Block. Oh, yeah it’s a real thing. Google it if you don’t believe me.
That search brought up all kinds of techniques that writers use. Things like writing backwards, finding a new writing spot, or writing in a different voice. These probably sound like great ideas to most bloggers. The problem is I’m not a writer. I’m an entrepreneur. I don’t even know which voice I’m writing in now.
Eureka! That was it. I needed to stop thinking about blogging as writing and realize it’s a business task just like writing a proposal or reviewing financials. I was off.
The next time you’re staring at a blinking cursor, try these suggestions to get past your Blogger’s Block:
1. Commit to it.
Blogging is like working out. True confession: I need to get in better shape. So I’m going to do that too now. But that’s a topic for another blog post. Back to this one. Just like writing a business plan, blogging requires a commitment. It’s either important to you or it’s not. If you’ve made that commitment, follow through.
2. Schedule it.
I live by my Google Calendar. I woke up this morning at my regularly scheduled blogging time and was excited to write this post. Maybe it was the shame of not blogging for the last three months but whatever the reason, I did it. I prefer to blog in the “shoulder hours.” Those are the hours before 8:00 AM and after 5:00 PM when my inbox isn’t filling up and my calendar’s not booked with work meetings. A blog posts usually takes me anywhere from 1-2 hours. Hold that scheduled time sacred. Block it off, close the door, and write that post.
3. Make a list.
Like my calendar, I live by making lists. I even blogged about this (pat on the back, shout out to David Allen). Without lists, life is chaos. Make a SMART list of blog topics to write about with timely dates assigned to each (another blog post, I’m killing it here). There are few things more gratifying than crossing things of a list and getting them done.
4. Write in chunks.
This is an actual writing tip that I found helpful. Version 1.0 is better than version 0.0. After you’ve got your list of topics, start a new document for each subject. Jot down ideas in a notebook or directly in the doc. Plug in new ideas as you get them. Before you know it, you’ll have the bones of you blog post Then you can go back and fill in the meat to wrap it up.
5. Make it personal.
Writing about things you’re not excited about or, worse yet, don’t care about is hard. If you’re the boss, only blog about things you care deeply about. Maybe you don’t have this luxury with your job. No problem. Need to blog about industrial floor cleaning equipment? Tie in a pop culture reference or sports trivia that helps bring the post home.
6. Join a team.
Solitude is often useful in business. To me, when it comes to blogging, there’s nothing better than working as a team. Team’s bring out the best in us. They push us to do better and hold us accountable. Recruit co-workers to become part of your blogging team. What if you’re a sole proprietor? Invite other writers to contribute to your blog.
So, what advice would the present me give the future me about blogging? He’d say something like, “Be real. You’re probably not going to blog every week. You committed to blogging for all the reasons you said at the beginning of the year. Put your head down and do the work because it’s worth it.”
Thanks future self. That’s good advice. Check back to see how I do.
By Jason Piasecki, Partner + Recommitted Blogger