Many journalists begin blogging without prompt and a great many more are instructed to do so by editors and producers trying to keep up with the times. For both groups, staying interested in the daily grind of blogging can be tough or even feel like a second job. But don’t give up just yet. Here are some ways to keep that spark going and not lose your motivation:
Write fewer posts
Like exercise, it’s easy to get stressed out from blogging if you do it too much. If blogging is becoming a brain drain, try lightening your writing schedule. For example, if you are writing two to three posts a day, try writing one really good post each day. If your blog is updated once daily, consider writing only a few posts a week. Writing a few good entries is better than writing a lot of bad ones.
Some bloggers have a set schedule of when to write and publish, but this doesn’t work for everyone. It is better to write when inspiration strikes, whether it be first thing in the morning or right before bed. If enough pre-posts are accumulated (assuming you’re not covering breaking news), then you could take the time you would be writing and enjoy a nice smoothie or up of coffee. In fact, this very post was written some time last week to have ready for what I knew would be a busy day. Many blogging platforms allow users to save posts and even publish them on a predetermined date and time.
Forget the stats
For years, newspaper reporters, and to a lesser degree broadcast journalists, performed their duties without a real idea of how many people had read/watched/listened to their story. But now that the internet has made user stats available with a click and the number of comments visible on each post, it is easy to be disappointed when those numbers are just a scattered few. Instead of agonizing over numbers, focus on building great content and eventually those numbers will grow. Hitting refresh won’t make those numbers go any higher.
Write for yourself
In blogging, it is easy to fall in the trap of writing exclusively what you think the readers will want to read. Often this leads to losing the focus of the blog or worse being forced to write something that isn’t of particular interest to you. Writing posts that interest you means you will write more fervently about the subject, which will in turn attract like-minded readers.
Take a day off
If you truly don’t feel like writing one day, don’t. Forcing yourself to write makes blogging a seemingly more arduous task and guess what? The blog will still be there the next day.
Shift your focus
If none of the above suggestions work for you, then it’s time to shift the focus of your blog. Company mandated bloggers can still write about the same topic, but tackle a different subject. For example, travel bloggers can shift their focus from covering airline prices to covering travel destinations for families. A political blogger, instead of covering the minutiae of the upcoming presidential election, could cover the more local impact of the race. It all depends on the leniency of your supervisor. You may alienate some readers in the process, but you will likely gain a different audience. The point is to focus on what you care about, because if you don’t care about the subject of your blog, no one else will.