Does Your Blog Suffer From The Dunkin Donuts Syndrome?
Have you reached the point where you dread turning your computer on to start writing a new blog post? You look at the blank screen. The cursor keeps blinking at you but somehow no words flow from your brain to your fingertips?
You have “The Dunkin Donuts Blogging Syndrome.” It’s named for the 1980s Dunkin Donuts television ad where the sleepy baker keeps muttering, “Time to make the donuts.” The difference is that you feel this way about having to craft another blog post.
During last Sunday’s #BlogChat, the question arose:
- How do you keep your blog going when do you get to the point where you’re sick of “Time to craft the blog post”?
As a blogger you can’t give up because:
- The ONLY way for your blog to succeed is for you to keep blogging. Over time, your continuous effort should enable you to gain traction and build an audience that yields measurable results against your blog goals.
Before we go on, let me share a secret with you:
- Many bloggers hit dry patches when, no matter how hard they try, they just can’t get their ideas down.
- The Difference between the experts and you: They’ve developed content creation habits and tricks that enable them to keep their work going.
While you can’t tell from reading the Actionable Marketing Guide, I’ve faced these problems myself. Having grown up in the media business, I believe that my commitment to you my readers is sacred. Therefore I keep pushing through until I have something worth publishing.
5 Signs of Dunkin Donuts blogging syndrome
A blogging dry patch isn’t subtle. To help you identify it early, here are 5 signs that you have Dunkin Donuts blogging syndrome.
- No new blog post ideas. This is a biggie. Face it if you had fresh new ideas, you could sit down and bang out a post in no time. You tend to reject every new thought because it feels stale, like you’ve written about it before.
- Lack concentration. Suddenly doing the dishes and laundry seem highly appealing. If you blog at an office, there are lots of other projects and tasks that suddenly rise to the top of the priority list, even if blogging is your main job.
- Research and social media suck up your time. You tell yourself that you’re just looking for a fresh approach or new ideas. Hours later, you’re still no closer to a post than you were when you opened your device.
- Posts remain in draft form. You can’t bring yourself to complete a single blog post. Some bloggers may be filled with self-doubt. Perfectionism reigns and no post is good enough to publish.
- Peripheral issues continue to attract your attention. You spend your time changing the bolding, fonts and images instead of actually writing.
10 Tactics to get your blogging mojo back
Unfortunately, there’s no special pill that’ll cause the words to magically flow onto your blog’s screen that you can find at Walgreens.
Despite that, with a little effort, these 10 tactics will help you get your blogging mojo back.
- Read widely. Every great writer reads. Not just in your specialty but broadly. This gives you the opportunity to see what resonates with other readers and may spark new article ideas.
- Build your writing muscles. Face it—we’re not born writing. You have to practice. Get in the habit of writing at the same time every day. Create a set of writing rituals to streamline your process. Check out The Artist’s Way for help.
- Collect blog post ideas. Why wait until you’re in front of your computer to come up with post ideas? Capture them as you have them. Use whatever you prefer, an old-fashioned moleskin, a Word document or Evernote. Having trouble? Here are 12 tips to inspire your blog posts.
- Start your posts. It’s much easier if you get your ideas down when you have them. At a minimum, jot down an outline of your ideas. This way you’re not starting with the blank screen.
- Commit to a minimum number of blog posts in a given period. Remember that it’s better to under promise and over deliver. I’d rather see a blogger consistently publish 1 post per week than only write when the spirit moved them. Why? To get your audience to expect your content.
- Take advantage of your “hot” periods. When I was small, my parents had a neighbor who was a television writer. He’d leave dinner parties to continue writing, saying, “I’m hot!!!” Write additional posts when you’re inspired. Use them when you hit the dry spell.
- Have a basic blog structure. Michael Hyatt mentioned this at his #SMMW15 session. Having written ClickZ’s Actionable Analysis column for 8+ years, I developed a structure for my articles. You have to find what works for you and your readers. Here’s where reading widely helps.
- Give your post a rest. If possible, let your writing breathe. Don’t rush to publish. Your readers will tell you that you have poor English and misspellings. At a minimum, get up and take a break. Then read your post aloud. I print out a copy and edit it with a colored pen.
- Write at least 25 titles. This advice comes from Upworthy and they’re the experts. Your title makes a BIG difference in your post performance. Once you decide on a title, review your content to see that it’s aligned with your title and keyword(s). I often start with a working title and then change it after I finish the post.
- Get other people to help you craft your blog posts. If you’re having trouble, don’t go it alone! Ask a colleague or friend to help you brainstorm post ideas, invite guest bloggers, and/or use ghostwriters. Just the act of throwing out a series of ideas with someone can get you inspired.
Getting your blogging mojo back isn’t easy. You have to build your blogging habits and skills over time.
These 10 tips to help you get your blogging mojo aim to provide a basic draft for your blog post before you ever sit down to write.
Based on my experience, when I have a good idea, a outline and a working title, it’s much easier and quicker to write a post. Otherwise I find myself “wandering in the desert” looking for an idea.
What are your tips for getting your blogging mojo back?
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Photo Credit: Ian Norman via https://www.flickr.com/photos/inorman/7998723687
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