WordPress have launched a scheme to encourage you to post daily or weekly, from this I gather lots of people start blogs and for one reason or another end up neglecting them. If you find yourself in that group, here is one way out of the ‘It’s all too much’ trap - a four step plan to save your blogging sanity and get your life back ;)
There was a campaign popular a few years back that had people post the badge ‘Blogging without obligation’ on their blogs. At the time I hadn’t the experience to know how to add a badge to my blog but I totally agreed with its sentiment. I started this blog all excited about sharing finished projects and ideas and things were great, then my creative inspiration went on holiday for a bit (as they do from time to time). Eeek, I was due to post today but I haven’t made anything; I’ve nothing to say, eek. Another problem that hampers me frequently is either computer problems or internet connection issues. These things have a habit of going wonky on you, just as you have an important post you want to share. Does all this sound familiar? Is this one of the reasons blogging went from fun to just another chore you resent doing? If so, read on; there is a way out of this circle of sadness ;)
How to put the Fun back into Blogging
There are many reasons people blog. I am writing this for people who write creative blogs like this one, those sharing photos and stories or photos and projects. As this is where my experience lies.
Step 1 - Blog without Obligation
You started a blog because you wanted to share something. Your passion on a particular subject, your finished pieces, what ever it is that got you blogging, I’m guessing it was close to your heart. If things have changed and your passion on a subject has changed, that’s OK! Either create a new blog on your latest exciting hobby, or if your blog has a title that can cover the new subject, evolve what you have. Blog because you want to, about things that make your heart sing. Wait till you have something to say, rather than posting because you think you ‘should’.
Step 2 - Keep it Simple
Now I’m not talking about simplifying what you talk about or show – that is specific to your blog and your audience. What I mean is, a blog that is about too many diverse subjects can be hard work on your readers. No one said you can only have one blog ;) Dedicate one to the pets ‘n’ family, another to the hobby etc.
Step 3 – A Change is as Good as a Rest
Fed up with the look and feel of your blog? If your blog is on WordPress, there are loads of different themes to choose from. Although your blog name is set, you will be surprised at how different your blog will look in different themes. Give a few a try see what you think ;) If you are sharing a lot of information with your blog, do go for quiet background though; if you have a busy background, it’s harder to concentrate on long written posts. Try to match your theme to the tone of your blogs content.
Step 4 - If you Want to Get Ahead, Get Ahead
OK here’s where you gotta put the time in. WordPress and many other blog hosts have this wonderful feature called ‘scheduled posting’. It’s the thing you might use to get posts to go up on your blog while you were on holiday. This is your new best friend! To get around unstable technology and internet supplies and to keep some time in your day for the rest of your life use ‘Scheduled posting’. Here’s how it works:
Lets say you were writing a simple ‘Picture and Paragraph’ style of blog. You post a picture of a finished project, with a paragraph about what inspired you to create it or what you used in the project. Lets also assume you are wanting to start to post once a week.
- Create or find 4 finished projects.
- Photograph your projects and get the photos onto your computer. Edit them as required.
- Open your blog and write a post in the normal way, add your photograph and then instead of publish now, click on the date and type in the date you would like your post to go ‘live’ on your blog. On WordPress it will now say ‘Scheduled for: [and the date and time you asked for]‘.
- In our example you would choose a day and then post each of your projects for the same day of the week for the next four weeks.
You have just bought yourself a month’s breathing space. To keep your sanity, you now need to work out a schedule that you can manage. Its better to post regularly, than only now and then. If you want to post once a month, choose a day, say first Monday and stick to posting on that first Monday of each month, so your readers know when to expect new content.
Some Drafts are Good
Another option is to ride the inspiration while it lasts and make as many projects as you can, when you are having a creative patch. Photograph things as you make them and write and save posts as you go, save them as drafts. In a while you will have a nice little library to choose from, when your creative mojo goes AWOL again.
With both these options, you don’t need to fear computer issues or internet gremlins spoiling the fun. The trick is to stay ahead. I try to work about 2 weeks ahead of posting dates, but with a bank of drafts as just-in-case projects ;) This has been a really helpful especially when I’ve got injured and am unable to create for a while.
The best thing is all your projects are stored online when you post ahead of time like this, so worst case scenario that your computer expires, if you have access to online from another machine you can get some stuff up from your drafts and buy time till your machine is repaired or replaced ;)
Make time for the things you love to do, photograph as you go, and post when the computer is out. Take the stress away and make time to play :) as the Meerkat says ‘Simples’ :)
Best wishes and thanks for reading see you soon,