I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

5 Ways to Get Back on Track with Blogging

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,

Lately I've seen a few bloggers get a little overwhelmed with blogging and taking a break. With many valid reasons ranging from not enough time, to too much school/work or just going through a slump.  There are many great posts about why this is not a problem - and it is definitely not!! - but I wanted to talk about how to get your blogging mojo back!  And how to maintain it! These ideas I've come up with may not be helpful or apply to you specifically but I'm throwing them out there anyways!

1. When you get an idea, write it down


Sometimes some crazy (good?) ideas for a blog post can come to you at odd times, so you should always be prepared to make a note of them!  On your phone or in a special handy dandy notebook (Blue's Clues anyone?).  Because often if you think "Oh I'll remember," chances are you won't.  Or if you do you'll think it's not a great idea anyways but perhaps seeing that idea written down some days or weeks later will inspire something new or a new take on it.  And for me, if I have trouble thinking of what new post to come up with, referring to my list of ideas will spark something in me to talk about and I'll be set for another day.

2. Read a short story


And review it!  Sometimes it's hard to find the time to read a book, but short stories are so easy to start and finish and then you can make post of a short review!  And it's okay if it is short - there is nothing wrong with just putting down some thoughts on the story and doing away with your strict, analytical approach to reviews (if that's your thing).  Authors are putting out a lot of short prequels or stories to go along with their books, and I for one would appreciate reading some thoughts on them from other bloggers (sometimes so I'll even know that they exist and I should go and check them out!)  

3. Pace Yourself


There are times, happily, when you are on fire with writing those posts!  You have a backlog of books read and some ideas for other posts and you fire them all out in a space of a couple of weeks.  And then you are overwhelmed again with things.  If you have an idea that this might happen to you, why not schedule those posts a little further apart and give yourself more of a safety net so that when you can't post you have something locked and loaded.  You don't have to post every day - you can spread them out a little (like twice or three times a week) and see how your schedule goes - and if you can maintain your productivity for awhile then start scheduling more within a week.

4.  Visit other blogs


You might not have time or inclination to write for your own blog, but if you have time to browse the internet, why not steer clear of tumblr (just for a little bit!) and check out what other people are doing or saying.  It could help jumpstart your interest in blogging for yourself or inspire you to pick up something new to read.  And it's encouraging to see other people continuing on with blogging and seeing what they are putting out there.  Let them rekindle the interest for you.

5. Book blog, schmook blog


Yes, we are book bloggers and reading is kind of our thing, but not every post has to be about books!  If you are currently obsessed with _____ (fill in the blanks) then just post about it!  Your personality shines through in these posts and I think that is interesting for any blog reader.  And it doesn't have to be a recurring theme or feature, either.  You don't have to feel constricted by the book blogger label - it's your blog and you can do whatever you want!  Talk about what you love and why you love it!  Or in the case of being too busy with work or school, talk about what is interesting or not about what you are doing.  Just change the format whenever you wish!

If you have any more ideas for things that work for you I'd love for you to share them in the comments!

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30 comments:

  1. Yes, I think all five of these are great tips and things that I actually do myself! I use OneNote and the second I have an idea about a certain post I record it in there. Even if I don't get around to ever writing about it, it's just nice to have so those days when I do sit down and have time to write I can look back on it if there's nothing on my mind and see what jumps out at me!


    Pacing myself is something I had huge struggles with while running my own blog, but now that I'm in a group blog with others it's so much easier. Having only two set days where I'm expected to post means that I can build up a bulk of posts and not let my own anxiety about having blank days bother me. And even though sometimes I think it's weird to have posts scheduled a month or two in advance (especially when I forget what I wrote!) it's still worth it when I suddenly go through a month of being too busy to do anything and can just sit back and watch those posts take care of themselves.


    And the last one, definitely! We all share a love for books, so writing book-related posts feels like a must. But some people might just visit your blog because they love you, so they might like it if you share some of your other loves as well! You don't know if you don't try! :)

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  2. Oh yes, I get the best ideas at odd times, too. And usually when I have nothing to jot them down, so I just try to keep them in mind, with more or less success :)
    #2 is a good idea and might work for others but I *ehem* don't read novellas/short stories... but honestly, I'm already reading more than enough as it is (and only "review" about 1/3 of my reads)
    Aaand I try to pace myself but it's HARD, 'cause when I get a good idea I want to post it IMMEDIATELY. I'm slowly getting better at scheduling, though :)

    Most of my posts are bookish, but I do the occasional non-bookish post once in a while as well, and I definitely like to "meet" the blogger-behind-the-blog so I like blogs where bloggers talk about their non-bookish hobbies/life as well.

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  3. I have to try One Note - I usually just use the note app on my iPhone, and it's alright, but it would be nice to try more features.


    It's great that your group in your group blog can plan so well together! I think sometimes with group blogs it's easy to feel like you can slack off when there are other people who can pick it up - which is totally not right (which reminds me I need to stop slacking and plan some posts for The Duchesses...)


    And your last comment is perfect - you should just post whatever you want because you never know who it will resonate with. And it's great to know other bloggers have those same interests!

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  4. Ah, I need to do some memory exercises or something, because they usually don't stick for me! I mean literally, seconds later I can be like - 'what was that again??'


    Oh, I sometimes don't like to read novellas just because they aren't as well developed as novels for me, but when I come across a good one, it's fantastic! I totally understand too about wanting to post immediately - sometimes if I have a post I'm really looking forward to see out there, I'll just switch around things in my schedule. Pacing myself is something I've had to really work on over time as well - I liked putting things up every day.


    Yes, non-bookish posts are sometimes the most interesting - and often they stand out to me when I'm going through my blog feed and I like to visit them first.

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  5. I like having my notebook too for keeping ideas - I usually transfer notes from my phone to the notebook so I can look at them altogether. Probably that's extra, unnecessary work though. :) Yes, it is nice to branch away from books sometimes!

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  6. Having gone through a blogging slump or two lately myself, this post is extremely timely! :D I love using Evernote for jotting down possible post topics, especially since it syncs between my phone, Kindle, and PC. I've also been giving a lot of thought to branching out into non-bookish posts; they'd certainly relieve some of the pressure I put on myself sometimes to finish a book then write a review. I love all of these ideas!

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  7. I agree with these. I see so many people quite but maybe they just need to mix it up. Do reviews differently, chat abut other hobbies you have. I am always surprised at how many people comment on my video games post. When I first started them they didn't get too many people and then bloggers took notice.



    One time I had some ideas for a blog post come at 1 in the morning and I had to just get up and write out the ideas for that post. They just kept coming to me and finally I just had to write them down. I haven't had a blogging slump.. but I do run out of ideas. I'll sit around and try to think of something and nothing comes and then BOOM all of a sudden I get an idea!

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  8. I think these are some great tips, Charlene! Thanks for sharing! Reading a short story is one I especially would not have thought of!

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  9. Ana @ Read Me AwayMay 14, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    Awesome tips, Charlene! :D I really have to get around to using a little notebook to write stuff down. I usually write stuff down on whatever paper I have available at the time, which gets lost in the shuffle of my desk. :P

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  10. It does seem like there is more engagement on the posts that are about interests outside of books - but when something not-books shows up in my blog feed, I do tend to take notice, so I completely understand that. And if blogging about something different helps you keep going, it's perfect!


    I hope you never have a blogging slump! Sometimes I like to brainstorm ideas on my drive to and from work, and that helps - it's good to just sit around and think about the blog when you have spare time - actually that should be another method I can add to this post! If you just think about your blog more, I think you will be motivated to blog more!

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  11. I've tried Evernote but didn't really click with it. I need to experiment with the note-taking apps again to find the one that suits me. The syncing aspect is really helpful.


    Yes, it is also just fun to write about non-bookish things that interest you, because sometimes you don't feel in the mood to write a review.

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  12. Oh good, I'm glad that idea could be helpful! I hope there are some prequels to novels you read that you can review! I know I have a few that I should get to! :)

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  13. I actually keep a lot of loose bits of paper at work for reminders to do things, which is pretty annoying. I hate it when they pile up! But unfortunately if I keep it in a notebook I probably won't consistently check it, so maybe pieces of paper will be what works best for you! If you have them in a pile away from other things on your desk! :)

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  14. Ok you are so right - I totally need to spread things out more. i seem to think I have to double stack posts to get them out the door. Also - you know I had decided to do the fan art post because I wanted to bring in something else other than books onto the blog but sometimes my drawing that are just doodles of my own that I didn't have a book in mind for are the better ones - So now I'm totally going to include those in my blog as well.

    Thanks for the pep talking - I've been feeling blah lately.

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  15. I think this is a great post. I've always struggled with content because I'm more of a spur of the moment writer. Everything has to be right for me to produce and so I have a tough time. Having a coblogger severely lowers the stress level but a lot of your tips would do too. Nowadays, I try to write what I want to write and hopefully people will enjoy and read my posts. Visiting other blogs is also a good one, you never know the wonderful things people are coming up with.

    -Mari

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  16. It is hard to wait on posts sometimes, but it does relieve the stress, so worth it! Sometimes it's better to wait too because I can edit it or change something if I thought better of it later. I'm glad you are going to include more artwork- it's lovely to see new creations, and I'm jealous of your deceptively simple linework! :)


    And thank you for enjoying and commenting on this post! I'm glad that it's helpful!

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  17. It is nice to have a coblogger to help keep you on track. And to have someone to hold blog post conversations - I love reading those! I think writing about what you want is the most important tip - it keeps the blog fun and varied! I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

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  18. I'm nodding! I'm nodding! I'm so guilty of not taking down ideas when they pop into my head and completely forgetting them later on, which is probably why I'm scrambling some days to come up with a post...


    I love reading and reviewing a short story when I've got nothing else! Plus it's so fun to catch up on those, since I find myself downloading them and then they fester on my Kindle. And YES to looking at other blogs! I often do that when I'm trying to come up with posts, and I can generally get inspiration or a new idea from another post. That is often when some of my best posts come about (at least in my opinion!)


    I very rarely post about non-bookish things, but that's actually something I've been thinking of doing more of recently. I'm glad to hear you'd like to read it, at least! :D This is so great Charlene! I'm going to bookmark it in case I need a reminder. :)

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  19. This is a great set of advice..I experienced burn out earlier this year myself..I am planning to relaunch once we are moved into our new place..5 is definitely one I am planning on doing...talking more generally about stuff I dig not just bookish things!

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  20. It makes me so happy to read that you find this post useful! Definitely post on non-bookish things, it's always great to read what other things people are interested in! And I have that problem with Kindle as well - downloading books that I forget I have and never get to. It's better to have them in my bookcase, because then at least I see them more often and I am reminded to pick them up and read!

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  21. Oh awesome! I've missed seeing your posts! And I'm sure you can do some fun posts on what's been going on in your life. Congrats on the new place btw!!

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  22. Great post, especially #3. I'm still a newer blogger and I started out at a crazy pace, and then within a couple weeks I was already burned out :p I reassessed what I was doing and now I'm following a schedule I can keep up with, while still doing the 'real life' thing :)

    Just found your blog and I'm now following through bloglovin!
    Finley Jayne
    http://finleyjayne.com/

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  23. I was the same way when I started (and really til recently!) But I love having my blog calendar to pace myself now. Although real life still throws me for a loop sometimes! Thank you for visiting and following - I'm following you on bloglovin as well!

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  24. Yay! Thank you! Today we are closing on the house...hopefully all goes well and we are moving fairly soon afterward once school is done! It has been stressful but we are excited to start a new chapter in our lives together!

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  25. Love your list! I think sometimes I also just need to sit down and try it! If I just think about it, it can seem overwhelming and time consuming, but often times when I just sit down to work 'a little bit', I often get a lot done!

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  26. Great news! I can't wait to see how you decorate Miranda's room! :D

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  27. Ah focus and attitude does help when blogging! I notice when I'm plan to sit down and accomplish a set amount of things, then I can get through it pretty fast, as opposed to sitting down and dawdling. And it's great to feel like you've accomplished a lot - so that feeling can be a great motivator to keep up with blogging!

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  28. Charlie AndersonMay 21, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    OK. You caught me, red-handed.


    I got burnt out when I started my first year of teaching. I'd come home exhausted at 7 and 8 at night (sometimes later with an hour long drive!) and I was DONE. It was an effort just to make food and attempt a conversation with my future in-laws. I had no energy to do much more. But I knew the longer I went, the harder it would be to get back into the groove. I eased back in slowly and knew I had to do #3 right away if I wanted to sustain my blog and not leave readers hanging. I've tackled that - and I'm adding more posts per week, including two weekly memes. I've got pacing down! When I came back, I knew I needed to expand, grow and immerse myself into the blogosphere, so I made a commitment to work specifically on #4. :D


    #1 is probably my biggest challenge. I get the best ideas driving to or from work, in the shower, out in the middle of nowhere (with nothing!) or staring off across a beautiful and quiet landscape. I am perpetually telling myself, "Oh, no, I don't need to write that down. I'll remember" and "I need to remember this for later/ to write this down when I get home..." More than one of my university literature professors said this exact thing to us, and well, here you are years later saying the same thing! It's gotta be better than "I need to remember to write this down when I get home"!


    I do not do #2! In all honesty, that's not quite true. I guess I'm biased because I *gasp* don't know where to find them (!), and I don't know how to review them. They're a whole different ball game than novels. I have read one novella (which I didn't know was one, and I was disappointed) and I know I've downloaded a few more that are somewhere in the outer reaches of the galaxy world of my Kindle library. Maybe one day I'll run into them again.


    #5 is a source of tension and struggle. When I first started my book blog, I was adamant with myself that I would not blather on about myself, or prattle about some personal life thing. And now I've realized it makes me...well, boring. Who am I to readers? I can't connect with them because they can't connect to me!


    Thanks for sharing your top tips, Charlene! Even though we sometimes have a handle on one or two things, we're working on one or four others, and sometimes we forget Thing To Do #458!

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  29. I put these tips out there, but really I've never been through a really busy period since I started blogging where I truly found it difficult to keep up. I'm hoping these tips will help me when I get to that time, but I am glad that some of these have helped you in the past! It makes me less nervous that I'll drop the ball if life starts getting too hectic!


    For #1, I pretty much always (ALWAYS) have my phone with me, so I don't have that problem for the most part (but I do have separation anxiety with my phone apparently so there's that...) For #2, I've just started noticing that some authors will put up their short story prequels on Wattpad or ... oh something else that I can't remember, start's with an "I". And that's helpful because there's an app, and I can read on my phone or iPad to get them read quickly. I do find it more difficult to review short stories though because there's not as much going on with them, so I don't have as many thoughts on the story to share. But I suppose writing reviews on short stories is just another skill I have to work on.


    I'm so glad that you are coming around on #5! It's made blogging so much more fun for me, to share non-bookish things, and I suppose even if other readers aren't really into those posts, I'm enjoying writing them and making them a part of my blog and that is the most important!


    Thanks for your wonderful, in depth comment Charlie! I got some really great insight from it! :)

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  30. I use my phone, the notes on my computer or my notebook to write my ideas down. Agreed, you never know when one of those ideas turn out to be something you can work with :D And letting your personality shine is very important! Being a book blogger doesn't mean you only have to blog about books.

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