Hi, Jen! I used to write a blog that I loved, and I started to gain traction and a following, and then life got in the way (including a toxic relationship with an addict who sucked my time and my motivation and inspiration). I’ve been dying to start writing again; however, I feel like my last ten blog posts say, “Hi! I’m back! For real this time!”…and then nothing. How do I get back in the groove and truly start writing again, consistently?
HELL IF I KNOW.
I don’t write on a schedule, and Bullish doesn’t have an editorial calendar. Over the last decade, it’s always made me a little sad every time the internet has become more like the old-school business world – my first blog, I’d publish one-sentence posts, or long posts I hit “Publish” on at 1am on a Friday. I felt it was more authentic. I still do. I don’t write all that regularly. But I really love selling socks that say “Motherfucking girl power.” It’s much easier.
So I bounced this question over to blogging expert Jessica Johansen of JessicaSays. Jessica is a digital strategist, coach and writer based in London. She’s passionate about helping bloggers and entrepreneurs rock their online presence while living their very best lives.
Hey, I feel you! As someone who juggles running a blog and online business with a full-time job, I know only too well how difficult it can be to stay on track and write consistently. After a few years in this position, though, I’ve come up with a few techniques that I think will help.
1. Find your Power Hour
We all have a Power Hour – a time of day when we’re laser-sharp, creative and naturally productive. My Power Hour is first thing in the morning, after a cup of strong coffee. Once I’m caffeinated, I’m raring to go and I’m able to produce my best work. In the afternoon, though? Yep, I’m pretty useless! This means that I allocate all my important, creative work to when I work best – my Power Hour – and relegate the less important (or at least less “involved” tasks) to the afternoon, when I don’t need to use as much brain power.
In order to get back into the habit of creating content consistently again, your best bet is to identify your Power Hour and harness its power. To do that, though, you need to commit to use this Power Hour (which doesn’t necessarily have to be a full hour, by the way – it can be more or less, depending on how much time you can dedicate to your bog) for ONE purpose, and one purpose ONLY. In other words, minimise distractions as much as possible (this includes interruptions from your friends and family) and focus all your brainpower on that ONE task.
2. Start small… But do it every day.
Often, when trying to get back into the habit of doing something, we’re champing at the bit. We want to go BIG! We want to write A MILLION BLOG POSTS because of course we’ll be able to keep it up!….
Actually, unfortunately, that’s not quite the way it works. The initial burst of motivation and excitement won’t be enough to see you through; you need a good dose of discipline and above all, “muscle memory” to gain consistency. In order to make it easier for yourself, start small (smaller than you might think is necessary) but commit to doing something every day. Even if it’s just 10 minutes worth of writing every day, commit to doing those ten minutes.
If you do it every single day for long enough, it’ll become a habit and it’ll be that much easier for you to keep it up. In time, you can absolutely increase the time you spend writing but be kind to yourself and minimise friction by easing yourself into it!
3. Find an accountability partner.
As cheesy as it sounds, having someone to light a fire under your arse – or, you know, someone who is in the same boat as you and wants to be held accountable, too – is an awesome way to form a habit or reach a goal. You’ve probably seen it with friends playing workout buddies to each other in the gym; it’s exactly the same with blogging and business. (Why do you think mastermind groups are so popular and effective?)
An accountability partner could be any number of people: it could be a fellow blogger who also wants to make a come back; it could be a mentor; it could be a coach. Don’t be afraid to reach out; I think you’ll find whomever you choose will be either thrilled to be held accountable, too, or flattered to be asked to help!
As a coach to bloggers and digital strategist to online business owners, this is something I often do, so if you need any help with this, you’re welcome to get in touch! 🙂
I’d like to add – you didn’t mention what your goal was. What do you want out of this? If you don’t know, you won’t do the work.
If you want to monetize your blog or get a book deal, there are experts who can help you with that. If you just want to write a blog you “love,” well … why? Don’t come up with some kind of bullshit goal that sounds like it was written by a committee, like “I want to contribute original ideas to an ongoing dialogue.” It’s okay to admit something like “I like the attention!” or “I think this will help me attract a life partner” or “This gives me a way to have an identity outside of work.” You only have to say it to yourself! But be honest. Lots of people really just want a lot of other people to love them or think they’re sexy or laugh at their jokes or something; I think people are happier when they admit that.
Decide what the goal is. Really. If you don’t seem quite there yet, just keep asking “Why?” You want to have a blog with 10,000 readers? Why? So you can spread your views to more people? Why? Keep asking “Why” until you get to something.
That should help. You might also discover that there’s some better way to get there than blogging. Or maybe a blog is perfect! Maybe you want to redesign, rebrand, and start anew.