What to Do When You’re Sick of Your Blog

Let’s talk about your blog.

You might just have mentally winced — blogs can be a painful topic.

You know you should have one, because everyone tells you so. You know you should write blog posts on a fairly consistent basis. And you know you should publish regularly too.

But you don’t.

Just thinking about blogging makes you cringe.

You’re not alone. A lot of business owners feel the same way, and for three good reasons:

  1. They don’t know what to write about — maybe you don’t either? You think of ideas, but they all seem lame. It becomes stressful, and you start to dread writing for your blog. You might even stop blogging completely, hoping no one notices you haven’t updated your blog in weeks. (Maybe months.)
  2. They can’t get past the first few paragraphs before quitting — sound familiar? When you do have a good idea and try to write a great post, it doesn’t take long before your motivation ebbs. You start thinking maybe it wasn’t such a hot idea after all. And now that you reread what you wrote, you feel your post sounds dumb, so you give up completely.
  3. They aren’t confident about what they wrote — are you? Sometimes you do have a good idea and write about it, but when you’re done and read your post over, you don’t feel confident about it anymore. You think the writing’s terrible, or the post isn’t “good enough” to publish, or you feel nervous about what your readers might think of you when they read it.

These are huge blogging roadblocks, and they’re the reason that most business owners slowly find themselves beginning to dislike their blog.

A serious dilemma

More blog posts hit the trash can than business owners hit the “publish” button on.

The result?

The blog doesn’t get updated for weeks … sometimes months.

And when a post finally does get finished and that “publish” button gets clicked? The blog owner often suffers a sudden spike of fear the second after it happens, followed by an immediate wave of worry about what readers will think when they read the post.

It doesn’t surprise me. I don’t know many business owners who shout, “Yeah! I LOVE blogging!”

But that’s exactly what you should be shouting, because blogging creates attention, credibility, traffic, sales, and revenues for any type of business. Blogging means money, and I don’t know any business owner who wouldn’t cheer about that.

It’s a serious dilemma, and something has to be done.

A simple solution

Thankfully, there’s an easy, pleasant, pain-free solution for those who dread blogging, feel guilty about putting it off, or spend hours trying to write something while hating the obligation to post. Here’s what to do:

Don’t blog. At all.

When blogging becomes an activity that makes you feel tense, stressed out, frustrated and fed up, it’s time to call it quits. No joke — this is important.

Go on a blogging holiday, and allow yourself full, unadulterated permission to not write a damn thing.

Walk away from your blog.

Not permanently, of course. That’d be silly. (After all, there’s money involved.) You’ll come back to writing for your blog in a few weeks or so — and when you do, you’ll feel very differently about it.

But right now, you’re burnt out and stressed to the max. You need to step back and get some distance between you and that blog you hate.

Your sanity and health matter far more than churning out content.

Don’t worry; your blog’s not going to suffer. After all, how long has it been since you’ve written a blog post anyway? And your readers won’t yell at you for not posting something new. (They may not even notice you’re gone.)

Your traffic won’t disappear overnight either — this isn’t the apocalypse. Your Google Analytics numbers may drop a touch, but not immediately and not much. It’s a temporary dip you can recover from later on when you feel better.

The world won’t end.

This isn’t complete abandonment of your blog. It’s just a break, a holiday from writing blog posts, and everyone deserves that.

But what about all those ideas that will start flooding in?

Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be proactive or productive during your blogging holiday. You can stop writing, but you should still focus on something that benefits you and your blog in the meantime.

What should you do instead of stressing over blogging or trying to slog through writing yet another post you hate? Try this during your holidays:

Don’t write at all. Just capture your ideas.

That’s all.

Jot down the ideas that come to mind on their own, as they come to you. Don’t try to force it to squeeze out ideas. Don’t attempt any brainstorming sessions.

Forget about blogging and just let new blog post ideas come to you of their own accord.

Start carrying around a notepad. When those ideas start popping into your head (and they will), you’ll want to jot them down. Write a brief note or a sentence or two.

You can use the Notes feature of your smartphone, a voice memo app, or send yourself emails, like I do.

It’ll take some time. At first, you might not have many ideas at all. (Perhaps even none). If you do have ideas, they might not be very good ones. Jot them down anyway.

As your stress eases away the longer you’re on holiday, you’ll find yourself having more ideas, and better ideas … usually when you least expect them.

  • Standing in line and suddenly think of something interesting? Jot it down.
  • In the shower and something comes to you? Stick a hand out, dry it off, then write yourself a quick note. (Or buy some shower markers!)
  • Driving along and something comes to mind? Pull over and make a quick voice memo. Send yourself a text message. Scribble notes on the back of a receipt.

A few easy things you should do while you’re taking time away

You don’t want to completely slack off. Capturing ideas is nice, but you can still be proactive about your blog, even while on holidays.

Do the smart thing first: enjoy your time off.

Take advantage of it; you need it.

Play. Rest. Do fun activities. Reward yourself. Screw off. You need this to recharge your batteries.

But every day, before you go play, schedule in a short half hour to hang out on social media.

Here’s why this is crucial to your rehabilitation: It’s very easy to forget that your blog posts are read by actual human beings, individual people with names and faces and feelings. It’s far, far too easy to start to think of them as “audience” — a vague, shapeless, faceless mass.

You need to reconnect with your audience as individuals.

So go hang out on Facebook or Twitter or G+. Chat with your audience, those loyal fans and followers. Restore friendships, rebuild neglected connections, see some old “friends,” joke around and laugh a bit. Remember who these people are.

While you’re hanging out …

Look back through your archives and revisit old posts.

You’ll certainly find some you don’t like so much or that weren’t very well written. That’s cool — you’ve come a long way since then, and now you can make a list of which posts to rework into better ones that you can republish. (Reduce, reuse, recycle, after all.)

Keep an eye out for old posts you really enjoyed or that had a great response.

Remember what you liked about them in the first place, and share them with your social media fans — slip in a quick, “Here’s an oldie but a goodie,” and link to that old post you found.

Ask for commentary from your followers, and pay attention to what they say.

Find out what readers liked most, or which points really struck a chord.

Ask them what they would love more of and would like less of, or whether there are new topics they’d love to hear about. You’ll gather great feedback you can put to good use when your blogging holidays are over.

Here’s an extra perk you probably haven’t considered yet, but it’s important: Your followers will get to reconnect with YOU, now that you’re paying attention to them again.

They’ll remember why they became fans in the first place.

Hey, you’re someone they liked! And not only are you chatting with them, you’re sharing good posts they either enjoyed before, or that they hadn’t yet read, or that they’d forgotten about but sure could put to good use now.

It’s a win-win-win, all around.

Want to know why this entire blogging holiday experiment will work?

You may be doubtful that not writing at all and just hanging around on social media for half an hour a day will eventually bring you back to writing.

After all, a lot of the advice out there tells you to build a daily writing routine, and to write every day at the same time, even if you’re not producing good work.

Even if you hate it.

Even if it’s painful.

Truthfully, that’s stupid advice. It’s akin to banging your finger with a hammer every day thinking that one morning, you’ll like the feeling and want to bang it harder.

It’s true that writing every day at the same time is an excellent idea because it does train your brain to write on demand. But forcing yourself to write when you’re in a hugely negative emotional state only reinforces that you hate every second of it.

Your brain makes the association: writing = bad.

And since your brain’s job is to help you avoid bad stuff, it’ll do whatever it can to get you to stop writing. Usually, the self-sabotage it creates is so effective you eventually can’t write at all.

Instead of fighting your brain, humor it. Listen to it.

Stop writing now before your brain heaps a bunch more sabotage and roadblocks onto your blog-writing efforts.

Your brain will heave a sigh of relief that you’ve finally paid attention, and it’ll be quite happy to let you just jot down your ideas instead.

After all, your brain sends you those ideas in the first place. It’ll approve of your decision!

By taking a break from writing and focusing on capturing ideas instead, you’ll accomplish several beneficial goals in one fell swoop:

  1. You won’t stress over forgetting any good ideas that come along, and you can keep them handy for later.
  2. You’ll put distance between you and the psychological traps holding you back from writing, so that you can examine them from a more objective perspective.
  3. You won’t feel like you’re slacking off completely, because you’re actually being proactive about your blog (even if you’re not writing).
  4. You won’t feel guilty anymore about not updating your blog with new content. Blame me, if you need to: “James TOLD me not to write!” The pressure’s off.
  5. You’ll rest, recharge your batteries, and rejuvenate your creativity back up to optimal levels — it’s probably stretched to the max right now.

But you have to commit fully

At first, it might be tough to not write.

You might feel guilty you’re not giving it a shot or feel like you have an obligation to your readers.

You might think the situation isn’t as bad as it really is. You might think, “Okay, I’ll try writing this post,” after a few days.

For the love of Pete, don’t do it.

Go on immediate, full-time leave.

You don’t even need to write an “I’m taking a break” announcement for your readers. No one needs to know what’s up. It’s none of their business. And in the grand scheme of life, it’s not important.

What is important is getting you back to feeling better.

Once you’ve been on your blogging holiday for a while, you’ll start to realize you feel more relaxed. You’ll be able to look at the situation more objectively, and even positively.

You’ll start to feel differently about this whole blogging thing.

One of four things will happen

It may take two weeks; it may take two months. Maybe more.

No matter how long it takes, there are only four possible outcomes to this blog holiday experiment:

  1. You’re itching to write and excited to get back to it full force. You’ll want to snatch ideas from your list and draft them out like a crazy content machine. (Don’t go overboard, of course. You don’t want to gorge after you’ve been starving. No good comes of that.)
  2. You still hate blogging and are plagued by a swift return of writer’s block, stress, guilt, and self-doubt. The experiment didn’t work. That’s excellent! You’ve learned that you need some help getting past these roadblocks, and you can contact a coach who’ll help you smash through them, once and for all.
  3. You feel better about writing and don’t have any stress, but you realize this blogging thing takes too much time to create a post. That’s excellent as well! This usually signals a lack of skills, and anyone can improve those. Take a writing course to learn how to speed up your writing process, and you’ll be off to the races.
  4. You have no issues anymore, but you’re still just not feeling the love. Fantastic! You’ve just realized that you probably shouldn’t be writing your own posts in the first place. Hire a professional blogger (I hear these guys are great), and hand over the ideas you’ve collected. Your new writer can dive straight in and write on your behalf.

Regardless of which of the four outcomes occur, you’ve won the blogging game.

You’ve shed stagnant, negative stress that dragged you down. You’ve rested and are back to good mental health.

And you’ve made some discoveries about yourself and your blog.

You have options at hand, and every single one is a better alternative than what you’d been doing … which was likely slogging it out, hating every minute, or silently dreading writing for your blog.

Your blogging holiday created positive change.

And change is always a good thing, don’t you think?

Flickr Creative Commons Image via Doug McAbee

About the Author: If you want to train for better writing skills (and a better business), check out the Damn Fine Words writing course. Designed to bring you business results and brought to you by professional writer James Chartrand of Men with Pens, it’s guaranteed to help you reach your goals. Click here learn more now.

Editor's note: The links to James's course are affiliate links. We're proud to help James get the word out about her course, which is terrific.

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Comments

  1. Sometimes you just need a mental break! We get stuck in the same patterns/behaviors and those don’t lend themselves to inspiration. It’s okay to walk away for a few days, even a week, and come back with fresh eyes and a new pep in your step. Better to take a break than be miserable—it comes across in your writing.

    • “Better to take a break than be miserable.”

      That’s it exactly, Nick. I see so many people who start to dread writing, hate writing, cringe about writing… and it doesn’t have to be that way!

      Forcing yourself to write is one of the fastest paths to hating writing completely… so I say: just don’t.

  2. James, thanks for the article.

    I’d add to your list why continuing blogging can be a pain.

    The reason is that you feel that you have already done and said everything what you wanted. And you’ve got no desire to re-write your own content for the tenth time.

    So what you can do then? Hire or invite guest posters (or even re-writers). They will keep up the blood circulation in your blog’s body.

    What do you thing about that?

    • That sounds more like a question of running out of ideas to write about – which of course means you need a break so you can get out there in the world and have adventures and experiences that bring you NEW ideas.

      And breaking that self-doubt that you can’t say anything unique – that it’s already been said. That’s just not true, because YOU are unique and thus will always bring something unique to the table, even on a topic that’s been said and done before.

      • Thanks, James, for your reply.

        Yes, the healing power of getting out in the world is tremendous.

        And I agree with you, that bringing a personal uniqueness to the content is a good way to go with the content that may seem to be worn out..

  3. Great post, James. Good to see you on Copyblogger again. As a blogger for almost 9 years, I can relate to blog burnout. It’s just hard to put words on the screen at times. I’ve found that it’s good to take a blog vacation now and then, especially the slow times of the year. In my genre of Personal Development, the summer time often slows down. Students are out of school and businesses pull back. It’s a nice time to just get away. Have a mini sabbatical for a few weeks.

    As a graduate of your writing course, I’ve learned to use this time for inspiration. Write from the heart, but don’t publish. Free-write and be creative… no judgements. Get refreshed and encouraged. Then after a short time, get back to it. Nothing better that a back-to-school blog surge to get me fired up!

  4. Self hypnosis can be very effective at eliminating the stress which causes writer’s block and impediments to creativity. You can also transform your inner critic—which only offers up negative opinions of your abilities and accomplishments—into a champion that promotes and supports the good in all you do. In addition, you can put your subconscious mind to work gathering information and ideas for your next blog post. It will alert you when it has all that you need for your next writing session, which will happen effortlessly.

    • I’ve certainly never tried self-hypnosis, John, so I have no idea whether it works – but it certainly sounds like it does, and from what I hear, meditation would also create the same sort of results… while relaxing your body and mind.

      I think we all need to start taking the stress and pressure out of writing, and get back to enjoying the activity for the creative expression it is.

      • James—

        Yes. Mindfulness, meditation, self-hypnosis or any similar technique for relaxing the body and calming the mind, practiced 20 minutes twice a day, will bring long-term physical and mental benefits as well as stress reduction. For a non-hypnotic, clinically proven method of reducing stress consider the book “Relaxation Revolution” by Herbert Benson, MD of Harvard Medical School. He presents a simple 2-phase method that anyone can learn in minutes to bring about beneficial changes to one’s biology and mental state.

  5. James, thanks for this post.

    “But right now, you’re burnt out and stressed to the max.” Maybe this is why my hair’s been falling out. I’m not kidding. It looks horrible, and I don’t feel and look my best. As shallow as this may sound, my hair is important to me. I need a break because I’m stressed out about writing and other life happenings.

    “(Reduce, reuse, recycle, after all.)” Great advice! I copied and pasted blog posts from my one writing blog for writers to my freelance portfolio blog/website and have been slicing and dicing content. It takes the stress and pressure away of having to create new topics, right now.

    My goal is to write guest blogging guidelines and accept guest blog posts. It’s on my To Do List. :)

    • Ah, very good! (Not the hair falling out part – that sounds miserable…) Having a blog archive you can go play in and work with really takes stress out of the picture, and it can be a lot of fun to revisit older posts.

      For the hair part, while I’m no doc, the first thing I’d look at is whether you’re taking care of your health – people who write a lot and fall into the zone easily or who are really busy tend to have horrible habits when it comes to eating the right foods, making sure we have the vitamins and nutrients we need and generally taking care of our bodies, not just our minds.

      So get that checked out! An apple a day, as they say!

  6. James, thanks for the post. You’re point about committing fully rings true to me in writing as well. And, I believe that a contributing factor to writing burnout is precisely not committing fully to writing when the time comes to write. Writing then takes longer because we write for five minutes then answer an email or take a phone call. While we can’t completely ignore the outside world when we sit down to write, it can be fruitful to do the best one can to carve out writing time and then protect it from all unnecessary distractions.

    • Well, I dunno about that ignoring the world thing when we write… I can say (and my family can as well) that the world basically disappears for me for a while, especially when I’m deep in the writing zone! (It’s a nice place to be, but I miss everything people say to me during that time. I don’t hear them!)

      I take a different view to committing fully to writing – I believe that if you commit to your writing time but find yourself struggling, it’s important to stop and give yourself a break. Forcing through it just to make the commitment can have some bad side effects, and leave you feeling a lot of guilt that you didn’t follow through on your commitments…

      But that’s just my take. Different people use different ways to get through it, n’est pas?

  7. Why is this post too long and who told the writer that I’m not happy about my blog right now? I actually dont know what to write for now.

  8. I used to force myself to sit down and write, even when I was facing a mental block. I quickly learned that could turn into an entire wasted day, with hardly any written words to show for it.

    Now I know that it’s good to take those holidays. So now, when I’m feeling a bit of a block I go do something else. Read a book, tackle another task, go for a walk. That mental break does wonders – as it takes the pressure off and allows new inspiration to flood through that can fuel my writing once I sit down again.

    Thanks James for the reminder that sometimes a break is exactly what we need. :)

    • YEAH! Exactly, Sonia – forcing ourselves to do anything ends us up in awful places. I’m SO glad you got out of that, and that you’ve armed yourself with plenty of solutions to beat those blogging blues!

  9. I did a combination of a blogging holiday and shutting down a few sites that I had grand plans for but turned out to be more of a burden. I came back revitalized, focused, and creating content for the sites that I did care about without the baggage. Great post, great advice!

    • Excellent, David – and I really applaud your decision to shed what was sucking too much juice. That’s a wise, smart thing to do – and it leaves a lot more room for the fun stuff, doesn’t it?

  10. I just think of my blog posts as love notes to myself and that does the trick for me.

    • Actually, that sounds like a nice idea. “Dear James – you’re so sexy and smart… and that shirt looks fab on you today.” I can definitely see something like that doing wonders!

  11. As an artist and a writer, I cannot stress the importance of “down-time” away from your passion.

    I’ve always found that even if I have just a week away from the screen or from a canvas, the ideas start flooding and I’m more equipped mentally to pay attention to my thoughts and realise them.

    Great post Doug. Thanks for not making me feel guilty ;)

  12. Thanks for clarifying! I was wondering about that. :-)

    But even when you think you’ve written everything you want to write about, there are still ways to find topics within your niche that you might have missed out on, such as using Soovle or Yahoo questions.

    But I also agree it might bring a freshness to a blog by inviting a guest blogger or hiring a writer.

  13. This post is so important. Thank you so much for giving authoritative permission to take a break!

    Burnout is something I’ve been dealing with for awhile. A couple of years ago, I started talking time off from the blog between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, just posting links to good posts from the archives. And this year, since I really felt I was scraping the bottom of the barrel last year, I’m just posting once or twice a month instead of every week. It helps.

    The only thing I might disagree with is “You don’t even need to write an “I’m taking a break” announcement for your readers.”

    That depends on how close you are to your audience. One time I thought I’d hit “publish” and I’d only hit “save draft.” The next day, a few of my readers sent me comments or emails asking if I was okay.

    When I do take a real blogging holiday, I always announce it – it gives me a little peace of mind.

    • Well, think about it this way… do those readers actually truly care? Or are they just wondering, “Hey, why didn’t I get my weekly post? What’s up with that?”

      In most cases, readers do care, but not in a truly deep way… I mean, if you wrote back and said, “Yeah, I broke my leg and arm in 5 places and am in the hospital for 3 years in therapy and I also got a mental illness diagnosis,” would they write back and offer to come cook meals, take your dog for a walk and help your kids with their homework?

      Probably not.

      That’s not because they’re MEAN or that they don’t care at all, but we tend to perceive online relationships as deeper than they actually are.

      If you didn’t answer the “hey, what happened,” emails, they’re probably be no follow up, and within 2 weeks, even the question itself would be forgotten.

      That’s my take on it, anyways. I’m sure others feel differently, of course.

      All that said, you have my full permission to take a break – and a good long one that actually gets you back to where you need to be. (I stopped blogging for a year once!) It’s worth it, and I think writers owe it to themselves to stay healthy, yes?

      • Most of them live in other states or other countries, so no, they wouldn’t offer to cook meals. That’s not the point.

        The community around my blog is relatively small. I reply to every comment, on my blog or on theirs. The particular post I accidentally didn’t publish was part of an ongoing series of prompts that my readers respond to, after which I respond to them. So personal relationships exist, even if they don’t go deep.

        I’ve established a certain amount of trust with my readers and if I suddenly disappeared with no explanation, that would send one of two messages: “Something terrible has happened,” or “I don’t care enough about you guys to let you know why I’ve suddenly paused my half of the relationship.”

        That won’t be true of all blogs. If you don’t post regularly, or have too big of an audience to develop individual relationships (however deep), then it may not be necessary. With mine, it is.

        I’m a little confused at your stance on this point. How hard is it to jot out a short post that says “I’m taking a little sabbatical to recharge. No worries.”?

        But you do talk about using the time away to connect with individual people on social media, so you know what I’m talking about.

        Again, great post!

        • Stephanie,

          Last year, something “terribly wrong” did happen to me. I was hit by a car while in a pedestrian crosswalk. I didn’t blog for nearly 10 months. I warned my audience on social media that I was going dark. I actually pulled down all of my websites except for the one that keeps getting daily Google referrals (and Copyblogger referrals).

          In reclaiming my public self, I’ve been following some of the advice that James gave above. (James, so glad to see your byline on Copyblogger again)

          How did I hit upon a magic sauce for recovery? (HINT: Notice that I mentioned Copyblogger in the above paragraphs?)

          I did some experimentation, sure. But I used some critical thinking in applying Copyblogger theory to my particular practice. Plus I hit the guys up over on Google Plus (Thanks, Brian, Jerod, and Demian) with questions.

          Meanwhile, I’ve been investing in my education with Authority, Authority Certification, Jon Morrow’s Guest Blogging Apprenticeship, and Ronnie Bincer’s Hangout Mastery.

          I’ve gained an audience and authority. Yesterday, I was named one of the “258 Most Interesting Ladies on Google Plus,” so deemed by Dustin W Stout of Dustn.tv.

          Why? Because the content I’ve been creating is not blog posts per se, but Storify archived Twitterviews [Interviews via Twitter] which will be research for my own blog and guest posts to come. I’m getting smarter by interviewing smart people. These smart people are getting something to put in their media kits as well as some real-time social media engagement. [Next week: Henneke & her newest book]

          And now, back to making that website shine, before Sonia accuses me of “digital share-cropping,” and rightly so.

          Thanks, James, for giving others the permission to re-think without the “excuse” of a catastrophic life-altering event. The world WILL go on if we take the time to care for ourselves.

  14. Damn fine post.

    I have just started out, put have already hit a wall. While I don’t “hate blogging” I believe backing up a little does a lot.

    I think the reason I have stumbled is because I haven’t done my research well enough.

    I still don’t know my audience well enough, and I don’t know my material and competition well enough.

    So I’ll take a brake from writing posts, and instead do my research and practice writing single killer sentences.

    This post resonates with me, and have assured me that it’s both okay and a good thing to do.

    Thank you for that.

    • Hitting a wall so early in the game could be exactly what you mentioned – not knowing your audience well enough – but for a new blog, it might also be something a little different worth thinking about, and perhaps the below can help.

      Do you have a business with a service or product to promote? You could write posts that talk about why you got into this business, what you believe in, the sort of philosophies you work with, where people can use your product/service in ways that aren’t so obvious, a recent project you liked and why you like it, a story of a client…

      Do you have a personal blog? In this case, think about things you really enjoy talking about to people – write about those. They don’t necessarily have to fit a “niche” for now, either. You can use this early time to write about anything and experiment, and see what you enjoy most. Your style, tone and personality will shine through no matter what you write, and people will cleave to that.

      Either way, it does sound like taking a sheet of paper and planning out some ideas (whether you use them or not) might be a good place to start!

  15. This is so timely for me! I love the idea of taking time of, but then when I do, I feel so guilty! It’s like, how can a ‘writer’ take time off ‘writing’?!

    • I think writers NEED to take time off writing. Say, for example, that you were a truck driver doing deliveries… and your boss asked you to do 12 hour days, 7 days a week, for the next 365 days.

      You’d tell him to take a hike, right? Yeah – exactly!

      Treat yourself like an employee – a special, valued employee. You want that employee to be happy and productive, so you’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.

      Now go make that happen :)

  16. Everybody need a break to “re-charge”. It happen to everybody to loose the path sometimes and with blogging, this can happen quite easy, especially after wrong expectations or setting up unachievable goal.

  17. “Your traffic won’t disappear overnight either — this isn’t the apocalypse. Your Google Analytics numbers may drop a touch, but not immediately and not much. It’s a temporary dip you can recover from later on when you feel better.”

    When I had my personal fianance blog, if I took a week off, Google would punish me by cutting my traffic in HALF. Over the two years I maintained that site, I took a break 3 times and the same thing happened each time.

    • That’s very interesting, Edward, and I think that signals something worth looking into – the blog seems to be getting more Google attention than actual reader attention. Steady, loyal readers help maintain numbers at a nice plateau level, because the social media activity keeps them coming to read older articles and share ones they find.

      But if that’s not happening – no reading, no sharing, no visits – then it’s definitely time to look into how you can build a relationship with readers that lasts the test of time.

      I could be wrong, of course. SEO is its own beast. But that’d be my guess, based on experience!

  18. HaHa!

    As a former student, I learned that you can always count on James to tell it like it is.

    I love this post because it is like reading my own back story . . .

    Thank you, James

    P.S. All – - Her “Damn Fine Writing Course” is awesome and a great investment in yourself.

  19. Great blog post! As a blogger myself, I often reach that brick wall where I find myself struggling for inspiration and, as you explained so well, the best solution is to simply not write at all, because it drives me crazy. I quickly find that if I take a break from blogging and wait until the ideas naturally start to come into my mind and ensure that I have all those ideas stored up before I go back into blogging again.

    Thanks for the extra tips!

  20. Oh, this is a lovely article! I was a bit in a blogging rut, and because of a server error (there was a problem with my hosting company), I couldn’t publish anything for a week. Truthfully: that has been the most productive writing week I’ve had since months!

    And now everytime I feel a bit blogsick, I am going to just completely stop blogging for a couple of days… let’s see if that works, too.

  21. This was very informative…thank you. The biggest thing I have struggled with on my blog was whether or not to find my “niche”…still working on that one. Thanks!

  22. Good advice about taking a break — why do bloggers feel they need to write a post every day? For years I wrote two posts a week. Then I began to feel like I was dragging around a sack of potatoes on my back. I was feeling so pressured. I finally decided to blog once a week and expected my traffic to fall off the table. Traffic decreased a little for a while but now I’m getting more visitors than ever before. Better to write content that people want to read rather than publishing for the sake of publishing.