Winterizing Your Blog (And Yourself!)
December can be a slow month for blogs. A lot of people seem to lose energy and trail off in their posting. With the holidays coming up and the weather getting colder, it’s easy to do.
Last winter, I went into a big seasonal slump with my blog. I lost all motivation and felt tired and draggy all the time. I could barely think of anything to write, and what I could think of seemed crabby and self-centered. This year, I’m determined to use this low-energy time to make my blog better. You can, too. Here’s how.
Use the low-energy times for mindless stuff
We all have maintenance tasks we’ve been procrastinating. It feels great to get those checked off the to-do list, and there’s no better time for this kind of task than when you’re low on creativity. If you’ve been meaning to install security or monitoring plug-ins, update software, set up automatic backups, or clean up broken links, now is a great time. You may even be so proud of yourself for conquering these dread-magnets that you feel inspired to write!
Brush up on your knowledge and skills
Sometimes a great way to get energized is to learn something new. Do you wish you knew more about writing well, marketing, generating traffic, SEO, running a business, or social media? Check out some of the many free resources other bloggers are offering, revisit information products you may have lying around your hard drive, or go to the library.
Break out of your routine–seek out experiences that are different from what you usually do. You might try going to an art museum, watching the sun set, or taking a day off for a road trip. Even reading a genre you usually wouldn’t read can help. Talking to other people and bouncing ideas around is even better.
Step back and take an objective look at your blog. What’s missing? What do you want to change? Do you still like the design? Is there anything you want to add or take away to make it look its best?
Consider the number one action you want your readers to take–is it share your posts, comment, subscribe, buy something? Whatever it is, make sure it’s prominent and easy to do. It’s also a good idea to get rid of any clutter that might be distracting for readers.
Sometimes the lack of energy or creativity can come from a lack of direction. How long has it been since you thought about your goals for your blog? Where do you want it to be in six months or a year? What do you need to do to get there? Making a plan may kickstart you into action.
Optimize for impact
When your energy is low, it’s more important than ever to prioritize. What tasks have the most impact? What will make the most difference in getting you closer to your goals? Do those first. Making visible progress toward your goal can be very energizing and inspiring.
There’s nothing like an influx of traffic to give you a lift.
We all want to be read–otherwise why write a blog? But the things that will get us more readers often get pushed aside by more urgent tasks. Since this is traditionally a down season for many bloggers, it’s a great time for your writing to stand out! Two of the most effective ways to get more traffic are guest posting and writing content to go viral. You can also get good mileage from hosting a webinar on a topic in your niche or publishing a free report and getting others to help you promote it.
It doesn’t take much energy to throw a party on your blog–just break out the goodies! People love fee stuff. Contests and giveaways are a great way to get attention and to give back to your readers. The cheer you spread can’t help but come back to you.
Other bloggers can be a great source of inspiration, support, ideas, and solace, but it’s easy to fall out of touch as we’re all busy with our various projects. Make a point to drop a short note to your blogger friends and other people who have helped and inspired you. Ask what they’re up to and thank them for being there for you. By surrounding yourself with others who are working toward the same goals and keeping in touch, you can feel included and supported. You might even start a mastermind or other accountability group to help you stay motivated.
Take care of yourself
Most bloggers have a lot of responsibilities, projects, and deadlines all the time. The faster your want your blog to grow and the more projects you have, the more you risk exhaustion and burnout. It’s crucial to take time for yourself. Exercise, eat right, and get enough sleep. It sometimes feels like there’s not enough time for these things, but taking care of yourself pays off in more energy, better focus, higher quality work, and enjoying life more. And really, what’s this all about if not enjoying life?
It’s easy to get stuck during the holiday season slump, but you can turn it around and make this this most wonderful time of the year for your blog. What will you do to stay inpired to do great work?
Cara Stein writes at 17000-Days.com about remembering that life is short and making your best days a common occurrence. Her new book, Getting Unstuck, came out Dec. 15.
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3 Responses to “Winterizing Your Blog (And Yourself!)”
Exercise can’t be emphasized enough, especially if you live in an area where you’re not getting a lot sun during the winter months. Find a way to get your heart rate up for an extended period of time. It will completely energize you.
How timely! It seemed all of a sudden I had no desire to post, read emails, or anything earlier this month. Just shut down for a time. You have an interesting post here that I’m going to reread at leisure and put into practice as needed. Thank you!
Hi Cara –
This is a great post that helps you get through those slow times when you are just plain lazy and don’t want to have to think. I definitely try and make the best of those times as well by just basically doing mindless tasks that need to be done for my blog. So instead of creating content I’ll update my plugins, backup my wordpress blog, connect with fellow blogger friends. Basically catch up on anything that is missing.
Glad to hear other people are utilizing this time as well instead of just fully slacking off and doing something else besides working on their online business.
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