Blogger fatigue is a pretty common problem in our industry. When you spend months and months and years writing about the same topic over and over and over again with very little reader feedback, at some point, it becomes difficult to tell outside of analytic numbers whether your words are reaching any eyeballs or ears at all. Beyond that, it can often feel like you cover the same topics from 20 different angles until there is no longer any uncharted territory in the topic that you’re discussing.
So what do you do when you reach that point? When you’ve reached the brick wall that you just can’t seem to get past, under, or over? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Step Outside of the Box:
I mean this quite literally. Step outside of whatever writing environment you work in, whether that’s your office, your bedroom, your local co-working space… any of it. Go somewhere new. Experience something new.
I get a lot of value going to industry conferences and being surrounded by peers who work in the music industry myself since that’s the industry I blog in, but I also get a lot more value out of going where my readers spend their time. One weekend at a music festival can give me enough content to write about for a month. Of course, one trip to a conference can give me the tools and tricks that I need to make one month content last me a year. The whole point is to get out and experience new things that relate to your blogging topic in order to refresh your view on the material that you write about.
Read Your Oldest Work:
Sometimes it’s important to revisit where you started by going back and look at your oldest writing. It constantly amazes me the things I didn’t know when I first started writing about all the things I thought I knew! When I go back and read my first editorials I realize that my experiences… my examination of the music industry have changed my opinions on how things are done. It’s easier for me now to look at the way a publicist handled a crisis or the rhythm in which an album release and subsequent tour were announced and promoted. I can take that same article that I wrote 15 years ago, edit and update it until it becomes 3 times the amount of knowledge and resembles nothing of what I thought I knew back when I started blogging.
Revisiting those old pieces can also help remind me who I am writing for and what got me so passionate to start writing in the first place. When you look at your entire body of work in one sitting it can be an overwhelmingly encouraging sense of accomplishment, and help bolster your confidence to keep on analyzing, dissecting and sharing your topic of choice. Taking the time to recenter and refocus what message you’re trying to send and what you hope your readers learn from you from your experience can be hugely inspiring.
Reframe Your Perspective:
While we’re talking about those readers, maybe it’s time you stuck your feet in their shoes again. Are the readers you’re writing for today the same readers that you wrote for in the beginning? For example, when I started blogging 15 years ago, country music fans were not using the internet. They certainly weren’t using smartphones and streaming music apps hadn’t even happened yet. These innovations strongly impacted the way my coverage of music has changed over the years. I was no longer introducing offline music fans to the online music community, which was originally my intention. While I was busy blogging, the industry had changed my mission statement for me. But only slightly. Now my job is to help the country music fans that are already in the online world sift through the noise to find new music they can truly be passionate about. With musicians finding it easier and easier to release material it can often feel like fans are flooded with options and overwhelmed by the sheer mass of new musicians trying to get their attention. That has re-framed my perspective on my own job.
Now instead of getting fans to get online and listen to music, my job is to screen submissions… screen new artists, and help match them to the right group of fans that would fall in love with them. So perhaps it’s time for you as a writer… as a blogger… to take a look at how your audience has matured since you began writing for them. Are they the same audience now? Has technology changed their understanding of your work? Has your audience evolved and did your writing evolve with it?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that people change. We learn. We grow. We all evolve just like our industry evolves around us. Your writing should be evolving along with it. When you read your first blog post and compare it to your most recent, that evolution should be visible. You should be able to link back to your older posts for your new visitors so that they know where you started. It defines a starting point for your readers and gives them an opportunity to travel forward with you in the evolution of your knowledge. If your content is meant to be entertaining you can use the depth of your knowledge to give them a bigger picture of the subject matter you’re covering. No more writing for one stray click at a time. You are now writing for fans of your work. You are writing your legacy, your reputation, your experience. Unless you become a hermit and never have another experience, insight or interaction with knowledge, you’ll be able to pull out of any writing rut you’ve ground yourself into!