Monday, December 3, 2018

Does Your Blog Need Freshening Up?

Do you hate blogging? Well, don't feel bad -- from time to time, we all do.

I hang on to favorite old blog posts from sites like ProBlogger, and I recently re-read a fascinating article by guest blogger Ryan Barton entitled "9 Steps to Take When You Loathe Your Own Blog." While I have to admit that I'm not at the loathing stage yet, I still found the information highly illuminating. Barton discusses issues that plague all bloggers from time -- a sense of stagnation, a lack of fresh content or new ideas, that nagging feel of obligation as opposed to inspiration. It's all too easy for a regular blog to become an annoying chore instead of an exciting opportunity. And yes, I've certainly had my moments where the thought suddenly hit me: "Oh crap, it's already time to blog AGAIN?" And I do this stuff for a living, so I can only imagine how intimidating that thought must be to a non-writer or occasional writer.

One theme that seems to permeate Barton's post is the need to change things up, from trying a new writing venue or posting schedule to varying your blog-reading habits to get a fresh perspective on things. In my (biased) opinion, this in one of the biggest advantages of hiring a ghost-blogger. Adding that extra brain to the think tank automatically helps generate new, unusual, mold-breaking ideas and topics. Hiring a generalist instead of a specialist in your industry is even better, because you're getting the outsider's point of view. 

Another suggestion of Bryan's is to re-focus on your target audience. Who is your ideal reader, and how specifically can you envision that person in your mind? We marketing folks use terms such as "target market" or "demographic," but target markets and demographics don't read articles -- people do. Not groups of people clustered around a monitor, either, but individuals. The more clearly you can aim your writing at a specific person, the easier it is to ask yourself, "What kind of article would really benefit John Doe right about now?" Talking to an individual is always easier than figuring out what kind of speech to give to a crowd, so try this technique to grease the wheels on your personal blogging engine.

Hey, you know what? I enjoyed writing this article. I bet Barton enjoyed writing his, too. (You can read it here.) Now go enjoy writing yours -- or just hire me to write it for you and go enjoy doing anything else!