How To Get Back on Track After a Blogging Hiatus
By: Taylor Davies

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At first the problem was that I didn’t have Internet set up in my apartment. Then it was traveling on the weekends without my computer. Then it was having social engagements after long days of work.

Eventually it was just that I spent too much of my day writing to come home and do more… writing.

Then there was a hurricane.

You guys, I have spent months and months making excuses for why I haven’t been updating my blog regularly. I’m so good at it by now that I’m able to squash my great post ideas with a simple, “I just don’t have time.” The Lazy Procrastination Monster in me had fully taken over.

Sometime over the weekend though, I shook my head out of the fog and snapped back to reality. What was I doing, exactly? I love my blog! I love writing creatively and talking about fashion and sharing my style advice with people all over the world. I needed to get back on track, and re-commit myself. Like a married couple renewing their vows, I wanted to renew my commitment to my blog. However, if you’re anything like me, that’s easier said than done. Here’s how I’m getting started.

 

Assess the damage.

Have I lost some followers on Twitter? Has my traffic tanked? Is there something I’ve been doing that isn’t working for me? The first thing I did before revving up my blogging engines again was to stop, breathe, and take stock of what I was dealing with. First of all, my ad revenue had plummeted. Not good. Second, my readership had dropped off drastically. Even worse. I dried my tears over my depressing analytics (not really, but it was pretty sad), and then had a long think. How am I actually going to make a come-back? What will actually work?

Establish a new routine.

The weekend jaunts to the beach are long since over. I’m not going to that many events. The power is back on. and those excuses are out. Too much time in front of the computer? That’s still true, so what can I do? First, Sunday nights are now for brainstorming. Because I am of age, I pour myself a glass of wine and order some take-out. I set up shop at my kitchen table and dive head-first into my Google reader. I jot down ideas and inspirations on an actual piece of paper. I put that little list on my cork-board where I can see it all week.

During the week, I walk home from work, lace up my sneaks and head back out for a jog or a “power walk” around the neighborhood. Just about 20 minutes – which is long enough to clear my head and short enough not to keep me up all hours. I cook myself dinner while listening to music, then eat and catch up with my roommate. Just like in high school with my homework, I then retreat to my room, set up an office on my bed and get to blogging.

Routine can get mundane, but it’s how good habits are formed. Is this going to work everyday? No, probably not. but that’s the goal, and I’m going to have to make a real effort to make it happen.

Commit, commit, commit.

The funny thing about all of this for me is that I shouldn’t really be surprised. I have never been able to stick to a diet, a fitness plan even a certain train of thought before I’m off the wagon and knee-deep in pepperoni pizzas and YouTube videos of cats. It’s not so much a fear of commitment as it is a natural aversion to it and apparently, a rather short attention span. Accomplishing goals and staying focused takes work. Everyday, I have to actively try to stay on track and get things done – even fun things like fashion blogging.

Personally, I can’t forget for even a minute why I’m working on my blog and what I want to get done. I remind myself constantly that even though this is a fun side project in my life and an outlet for my creativity, I also have a responsibility to the brands I work with, my network and my readers. I have to (and want to) keep up with it and make it good.

Maybe it works for you, but the “Just do it” attitude never sticks with me. I play games with myself, I reward myself for finishing projects and make elaborate to-do lists and playlists that aid my time-management and concentration issues. For some of us commitment takes work, but the feeling of satisfaction and pride in a job well done (and completed) makes all the struggles worthwhile.

 
How do you get back in the groove after a blogging break? What tricks and techniques work for you?

 

[image credit: Shutterstock]

Comments

  1. jenn staz says:

    Usually after a blogging hiatus, I have a old editorial calendar full of old promises. I wipe that clean, and move old post ideas to new future dates with a realistic timeline. I have my editorial calendar on a huge desk calendar, so every time I sit down to do something else, I see the calendar staring me in the face.

    I also try to schedule time in a couple days a week for blogging-only, and try to make my schedule as realistic as possible. Finding balance can be difficult, and making sure I stick to something attainable is key for me to successfully getting back on track.

  2. Avatar of Nasreen
    Nasreen says:

    I havent had a blogging hiatus yet but if i ever do these tips will be very helpful! thanks :)

    http://lazyobsession.blogspot.com

  3. I just found this blog through Pinterest…SO glad I did! Love the tips, and I definitely know how hard it can be not to become burnt out and feeling uninspired. Having a routine is what really helps me get back on track, too.

  4. Avatar of Lauren - Slowburn Fastburn

    Because I started my blog during the summer, I had a hard time committing and finding time to blog at the beginning of the school year. I now use it as a reward. Do a homework problem, do a little bloggings. It sounds kind of silly, but I love blogging too much to just let it go down the drain.

    x lauren
    http://slowburnfastburn.com

  5. Avatar of Nathalie F.
    Nathalie F. says:

    Well thanks so much for this great advice! My issue is that I have night classes from Monday through Thursday, and during the day I work or I’m alone at home with no one to take pictures. I’m planning on buying a DSLR on Black Friday and a tripod so that I can take my own pictures, but until then all I can do is take pictures on the weekends, which has only gotten me about 6 posts a month.

    It’s frustrating because I have so much more in me (and in my closet)! Hopefully it will soon change.

    Check out my blog at:
    http://earnestyle.blogspot.com/

  6. Avatar of
    Siobhan Bell says:

    I’ve restarted my blog last month after a TWO YEAR hiatus! That has to be some kind of record, right? Of course my stats had gone waaaaaay down but my fellow bloggers are helping me back into the game. if you really care about your blog, I think readers become almost friends. So I kept in touch with most of them on Twitter during my hiatus. Upon my return I got a lot of retweets, helping me get my readership back up.

    http://mirukut.blogspot.jp/2012/11/steven-tach-ss13.html

  7. I’m really keen on making lists of things to do.
    I have weekly and daily ones (gosh reading this back makes me sound rather OCD about it!)
    Not just any old thing can go on the list – they are ranked in order of priority, and they must be realistic and ticked-off by the end of the day/week.
    There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a list of things done!
    This is particularly the case with photos… because I work long hours (leave when it’s dark, get home when it’s dark) it limits me to weekend ‘shoots’, so I plan what pictures I need for the following week and get them done when I can, that way the blog never goes without some decent pics.

  8. Avatar of TheCreativeMixx

    Great article! I started blogging in 2009, and am back after a one year hiatus. My main goal now is to blog 4 times a week. The traffic is increasing a bit but I’ve got a lot to do. I’ll definitely follow these tips:)

    1luv
    thecreativemixx.blogspot.ca

  9. I went on a blogging hiatus when I ran for a (small) public office. I knew that, if I lost, I would regret every minute of my time I did not spend on the campaign. So the blog got put on the shelf for 2 months while I constantly campaigned. Once the election was over (I won!) I came back to the blog and it was a real reboot. I had been posting every day….and I write an outfit of the day blog. You know, sometimes outfits just don’t turn out the way you envision – they are not all blogworthy! I now realize that 2-3 times a week is my sweet spot. I also took stock of my own personal style. After 2 months in business suits and not reading blogs, I was surprised to come back to the blogs I loved to see how much the SAME it all looked. I may not be a style visionary, but I know what I like and what works for me, and I really just committed to that (instead of trying every trend). And the blog is so much better! It’s readership is gaining quickly, I am building some wonderful relationships with brands, and I have a much healthier relationship with my blog (goodness that sounds a little silly, but it is true). The point is, for me, stepping away and coming back with totally fresh eyes made such a difference.

  10. linda says:

    I really needed this! Thank you so much. I haven’t posted in two months and l didn’t know where to or how to begin, but your post has given me some much needed fresh stimulus to start blogging again.

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