Ask geekmummy: Help! I’ve lost my blogging mojo

 

ask geekmummyI’m a little late with my “Ask geekmummy” column this month, because I’ve been struggling to find a question to answer. I must confess that I’ve recently been feeling a little weary of “blogging about blogging” and talking about blogging, and I’ve been trying to take some “me” time to refocus on my blogging activities.

It seems I’m not alone. Some very high profile bloggers like Crystal Jigsaw and Not Supermum have also written in the last month or so about their blogging fatigue. It seems that there’s so much that you can do with blogging and social media that it’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the whole thing, and that’s when burnout can strike. There are many bloggers around who will quite cheerfully tell you the “rules” of blogging, and those rules are different depending on who you talk to. Should you be worrying about SEO? Going self hosted? Google+? Where are you in the rankings? How many comments did your last blog post get?

Does it really matter?

Here’s what I do when I’m starting to feel overwhelmed, because yes, it happens to us all. I take a piece of paper and a pen (I know, how retro!), and I write down WHY I blog. Why did I start blogging, and why do I blog now, and what do I want to get out of blogging in the future. And then I take a cold hard look at whatever it is that’s stressing me out, and I consider whether it’s something I really need to worry about.

I would be very surprised if many bloggers actually started blogging to get to the top of the rankings, or to get a certain number of hits per day. I predict that most people started because they love writing, sharing stories, preserving memories. Trying new things might feature in there too. Perhaps trying to earn a little extra money? Everyone’s reasons will be different, and they’re all equally valid. But you know what, once you have written down why you blog, it’s a heck of a lot easier to work out what you should be spending your time doing.

If you really feel that you’re losing your blogging mojo, why not try something different? Try not blogging for a week, write a guest post for someone else’s blog, start a new blog or try audio or video blogging. I’ve been delighted to learn recently that Crystal Jigsaw is back after her short break, and that Not Supermum has started a new blog. Both these bloggers found their mojo again, and if you feel like you’ve lost your mojo perhaps trying one of those things will help you too.

For some bloggers, blogging is their job. But for many others blogging is something we started for fun. And it’s very easy along the way to lose that fun, and to have it become more like work, and this is what makes you feel like you’ve lost your mojo. The best way to get yourself out of that funk is to do something different and rediscover the fun in blogging, because after all there’s a heck of a lot of fun to be had!

Ask geekmummy is a monthly feature where I attempt to answer your blogging questions. If you have any questions you’d like me to answer in future posts please leave them as a comment on this post or contact me via twitter – @geekmummy.

 

 

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About Ruth Arnold

Ruth Arnold is geeky, tech-loving wife to one and mother of two. She has been blogging and podcasting in various forms since early 2005, and started her geekmummy blog in August 2010 whilst on maternity leave after having her son. Ruth blogs about living family life surrounded by technology, and particularly enjoys sharing her love of apps with her readers. Ruth enjoys using a variety of media on her blog – she produces not only written posts, but audio and video as well, and was delighted to be awarded the MAD Blog Award for Most Innovative MAD Blog in 2011.

16 Comments

  1. 09 January 2013 / 09:52

    These are excellent tips, and know from experience that they work really well!

    I also blog about blogging (with Blogger) which forms my main income stream, though often find a complete lack of enthusiasm for the subject. Last year I lost my blogging mojo completely,and decided to take some time out to concentrate on my craft hobby.

    Guess what? It led to the creation of a new blog and renewed enthusiasm for blogging (it’s fairly successful now and has granted another small income stream which takes pressure off my main work).

    I’m also rejuvenating my oldest blog, the one which got me writing in the first places and offers an avenue to type about the things I really care about. The only problem is, now I have my blogging mojo back I want to spend every spare minute online!

  2. 09 January 2013 / 10:33

    I’d not been feeling “with it” for a long time since finishing my book. Over the past month or so I have got myself back in the mood by ignoring anything remotely PR related and blogging short frequent posts NaNoBloMo style. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep up 5 daily posts Mon-Fri but it’s good to publish things regularly again.

  3. 09 January 2013 / 12:34

    The first time I had a break from my blog was an enforced break for almost two months when it was hacked. I was really distressed at first, then when I realised there was nothing I could do immediately (I turned my blog over to experts to secure it) I started to feel quite liberated not constantly thinking about blog updates. When I returned to the blog, I blogged about being hacked and what I did about it, then carried on as usual. I didn’t lose any followers, nothing changed at all in fact–not even my PageRank.

    It was a great lesson. I learned that my blog doesn’t need to control my life and that setting it slightly lower in my priorities is quite healthy. I also learned that a couple of months break won’t harm the blog. Sure, if you are earning from sponsored posts you’d miss out on that, but I get most of my blog income from banner ads. Learning that I can be a bit more relaxed about blogging has helped my blog (I write better) and my real life.

    Christmas is always an incredibly busy time in my house–probably partly because we also have two birthdays during the holidays and so this year I just accidentally on purpose stopped blogging mid-December. Today I am finally sitting down to get a post ready for tomorrow. The break, the lack of pressure to blog and to read and comment elsewhere and to do all the fiddly photo editing and SEO stuff was great!

    I enjoy the blog usually, but not when I start to feel stressed about getting a post up. The main reason I blog is to connect with others and I don’t think even a month-long break will destroy those connections!

    Thought provoking post!

  4. 09 January 2013 / 12:54

    I had a crisis of confidence and tiredness a week ago. I almost gave it all up. I’m currently working in my own business 4 days a week, commuting 450 miles a week and frazzled. “Something has to give” I thought, looked at my life, realised my blog was the thing which didn’t pay and (unlike my running) didn’t give me a health benefit so I thought I would quit.

    I didn’t in the end but I have cut back. There’s only so much of me to go round and it’s important not to burn myself out. Interestingly although there was a seasonal dip around Christmas in pageviews, there hasn’t been much of a dip since I reduced the numbers of posts. A salutary lesson.

    • 10 January 2013 / 22:00

      Good grief – you sound like you need a break or to bottle and sell the energy that lets you manage to do it all. You can only do so much, and it sounds as though you’re finding your balance (AND running, now I feel dreadfully lazy!)

      • 13 January 2013 / 15:37

        Thanks! People do kind of look at me with confused faces when I tell them everything I do but I’m lucky that the theme of my blog fits in with things I’m doing anyway (cooking) but I have to be honest and there would be more spag bol, pork chop and sausage based meals if I didn’t have it!

        I try for three runs a week but often only manage two. I don’t run far, only 3-4 miles and that is only half an hour – 35 mins each time so it’s quicker than going to the gym.

        My latest contracts though finish at the end of March. It’s an odd thing as I have my own business because you have the stress of working long hours but also the stress of where the next job will come from. I’m preparing to take a break though. I need one!

  5. 09 January 2013 / 22:10

    I started blogging a couple of months ago, and since then have only had 3 comments. This was getting me down a bit, till I took a couple of week’s break over Christmas. Now I just think ‘to hell with it – I love writing, so that’s the main thing’.

    Mind you, I’ve been reading up about how to get more traffic/comments etc…it’s quite addictive, this blogging malarkey, isn’t it!

    • 13 January 2013 / 15:41

      I wouldn’t worry. No comments doesn’t mean no-one is reading. It might mean that the topics you are choosing aren’t controversial. That’s no bad thing. Some bloggers get caught in a spiral of choosing the flavour of the moment to get loads of traffic and comments but I think it stands out a mile off as a bit desperate. Just stick with what you are interested by and be true to yourself. The readers and commenters will come.

      I have quite a few views now but because my blog is recipe based I don’t always have comments, often they come through twitter instead.

  6. 10 January 2013 / 16:40

    Thanks for the mention and link to my new blog. It’s very early days but I think it’s going to be fun to start all over again!

  7. 10 January 2013 / 21:58

    This is such a pertinent topic – over and over again! I often wonder when I catch myself looking at stats, or lack of comments, and become a bit frustrated with blogging, but just as you advise, I stop and remember that while that stuff is all really nice, and it’s great not to feel that you are in a vacuum, my impetus for writing the blog is just purely enjoyment and self-satisfaction. It’s rather like being confident in yourself without relying on other people telling you you’re a great person or mother… I like my blog, and as long as I don’t let it rule me and take over my life, hopefully we can both be happy, especially now that I have gone back to work and time is even more precious.

  8. 13 January 2013 / 16:17

    I was starting to wonder if my writing was interesting etc so this year I am concentrationg on a photo a day. I love taking photos and hope in turn this gives me something to write about.

  9. 14 January 2013 / 09:48

    I got a bit bogged down in December (I always do and always forget that I do!), particularly with a backlog of reviews that really should have gone up at the start of December, and just published yesterday. When I have a backlog of reviews, I find it difficult to write normal blog posts, because I feel guilty and feel the PRs will read those posts and think ‘Huh. She can write that. How come she can’t write our review!). Now they’re out of the way, I feel freer and like I can just write something at a whim (not that I actually have).

    I’ve also found myself being much more into posting to my new(ish) illustration blog than writing for the parenting blog. One thing about that, I think, is that I’m drawing or painting every day and I can just scan and post a picture – though I usually talk a bit about the process, too – so it’s a lot quicker. But it’s also shown me that drawing and painting is what I really want to be doing.

    So, I’m going to take on less reviews and more sponsored posts (so I can have some pocket money to spend how I want to spend it) and after that I’m going to blog what I want when I want, rather than trying to build anything up for rankings or the like.

    Feel somehow lighter having made these decisions/realisations.

  10. 14 January 2013 / 13:27

    I’m in the same place. I felt hugely guilty about not blogging over Christmas, and then a bit dirty about the number of posts on my blog that didn’t have much to do with my children.
    However, when I eventually did come back, I felt totally remotivated, with more of an idea of what I want to write next. I think blogging fatigue is just a natural way of telling you to give it a break, reassess, and come back better

  11. 05 April 2013 / 09:43

    Help!!!
    I have totally lost my blogging mojo – I was a happy expectant mum-to-be and then my baby arrived. I’ve not blogged in six months. I feel to scared to now as its been so long and I’m not the person I was before my son was born. I bearly have time to brush my hair, let alone blog about this.