There are plenty of ways to kill a blog, but how do you keep yours hanging in there? Or more importantly, why bother?
Having a blog, in many ways, is like being in a relationship. You need to commit to it, spend time with it and nurture it. If you neglect it, you’ll notice the effects pretty fast.
But should you continue blogging, or start a blog in the first place? That’s a conversation you need to have with yourself.
Ask yourself these questions (and be honest): why do you have a blog? What are the goals of your blog? Who are you trying to reach, if anybody? Are your topics worth writing about? Do you have time to dedicate so the blog serves its purpose, whatever that may be? Do you benefit from it in some way, shape or form?
But sometimes the answers to those questions change.
As I mentioned in my last post, blogging has taken a bit of a backseat to other real-life responsibilities lately. And seeing that I’ve written about having other priorities before, it likely won’t be the last time. But I don’t plan on killing it any time soon.
For me, blogging is still worth the bother, even though the purpose has changed from when I first started blogging around three years ago.
As a young writing student looking to break into the PR world, I had questions and found blogging to be a good channel to get them answered, learn more about the industry and share the knowledge. When I was on the brink of graduation, I leveraged my blog to help me get a job at a fairly well-known PR agency.
Now, it has a a different purpose: it’s an outlet. The stuff I post here is much more personal and casual than something I would post on my company’s blog. It also gives me the freedom to write about the personal and industry topics I’m interested in, whether it’s moving from a small town to a big city, or what to do when you f*ck up or how to write a decent Twitter bio or whether you should use a QR code for your next campaign.
However, blogging isn’t the only way to engage in industry conversations. And to be frank, not everyone should have a blog. But if you still have some fight in you and are trying to keep your blog afloat, here’s a few lifelines:
- Ask for guest posts. Plenty of people have great ideas for posts and plenty to write about, but don’t have the time or know-how to set up and manage their own blog. Or maybe they do have a blog, but it’s has a different focus than yours. For instance, I have a Contact Me section where readers can contact me directly to pitch guest post ideas (hint hint). But most times, I’ll see something interesting that someone I follow on Twitter said and I’ll ask them to write about it.
- One quick and easy way to get a post up once a week is to gather the best links of the week for a weekly roundup.
- Have a friend that blogs too? Become blogging buddies: when you’re short on time, ask them to guest post for you and then return the favor when you have more time. This typically works best when the bloggers write about similar topics, but even if they aren’t actually in marketing/ PR, they can provide a fresh perspective to your blog. After all, marketing affects us all in one way or another, whether we like it or not.
- Using a poll widget is a great way to get a post up quickly and drive traffic. People love giving their two cents on issues they care strongly about, all you have to do is facilitate it.
However, if you can’t answer the questions above, you may want to consider calling it quits. But not having your own blog is nothing to be ashamed of and it’s certainly not the only way to get your fix:
- Guest blog for your friends and professional acquaintances. As I mentioned above, I’m always looking for fresh perspectives and people to guest post on my blog and have plenty of friends that are in the same boat.
- Contribute to a group blog. Even if you’re not a regular writer, contributing to a group blog every so often can fulfill that need to be heard and engage with others. Group blogs like PRBreakfastClub, Waxing Unlyrical, B2B Voices or your company’s blog.
- Starting a Tumblr blog can be a huge time-saver since it gives you the option to curate in addition to creating your own posts.
- Give your opinion on a hot topic by commenting on other blog posts. Some of the best thoughts and discussions aren’t in the post, but in the comments! And with real-time commenting platforms like Livefyre, you can tag others in your comment and even share your comment on Twitter.