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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

7 Tips to Keep the Blogging Fires Burning!

You know how in the beginning of a relationship everybody’s interested and interesting? How we keep up our appearance? How we interact, engage and put forth our best effort?

Then with some time and familiarity we tend to take things for granted. The fun factor fizzles, or we simply lose steam. Or perhaps our attention is diverted by some other “new and shiny object.”

Well, the same thing happens with blogging.

Here’s the scenario.

In the beginning you work hard to create posts to bring people to your spot. You appear at the popular social media sites in hopes of “making friends and influencing people.” You’re consistent in your blog updates.
After awhile, you find you’ve hit your stride!

Your followers increase, you have repeat visitors, and your amount of comments are encouraging. Eureka, you’ve found success!

That’s the honeymoon stage.

Fast forward.

It’s a year later, or two, or five. And your blog has the excitement factor of a tax audit.

It’s like a ghost town. The activity level has dwindled and so has your motivation. In the words of singer Roberta Flack, “Where is the love?”

Don’t despair. It happens. But you can resurrect a dying blog and get back that lovin’ feelin’ with a few creative, strategic steps. Here’s how.

  1. Take a break. That’s right—put up your “gone fishing” sign on your site, and disconnect. Take time to cultivate new ideas, to relax and rejuvenate. Sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder.
  2. Survey or poll your readers to assess their interests and to determine your future direction.
  3. Schedule guest bloggers to bring a different perspective and new energy to your site. Which bloggers do you admire? Start there.
  4. Study and analyze your most popular previous posts. What was the common denominator? Were they posted on Tuesdays? Were they technical in nature? Rev up that traffic by doing a repeat performance!
  5. Post interviews with prominent people in your niche. A good rule of thumb is to diversify your content so readers won’t get bored.
  6. Don’t be afraid to court controversy. (Remember the Dixie Chicks and President Bush)? Sometimes “stirring the pot” can have hot results!
  7. Respond to comments. To cultivate an active blog community, it’s crucial to be responsive to readers’ questions and comments. There’s great truth to the expression, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” .

Follow these seven tips to keep the blog fires burning, and most importantly to avoid burn out!

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