How to Stay Sharp when You’re Getting Dull

After blogging for any extended amount of time, it’s bound to happen.  Maybe you’re the exception to the rule, the Energizer Bunny of the blogosphere, if you will.  But for the rest of us, there’s a good shot that given enough time, you’ll start to lose your edge.  Whether your voice becomes flat, your content becomes a bit stale, or your overall feel just gets a dated look, a blog that isn’t sharp and on point is not a blog that will sustain readers.  Likewise, it will probably not even sustain you.  Chances are, you’ll get frustrated, burnt out and unsure about what to do next.  So, if you’re drifting that way or are possibly already in that spot, here are some ideas you may want to try in order to get that cutting edge back.

Go Sleuthing

You’re going to have to put your detective hat on for this one.  When you start getting dull, chances are very high that your content is all starting to sound the same.  This point is ridiculously easy to get to.  You start running short on time or your blog just becomes a smaller priority in your life and so the tendency to spend any decent amount of time prepping for said blog post is infrequent.  And, let’s face it: surface info is only interesting for so long. (For you and readers alike.)  So, take a day, a couple days, a week even, if you can manage it, and put some serious time into digging down deep into your niche.  Find what’s going on underground.  Find something you can bring to light that not every other blog on the subject has already uncovered.  Discover a potential in-the-future-idea that’s bubbling around.  Or maybe even come up with your own crazy futuristic idea of what might happen or could happen.  Be inventive. Have some fun with it!

Develop an Alias

When you’re dull, one of my most favorite ways to escape the doldrums is to become a whole new person altogether.  If you’re afraid to take on a whole new voice and personality and attribute it to yourself, then develop an alias.  Go all out with this.  Pick a name and then work up a background.  Yeah, I know, you’ll feel foolish, but whatever: it works and you need some help.  (Well not now, of course, this is all potential).  Pick your occupation, your hobbies, what your favorite wine is and what makes you smile.  What ticks you off and what gets you fired up.  The better the picture you have of this person, not only will the amount of fun you have increase ten-fold, you’ll write a much stronger piece.  Try and go as far away from your normal as possible.  If you’re always sassy and sarcastic, try your hand at something more braniac style.  If you always write straightforward, well-researched, linear pieces then by all means, throw some creativity in there!  Be punchy, be witty.  You’ll still be able to stay on topic, but you’ll give your blog a breath of fresh air that will probably not only relieve you but your readers too.  Who knows, you might want to give your alias a chance at a weekly post.

Team Up

When you all on your own just aren’t cutting it, consider teaming up with some bloggers who are really on their game.  This could mean co-writing a few posts till you get your pizzazz back, maybe taking a blogging class, or maybe even taking a class on whatever it is you blog about (marketing, cooking, etc.).  Sometimes it just takes a few more great minds in close proximity to yours to get you re-excited about the topic at hand.  And, when you’re excited, your voice naturally comes alive, your energy level that you devote towards your blog expands and you find yourself getting creative more easily.  You might go all out and re-style, you might just start producing pieces just dripping in inspiration, and you may even discover a new side to your voice you hadn’t discovered before.

Take a Step Back

When all else fails, allow yourself to take a step back.  Take a few posts off.  Schedule in some fantastic guest bloggers to fill the spaces.  And let yourself take a breather.  Don’t make yourself read one more news article, one more cookbook, one more blog on the same topic until you actually start to crave it.  At some point, when you very first started this whole blog idea, you thought you’d have enough ideas and inspiration to last you forever and then some, right?  Right.  So, it’s doubtful that your passion for the topic is entirely dead and once you aren’t around it, you’ll probably miss it.  And by the time you come back to it, the wealth of information that will have accumulated in your absence will probably be more than enough to trigger countless new ideas.  You may even have to post some response/rebuttal pieces to your guest bloggers, you never know.

About Jocelyn

Jocelyn writes and blogs about how to use electric water heaters in the most energy efficient ways.

Comments

  1. Yeah, you got a point there. With friends, in a group, you can always stay sharp since there’s always someone who’s always ready to help you and remind you. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. I did try to write with an allias once in high school and it was very fun to be someone that I normally and the opposite of. It was a good way to be creative and get more interested in writing in general. I definitely would recommend this to anyone out there who has writer’s block or feels burnt out.

  3. Today I experienced it, I felt some of the content I created is not satisfactory and less touching in it. Thanks for sharing, very useful for me..

  4. This is so true. When you hit this point, you have to force yourself to write and it comes through in your writing. If you add up all the posts a blogger does, it’s equivalent to a series of novels. Writing that much can be taxing on the brain. Thanks for the helpful tips to overcome this.

  5. I guess we all run into this problem now and again, right? My thing to deal with it is taking frequent breaks, also changing it up a little. Make a list of different activities you need to do, and rotate among them until they are done. Staying on the same task for hours at a time is boring, for everyone.
    With that said, I like your idea of taking on a new alias and writing something totally different! Get out of yourself for a bit, good idea. this will help with getting creative again, and allows you to be anything or anyone you want to be. Thanks for the great post, I will return…

  6. I am getting dull I know, but not on Blogging. It’s because I usually work alone. I don’t work much with people because I easily get irritated if things go wrong the cause is them. I guess I should start to be a team player.

  7. My wife spends twelve hours a day in front of her computer writing various articles and her aim is to provide quality content. I understand how she loves her work but it is also very important for her to step back once in a while. So, as her lifetime partner, it is my duty to take her hand every 4:30 in the afternoon for a short walk in the field. Last Friday, when we headed home she told me I’m glad you know what I need. After that I’m pretty sure her thoughts will be amazing. :)

    Thanks a lot Jocelyn. Well done.

    • That’s sweet :)

    • David,
      That is very thoughtful of you! I agree it’s good to get out of the house sometimes. Usually if I feel like I am losing my edge I go outside and go for a jog or a long walk and just relax. This gives you some fresh air, some exercise, and some time to let your thoughts roam. Foe me, this usually gets my creative juices flowing again.

      Great tips Jocelyn. Thanks for this.

    • Yeah that was sweet. My heart melts whenever I saw or read similar stories like that. I want my love life to be like that too when I get old.

      Stepping back could also mean rewarding yourself. Go out for shopping or for some dinner at a restaurant. Reward yourself for doing hard work.

      • Thank you John. I’m sure you’ll have your love story too. Well, one thing, I’m not that old though but I do love my wife. I’ll be just 32 next month.

        Good point there. There’s a lot of people appreciates the hard work we do and find their ways to make us feel how grateful they are. However, giving on our own self has another nice feeling too which is very helpful also in showing our best.

  8. When you are doing a lot of blogging it is easy to get in a rut and start getting repetitive. Using an alias is a good idea along with getting feedback from other writers. Sometimes you can’t see the forest through the trees. Go over your past writings and see if you are repeating yourself or making any sense.

  9. Pretty good.. you got a point there. With friends, in a group, you can always stay sharp since there’s always someone who’s always ready to help you and remind you. Thanks for sharing this.

  10. The alias thing is such an intriguing idea!