Sometimes you need to write a blog post. You might not have anything to say, but as the date since your last post gets further and further away you realize it’s time to publish something. Anything.
I’ve previously argued in favor of not having a blog unless you’re committed to updating it on a regular basis. Still, even the most committed of writers gets busy from time to time and starts visualizing tumbleweeds blowing across their blogroll and dust accumulating on that post from a couple months back.
There’s only one thing to do. Get motivated, get your ass in gear, and knock out a post to get things moving again. It might not even be good (this post sure isn’t), but it still beats continued procrastination.
Writing isn’t something you can force, but it is something you can jumpstart with a little creativity. There are a few ways you can rekindle inspiration if you’ve been distracted with “actual work” and haven’t had time to prioritize your blog.
Here are a few surefire tips for knocking out a quick blog post even when you’re completely swamped:
Write about what you know
The less research you need to do for your topic, the easier it’ll be to write something semi-intelligent. Topics you already know a lot about are great because you can pull from past experience or existing knowledge without having to spend hours fact checking or looking for sources. Oftentimes the knowledge you take for granted will be valuable to readers outside your field who may not share your expertise.
Focus on generalities
Not every blog post needs to be a deep dive into the specifics of your chosen topic. Sometimes a quick hitter, high level overview is more than enough. If enough readers find it interesting, you can always go back and write a follow up post later that tackles the same subject in more detail.
Link to other articles or people
Your blog doesn’t need to be 100% your own material. You’re more than free to share interesting articles and topics being written about elsewhere. Offering a quick analysis or counterpoint to something someone else wrote can be a great way to mine content.
Publish your post (and don’t second guess)
If you feel like you’re merely blogging for the sake of blogging, second guessing your own work is all too easy to do. As long as it’s not a habitual thing, you should allow yourself the occasional “lazy” article. What feels lazy to you could still be useful to some.
Meta bonus tip: use a list format
Lastly, if you’re struggling to structure a post or chunk a topic into easy to write snippets, turn your article into a list. There’s a reason no amount of mockery will stop Buzzfeed from continuing to knock out listicles at a breakneck pace. Lists work, they get shared, and they’re pretty easy to write quickly.
Even though as an agency we’ve railed against the obnoxious misconception that “content is king,” there is still validity in staying consistent with your posting. You won’t always know which posts are going to resonate with your readers, and waiting for the perfect topic can quickly become detrimental to getting anything done.
None of this is groundbreaking, but it should be useful if you’re stuck wondering whether a blog that’s now three months from the last publication date could use a bit of a refresh. At a certain point you need to get back in the habit of writing…even if it feels a bit like word vomit at first.
As long as you’re still writing in your voice, sharing something (marginally) interesting, and staying (tangentially) on topic, there’s value to be gained from keeping active.
The alternative option is to shut down your blog and admit defeat. That works too. But if you’re going to maintain a blog you need to stay committed to posting (semi) regularly.