Recently, Mario Sundar told me that he had gone back to posting more regularly on his personal blog, Marketing Nirvana. As the Community Evangelist at LinkedIn. Mario lives his professional life on the Web, also serving as a contributor to the LinkedIn blog. So I was very interested in how he got back his mojo. So, without further ado…
When Kami, whom I met at SXSW, asked me for a quick post on how I overcame my blogging mid life crisis, I immediately jumped at the idea. And, I've got to say – the process of reliving the last two years of my blogging life has been quite the cathartic process. In these two years, I've fluctuated in my blogging intensity. There have been times when I've totally stayed away from blogging for weeks, but recently I find resurgence and the next few paragraphs will outline how I overcame that blogging slump and hopefully offer some hope and inspiration:
1. Centralize your social media efforts
One of the main reasons for my decreasing regularity in blogging, was the plethora of social networking sites out there that took away a lot of my time and interest. Starting with LinkedIn, while at work, I then started adding more and more social networking candy sites like Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, I could go on. The good news was that I was able to communicate my thoughts and ideas in an easier style, format and hence at the expense of my blogging.
What I then realized (thanks to my friend Jeremiah) was that all these sites can actually feed off of one another and slowly but surely you learn to promote your social networking avatars across these different sites. At first, I added Twitter and Friendfeed links on my blog. This then allows my blog readers (on Marketing Nirvana) to follow me on twitter and Friend Feed. I also started auto-publishing (via Twitterfeed) my blog posts on twitter, thereby introducing my followers on twitter to my blog.
As I just mentioned, when I started blogging, my style was characterized by essay posts (kind of like what I'm writing right now) but sooner vs. later it takes its toll on you. Why? Because it used to take anywhere between 2 – 3 hours to write, depending on the research and the links I'd add. So, I had to devise a way to make it easier for me. Here are a few ideas:
Seems simple, but it took me a while to get used to this new style. The challenge here is in writing just enough that you maintain your audience's interest. With practice you should be able to slip into this new writing style with ease.
Another great way to create a steady stream of content, with lesser effort, is creating a regular series of posts. In many cases, figure out what are the key categories you blog about and create a series around each of those topics that you adhere to each week.
If creating a series of posts does not work for you and you've had a really long day, how about a quick post on articles or other blog posts you read that day. A good online bookmarking tool helps collate these different bookmarks. I use Google notebook since it has a really cool Firefox extension that you can summon at will.
And, most importantly, let's not forget that all mid-life crises are psychological in nature. To strike at the root cause of blogging, remember why it all started, the passion, the exhilaration and the fun you had. Two years may be a long time in blogger years, but it's not too late to revive the passion with which you started. The best way to do that is by focusing only on topics of interest – to you and your audience.
My blog had bloated to encompass many generic marketing topics that I realized may not be of much consequence to my audience and was not much fun for me either. So, I zeroed in four of the most valuable categories and stuck with posts on these topics: corporate blogging, community marketing, customer evangelism seen through the prism of social networking! Simple, easy and effective. Plus, it helps you beat the blogging blues!
And, despite all claims to the contrary, don't stop blogging even a single day. Getting into the habit of blogging is very important and interrupting it even a single day can be to your resolve (at least that was what happened to me). So, here I am blogging each day, writing guest posts (thanks to Kami for asking me to do it) and living my blogging life the way it was meant to be. Feel free to swing by my blog.
Photo of Mario by Thomas Hawk, one of my favorite photographers.