Getting Out Of A Blogging Rut

The decision to start a blog is big. The decision to post to a blog regularly for the unforeseen future is even bigger. It requires time, sacrifice and takes you away from other tasks—especially when you’re a writer.

While you can argue blogging is writing and any practice makes you better—writing blogs instead of your WIP doesn’t get your book completed any faster!

Blogging does have its perks, though. Nowadays, it’s part of the “Author Platform” expected for modern writers and puts you in touch with other authors, readers and helps sell your books. But like anything in life, and even if you love it, you can find yourself in a blogging rut.

I’ve had my share of ruts since my blog launched in 2017. There have been posts I’ve loved that no one has responded to. There have been posts that took ten minutes to write that became my most popular. I’ve spent a whole week on posts and I’ve written posts the night before I needed to publish them. I’ve sometimes wondered if I should keep blogging and I’ve had readers telling me not to stop blogging (thank you!).

If you’ve found yourself in a similar blogging rut, these are the ways I’ve found to dig your way out.

Getting Out Of A Blogging Rut

Take A Break

I know I just said to dig out of the rut and now I’m saying to take a break, the thing I’m not saying is to quit.

If you still have the passion to blog but it’s just taking a little longer to get into the groove, all you need to get your mojo back is to take a break.

The only time I’ve not posted weekly blogs was after having surgery in 2018. I was physically and emotionally drained and just couldn’t do it. I was also creatively blocked, so that didn’t help. What helped was leaning into that and taking time off. Sometimes you’ve got to take a break, forced or not, and just give yourself time to be creative again.

Build Up Posts When You’re At A Creative Peak

Earlier this year I hit another creative low. Then I went to my first writers conference and got enough material for several posts. Having those posts written gave me a few weeks break from having to pen new blogs, and that allowed me to avoid the rut I was careening toward and work more on my current WIP—refilling my creative cup.

If you ever get into an inspiration peak, go with it and write as many blog posts as you can. They don’t even need to be more than a rough first draft. Just having a backup of content takes the pressure off and can really keep your blogging going.

Change Things Up

While routine can be your best friend when you’re a blogger and is one key to regular posts, it gets boring.

Knowing you’ve got to piece together yet another blog post when it feels like you just finished one can spiral you right into a rut. When you feel like you can’t take another day of writing intros, thinking of snappy titles, and finding one more image of a generic desk with a laptop on it, it’s best to change things up.

Write a different kind of post. Use different pictures. Change your blog theme. I recently launched a newsletter (which you can sign up for here).

It’s not often I write about blogging, so this post in itself is creatively different, but you could also try adding gifs, images, or color to your posts. Anything that will make it feel like you’re not repeatedly churning out the same thing.

Designate A Blogging Day

Running a blog while writing my YA series Blackbirch was getting overwhelming and the writer-guilt of feeling like I wasn’t doing either properly seeped in. When you’re feeling negative about the task at hand, that rut looks mighty cozy and a great place to stay.

So, I implemented a non-overwhelming writing routine. Now I have a designated blog day where the only writing I have to do on a Tuesday is a blog post. If one is all I can do, then that’s all I do—guilt-free! If I get into a creative flow and write as many posts as I can, I’m then ahead. I aim for those goals every Tuesday, so I’m building up my post stockpile and pulling double-duty to keep myself out of the rut.

Start An Ideas System

One reason you might get into a blogging rut is that you don’t have any idea what to write from one week to the next. Planning can help with this, but if you aren’t a planner, at least try to become an idea-er (or something that’s a real word).

Brainstorming helps. Just sitting down and trying to think of what you’d like to blog about is usually enough to kick start ideas.

If you come up with multiple ideas, start an ideas system. It’s as simple as typing them out in a notepad file or Word doc or writing it down in a notebook (but not one of the pretty ones you bought but will never write in).

I use Scrivener and have all my blog ideas in separate note files with the title as the file name. That way I can just scan each file at a glance and decide what I want to work on or drag them to a dedicated “month” folder so I can plan my content and make sure I’m not blogging about similar topics in the same month.

I’ve got such files going back years, including the year I thought about blogging before actually launching my blog. I may never write all of those ideas, but having them is like having a shovel to dig yourself out of a blogging rut—and is something I highly recommend.

How about you? What do you do to keep your blogging fire burning? Share your tips in the comments below!

— K.M. Allan

You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

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41 thoughts on “Getting Out Of A Blogging Rut

  1. I love your blog posts so will add my voice to those that say “Don’t stop!”

    Like you, I also try to write some posts ahead of time and schedule them for later. That way I can et some done when (a) ideas are popping and/or (b) I have time for some posts but not much else. Guilt-free time is always welcome!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If I get a good idea for a blog post, and I happen to be at my computer (probably reading other bloggers’ posts), I go into the WordPress editor and start a new post. I give it a provisional title and write out the nub of the idea. I have a bunch of these proto-posts in my Drafts file. That way I have somewhere to start when it’s time to crank out a post. I also keep my posts short — usually around 500 words, occasionally up to 1,000. I know what you mean about finding good pictures, though; sometimes that takes longer than writing the post! Great topic!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ruth Miranda

    I started my blog wayyyyyy before I even considered publishing any of my writing, and it began as a… style blog! That didn’t go down very well – loooots of bullying was involved, and even a report at the police for cyberbullying – so I closed it up and started a food bloog, way back in 2014. Still going at it, it was actually the response I got on my blog when I first started posting about my writing in the midst of sharing recipes that propelled me to try and publish a book – suffice it to say that NONE of the people constantly commenting on how they would def buy a book I wrote ever did ahahahh. I know my blog is not what a full time author should have as platform for their writing career, because it is a food blog, but despite sharing food recipes and loads of food photos, I do rant constantly about the writing world, so…
    I’ve been caught in ruts, and what I usually do is take some time off, from it. Also, I’ve realised I had to stop posting as regularly as I did – used to post 3 times a week, then 1 time a week, then 2 posts per month and now I’m down to trying to have one post a month, but am not beating myself up if I don’t – because writing has really become my main focus with all it entails (the marketing alone kills all my free time.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think of your blog as a writing blog with bonus food 😊. I like that you talk about writing but also about recipes and taking photos, it gives it a point of difference. So sorry to hear about all the stuff you went through with your style blog 😔. Blogging should work for you, and if you can only post once a month, post once a month 😊.

      Like

  4. I have daily themes to help. Monday I post poetry, usually mine. Tuesday I pick a song and post my thoughts about it. Wednesday I do a digital abstract art piece, and I don’t write anything. Thursday and Friday are my variations. I usually do writing advice on Friday and I ramble on Thursday 😂 and I call it my tea party. This is good for me, but your post is something that I could have used when I started my blog. It was random and crazy…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. >>What do you do to keep your blogging fire burning?

    Current events drive most of my posts so I don’t maintain a regular schedule. The result could be two posts in one week about topics as diverse as a legislative battle in Washington DC and the Notre Dame post-fire rebuild followed by 10 or 12 days of relative silence until I read about something that lights a spark. I imagine this ebb-and-flow would puzzle potential followers and hinder attempts to build a consistent audience, but I find my writing is better when I’m enthusiastic about the topic.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great point about the blogging day! I try to do this too, and it’ll be all the more important with the coming school year. It’s so cool when we get on a creative hot streak and can pump out a bunch of posts all at once. 🙂 Will you have a post about maintaining creative output during the holiday season?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think designating a blogging day is a great idea. Although I have not been sticking to mine too closely, I do try and work towards it.

    And writing your ideas down for the future is spot on. A good system is key, though. I used to just write things down on post-it notes and then lose them. Or print out something that inspired my thinking, but then would misplace it only to find it when it was too late. Now I create drafts directly on WP and then whenever I have an idea, I write it down there, so when the times for writing comes, I go to see if I jotted down anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Having blogging day has really helped me keep on track and stop feeling so guilty when I don’t write posts. You’re the second person to say they create drafts and save them right into WordPress. You must be on to something.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Brilliant post, Kate. You’ve voiced a really difficult aspect of blogging.
    I’ve been in many blogging ruts, but I’m so glad I pushed through and preserved. Connecting to the blogging community and finding my writing style has been the most rewarding aspect of my writing journey so far.
    If I’m really struggling, then reposting a fellow bloggers post is helpful. Occasionally, it’s good to simply accept that life is too chaotic and miss a post or two. The blogging community is always understanding.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I find it hard to blog regularly and put pressure on myself with self-imposed deadlines of one writing related blog post per month and one book review per month. I’ve struggled to maintain this pattern with a baby…
    But your blog is so fantastic and I would definitely rate it quite highly as far as writer’s blogs go. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Alyssa 😊. It’s so lovely to hear that. It’s encouragement exactly like that that keeps me blogging, so thank you!

      I understand it can be hard to get into a schedule, especially having to work it around work and/or kids. I enjoy your posts when they go up, especially your book reviews. I’ve added plenty of options to my TBR on Goodreads thanks to you 😊.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Boy, I wish I’d read this earlier. “Build up posts at a creative peak.” I’ve been writing more than usual lately, but I’ve just been posting immediately. I’m going to be kicking myself when the inevitable crash comes. Great post, KM!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, John. I do that sometimes, get in the blogging zone and then stop, thinking I’ll pick it back up another day but then all my creativity is gone and I’ll wish I had of kept going when I felt like it 😅.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This was great advise and I made my first post in quite a while having had a break – I made notes along the way of what I would like to post about for the future so hope I’m good to go now for a few posts ps I did giggle at the notebook part about not writing in the pretty ones -soooo true 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Blogging is a huge commitment if one wants to do this for a long time, that is. If we’re trying to create a platform we have to be consistent and sometimes consistency is our worst enemy.

    My Europe trip gave me tons of ideas. On the other hand it handed me a reading rut. Yes, I can all kinds of blog posts but I have fallen behind reading blogs. Ruts will follow us and sometimes capture us but if we’re strong enough we’ll find a way out of it’s grip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know you fell into a blog reading rut because you didn’t comment on the post I put up while you were away that mentions you/your blog 😊. Consistently is definitely the key to keeping a blog going.

      Like

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