Getting Back into the Problogging Groove

Sometimes, no matter how strict and disciplined our posting schedules are, there are events that will forcibly push us out of our rhythm, such as family tragedies and emergency out-of-town trips (to places without good Net access, to boot). The longer the event, the more work gets piled up, and the greater the disorientation upon our return. That said, count me as one disoriented blogger. (I have been one for the past two weeks!)

In response to this problem of mine, I cooked up a list of activities which helped me ease myself back into the numerous problogging tasks on hand. Hope these can help future bloggers who’ll unexpectedly get yanked out of “the flow”.

Reading old blog posts – Days or weeks without blogging can dull your writing voice, as well as your vocabulary and wordplay. Sifting through your old posts will serve as the sniff of that familiar perfume that brings back the good ol’ memories.

Commenting on other blogs in your field – Well-written comments are like microcosms of blog posts; the views and thoughts contained within them can stand on their own for their author, and they elicit comments from other people as well. As such, writing comments can serve as an excellent warm-up drill. Go around a couple of good blogs in your niche and chip in your thoughts. This can be applied to other forms of online discussion, such as forums.

Randomly surfing the blogosphere – How many times have we posted about the blog posts written by other people? Other bloggers’ opinions are a potent fuel to fire up the hibernating blogger in you. Take a stroll around the blogosphere using Technorati, BlogExplosion, blog directories like EatonWeb, or even Blogspot’s Next Blog feature.

Why the “randomly”? Often, we are already familiar with the way of thinking and tone of the bloggers in our feed subscriptions and blogrolls. Random surfing can introduce us to something new, something that can shock and awe and draw forth the emotions, something that can trigger a blog posting frenzy, never mind the blog-rust.

Reading offline sources – Before going on blogging hiatus, I talked about getting blog content from offline sources. Whether you’re nicely tucked into your blog posting rhythm or totally out of it, offline material such as newspapers and magazines can provide the ammunition. If you’re having trouble consciously looking for something bloggable, you might want to try this: don’t actively look for what to blog. Just let it jump at you.

Managing blogs before writing – For your own blogs, do some blog management first before doing some blog posting. Doing those little design and SEO tweaks will get you into the doting-blog-owner mode fast. Don’t forget to check your visitor stats and ad revenue – if there’s a dip in either of the two, then you’ve got further reason to be inspired and blog again!

P.S. You might also want to check out Raj’s What To Do When You Lose Your Blogging Mojo. This related article dealt more with writer’s block than rustiness, but many of his tips can also be applied here.

3 thoughts on “Getting Back into the Problogging Groove

  1. @Raj, thanks. And that bicycle analogy is right-on. I used to roam our community with my bike…but that was ten years ago. Now I can’t balance even for ten secs. Sheesh. 😉

    Yeah, people sometimes work harder when they’re not paid. Esp. if they’re working for their own projects, armed with high hopes. I haven’t fully understood this, too, which means I don’t understand why the case also happens to me. A syndrome in bloggers/freelancers?

    @Ahmed, excellent point. Smaller posts give rusty bloggers the right encouragement to tackle on bigger posts (and reach or even exceed their old productivity level). I once tried to do a big thang right away on an abandoned blog; if my memory serves me right, I failed quite miserably!

  2. Too distracted Raj?

    One thing I’d add to Phillip’s list is to restrict yourself to smaller posts and goals and not try to take on too much in the start, especially if you’re rusty.

    There are some people who need a big challenge to get started. But you don’t always have to be over-dramatic about it, setting yourself achievable goals and then finishing them can give you the momentum to push on forward.

  3. Phillip: Welcome back. Blogging’s kinda like riding a bicycle. It’ll come back to you. (But I know I’m nowhere near the productivity level now as I was at last year when I wasn’t paid. Weird.)

Comments are closed.