Dear Kat, I have a massive dilemma and I really hope you can help. I’ve been blogging about a certain topic for the past few years and I’ve really loved it. I’ve made some great connections within the industry, built up a decent readership and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved. But I have a problem… I feel like I’ve kinda fallen out of love with it – not with blogging, but with the topic I’m writing about.
I know you say that the key to successful blogging is having something different to say and a unique voice to say it in, but right now I really feel like I don’t. I used to wake up every morning full of excitement and new ideas around the topic I write about and now… nothing. It’s a massive struggle to come up with anything new and I’m certainly not excited about anything I’m writing.
So I guess what I’m asking is what should I do? I don’t want to give up blogging and all the hard work I’ve put in but I also don’t want to keep plodding along for the sake of it. Do you have any suggestions on how I can re-find my passion?
For most of us, starting something new is a really exciting time. We’re motivated more than ever and, if you’re a blogger, churning out more content than you know what to do with. Your head is full of ideas and your passion is at an all time high. But like with anything, over time monotony and even apathy or resentment can start to set in. You get bored, you find new interests and you might even consider moving on to the next thing… after all, getting that ‘new project high’ can be kind of addictive.
The thing is, when you’re a blogger, however big or small your readership might be, when you go through this you can also start to feel very… exposed. As bloggers we’re expected to really have our shit together. Our readers count on us to churn out regular and engaging content, no matter how we’re feeling about it. It’s at this stage that a lot of bloggers quit, or bring on an intern to do a lot of the work for them, but that isn’t the only option.
First of all you need to realise that if you’re not passionate, it will show. It will be like a big blaring red beacon above your head. Trying to feign excitement, especially online where people scrutinise everything, is pretty darn difficult. If you carry on this way all that will happen is people will soon start to see right through it and fall out of love with your blog too.
What you need to realise is that pivoting in a new direction or expanding the repertoire of what you write about is not a bad thing – far from it in fact! A blog is like an organism – almost a living, breathing thing – and learning how to get the best out of it is a naturally evolving and very organic process. No-one ever starts out thinking “this is exactly what and how I’m going to write forever” and if they did they’d have a very boring blog indeed. So my advice to you would be to allow yourself to explore new topics and to let yourself grow and delve into some new areas.
At The Blogcademy we advise imagining that your blog is a magazine. Think about the difference between Cosmopolitan and Vogue. Both publications are primarily fashion magazines but are targeted towards different readers. They both pretty much cover the same topics – fashion editorials, new trends, hair and make up ideas, horoscopes, they each have an agony aunt page – but they’re aimed at very different kinds of women. A Cosmo girl is in her late teens/ early 20s, works in an office, rents a flat with friends or a boyfriend and lives for fast fashion and the weekend. Vogue’s core readership is a slightly older woman, she has more disposable money, realises that if you buy cheap you buy twice and probably owns her own house. Both of these women want to read about the same topics, but their preferred magazine delivers them in very different ways.
Thinking about of your blog as a magazine is very freeing, because it allows you to cover topics that aren’t locked into that very specific niche that you’ve initially chosen to write about. If you always keep your core reader in mind though (something else we help you to do in class), then you won’t go far wrong. Remember, like you, your readers will be interested in different topics other than the very limiting niche of your blog. In fact I started the Green Room for this exact reason!
Someone else who I think has done this brilliantly is Gala Darling. She started her blog as a straight up fashion blog, but from the feedback she was getting from her readers, she quickly realised that what they really needed wasn’t to see the same old fashion content that every other fashion blogger was posting too. What they actually craved was a massive dose of self love and acceptance.
In learning this and then shifting what she wrote about away from just fashion and style, her blog naturally progressed into so much more than ‘just another fashion blog’. Her Radical Self Love movement has propelled her blog into the stratosphere because she offers her readers something they can’t get anywhere else.
If you don’t have an editorial calender or any regular features in place, I’d also encourage you to get on this right away. Having some kind of structure around what and when you blog is really helpful if you’re feeling stumped for ideas and will also give your readers some recognisable features to look forward to.
Instead of feeling like you’re trapped writing about something you no longer feel passionate about, realise that this is a very pivotal point in your blogging career. Use your desire to rediscover that passion as motivation to branch out a little, take an unexpected turn in a new direction and to reignite that fire in your belly! You don’t have to stop writing about your initial blog topic completely, but you don’t have to be limited by it either.
I’d love to hear from my readers on this one. Do any of you have some advice for our emailer? Have you ever changed the direction of your own career or blog? How did you go about it how did it work out for you?