This is another one of my occasional posts on what to do when you don’t feel like blogging.
1. Update your bio/about page. If you’ve been doing this for any length of time, chances are it’s out of date. You should also make sure that you’re including everything there that’s going to help reinforce your brand and (if it’s a personal blog) establish your authority and expertise.
2. Develop a list of non-content tweaks to improve your blog. Chances are, you’ve got a widget or a plug-in you’ve been meaning to add to your blog, or a design tweak that you haven’t gotten around to. If you’re not going to create new content (the most important thing you can do), then figure out what else you could do to improve your blog.
3. Make one (or more) of your list of non-content improvements. If you already have a list of potential blog improvements, or you’ve made one, now is the time to start implementing those. Decide which is most important, and implement that.
4. Add more social media sites to your Ping.fm account. Ping.fm is a cool service that allows you to send updates to all sorts of social media, chat and social bookmarking sites at once. That makes it easy, when you publish a new post, to spread it to all sorts of networks. You still have to sign up for individual accounts at these sites, but Ping.fm automates the process of posting to some or all of them at once. Hint: You can also tie Ping.fm into your Hootsuite account, so Hootsuite updates it — if that makes sense for you.
5. Create a notebook with all the important records related to your blog. If you’re not keeping track of all your passwords, business records and other information related to your blogging and social media activity, it’s easy to find yourself hitting that “I’ve forgotten my password” link too often. I use 3×5 cards in a little plastic box (about $2 from an office supply store) to keep track of this information.
6. Brainstorm ideas for the next time you do blog. Sometimes taking the pressure off yourself of actually writing a full blog post can be freeing, and you may find new ideas flowing.
7. Leave smart, relevant comments on other blog posts. If you’re like me, you’re already blogging, keeping up with social media networks and digesting a torrent of incoming email, RSS feeds, ebooks and paper books. Commenting is something you probably don’t do as often as you should. Blogs with CommentLuv installed or that use Do Follow links can be particularly helpful for SEO purposes.
8. Check out other blogs in your niche, and figure out how to get a guest post on one of them. Guest posting can boost your search engine visibility, bring you new readers and give more credibility to your reputation and brand. Step one is to figure out where you’d like to guest post.
9. Look at your blog with a browser you don’t normally use and fix any design problems that show up. If you habitually use one browser (I recommend Firefox), you might be surprised what it looks like in Internet Explorer (various versions), Apple’s Safari, Google’s Chrome or the Opera browser (all of these, except Internet Explorer, come in versions for both Mac and Windows machines). You might also want to consider making your site better for mobile browsers. Here’s a set of WordPress plug-ins to help you do that.
10. Do something totally different to get inspired. Exercise, visit a museum, play with your children or read a thriller. Sometimes your brain needs a rest or a change of direction.
11. Proofread old posts. You’d be surprised at how many grammar and spelling errors could be hiding in old posts. Go read some of that older content and fix any mistakes. After the Deadline is a WordPress plugin (there’s also a Firefox add-on version) to help you find and correct those errors.
12. Blog anyway. If you’ve committed to posting regularly, don’t let your feelings (which are probably temporary) dictate your actions. If you’re feeling blocked, read my post on eight ways to overcome writer’s block.
What do you do when you just don’t feel like blogging? Leave your tips in the comments.