Happy holidays! We hope you’re continuing to enjoy leftovers and time with family all week long. Personally, I’m working at home in Buffalo awaiting this.
Amidst the busyness of the season, there is still your blog. Now what exactly to do about that blog of yours? The few days between Christmas and New Years can be a slow on the internet and you may be asking yourself if you should blog at all this week. Will you have time? Who will read it if you do?
Our advice? Don’t blog. Here’s our guide of things you should do instead to effectively prepare yourself to jump back in for 2013.
Seriously, step back and don’t even think about blogging. But realize that since this is such a big part of your life, even if you do unplug, the things you really love about it and the things you really hate about it will likely bubble up to the surface of your thoughts regardless. That’s really where the rejuvenation will really happen!
Dealing With What You Hate About Blogging
Did someone leave a mean blog comment for you – or several of them? Is internet-wide drama over a certain post still bugging you?
There’s nothing like explaining that type of thing to a friend or family member who cares about you and doesn’t work for the internet to put things in perspective.
Remembering The Stuff You Love About Blogging
It’s easy to fall into the grind of just putting up content for the heck of it to say you blog every day and to keep up with everyone on every social network.
We don’t often step back long enough to miss the parts of blogging we enjoy the most, recognize what those things are and make those a priority moving forward. Doing things you love is really important because you generally give the most effort to and do that stuff the best, but when you’re stuck in the weeds of the day-to-day it’s tough to see what those things are. So step back enough to realize what things you love the most about blogging, and make sure to focus on them first and foremost in the new year.
When you are ready to open up the computer, we recommend not diving right to creating content right away, but instead taking a few days to invest in some planning that will pay off in a fresh direction for your blog in 2013.
Develop A Vision – Who Is This Blog For?
My favorite blogging advice I’ve heard recently was from Jay Baer during his presentation at BlogWorld. He said to pick a target audience and to “create someone’s favorite blog.” The idea is that if you nail down your target audience first and foremost, they will help spread your content to a broader readership from there. This approach helped him focus his blog re-design by honing in on social media and content marketing professionals, and it helped him see how he differentiates his content from other social media and marketing blogs out there.
Make your target reader real for yourself by writing down their job, pain points and what you think they could learn from you. Give this target reader a name, photo and true identity. Print it out and hang it up wherever you blog if necessary to keep you disciplined and focused. All in all, this approach is really about having a vision for your blog vs. getting stuck in the nitty gritty.
What you’d ask yourself with a vision: “How will my blog help Jessica, a 35-year-old mom like myself, learn more about healthy living on a budget this month?”
What you’d ask yourself if you were stuck in the nitty gritty: “What giveaway will I do this month?”
Having this kind of vision for your blog will make any content decision (giveaway partnership, advertising, whether or not you’ll still do Wordless Wednesday) in 2013 much much easier because you simply need to ask if it serves the needs of your target audience. Also remember that you likely already have a consistent type of reader coming to your blog, but you just haven’t realized it yet. Take a look at your Top Sharers report in Shareaholic Analytics to see who your most engaged readers are and get a sense of who your target audience is.
If you simply cannot peel yourself away from the computer all week, we still recommend investing this time in inspiration-building and planning. Get inspired by the other popular content in your space using Shareaholic Channels, and use your Top Content report in Shareaholic Analytics to identify what the most popular posts were for the past few months for your blog. The ideas you’ll glean from these tools, combined with the focus of your new vision and relaxed mindset, will have you in great shape for blogging in 2013.
Are you blogging this week or taking the week off? Are you doing any content planning for 2013? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments.