How to Get Your Blog Back On Track

How to Get Your Blog Back On Track

Let’s talk about your blog.

I know. It’s a painful topic. You don’t know what to write, you don’t feel confident about what you DO write, and frankly, you’d rather not be blogging at all. It was fun in the beginning, but now it’s become nerve-wracking, stressful and a complete chore. You’re behind on your blogging schedule, you haven’t posted anything for your readers in ages…

You can’t even remember the last time you actually ENJOYED writing a post.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Writing a blog post shouldn’t take days. It shouldn’t be stressful. And there are fun, easy writing techniques that can help you feel inspired, motivated and even excited about blogging.

One good blog post? It can bring in the kind of business results that any blogger would be thrilled about: more sales, more customers, more signups, more attention.

That is… if you’re actually able to write that blog post in the first place.

Now, my writing course at Damn Fine Words gives you plenty of writing techniques that help turn you into that confident blogger. It’ll teach you insider secrets that probloggers like me use all the time, every day – and we’ve been using them for years.

But today, I want to share a few quick tips from course lessons so you can get your blog back on track, and get back to stress-free, enjoyable blogging, starting right now. Try these:

Capture Your Ideas Right Away

Many people have great ideas for blog posts… but they don’t jot them down. They think they’ll remember them later on. They don’t have a pen and paper handy. Or they blame the idea for coming to them at the worst time because they’re nowhere near a computer. They’re in the shower or driving the car or in an important meeting…

15 minutes later? That idea is gone. Forgotten. Wasted.

Don’t make shower excuses or rely on your memory. Find a way to write down that idea and capture it before it flies away. Use technology to record a quick voice memo on your smartphone. Write yourself a text message or an email. Grab a pen and scribble your idea on the back of a receipt.

Yes, even if you’re naked and dripping wet from your shower.

Write on Demand

You have your idea jotted down? Brilliant! When you’re ready to begin drafting that blog post, settle into your writing routine – the one you’ve established to train your brain to write on demand.

Wait – you do have a writing routine established, right? You’re not coming to your writing cold, are you? Just sitting down thinking you’ll smash out an awesome post like magic?

That’s a common amateur mistake that many bloggers make. You need an established routine that mentally prepares you to write – basically, getting in the mood well before you sit down at the keyboard.

Think of it this way: You can’t build a house without preparing yourself, your tools and your materials. You can’t sit down to write a good blog post without preparing yourself either.

Write a shitty first draft.

I’m not kidding about this one. Forget perfection out of the gate. Shitty first drafts rule.

You can edit and polish up the post you wrote another time, but the first step of any post is putting your idea into written words, in rough draft format, so that you can improve on it later. All smart bloggers work this way, and you should too.

Start writing shitty drafts for the future, too. Write a bunch of shitty first drafts. Build a collection for later. The more shitty first drafts you have of these on hand, the more you’ll be able to grab one in a pinch. All you’ll need to do is polish it up and schedule it in your blog.

Imagine having a year’s worth of blog posts, all ready to go.

It’s an easy goal to achieve… with the right techniques guiding you, of course. And if you want to learn more about those techniques, then check out Damn Fine Words, the writing course that helps you build the confidence you need to blog your way to better results.

You’ll learn how to collect ideas and expand them into better posts. You’ll learn how to blog in a way that feels comfortable and that cuts your writing time in half. You’ll learn how to use your posts to help your business, and you’ll kickstart your blog back to life.

You’ll learn how to enjoy blogging – maybe for the first time in your life. Soon you’ll be writing blog posts like there’s no tomorrow!

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.

Join the Discussion. Click Here to Leave a Comment.

  1. Having used the past two sessions of DFW focusing on a project, this time my only aim is applying the DFW learnings on my blog. I want start enjoying blogging again and never again be at a loss of what to blog about.

    Have I mentioned that I absolutely love that as DFW student, I have lifetime access?

  2. “No more shower excuses” –sounds like another t-shirt or button.

    Let’s see: “No more elevator excuses” “No more grocery line excuses” “No more reality show excuses” “No more roller coaster liine excuses” “no more whirlpool” “no more talking to grandma excuses” “no more dentist chair excuses” “no more red light excuses” “no more boring sex…–nah, better skip that one. 🙂

  3. “Capture Your Ideas” alone is worth its weight in gold! I use Evernote and have it on every device that I own. Whenever an idea comes up (even when I’m riding my bike) I stop whatever I am doing and record it right away. It has been a life saver! I now have a backlog of about 20 ideas ready to be written. I blog 5 days a week which is hard enough, let alone if you don’t have any good ideas…now I open up Evernote and just see which idea grabs my attention and I write about it!

    • I’ve never used Evernote (I know, I know, I’m so behind the times), but I use just the plain old Notes feature of my iPhone all the time. Works like a charm!

  4. A recent TED revealed that Memory Champions often use a technique that doesn’t depend on technology to help them.

    They associate what they want to remember with an outrageous scenario. ie: in the shower, visualize that snot came out of the shower and associate your idea about boogers with that scene. Key is to make the scene as ridiculous as you can imagine. Much better than standing there dripping on the floor recording a voice message or texting yourself while driving.

    • That’s a good one. I’ve also heard about the same technique for remembering names, and another technique is putting the ‘thing’ you want to remember to music – attach a song to it, and you’ll have better recall when you need to bring it to mind.

  5. “Shitty First Drafts” are KING and while I’m a big believer in the first draft and several revisions, it’s GREAT to hear that other people think so too! Most of the ideas I have for my blog get scribbled down on a yellow post-it note and get shoved into my pocket on my way out the door – many of my best ideas come to me while in the shower – probably because it is a stress free environment where I am rarely interrupted. I use Color Note on my Droid to keep track of ideas when I don’t have paper. And there have been many times when I’ve interrupted friends as they’ve said something which triggers an idea with “Wait. Stop. Don’t say anything!” and I start scribbling out an idea; strangely enough, they’ve gotten kind of used to it.

    • I am a big, big fan of shitty first drafts – if it never gets written, it never gets out there! And you can always improve on anything… but you can’t if you never try to write it at all.

      (Also, “Stop! Don’t say anything!” is something I frequently do myself – people do get used to it, eh!)

  6. Dear Men of Pens:
    Though this idea concerns about blog which I do not have myself, but I have a Newspaper that goes with these ideas . This is why I can stand and say:

    Maybe yes you are not kidding !!!!! I may forget perfection out of the gate of my sight and. Shift these energy in to my work following writing rules. I can even edit and polish up my writing any other day , but right now, getting my ideas down in a rough draft form so that I can improve on it later is something out my mind, because I like to do things right there like the way I am writing this comment.. I like to learn from others, I mean constructive criticism.

    Ntarugera François

  7. One of my favorite tools to come down the pike when it comes to capturing ideas is Evernote.

    If you don’t know what this it is, it’s a scratch pad that’s got soaked in radioactive chemicals and thus transformed itself into an Incredible Hulk (hey, it’s app colors are even green like the Hulk hahaha) of a place to capture the concepts you can turn into future blog posts.

    I use about .5% of it’s capability but the one thing I love about it is that it syncs across your computer to your smart phone so you can add notes, pictures, recorded messages to yourself on it and they’re available to you on your phone or your computer. My sticky note pads are getting lonely over here.

    The way I’m explaining it’s mega-usefulness is doing it a great disservice so if you’ll allow, I’m inserting a link here for the article titled, “How Tim Ferriss Used Evernote To Write The 4 Hour Body” which is an interview Evernote did with Tim. Maybe someone will find this tool as useful as Tim and I have . . .

  8. Writing shitting first drafts, LOL, I always do that!

  9. I think we can all identify with the points you make in the post, how many of us have a head full of ideas that never come to fruition. I am a confirmed advocate of ‘shitty First Drafts’, as you call them. I have post it notes and scraps of paper everywhere with ideas on them. In fact a lot of the time if I am busy, I will just jot down a few keywords for me to go back to later. This way I end up with a host of valuable information that I can go back to at my leisure and construct a worthwhile post.

  10. Hi James,

    I love the part about writing shitty first drafts. It’s best to just write and write and slog your way to the end, before even looking back. That way, you’ve gotten the whole idea down, terrible as the draft may be, before the dreaded “editor” kicks in to kill the initial spark of creation and start “improving” it.

    I also produce music and it’s the same with recording. You are always in record, as opposed to rehearsing the part until it’s right, then recording. That’s because you never know what may come out on the first take when you’re just going for it and loose. That’s often when you capture the magic. (before the brain kicks in!)

    Great post!

  11. I think I need to create a folder of shitty first drafts. I seem to always be running out of ideas, even though my mind really is swimming with great ideas. They just don’t want to come out.

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