It happens to everyone sooner or later: you lose your blogging mojo. Here’s how you can get back on the horse.
When you start blogging, you probably did so because you wanted to drum up some business. Like a kid with a new toy, you spent countless hours overseeing the design of your new blog. Then you set to work learning all you could about the mechanics of writing for the web, and crafting thoughtful pieces of content that you hoped would spread far and wide.
Eventually, your practice started to grow. Your available time got smaller and smaller, with more of the day being taken up with billable work.
By the time you got home at night, all you wanted to do was sit in front of the television or curl up in bed with a good book.
Blogger’s malaise set in.
Maybe you’ve forgotten the lean times before your marketing kicked in, or you think you’ll have a steady stream of referrals from happy clients that will prevent another dip in your bank account balance.
Perhaps you ran out of ideas, and got bored with writing yet another post about the perils of the meeting of creditors. After all, how many of those posts can you possibly write?
Luckily, there are ways of getting back into the swing of things.
Permission To Be Silent
Many bloggers, lawyers and nonlawyers alike, feel guilty when they take a break from publishing new work. As time goes by, the anxiety of having not published for awhile gets strong enough to keep them from returning to the blank page.
If you give yourself license to take a break – and give yourself a date for your blogging vacation to end – you’ll banish the anxiety and stand a better chance of getting back to writing when vacation is over.
Set Reasonable Goals
The self-appointed marketing gurus say you should blog every day, banging out hundreds of words of powerful and evocative prose for your adoring readers.
The reality is that nobody wants to hear from you every day unless you’re a news site or tech blog – and you’re likely neither.
That’s good news because writing every day is nearly impossible for most lawyers, unless they’ve got either a huge staff or no business to speak of. After all, there are only so many hours in a day.
Make a commitment to write something once a week, or even once every two weeks. If you’ve got more time, write something and schedule it out for a later date. So long as you’re committed and consistent, that’s what matters most.
Whether you scan the NACBA listserv, Avvo, Reddit, or just the mainstream news, there are tons of ideas out there that are of interest to your potential clients. Not only bankruptcy, but subjects like student loans, personal finance, credit and debt in general, and even politics.
When you run across an idea, jot it down in a notebook or save the article using a tool such as Evernote. This way you can come back to your notes when it’s time to sit down and write rather than having to think up a new idea on the fly.
With a treasure trove of ideas, it becomes easier to write something interesting without spending hours stressing over the subject matter.
Write Enough – But No More Than That
It’s said that brevity is the soul of wit, and that’s true.
When you write, don’t pay attention to the word count. Take a small enough topic, write a blog post that covers the topic, and be done with it. It doesn’t matter if you can cover a subject in 100 words or 1,000 – there’s no need to stretch your article to fill a particular number of words.
For example, check out this article I wrote on filing for bankruptcy without your spouse. It’s short, and easy read, and took me about 10 minutes to write. In spite of that, it does the trick nicely and my clients appreciate it.
Work The Muscle
Take these tips and use them to get yourself back in blogging action. At the beginning it may feel a little odd, but that’s alright – the ability to write well for the web is a muscle, and you need to work it out for awhile before you get stronger.
Don’t overdo it, though – you don’t want to hurt your chances for success by straining too hard right away.