It's a new year — time for a fresh start. Welcome to our 15-day series on how to fall (back) in love with your blog. The series is all about stepping back, re-evaluating things and making sure you're still connecting with your blog. Here's what you won't find in this series: articles on analytics, plug-ins, sponsored content, ad networks and the like. What you will find is tips and strategies to stay inspired, motivated and pushing your own boundaries, all while loving what you do.
There comes a point for most of us bloggers where we realize we're not as enthusiastic about our subject matter as we were the day we hit publish on that first post. That moment can come with a lot of mixed emotions: fear, irritation, frustration, uncertainty — in other words, usually a lot of negative emotions.
For a lot of us, the fear is that we're stuck. We don't want to disappoint our readers, we're don't want to lose traffic or opportunities, and so one of two things happens:
- We start dialing it in, creating formulaic content because we feel we have to.
- We drift off and our blog dies a slow death.
Life Changes ... And So Will You
Change is the only constant in life. And as you experience change in your life, it will change you. This is actually a good thing most of the time! It's only natural that how you choose to spend your time will evolve as you do.
There is no law anywhere in the universe that says you have to continue blogging about something that doesn't interest you anymore. At least, not last time we checked!
If you still love the building blocks of blogging (writing and photography) then there is no reason that you have to quit, or drop your blog and start a new one — unless you really want to do either of those things.
Instead, embrace the change and start incorporating your new interest(s) into your existing blog. Lifestyle blogging is a huge segment of the blogging world and it's made up of people who have multiple interests and don't necessarily want to choose one, and only one, to blog about.
Work Change in Slowly
Sometimes it can be easy to incorporate new directions into your existing food blog. For instance, if you love to travel, or entertain, or eat out, you can easily incorporate those. A few things you can try if they align with your interests:
- culinary travel posts if you travel a lot
- tips on how to entertain, including the food and decor
- talk about restaurants in your city — create mini city or neighbourhood guides
- start telling culinary stories (e.g., local farmers, chefs, artisanal producers)
- menu planning
But, if you want to move outside of food without starting an entirely new blog and you don't want to alarm your readers, start slowly. Introduce new topics one at a time and gauge the response, both for yourself and your audience.
You'll probably find, especially if you usually weave stories into your posts either through words or photos, that your audience will be quite receptive. It's also a good way to test if you're really interested in writing about your new interests.
Starting fresh with a brand new blog is always a viable option as well. It has its own challenges, but if you want to move in a radically different direction it might be the best option. You don't need to dismantle your food blog; it will probably still continue to draw traffic from search queries or readers who want to access an old recipe.
Keep in mind starting fresh will mean building a new audience from scratch and potentially even new social media. But that might just be the challenge you need to move forward.
Change is scary, but it's also exciting and it can get your creative juices flowing in ways that nothing else can. So if you feel change poking you in the ribs, pay attention to it and start embracing it!