Blogging can get monotonous (especially when you hyper specialize in a niche), and when it gets boring you have two choices: plow through boredom and try to find new ways of writing about the old stuff, or give up. This happened to me on a little blog called Lurkers Anonymous.
Lurkers was all about how to activate online communities. As I was working in community management at the time, it seemed like a compelling idea since it was a problem I was constantly dealing with. Plus, I had the theory that lurkers actually represented an untapped potential resource that could act in unpredictable ways, and that as a group they didn’t deserve the bad rap they had gotten.
The blog started strong in early 2010, and I was on track to turn it into a book. I posted consistently through March 2010 and then it died. In starting my new business/project, My Media Labs, I started doing a blog about social media basics, marketing, blah blah blah. Each of these have something to do with social media, but what I find is the more “professional” or “niche” I try to go, the more antiseptic my posts become, like I have to present these Fisher Pricified posts that potential customers or readers can easily categorize. ”That’s what will help my SEO, site visitors, and sales – being put in nice little boxes.” It’s killing me.
Where’s the passion? Where’s the experimentation, the love, and the need to get it out there. Truth be told, striking that balance between passion and commerce is not an easy trick. Most of us don’t have it figured out. If we did, we’d all be doing what we loved and getting paid for it. So here’s the secret: if you hate what you are doing or feel in your gut there needs to be a change: STOP.
You can hit the reset button. Posts are looking too vanilla, throw some marsh mellow, chocolate cake crunchies, and cake mix in there (mmm … I want ice cream now). Write something completely off topic and then relate it to your blog theme (posts about how Tonka trucks and playing in sandboxes teach you everything you need to know about product marketing). Go out there. Chances are it won’t hurt your SEO to do something different. Chances are your readers (if you have them) won’t revolt and leave because you did something different. Who knows, you may even earn a few new readers.
Don’t be afraid to break out of the niche. The niche will still be there. You can always go back to writing boring posts again if you want.