When we were younger, we all heard our parents preach “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. The same can be said for blogging—when you have nothing good or of value to share with your readers, do not blog.
It is true that one of the keys to blog success is posting new entries on a consistent, frequent basis. Many marketing experts agree that you should blog on the same day each week and even at the same time so readers know when to expect your newest piece and can actually look forward to it. But let’s be honest, there will be days when you lack creativity or are just too busy to write. On these days, take a step back from your blog and deviate from your normal schedule. Far too many attorneys, and bloggers in general, fall into the trap of posting out of necessity, not because they have quality information to share. We’ve all seen this on personal injury sites, where the firm will write about local accidents in the news—these entries are not informative and can be insensitive to injury victims coming to the site seeking counsel. With examples like this, blog posts become filler text and serve as the antithesis of what blog entries should be—they drive people away instead of connecting them.
If you are really set to sticking with your blogging schedule, take the following steps to prepare for those days of writers-block.
1. Always have a few extra posts in the can
When you’re feeling creative, write a few posts so you have a library of quality entries which can be used on those “off-days.”
2. Define the purpose of your blog early on
Create a syllabus of sorts where you define what your blog should cover including topics and subtopics, and continue to add to this list when you come across interesting ideas. When you’re not sure what to write about, refer back to this outline as a brainstorming mechanism but also as a check on quality topics that you think align with your blog’s purpose. If you can’t think of anything to write on within these topics, it’s probably best to sleep on it.
3. Call in reinforcements
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Some of the most successful blogs feature guest writers who deliver a fresh voice and unique insight. If you know that you have a big trial coming up that will steal most of your attention away from your writing, plan for guest bloggers to contribute new posts. This will ensure that the quality of your blog does not suffer despite your time constraints
Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up or let guilt take hold when you don’t stick to your writing schedule. There are times when even the best bloggers lose their focus and motivation despite all of their efforts. It is in a way inevitable. Social media consultant, Samantha Collier recently posted a great article filled with ways to re-energize your blogging vigor. She emphasizes the need to disconnect from your blog and get in touch with the real world, as this is the most valuable source of experiences that positively impact your blog.
The benefits of a well-written, informative blog are undeniable. The consequences of posting low quality blogs just for the sake of consistency can easily negate these benefits. So before you hit that save button, be sure to carefully review your latest post. Is it informative? What can the reader take away from it? And most importantly, are you proud of it? If not, please in the interest of your blogging integrity, step away from your computer.