Getting back to blogging is like getting back into the dating game after a long - and I mean L-O-N-G break. You've changed. You see things differently now. You want different things. Do you even remember how to do this? Writing a post for the first time in forever can feel like getting dressed up for the dance floor after spending a few years mooching around in your PJs.
Sometimes all you need is to sit down and make a start. Close the 2 zillion tabs you have open on your browser for no reason whatsoever, hide your phone, grab yourself a cup of hot chocolate and flex those fingers. First, there are a few things to figure out:
Do you need a change of scene?
I say that loosely. For some people, it can be as simple as dragging a chair into the garden. For others, a move from Wordpress to Squarespace, for instance, can do wonders to get the old juices flowing. This was a big one for me. Goodbye plugin nightmare and hello lazy, update-free bliss (more on that later). If that sounds too scary, even a change of theme/template can give you the kind of makeover you need to feel fresh and get out there again.
What exactly do you want to write about?
You've got three options here:
- brain dump on any topic under the sun;
- dive deep into a niche area, attracting a very specific kind of reader and eventually positioning yourself as an expert; or
- choose a small selection of topics and run with them.
I'm side-stepping the rule of 3 and going with 4. My themes of choice: writing, learning, startups and social impact. And yes, I know we're talking about getting back into blogging so presumably you've already been through all this but I refer you back to para 1 - "You've changed. You see things differently now" etc etc.
Can you really commit (this time)?
I wrote a couple of those classic "I'm back" posts when this was a Wordpress blog. Picked up a few likes from fellow bloggers who felt my pain. I wrote these posts after disappearing for months on end when life ran away with me (e.g. graduating, having babies, that sort of thing). I'd do my post, make my apologies, say and do all the right things then skip off into the sunset never to be seen (until the next time). Don't get into that spiral. You're better than that.
This time, I've decided: no great big apologies or speeches. I'm older and wiser now. And yes, I have changed. I do see the world differently. There are things I need to tell you. The way I see it, the best way I can do that is to just get started.