The Alchemist's Lair
Thoughts on writing, language, life as a freelancer,
and what comes to mind.
and what comes to mind.
If you've been around The Alchemist's Lair before, you already know this blog has gone still for a while.
What you might not know is that the decision to stop blogging for a quarter worked fine for me - and no, my website traffic hasn't dropped dead in the meantime.
My own reasons to hit the "pause" button were quite simple: I needed more time to focus on learning, work on demanding (and exciting) projects, support new business with an extra round of care and planning.
I realised I couldn't juggle all of that (and more) whilst keeping the same old schedule and pace.
We've all been there, sooner or later - which leads me to the big question in the title.
Why on earth should a freelancer stop blogging when all the "big names" out there yell that you "have to" blog to build (and keep) an audience, engage your readers, and grow your business?
#1 Your business is changing
Your business is not set in stone, and you might come across an opportunity or idea that makes you want to accept a new challenge.
When your business changes, you also need to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly - otherwise it would be like promoting shoes when you're actually selling scarves and gloves.
With your business blog being a part of said marketing strategy, you might want to include new blog topics and prompts to attract a different audience. Or maybe decide on what "dead ends" to cut to make room for some new ideas.
In this scenario, putting your business blog on hold until you've come up with a new editorial calendar that fully suit your needs is perfectly understandable - and probably wiser than keeping your old routine.
#2 You're not enjoying it
Trust a copywriter on this one: if you don't like what you're writing about and you're only "doing it" because you need to, your readers will know.
Blogging is about connections and conversations, and blog authors are the hosts of the party: they need to make sure all guests are enjoying it, and keep them engaged in lively discussions.
How do you react when you find yourself stuck talking to "the boring guy" at a social event?
You run away. Graciously and with a smile, but you do run away.
If you feel like you are the boring guy at your own social event (aka your business blog), just stop blogging. Maybe you'll get back to it in a few months, or maybe you'll hire someone to do the dirty job for you.
Just make sure you don't host a party if you'd rather spend your evening watching TV.
#3 Your content hat is out of bunnies
AKA you lost your "content magic" and don't know what to write about.
Again: your readers will know.
As mentioned already, there's a lot of pressure on "having to" create content consistently, on "having to" keep your business blog going no matter what, and the like.
However, regurgitating overused topics doesn't work.
Let's face it: finding original topics to write about is almost impossible. Nevertheless, there's always room for looking at the old questions with a fresh pair of eyes. Writing about the "hot topics" without spicing them up with your personal touch and perspective won't get you more readers nor customers.
If you're run dry of content ideas, or find yourself struggling with the "fresh perspective" bit, maybe it's time for you to step back from your blog, and reconsider your content strategy.
Brainstorm around the topics your blog is currently covering to find out whether you missed interesting bits and pieces in your initial planning. Leverage your interests and passions to come up with a fresh source of content ideas you will enjoy writing about. Read more, and have a look around the web to discover tools and tips you could share with your audience.
The bottom line
If you have a business blog, that is probably the very heart of your content marketing strategy. As such, it is your responsibility to keep it healthy, consistent, and entertaining too.
If your business, life, or perspective is changing and blogging feels like a burden, a break could help you bring in more energy and focus to your efforts. People start and stop blogging everyday, so don't fall in the "have to" trap and take your time to reflect on your strategies and goals.