Do you feel like you lost your blog mojo?
Like nothing’s really happening with your blog and you poke at it out of some sense of obligation but really your heart’s not in it?
It’s not a good place to be, but it happens. So let’s take a look at why it happens and how to get your mojo back.
When you put a lot of work into something and don’t get the reward you expected, it leads to burnout. And maybe this isn’t the official definition of burnout, but the way I see it, it’s a kind of despair. Right or wrong, you didn’t get what you expected.
So the question now becomes: what did you expect and why?
You expected a choir of angels singing upon clicking the publish button…
Okay I’m kidding.
Or am I? Admit it, you want people to notice and recognize you for what you’re doing. You want them to say “Well done.”
And when you try to look at why it’s not happening, you’re baffled because you thought you were doing everything right.
Now, I’m going to totally interrupt this whole thing with a story about children and perseverance. Have you ever tried to get a child to look for something? It’s hilarious: they look around the immediate area, maybe go poke around in a box or something unrelated to what they’re looking for, and then confidently report to you that they “can’t find it.”
Here’s what I do with my granddaughter, who’s eight.
“I can’t find it,” she says.
“You can find it,” I say, “You just haven’t found it yet, which means you’re not done looking.”
She looks some more and reports back, “I still can’t find it.”
“Then you’re not done looking,” I say, “Keep going. Look for it until you find it and don’t stop until you do.” It’s like she doesn’t seem to grasp that concept. I cut her some slack, she’s only eight, after all.
But you’re not.
So if your blog is flatlining, don’t keep coming back to me, saying, “But I’ve done everything like I’m supposed to.”
Because, obviously, you haven’t. Is your blog ragingly popular, getting tons of action and making sales for you? No? Well, okay then.
Have you ever heard of “Lake Woebegone Syndrome?” It’s from Garrison Keillor’s radio show, in which he introduces the fictional town of Lake Woebegone as a place where “all the children are above average.” It’s supposed to be a joke, but the reason why it’s funny is because the truth hiding in the humor is that’s what we tend to believe about ourselves. We don’t openly admit it, but it’s true. Psychologists have long known that we tend to overestimate our own abilities and underestimate the abilities of others. This phenomenon has a name: it’s a kind of cognitive bias called illusory superiority.
The reason why I bring this up will become clear in just a moment.
Let’s take one of the most basic “commands” of blogging: content is king and you have to create great content in order to have a blog that gets you anywhere.
First of all, people throw this idea around without even knowing what good content is. But, in addition to that, most people assume their content is good. Lake Woebegone Syndrome: where all the blogs are above average.
Except they’re not. Most blogs are just average or below average. And by most I mean yours. And content isn’t the only problem your blog has. But my guess is it’s the biggest problem.
Does anyone feel anything when they read your blog?
It doesn’t matter what your supposed purpose is for a blog post. Let’s say you want to teach people how to do something step by step. You may fulfill that objective on a dry, technical level, but you also may have just put people to sleep.
Have you ever learned something new and suddenly felt like you could conquer the world?
That’s how you want people to feel when they read your tutorial. FEEL. As in, emotions. You want to trigger emotions in your reader.
To do that, you want to decide how it is you want them to feel, and then use your words to paint that emotional picture for them. It’s not impossible. You have examples all around you. Jokes make us laugh. Injustice makes us angry. Overcoming hardship makes us feel inspired. Losing a loved one makes us feel sad.
The best vehicle for conveying emotion is a story. Getting into your readers’ heads right in between their thoughts and their emotions helps, too (which is why I stress that you understand your ideal customer).
Your products are full of stories: where they were made, who made them, why they made them. Your customers are full of stories: stories of success and inspiration using your products. Stories of failure before they used your products (by the way, I’m using the word “products” here very loosely to mean anything you sell: services, packages, whatever). Stories of doubt and fear before they discovered your products.
Kinda like the story I’m telling you right now.
A story about how you doubt yourself because your blog has lost its mojo and you want to get it back. Just like you and I are sharing this story moment right now, so you can do the same with your readers.
So if you want to get your blog mojo back, remember that triggering emotions is a very powerful form of magic. In stories, the hero wields magic in the form of an enchanted item or talisman.
Your talisman is the story. Your words.
Think about stories you can tell and what emotions you want them to trigger. Readers mirror the emotions of the characters they read about. If the “hero” of your story feels inspired and triumphant, your reader will, too. If the hero of your story feels righteous anger and is ready to take action, then your reader will be, too.
Stories don’t need to begin with “Once upon a time…”
There is a story in this blog post right now. It’s your story, and I’m not exactly telling it so much as I’m pointing it out to you. I don’t mean like you have to write fiction, or something (although how many bloggers are actually frustrated fiction writers? Quite a few, I bet).
So the next time you sit down to write, instead of carrying on like you usually have, try this: decide what emotion you’re going for and what story delivers that emotion. Write your blog post around that. Go for the heart of the matter.
You should feel a little scared to publish it. That’s how you know you did it right.
Keep doing that, and you’ll get your mojo back. It will work because to do it, you’ll have to reconnect with everything inside you that matters.