A lot of bloggers are suffering blog burnout. Boredom, lack of “results,” lack of human feedback and interaction, lack of inspiration – all of these are our enemies as writers. If your blog has lain barren for months on end, consider blowing it up. Yep, take some TNT to it and blow it away. Redesign the look and feel. Ask yourself if you pigeonholed yourself right into a niche that bores you to tears. You’re likely not quite the same person you were a year or three ago. Start fresh.
Don’t get trapped on someone else’s hamster wheel. Ask yourself, frequently, who is benefiting most from your efforts? I always ask this of writers who think “free exposure!” is the bees’ knees, and bloggers who are eager to help develop sites that promise more traffic, while using their content and others’ to pull massive traffic and ad revenues to them, and authors who get excited over “acceptance” by vanity press businesses thinking these things are somehow the key to success. Follow the money. If you’re giving your work away for free, it ought to be on your own blog, don’t you think? (Yes, licensing your own domain name and self-hosting your site costs some money – about $100-120 a year. I think it’s worthwhile.) Is that “free content” you can get from spammers, scrapers, and spinner apps really worth risking your own reputation over? For most of us, it’s too steep a price to pay for meager crumbs.
It’s good to automate a few things, sometimes – I use Twitterfeed, for instance, but very sparingly. I want to be sure to tweet out the latest posts from a small number of my friends (only the ones whose content I trust not to be of the “alien bodysnatcher” variety!) and so I set up their feeds and tweet out one or two new ones (at most) each day. Because these are things I know I’d want to do manually, but Twitterfeed helps keep me from forgetting, when I get busy with work and might not get to it until later in the day, if at all. (I also see what I’ve tweeted, and sometimes that’s how I find out about their latest stuff – even before I see it in my inbox!)
Overautomating social media just takes the “social” right out of it, and it becomes something more like the the myriad rotting billboards that used to line US highways. Ugly, and no one reads or cares, anyway. Resist the urge to automate – to say, “Have your bot call my bot and set up lunch.” Resist everything that seems merely perfunctory. Act from the heart, rely on faulty human memory when it comes to things that won’t bring the world crashing to its knees, anyway. Have more fun. Explore. Be spontaneous and random, sometimes.
Oh, did you think I was just giving blogging tips?