It happens to most people studying some form of communications at least once in their college career- the class that requires you to run a blog. They’re great for branding purposes, even as a student. Blogs carve out a small piece of the internet for you to develop your voice and showcase your talent to potential employers. And when maintained regularly, blogs are a great way to have a personal presence.
But sometimes your blog becomes neglected. Maybe you graduated. Maybe you found a job or internship. Maybe you started grad school and now your live is devoted to reading research papers. Or maybe your life has done all the things.
I’m not coming from a place on higher ground here. It’s my complete responsibility that this blog has gone to waste lately. I always enjoyed blogging; I actually started this out of jealously that my friends were blogging, not that I had a class requirement. But as other responsibilities have piled on, I ended up neglecting this little guy.
And the longer I went without posting, the bigger the guilt monster grew on my shoulder. It told me horrible things. ‘You haven’t posted in such a long time, there’s no point in posting ever again.’ For a while, I believed that little guy. But all the while I had missed my outlet where I could analyze things I found interesting. I’d see things and go ‘that would make a great post’, remember that I hadn’t posted in a while, and then proceeded to not post the new idea.
Could I get back into it? What would people think?
I finally realized that if I personally enjoyed blogging, it didn’t matter what other people think. So what? I’m doing this for myself. This is my comeback. And to help, I wrote myself guidelines to stick to going forward.
These are the steps I’ve personally undertaken to get my blog back in tip-top shape.
1) Forgive yourself
Come to terms you let your blog go. It’s okay. Understand that life gets in the way sometimes. What’s not okay is to continually berate yourself for your blog’s neglect. If you keep on kicking yourself, you’ll never reach a point where you feel comfortable to start posting again.
Use your time away as an opportunity to start anew. Find a new theme- there’s plenty to choose from. Pick a new blog name. If you’re unmotivated to keep posting about the topics you blogged about before, find a new angle. Think of this as your blog’s comeback. By carving a new space but keeping things that are safe and familiar will help you feel excited again.
This is one of the more tedious but necessary bits. In your absence, links and videos have probably gone offline. Click through your old posts to check for broken links and deleted videos. Since you’ll be generating new traffic to your blog, you want to make sure your old posts are set for visitors to click through. Either remove or replace these links so that visitors can still get the full experience of your posts. Pro tip: the WayBack Machine can be your saving grace to find old Internet things.
4) Develop a schedule
Alright, this is where the tough love parenting comes in. You don’t want to slip back into your old ways. One great way to hold yourself accountable is to create a posing schedule. If your blog was class-mandated, you probably had a required schedule before. While you don’t have to adhere to that anymore, it’s still a good strategy to keep your blog updated. Look at everything going on in your life now and see how many posts you think you can reasonably create. One a week? One a month? It doesn’t matter- what you should aim for is a consistent presence.
5) Forgive. Again.
It takes a while to get back into a habit. Blogging is no exception. Ease yourself back in. Be aware that you still might slip up with that aforementioned schedule you just created for yourself. If you miss a post, don’t get frustrated at yourself. You don’t want to fall back into that pattern of guilt from before. Realize your mistake, but make sure you’re prepared for the next post.
Here’s to new posts!