What to do when you don’t know what to blog about

I stopped blogging for almost a year, except for updating a few old posts here and there. As any of you who have taken an extended blogging break know, it’s not easy to get back on track. (Ok, let’s be real: It only takes a couple skipped posts for the struggle to set in!)

Whether you take a break from blogging, or you’re stuck in a rut, a time will come when you don’t know what to blog about. This is the situation I’ve found myself in lately. Though I had many ideas swirling around in my head, I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t want to publish for the sake of publishing. I wanted to make sure I was setting myself up for success and not for burnout.

Whether you take a break from blogging, or you're stuck in a rut, a time will come when you don't know what to blog about.Click To Tweet

I gave myself plenty of time to plan and didn’t set random deadlines. I allowed myself to take as much time off as I needed, guilt-free. But even as my excitement grew to start blogging again, I had no idea what I wanted to say. Here are a few questions that helped me plan out new content and decide what to write again.

Why did you start in the first place?

One thing I’ve learned over the past year is that I can no longer blog for the sole purpose of checking it off my list. My blog has to be a part of bigger plans for my business, and it has to serve a purpose to be worth my time. As much as I enjoy creating content that helps others, I have to earn a living. As a service-based business, the time I spend blogging is time I’m not spending on paid projects. So, my blogging efforts have to save me time in other ways or lead people to my passive income streams.

My blog has to be a part of bigger plans for my business, and it has to serve a purpose to be worth my time.Click To Tweet

But, let’s be honest, content marketing is exhausting these days. Content upgrades, sales funnels — the marketing talk made me less excited about blogging. It made me feel like I needed to scrap my whole blog and start over. I was wasting my time if I wasn’t writing laser-focused articles for a small niche.

Then I took a step back and thought about why I started in the first place. I simply had thoughts I wanted to share that I knew could help others. Sure, most people come to me for WordPress tips. And I definitely plan to continue sharing those, even more so than before. But it’s OK to continue to share what I know about blogging and business as well. These topics still serve my audience and still answer questions I receive often.

What are you always telling people?

This is a question I always come back to. When you’re repeating yourself, you’re probably solving a common problem in your industry. You’re answering a question people want the answer to. This is how evergreen content is born. It’s why my site traffic remained steady despite not posting new content. When you answer common questions, people will always need (and share) your content.

What did you learn from a recent experience?

One of the easiest ways to start writing is to talk about something you’re going through. It’s something that’s on the top of your mind and that you have plenty to say about. It doesn’t have to be a big revelation to make an impact. Sometimes people only need a little reminder. I know I’m not saying anything new in this post. But I also know that someone will find this post exactly when they need to read it. This is something that happens to everyone. Personal experience is powerful because we don’t all think in the same way. Sometimes people need to hear things in a new way before it finally clicks.

Personal experience is powerful because we don't all think in the same way.Click To Tweet

Can you update an old popular post?

If you can’t bring yourself to write something new, why not edit something old? We all have a few posts that get decent traffic but don’t represent the bloggers we are today. Getting started is the hard part, so if you can’t do it… don’t. Work with what you already have! This is also a great way to introduce new audience members to your older content. Who knows, you may even be able to repurpose that content into a paid product. My ebook Make WordPress Work started from a collection of old blog posts.

The most important thing to remember is that if you want to blog, you have to sit down and write. What you write about matters less than you think it does. The practice of writing will help you find the words you want. Start with what you’re thinking about right now, and it gets easier the more you write. Happy blogging!

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Meet the author

Hello! I’m Lisa M. Butler, and I help people build better websites. As a WordPress developer, I’ve built more than 100 websites on WordPress. I help my clients take their websites to the next level and teach them how to take control of their online presence. Through my blog, weekly emails, and club, I share that same advice with online creative entrepreneurs and publishers just like you.