Three Ways To Have Fun Again With Your Blog

This post was guest blogged by Ryan L. of ClubBlogger.Com.

Let’s be honest here – there is nothing like the excitement of starting and launching a fresh new blog. Those feelings of being bent on taking over the blogosphere (and the world while you’re at it) are hard to top, and any motivated blogger knows the feeling that I’m talking about. I mean seriously, if you weren’t pumped and motivated, you wouldn’t have started a blog in the first place, right?

Let’s fast forward 3 months. It’s Tuesday night, and up until the last week or so, you’ve been steadily posting at least one new article every day, like all good little bloggers should. Except, tonight, you just can’t muster up the energy to write another post. Traffic is down, RSS subscribers are plummeting, and you’ve simply lost that love and feeling of writing a fresh new helpful post for what loyal readers you have left.

Sound familiar?

It happens to the best of bloggers, and from my personal observations and experience, it seems to peak at that 2-3 month mark. At that critical time in your blogs childhood, you typically aren’t seeing much income, if any, and your readership is on the edge of falling off if you don’t come up with something quick. If you can make it past this dreaded speed bump, your chances of success increase greatly – but if you fail to eat that bowl of motivation soup, you’ll likely slump off to the point where you completely give up.

Right now, at the tremendous rate of new blogs popping up, it’s probably safe to say that quite a few of your reading this are at this very important place in time with your blog, and below, we’ll look at three easy ways that you can start having fun again with your blog. Remember, your blog is your baby! And if you’re really serious about making a difference and actually making a name for yourself, you need to try extra hard to get things moving. If this helps just one blogger, my job is done, and the blogging gods will bless me with good fortune. I hope.

1. Have An Awesome Contest

Look, nothing motivates readers more than a good contest. People simply love free stuff, and they especially like free stuff, if said stuff, is cool stuff. Yes, I just used the word stuff in the same sentence 4 times. Seriously though, a lot of contests out in the blogosphere just aren’t “cool” enough, and that’s where you can capitalize. If you’re really, truly serious about running a successful blog, you’ll have to invest some money along the way to get there (unless you’re John Chow!), and there is no better way to do that then give away a bad ass prize. I’m talking Nintendo Wii’s, fancy IPods, or big chunks of cash. When your prize reaches the $200 level, people get interested. Anything above that and you’re really talking some major publicity. Any contests I’ve held on past blogs at that prize level have given me an awesome return on:

  • RSS Subscribers
  • Overall Readers
  • Traffic
  • Clicks On Contextual Ads

Above all of that, when you buck up and actually give away something worth talking about, it’s a load of fun for you! Seeing the immediate benefits, such as the aspects listed above, is super motivating, and just may be the weight you need to “tip” your blog over the edge. One big contest can set your blog up for a long time to come – especially if you couple that with good content. Give it a shot, and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

2. Network With Peer Bloggers

This doesn’t sound as exciting as number one, but trust me, it is. Here’s what you do: Take about an hour or two and compose a list of your favorite blogs that you routinely read, and start gathering contact information. In some cases you may need to use an email address, and other times you’ll have to use a contact form. Either way, start sending out emails introducing yourself. This is truly an amazing way to network and be friendly with fellow bloggers, and believe me; this can lead to all kinds of great benefits.

When you reach out and initiate conversation with other people in your niche, you can build long lasting relationships, which will lead to links to your articles from them, which leads to more traffic to your blog, which leads to more subscribers, and so on. Just imagine making friends with 30-50 bloggers in your niche. Think of the SEO benefits of having relevant sites linking to you on a regular basis? Although this gratification isn’t as immediate as the contest strategy, it’s an important thing to do if you’re serious about making your blog a success in the long run. Spend a day getting in touch, and it may be the best time investment you’ll ever make for your blog.

3. Become A Master Of (insert subject here)

This one, while it sounds more like homework, is actually another fantastic way to build the long term success of your blog. Just take a minute and think of things that you use for your blog every day: plugins, hacks, social communities such as MyBlogLog or Technorati, Twitter, and countless other programs and tools. Seriously, it doesn’t take more than a week of studying and reading to become an expert on most things Web 2.0 related, and by branding yourself as the “go to” guy or gal on a particular subject can do wonders for your blogs reputation, as well as your own personal reputation. When you master a tool, especially an up and coming one such as Twitter, or Facebook – and then you start writing about it, not only will you have droves of interested and eager learners flocking to your site, but you’ll also have a continuous stream of articles that you can write whenever you feel like it. Personally, I think it’s key to become an expert in a specific subject, as we move further into 2008. In order for your blog to succeed, you need to be known for something, and with all the available things you can specialize in, there’s really no reason you can’t establish yourself as the guru of something. Point being with this one, when you make yourself the pro, you’ll always have people to talk to, you’ll start having fun again because you’ll be guiding people who have questions, and you can also start monetizing your expertise by making niche specific recommendations, and it’s really all down hill from there.

I know this is a long one, and there are other ways you can start having fun again with your blog, but the above three are the ones that really stick out in my mind whenever I need a refresher or a boost of confidence. If you’re super motivated about making a success out of your blog, then do two of the above or even better, try all three! I think most experienced bloggers would agree that investing in your blog, whether it be in the form of money or time, can be very rewarding in the short and long term, and when your blog is on the fast track to success, that’s when you have the real fun.


53 thoughts on “Three Ways To Have Fun Again With Your Blog”

  1. Laura says:

    I love when readers email me. It can be a great connection. Some posts connect better than others. Right now I’m offering to use my alumni career center information to help readers find interesting internships and jobs. 😀

    Meeting up with other bloggers is great as well. So far they seem nice in person. 🙂

    1. MR. NICE GUY says:

      Great content. Blogging is a lot of fun only if you love blogging. If you don’t even want to write a single content in a week, pls don’t blog, it won’t help you anyway. 😀 😀 😀

  2. ❓ Hi; great post; I’m interested in increasing my traffic with the contest solution. Can you or your readers provide some examples of top prize arrangements (i.e. each person that performs x action gets y points and it’s administered in the following way, etc). Instead of trying to come up with something from scratch and waste a lot of time and money, I’d like to hear some success stories, unique ways to formulate the contest, etc. Is cash better than physical goods? I appreciate the help!
    EDF

  3. Thiago Prado says:

    contest is the best way to bring traffic to the blog!!!

    1. Sava says:

      I agree to that. Cash prizes bring the most traffic 😆

    2. Not always, but it is a good method 😉

  4. Flimjo says:

    A contest is good, but does it give you lasting traffic?? I feel like a contest provides a bump, but then the traffic subsides afterward.

    1. Thiago Prado says:

      If you keep having contest all the time, the same people is gonna come back to try to win something, people loves FREE stuff!
      what it really matter to have traffic to your blog is good content not free stuff.

    2. Cronus says:

      Yes, if you’re willing to give stuff out users usually want to keep checking back to see if you add more. Also, if you have some things that they might like, they will stay. Plus, you’ll get some extra RSS subscribers so they will receive updates in their email/rss, and most likely come back again once they read the email/update

      1. Ryan says:

        Couldn’t have said it better myself 😛

      2. Yeah they are a few advantages of contests =]

    3. Contests did a great job of getting me an initial burst of rss subscribers. It’s probably time to do another one soon.

      1. Thats true, but then again its a great building block.

    4. david cheong says:

      Contest also depends on your prize, your website rank, if either one is good, i am sure you will get a lot lot of traffic. As other will spread news about the contest 🙂

  5. I totally agree with making a blog more fun!

    To Flimjo…yes it does. I’ve had great success with my contests. So much so that I currently have some running on my recipe blog that even include a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer…yes, a little self promotion there;)

    If it wasn’t for the first giveaway I had on my food blog, I wouldn’t have near the subscriber count as I do now, which is at 450+.

    If done right, it can be VERY successful!

  6. Flimjo says:

    Yea, you’re probably right. I guess a contest combined with consistent quality content is a recipe for success.

    1. Ryan says:

      You hit the nail on the head with that comment. Look at all of the restaurants and other entertainment outlets that are always holding some sort of contest. Sometimes the contest bribe is a good marketing call!

      1. Flimjo says:

        Yea, I guess it’s a way to get people in the door (both at restaurants, etc., and in blogs). Bribe them in, and then keep them there with quality (either food or good blog posts).

  7. Thanks Ryan. I am going to create my list of blogs within the life balance niche this weekend and begin more networking next week. Thanks for the reminder and motivation.

    1. Ryan says:

      No problem buddy, that sounds like a great plan! It really is worth the effort, and will pay off in many ways down the road. You’ll see 🙂

  8. Great post, I like the ideas. What do you think, should I give my iPod away 😆

    1. Cronus says:

      No, Iw ouldn’t give used items. People generally look down upon that. Go buy a new one, then give it away. :mrgreen:

    2. Ryan says:

      Heck yeah! Hey, anything Apple always goes over well!

  9. Cronus says:

    I agree the best way to drive traffic is through a contest. I am currently running one on my blog as well. I started out with a decently sized/priced prize(a Ninendo DS + Game). You have to set the terms very clearly though or some may cheat. Also I think it is best to set a limit of what you would like to get from the contest, rather than a time limit. I set mine so that once I hit 150-200 RSS subscribers I would give it away finally. Currently it is nesting around 50+.

    Also commenting on other blogs is a plus(why do you think I am here?). Getting known in other communities, will get people wanting to know you just a bit more, so they may check out/subscribe to your blog. Almost anything can drive traffic, but the things listed here are definately the top 3.

    1. Ryan says:

      Cronus – that’s a pretty nice prize, should be a good incentive to subscribe! I like your idea of setting limits, but on the other hand, I would be worried that it would take too long to reach whatever goal it is your trying to attain, and people may lose interest in the mean time. But, I guess as long as you have some pretty sweet content to keep them occupied, it wouldn’t be a big deal.

      I’m just a sucker for quick contests, because I know people like to win fast. Excellent points though 🙂

      1. Cronus says:

        Well, I have another website(not blog) that is in the top 10k of alexa rankings, and I am driving ALL of my traffic from there to it. So I get literally thousands viewing each day. I’ve gotten 32,000+ visits since may 8th from it, and I already have 84 subscribers to my rss.

        Most people won’t be able to do that obviously, but if you have the resources, use them!

    2. Flimjo says:

      I would say commenting gives you a little bit of traffic. But obviously contests do way better.

  10. AndyS says:

    Great post and your 3 points are spot on. I am in that 2-4 month valley of blogging despair, but thanks to this post I am going to try some of your tricks. Thanks Jon Chow.

  11. Kaushik says:

    Great post Ryan.Those top 3 tips are going to be a great motivation for bloggers like us in the coming days.Here’s a fellow blogger-Cronus is talking about prized contest. Undoubtedly great idea.But what do you suggest to new bloggers,struggling on a bumpy road?Is there any way out to get free useful contest?What about using social sites,or constructive comments for driving traffic?

  12. Thiago Prado says:

    There’s only a small part of bloggers that answer emails when you write them to become their friends. I think the best way to network is attending to events related to the blog world.

    1. Ryan says:

      Yeah, attending events is certainly a fantastic way to mingle and meet people, but you have to understand that 80% of bloggers probably don’t have the resources or time to go to blogging events. So staying in touch electronically is a simple and cost effective way of meeting people in your niche.

  13. Abunza says:

    Hey great idea about the contest. Thanks, I didn’t even think about some of these. Now I just need to figure out the contest… This should be fun! Thanks again!

    -Jeff

  14. Terry Tay says:

    Does this mean when I go to all of your sites I’m going to see some contests? 😀

    WooHoo…I like contests! I could use a new MacBook Air, Wii, iPod, cash is always good too 😉

    If any of you are having a contest right now, please let me know 😆

    ~Terry

  15. Agree with #3. I’m not an expert at Twitter, but promoting it brought a boost in traffic to my blog and 125 followers in just a couple of weeks.

    1. Syed Balkhi says:

      did it increased your number of subscribers ?

  16. Bibokz says:

    I’m not an expert at Twitter, but promoting it brought a boost in traffic 💡 I agree…

  17. I think I’m going to start networking with other bloggers in the same niche as some of my blogs. I also found that a great way to build networks for SEO purposes is becoming friends with people in the digitalpoint forums and other marketing forums. That has helped me tremendously

  18. Barbara Ling says:

    Morning,

    Becoming a known expert is *the* way to go; every time I’ve become a known SME (subject matter expert) in the various fields, traffic has always increased. Right now, my reputation is centering upon profiting from the eBay affiliate program (several times I’ve made 5 figures a month from them) and people are now proactively hitting my blog for that among other topics.

    Here’s my Twelcome page . 🙂

    Enjoy, Barbara

    1. Barbara Ling says:

      ARGH! Mental note to self – never overwrite the main part of the message. I had overwritten when I copy/pasted the URL:

      If you do use Twitter, instead of linking to your blog/site, make a Twitter-specific page to which to welcome visitors (called a Twelcome page). I did that 3 days ago; it seems to help increase followers.

      Data points, Barbara

      1. Ryan says:

        Awesome idea Barbara, I’m going to set one up myself. Great thinking!

  19. Syed Balkhi says:

    Yeah I know..

    I have a monthly Pimp My Blog contest on my blog in which I offer free custom blog theme designed by myself. That brings alot of excitement to my users. Everyone automatically enters if they are subscribers and one win every month.

    So far two winners, and when I notified both of them they were very glad that they won.

    Contest are the best if promoted properly.

  20. Running a good contest can really bust your blog with traffic and readers! 😉

  21. Sergio says:

    I had a contest when i first started my blog and the outcome was great. I got about 50-100 unique visitors a day for the duration of the contest, and some good backlinks which are still present! You just have to know some good contest websites to submit your contest to.

  22. spidro says:

    great post, contests are good way to bring traffic and subscribers too although the traffic won’t last as soon the contest end

  23. Wade says:

    Basically I just start something new. I start making a new theme, or start a new section. I could try out a new ppc or affiliate program. Find something new for your site, that will keep you working on it. It will make or break you!

    Shudogg Dot Com – Make Money Online Blogging

  24. Zak Show says:

    The first point is the best way to get yourself knowin in a short period of time because people love contests and free stuff.

  25. Sha says:

    I agree about the contests & you should always see if you can give something VERY popular away. You’re bound to get loads of people to your site.

  26. curryegg says:

    Hello John Chow.
    I’m a new reader here and I really enjoy reading most of your articles including this one. You do help me in understand the blogosphere deeper. Thank you John for sharing.

    I truly agree with the number two point. Networking can really boost up the readership in one’s blog. However, networking shouldn’y just for the purpose of making benefit of them. It should be sincere and I can feel this from your blog. Warm and knowledgeable.

    😉

  27. freebies once work.. but cash prices or entrecard points may be better.

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