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Kickstart Your Stalled Blog Content, Part 3: Let Your Publication Inspire Your Next Post

Over the last week, we’ve been kickstarting stalled blog content. We’ve worked through the process of planning, writing and editing a post, and I hope that by now some of you might have published that post.

At this point, I hope you’re thinking that kickstarting the content on your neglected or burdensome blog hasn’t been such a challenge after all. We’ve taken a pretty pragmatic approach to the challenge‚ and if you’re feeling inspired, you could certainly go ahead and refocus your content strategy now, for example.

But I’m going to assume that, while you’re feeling positive, you haven’t miraculously found more time to dedicate to your blog, nor have you rediscovered a hidden passion for it that makes you want to take the breaks off and hurl yourself into creating content for it.

Instead, I’m assuming that you want to keep the blog going, to see where it leads, and that after some time publishing quality content, you might reassess your priorities and see if it’s something you want to keep going with.

So what we need here is a process for keeping your blog content rolling in that time.

Our first post described a process for sparking ideas, and of course you can certainly repeat that now. But today I wanted to show you another way to build directly on the success of your most recent post—something you can do whether you’ve only ever published one post, or you’ve only published one recently.

Check the stats

As a first step, check the stats on that post.

Maybe you have barely any stats—maybe only a handful of people visited it. Okay. If you haven’t already, share it with your social networks and promote it any other way you have. This might give you a few more pageviews or shares to work with.

The aim here is to have some figures for the post, so you can compare it with past publications—however old—on your blog. Ideally, you’ll be able to see if it attracted many readers, and be able to gauge if the visits it attracted were engaged—so bounce rates for the post would be helpful.

This information leads directly into our next assessment: comments.

Review the comments

Did anyone leave a comment on your most recent post? I like to balance comment counts against visitor stats and shares, and also look at the quality of comments that are left, since that’s a good gauge of reader engagement.

If your post only received three visitors, and each of them left a comment or shared the post, that’s good news. If, on the other hand, your post attracted 100 pageviewss, but no comments or shares, you may have some work to do to reengage your readers.

So consider your post’s visitors and actions, and see how you feel about this information as a measure of the post’s “success.”

Consider the niche

Finally, look around in your niche. If you followed this series to the letter, you probably published this post because it filled a gap in the information available in the niche.

So now’s a good time to check the main sources of content in your niche and see if any of them have either followed your lead and responded to your post, or published something that covers the same topic in the same timeframe.

You might also do a few keyword searches for the topic of your post, and related topics, to get an idea of what’s been published on the topic beyond your niche. This, too, might spark ideas for posts that you hadn’t considered before.

Your next post

Whatever the answer to these questions, this quick analysis should present you with somewhere to go with your next post.

You either know that readers did or didn’t find your last post engaging. You know others in your niche either have or haven’t taken the topic up.

Perhaps that other coverage (or lack of coverage!) suggests that you should (or shouldn’t) write a follow-up piece. Perhaps the feedback or lack of interaction indicates that there is—or isn’t—more demand for content on this topic, or a related one. In that case, start researching, using the advice from the first post in this series to plan the post, if you like.

If the answers are all negative—no comments, few views, no coverage by others in your niche—then you might feel a bit lost for where to go next. In that case, you could also repeat the exercise from our first post in this series. Or you could instead look at past posts that did well with your readers, and have a think about why that was—was it the topic? Format? Timing?

If you can identify some elements that may have had a hand in making past posts popular, you can try to tap into a parallel concept or approach now, and see how that resonates with readers.

And if you’re really stuck, take a look at our posts on bloggers’ block.

Keeping committed

From this point forward, it’s up to you. But the first post in this series should give you a good template for planning, writing, and editing you posts, and making the time to get those tasks done.

And the second post provided some tips for fitting those tasks into a busy life.

So hopefully you’re in a good position to follow this process and keep your blog going a bit longer—long enough for you to see if you’ve still got the passion and push to revamp or reinvigorate the blog properly.

If you have any questions, or tips or ideas you can share, we’d love to hear them. Tell us in the comments.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Samuel says:

    Excellent article there Darren, and I completely agree with the pro :)

    One way to see what brought results, is to check to the stats of published post and see what brought in more traffic and attraction.

    Now, all you would have to do is to make those kinds of posts exactly like that template. That is not hard, and will bring more results that you are looking for.

  2. Joe Black says:

    This whole series of information has really helped me with putting together ideas and things to write about. Just wanted to say thanks!!!

  3. when I write a post, I tend to have sub topics in the post that are covered in more detail deeper in the blog archive. I find this works okay for me.

    I am currently writing 10 new post before publishing any, testing a new theory!

  4. Thanks for the practical advice. While reading the part about comments, I also thought about the fact that it’s not just the numbers that can tell you what to write, but the content of the comments.

    If readers are asking questions, you can use your next post to answer them.

    I’ve had commenters directly suggest ideas for future posts.

    If they like your insight and perspective, they’ll want to know what you think about other things that have been on their minds.

    • This is true Sarah. When we read blogs that share information we also go through the comments and find other bloggers share additional tips as well. This could happen to our own post. We should really listen to our audience. There’s more to the comments than just stats.

  5. Saif says:

    Hi Darren,

    Excellent post. I guess you have explained the best methods to increase your blog comment and let publishers come to your next post. :)

    Thank you

    Saif

  6. Receive my appreciation for the handy information. It so obvious that a good writer will often take the work of two different writers thinking from two different extremes and use them to form one readable script! Your thoughts on comments are quite a nice gesture; not just for your readers, but also for other bloggers. Nice write Darren! Keep it up.

  7. Reed Nixon says:

    Nice post! I love the advice contained herein. Thanks again!

  8. Mi Muba says:

    Great post; its really so easy to get your readers read your post but to get them engaged in it is really dam difficult. It not only needs good writing style and sync in thoughts and their expression but sincerity of your purpose equally counts. If you just want to allure your reader to buy what you have referred in the post or click some adds at side sky scrapper or within the post; reader would hardly believe in you. If your primary purpose is to deliver your reader the valuable information on your niche in that case he or she would buy or click your ads even you won’t ask them to do so.
    A very informative post Darren, keep guiding us

  9. Michael says:

    Nice tips, checking the site’s stats and post comments are two things I do daily! Thanks.

  10. I think the main thing with stalled blogs is that the owner-writers haven’t recognized that they’ve made an agreement with their readers to post regularly. For me, it’s like signing a contract. If I’ve said I’m going to post once a week, well, I do it, come hell or high water. Now I’ve agreed to post five days a week and I do that, too.

    Staying on top of this schedule requires planning. For me the big secret is to decide on my topics the WEEK before. Every Friday, I create a “shell” entry for each day of the following week. And into this shell I write my topic. Then, first thing every morning, I write draft 1 of my entry for the next day. Later in the day I edit it and rewrite as necessary.

    This may sound boring and uninspired, but planning always sounds that way. This is the best way I know to ensure that I publish my post every weekday.

  11. Amanda says:

    Thanks for this timely post Darren. I always appreciate what you have to say. I’m in the process of refocusing on 2 different blogs and I’m really working on trying to engage my readers more in the comments section rather than on social media. Any tips on that?

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  13. Exam Paper says:

    Nice topic! I get a lot of information from this post of yours, keep sharing, you’re a great blogger!

  14. Sudhir says:

    Great article Darren.
    All these points are really helpfull.