Before staying home, I was a bank branch manager. I loved the mental challenge of daily priorities, working with customers and managing a team.
I started this blog not long after my daughter was born. I wanted to challenge myself and do something that was mine.
Do you find yourself in a similar position? You start a blog for something that’s your own, to earn some additional income, or to challenge yourself? These are the most common reasons most of us start a blog.
Then a few months in, something happens. You get blogger burnout. You’re not having the success you thought you would.
You’re not making any money. You question the time you put into the blog. Couldn’t it better be spent on something else, like family? After all there’s a good chance you created your blog to earn income from it and provide for your family.
The fact of the matter is starting a blog is EASY. It’s maintaining it and making it profitable that challenges us.
Mentally starting over is not deleting your blog and starting from scratch. I mean you can, but first, it may be beneficial to refocus your energy. That’s what I found myself doing.
Instead of focusing on my reader and pouring my energy into making my blog better, I was creating posts with no plan. I had no strategy, no objectives, no goals. It was discouraging because I was not celebrating the successes my blog was having, therefor it seemed like I was failing.
Starting over mentally meant being consistent and changing my approach. I saw instant results, and a steady increase in traffic. I even hit my target goal of 25k sessions in five months. Once you have steady traffic, you can apply for larger ad networks like, Mediavine. (I just got approved!)
But even better, I am engaging my readers more. Despite new growth in traffic, I have a consistent 15-25% of return readers, a lower bounce rate, and more time spent reading my posts.
After a year of blogging as a hobby, I mentally started over in September 2017. These are the things I did to see increased results.
Mentally Starting Over on your Blog
1. Create an Avatar
An avatar is your ideal reader. When you create an Avatar, it allows you to personify who your reader is and write to them directly. It helps keep you focused and directed, giving your blog a consistent voice. When I write, I write to Sophia. I created Sophia in the parking lot before I went in for a prenatal massage (thanks hubby!) Think of your content, what you write about, what you want to write about, then sit down and create your avatar. Name your avatar. Tell your avatar’s backstory. What is their struggle? How is your blog the solution? Here is my avatar:
My avatar is 29-year-old Sophia. She’s married and growing her family. Right now, her two kids are under 4 and she has one on the way. Sophia is a busy mom but wants to have an organized household. She struggles with this because she has two active young children. She wants to provide a happy home life but feels overwhelmed by the day to day tasks. Sometimes she feels bored and uninspired as a SAHM. At this time mommy guilt creeps in. She wants to be an awesome wife and mom and live her hallmark dream. Because they are a one income household Sophia is looking for ways to stretch her budget while still living “the good life.” She struggles with finances and considers herself a “spender.”
She wants to do something part time to give her something other than her mommy and household responsibilities. Sophia is not sure what she could do that would be worth her time. Sophia needs help with pinpointing what she is good at and taking direct steps to get there.
As I write my posts, I think of Sophia. She is my target audience. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be something to someone. I want to help my “Sophia’s” and turn them into my loyal readers. Who is your avatar?
2. What are you good at?
Are you an Extravert? Introvert? Analytical? Spontaneous?
One reason we get burned out is we feel like we have to do everything everyone else is doing. Reading income reports, trying this, scattering to do that. It’s easy to lose focus and throw in the towel. When mentally starting over, you need to know what you are good at. Focus on that.
By nature, you are going to be better at somethings more than others. For me mentally restarting, I had to use this to my advantage. First you can play to your strengths, second you can adjust your weaknesses.
If you are an extrovert, you may kill it on social media platforms. Gathering followers is effortless and you love to interact and connect. A monetization strategy of posting amazon affiliate links in your posts may not be in your best interest for primary monetization. When you don’t see results, it’s easy to get discouraged.
Sponsorships and becoming an influencer may be better way for you to focus your efforts on income. You’re already good at it, and companies that offer sponsored posts want to know you can spread the message on social media.
If you’re an introvert or more analytical, you may be better at creating a blueprint for something in your area of expertise that solves your readers problems. You can turn this into a series and answer all questions on the topic. You are the expert. When people search Google and Pinterest, you want to show up because you have the answers.
Related: For More help narrowing down what you want to focus on checkout 7 secrets to becoming a mom blogger superstar. At the end of the post there is a free PDF you can print to help you narrow down your categories.
As an introvert, you may be able to add depth and connect emotionally with your readers through your words. They come back to your page for insight and advice. You offer solutions through inspiration and wisdom and filling a need they have.
I am really good at finances. I love creating plans and strategies for everything. Whether it is bringing a new baby into the world, or a financial plan to be a millionaire by retirement. I love the creative process and creating rich, evergreen posts that are helpful for Sophia.
Remember, no matter what you are good at, keep in mind what you are creating, whether a sponsored post, Instagram post, newsletter, or a blog post is helping, inspiring, or addressing a need for your Avatar.
3. Are you working harder then you have to?
Do you know just a few months back I went through all of my posts to capitalize my titles? I liked how titles looked in all caps. I didn’t realize I could do this through features in my theme. So, I went through tons of posts, to change my posts so that they were all in caps. Then, as I would link them in my newer posts, I would have to change the hyperlink back to regular text. I created so much extra work.
As new bloggers we often create tons of work for ourselves because we just don’t know any better.
WordPress makes it easy for us. If there is something you want to do, Google “plugin to _______.” Use this search query in some form or other. It may take some time to find what you’re looking for, but chances are, there is a plugin out there or an easy solution.
4. Starting Over or Rebranding?
Finally, I would ask if you need to start over, or just rebrand. I know there are benefits to creating a brand and sticking to it, but if somethings not working, sometimes you have to hit the refresh button. This is okay to do.
[Note: when I say rebrand I mean keep current domain information, however, updating design, your avatar, content, etc.] This is what I did. I also rolled over content from two other websites to fit my current avatar.
If you are thinking about changing your domain name, check out this post by MediaVine to see why it might not be such a good idea.
Blogs are a work in progress. Especially in the first year or two, and even more so if you are a “do-it-yourself” kind of person. One day we will get them exactly where we want them, but the beauty of blogging is there is usually little cost involved for a facelift.
Before you decided to start over completely, I would see if it makes sense to rebrand.
Rebranding comes in many forms. It could be rebranding what you blog about, changing your look, or updating your social media.
Already having established posts may mean you just need to update them to meet the needs of your Avatar.
When your Avatar meets a niche, magic happens. You’re creating a reader and filling specific needs. While your niche doesn’t have to be all or nothing, having a few key things you write about consistently is going to allow you to keep your readers attention. The more posts you create, the easier it is to expand your categories because you can easily interlink them throughout your posts.
Write it Down:
Once you decide to mentally start over, write down your goals. Create a few long-term goals and short-term goals so you can measure your success. My long term goals are what I want to accomplish by year end. My short term goals focus on the immediate month or two.
Assign each goal action items so you can accomplish what you set out to. For my goal of hitting 25,000 sessions, I had the following action items.
- increase my pins being scheduled using tailwind
- Create and revamp more pins for each post
- Focus on content rich posts that will be filed with valuable information closer to 1500-2000 words.
All of these goals and objectives are kept in a running Microsoft word document so I can edit them and adjust them as needed.
Taking the Leap
Don’t be afraid to take the leap to mentally start over with your blog. Whether you are rebranding, repurposing, or starting over. It’s best you feel proud of your final product so you can share it with the world. If it’s not where you want it to be, hit the reset button, regroup, and figure your new strategy.
What are your biggest struggles with mentally starting over? What advice do you have for those that want to hit the refresh button? Leave it in the comments below 🙂
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