What to Do When the Thrill of Publishing Online is Gone
Hitting publish used to give you a buzz. You remember the feeling.
You’d double, triple, quadruple check everything before you pushed it live.
You’d hit publish and spend the rest of the day checking in on your stats. You’d hop on Twitter, waiting on the tweets and mentions to roll in.
I bet you even shared it with a friend.
But now? Now, you can’t wait to be done with setting things up. You’re tired of looking for images to accompany a blog post and dread having to comb through your content, looking for places to link back to your site.
You want to get to the next thing. You’re going through the motions. The thrill is gone.
When you’re publishing new content on a weekly (or sometimes daily) basis, it’s easy for things to start to feeling routine.
The shine wears off and while you’re engaged in your work, you’re busy. You forget to appreciate all the time and effort that went into getting to publish.
There’s danger in things feeling too routine.
You become less diligent when it comes to edits. You lose touch with the people who are reading your content. And that lack on enthusiasm comes through with every half-hearted sentence you write.
What can you do?
The first thing is to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
Is the thrill gone from the writing or is the thrill gone from the job that requires you to write?
That shouldn’t be a difficult question, but for most of us it is. Ask it. Answer it. Do something about it.
If the act of publishing still feels like the problem, there’s plenty you can do to get that old feeling back. Here are some of the things that have worked for me. I hope they help.
Read your comments
Read what people are saying about your writing. You’ll get more from a 200-word comment on a blog post then you’ll ever get from a Google Analytics report.
Respond to that feedback. If it’s a question, answer it in a future post with a goal to share it with this that one specific person. You’ll be amazed at the excitement that comes from writing to one person, instead of trying to appeal to your typical broader audience.
Try a different format
Take a week off from publishing blog posts and focus on a different format. Turn an idea for a blog post into a Slideshare presentation. Hop on a site like Medium or LinkedIn and publish something completely original there instead. If things feel routine, break the routine. Do something different.
Teach what you know
The best way to get excited about your own work is to be excited about someone else’s. Maybe it’s someone who reports to you. Maybe it’s an intern who’s working on their first post.
Teach what you know. Be a mentor. Share inspiration and you’ll find inspiration.
Find a blog that you admire and set a goal to publish something there. It’s never been easier to build relationships with the gatekeepers of these publications. Find the managing editor/head writer/content manager on Twitter. What are they sharing? What questions are they asking? Is there a gap in their site’s content that you could fill?
Set your goals high and think of every post you publish on your site as a tryout for theirs. Build relationships with the right people. Put out quality content. And make the most of the opportunity when you get it. Tell me how it goes.
These are a few of the things that have worked for me.
Remember that staying engaged with your writing and posting schedule, starts with being engaged in your work. If you’re losing enthusiasm, you’re readers will too. Keep the fire burning.
How do you keep the thrill of publishing online? I’d love to hear from you.