6 Common Blog Illnesses, Symptoms, and Cures

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6 Common Blogging Illnesses, Symptoms, and Cures

Do you feel stuck with your blog?

Most bloggers go through icky phases when they struggle to blog consistently, feel unmotivated, or get frustrated.

These bloggers have been struck down with a blog disease. It’s like a temporary cold that just makes you want to curl up and watch Parenthood for hours.

No matter what they do, they can’t seem to get rid of their sickness.

Here’s why: they are treating the symptoms instead of the disease.

And treating the symptoms is like putting a band-aide on a gaping wound. It’s just not going to help.

So here is your very own BlogMD. Hopefully the next time you are struck down by a blogging disease, you will be able to diagnose it correctly and treat the problem. And you won’t even have to pay large medical bills in the process.

Symptom: You can’t get yourself to blog consistently.

What you think the problem is:

You think the problem is you can’t find the time to blog. Or you can’t be disciplined. Or you lack motivation.

Illness: Purposeless-itis

Purposeless-itis is a disease that affects 95.4% of bloggers at some point in their blogging journey. (And yes, I made that statistic up. As well as any other ones you see in this post.)

You’ve lost sight of both your long term purpose and your short term goals.

You’ll know you have it if you are blogging because you think you should, not because you have a powerful purpose driving you to write.

Other symptoms include:
Struggling to come up with post ideas.

Not having a clear call to action at the end of your posts.

A lagging email list.

Cure: Do some purpose-searching

Don’t try to force yourself to write another post. Instead, take a step back.

Figure out your overall purpose for blogging, whether that’s to generate more income, build a community, live your passion, or any combination of the above.

Make sure you pick a purpose that really matters to you.

Then, figure out your short term purpose for your posts. I like to chunk them into monthly goals. For example, one month, your posts can have the goal of getting people interested in your new course. The next, it can be to educate them about your services. Pick a small goal so that you can get really focused.

You’ll find yourself consistently blogging in no time.

For more on this, check out this post.

Symptom: No one is commenting on your posts.

What you think the problem is:

You think that no one is commenting on your posts because they’re not interesting enough. Or that people aren’t reading them.

But lack of awesomeness isn’t your blog’s main disease. It’s a matter of getting yourself out there.

Illness: Reclusive-osis

Reclusive-osis is most common in beginning bloggers, or bloggers who have been writing for awhile but haven’t felt confident enough to get to know other bloggers.

You’ll know you have it if you feel lonely and like no one is reading your blog. If you feel like you are blogging into a vacuum, there’s a good chance that you need to be treated for Reclusive-osis FAST.

The good news is, it can be cured very quickly.

Other symptoms include:

Lack of motivation to blog (because no one is going to read it anyway).

An overwhelming sense of loneliness.

Thinking, Why am I even writing this? What’s the point.

Having an email list of one: your mom.

Cure: Make a point of building relationships with other bloggers.

I am going to let you in on a little secret: Other bloggers want to get to know you.

Seriously. Bloggers really want to get to know other bloggers. Why? To share in the journey. To support each other. To have something to pin on Pinterest.

If you’re not getting comments on your blog,  join a Facebook group that has weekly comment threads.

Find link parties in your niche.

And COMMENT ON OTHER BLOGS. People will want to reciprocate when they feel like you are supporting their blog.

So instead of worrying that your writing is too boring for people to comment on, get out there and spread some comment-love yourself. You will be shocked at how quickly Reclusive-itis goes away.

Symptom: You are bored with your blog topic and can’t get yourself to write.

What you think the problem is:

You blame the topic. Or think, I have been blogging about this for too long. I’ve covered all of the posts I can possibly write about this.

You blame yourself, and think that you chose a topic that is too narrow.

But let me assure you, you haven’t. Did you know that there is an entire site devoted to foods that dogs can and cannot eat? If someone can base their blog around that topic, surely you can find more posts on yours.

Illness: Hypo-Creativity

Hypo-creativity is a decrease in creative activity. If you have hypo-creativity, you have likely been blogging for awhile and forgotten how to creatively search for new post ideas.

You’ve gotten so used to just coming up with ideas out of nowhere that your creative muscles have weakened.

Other symptoms include:

Feeling ill when you read posts on your topic by other bloggers.

A sense of despair that arises when you sit down at the computer.

Reading your old posts over and over again trying to find new ideas.

Cure: Widening your world

Here’s how you get over hypo-creativity:

You experiment with new ideas, steal from different genres, get out and talk to people about your topic.

Forge weird but awesome connections between your topic and things that have nothing to do with it. (Case in point, this blog post.)

Stop reading posts in your niche. Instead, read some children’s books, or novels, or even (gasp) poetry.

Find a new podcast to listen to (or just listen to TED Radio Hour. I guarantee it will give you food for thought).

Have conversations with people. Like your partner. Or your BFF. Or your clients.

Basically, just widen your focus. Your topic is as limited as you choose it to be.

6 Common Blogging Illnesses, Symptoms, and Cures

Symptom: Your writing doesn’t convey the awesomeness of you – it feels bland and inauthentic.

What you think the problem is:

You immediately think that you’re a bad writer. Or you decide that your topic doesn’t allow for creativity. Once you’ve written for a few months, or years, or decades, you hope that you’ll find your writer’s voice.

Illness: Authentic-ophobia

Authentic-ophobia is a common illness, characterized by avoidance of controversial topics, a need to please others, and a gnawing fear of writing something “too different.”

Many bloggers have it – about 56%, and unfortunately, it’s not a disease that you can hide. It’s kind of like acne – not lethal, but still unattractive.

Other symptoms include:

Recycling posts that you find on Pinterest instead of coming up with your own topics.

A notable lack of personal stories in your blog posts.

Avoidance of any words that are different or unexpected.

Cure: Define your voice

You don’t have to write for months to define your voice.

All you have to do is pay attention to who you are – what you uniquely have to offer the world, what your weird quirks are, what stories you can share that really reveal you.

Read this post for more.

(You can also take my 5 day course if you want to be walked through the process of defining your writer’s voice. Check it out here.)

Symptom: Your blog posts are all over the place, and you can’t seem to land on a specific topic.

What you think the problem is:

You just have too many interests. You are too multi-faceted to land on one topic. And you fear that if you choose the wrong topic, you’ll run out of things to say, or that no one will be interested.

I am just too creative to decide on one topic, you tell yourself. People need to accept me for the unique person I am.

Illness: Commitment-phobia

Who knew that your blog could suffer from the same disease as millions of men (and women) out there in the online dating world?

Commitment-phobia is a common blogging disease, found mainly in bloggers who are just starting out and don’t know what they want to write about.

You’ll know your blog has it when your post topics range from Indian chick pea recipes to how to file your tax returns.

NOTE: If all of your topics appeal to the same audience, you may not actually have commitment-phobia. It’s a disease that specifically targets bloggers who aren’t clear about their audience.

Other symptoms include:

Lagging readership

Lack of momentum

Fizzling out after a few months of blogging (see below)

Cure: Figure out who you want to read your blog.

Now, I don’t think you have to have a really specific audience. In fact, I think you need to define your voice first. For more, read this post.

But it is EXTREMELY helpful to get a sense of who you want reading your blog. As long as all of your topics appeal to your audience, you’ll be golden.

Defining your audience cures commitment-phobia by taking care of those niggling doubts about not having enough to write about, or writing to a topic that people don’t care about.

First, fill in the blanks: My audience is __________who want to______________.

(Example: My audience is bloggers who want to learn to write better.

Now, go talk to 5 people who fit that description. Ask what they want to read about. And your commitment-phobia will fly out the window.

Symptom: You were going strong for a few months, but now you feel like you should blog, you’re just not that excited to do it. You question everything you write, and worry that you’re doing it wrong.

What you think the problem is:

Your blog just isn’t going to be successful. It was fun at first, but no one is reading it. You don’t have the stamina to get through another 2 years of writing in order to make money. You are afraid that you’re doing everything wrong, and now that you’ve been writing for a few months, you should have it all figured out.

Illness: Blog Puberty

No, puberty is not an illness. Technically. But be honest. When you were going through it, didn’t it kind of feel like one?

Blog puberty is when your blog emerges from the joys of blog babyhood (when you thought it was wonderful no matter what it did) and the excitement of blog childhood (when you weren’t afraid of trying new things or looking stupid) into the painful awareness of puberty (when everything that happens seems extremely important and life changing).

If you spend most of the day refreshing your stats, don’t write about things because you fear you won’t get enough likes, and delete all comments from your mother (because hey, moms are so embarrassing), you may be in the unfortunate throes of blog puberty.

Other symptoms include:

Suddenly dropping your very consistent blogging schedule.

Asking other people if they’ve read your blog, and when they say they haven’t, feeling hopeless.

Wishing that you could be like the cool kids – aka the more experienced bloggers.

Cure: Accepting it, rolling with the punches, and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Just like real puberty, blog puberty is pretty much unavoidable.

The only thing you can do is avoid reverting back to a 13 year old by accepting where you are in the blogging process.

If you accept that yes, you’re not super experienced yet, but that you do know more than you did a few months ago, and that you will in fact make some blogging blunders along the way, but that it will be okay, you can get through blog puberty with a minimum of misery.

It’s also important to know where you’re headed. Know your purpose for blogging so that your blog emerges from puberty and into the wonderfulness that is blog teenage-hood, when blog-kids will look up to you in awe.