All bloggers have times when the blog feels like more of a burden than a blessing. While you still want to keep in touch with your readers, friends or customers, you may feel like you have writer’s block or you’re just tired of covering the same topics over and over again. When this happens, it’s time to try something new!
Some people decide that hiring content writers to add new content is the way to go, but there are other ways to get out of the rut, too. One way you can change up your blog for a bit is to host a challenge for your visitors—especially those who are bloggers themselves. This will add some interest to your tired blog, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get some much-desired backlinks to your page. Follow these steps for hosting your first blogging challenge.
- First, you need to choose a theme and work out the details of how your challenge will work. What do you want to get out of the challenge? In many cases, you may choose a topic and ask your readers/bloggers to post on that topic. You link to the posts, the posts link to you, and you will choose a “winner” when it’s all over. If you run a creative-based blog, you may encourage your readers to take on a project (e.g. a knitting tutorial) and once again, you choose a winner.
- After you have the basics planned, start promoting. You want to start posting about the challenge at least a week before it begins, so anyone who wants to participate has plenty of time to prepare. In the meantime, this will give you more content and ideas to post about on your own.
- Make sure you are very clear about the rules. This is especially important if your contest ends with a prize. Think of anything that could go wrong or be misinterpreted, and address it in your contest’s rules.
- Once the contest begins, be available to answer questions and provide regular updates. Let anyone who is involved in the challenge know that you care about the results. This shows that you are trying to create something fun for your readers.
- When it comes time to choose a winner, make sure you recognize all your participants. If you have a huge following and a lot of entries, it may be that you have to address them as a group, but if you only have a dozen or so entries, find something nice to say about them all and link back to the other blogs or profiles.
- Ask for feedback. With any project of this size, it’s important to get feedback from your participants. If you do this, you will learn important things that can help you if you decide to host something similar in the future.
A blogging challenge is a lot of work, but it can be a lot of fun too. Make sure this is something you are willing to follow through with before you begin. If you do that, you will often find that it inspires you to blog about other topics, too—giving your blog that boost to help you get past your rut.
Tracy S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.