5 Tips on How to Bring a Stagnant Blog Back from the Grave


Got a “stagnant” blog? Do you have a blog that hasn’t gotten much love recently? Did you accidentally (or strategically) forget about that blog?

Or do you have a blog that seriously needs something a bit more than just CPR?

How do you revive it and bring it back to life? That’s what @joshuamtaylor asked me the other day:

@TentBlogger – have you written anything on “reactivating a stagnant blog” or anything like that? tweet

I quickly answered him that I’d take a look at it and answer it soon since I know that more and more bloggers have asked me for advice on how to resuscitate or revive a blog that’s been just hanging out for a bit without any new and updated content.

Here are 5 tips that can get your blog (and you) back on its feet:

1. Find Your Core Motivation

Oftentimes the best place to start is to seriously spend some time doing a little soul searching – what exactly are your intentions? What exactly are your goals? Why did you start a blog in the first place? What was it that moved you toward execution?

Asking these important and critical questions can help you renew that passion that you once had and motivate you to pursue your goals. Heck, it might be even more than just goals – it might be your dreams!

One would think that if it was the latter that your blog would never take a break but we know that’s not even close to the truth; life gets in the way and we get distracted and derailed from even our most important interests and goals.

Revive that blog so that you can pursue and achieve your goals – or create new ones!

2. Spring Cleaning


Sometimes the best thing that you can do is to do a little “spring cleaning” so to speak – get a new WordPress Theme, find some neat WordPress Plugins or 3rd party scripts, or do some serious category pruning so you can focus your efforts more strategically.

Perhaps you just need to knock out some of the internal cobwebs so that you can press forward – it’s amazing what a little redesign or change in your system can impact your entire outlook!

3. Try Something Completely New

Sometimes you need more than just some spring cleaning; sometimes you need to do something outrageously new (or at least new to you) that can get you back in the saddle.

Trying something like video blogging, creating an entirely different category for content, or even doing something as silly as this video right here might just be the ticket.

The amount of change and how dramatic it needs to be is up to you but you might need a significant spark to get things going again.

4. Start with Community

Sometimes we need a bit more community help with our re-birth; sometimes we have to be humble and simply reach out and ask for some assistance! Perhaps there’s someone in your life that can give you that much-needed encouragement to start publishing again.

Or, perhaps you need to simply reach out to bloggers that you’ve never directly engaged with and ask them for advice or join their communities via comments, tweets, or even in Facebook. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down at my computer, felt like I’ve got nothing, went around to some of my staple blogs, and then found the motivation to write.

Leverage the power of the social web with your revitalization and you might develop a healthy habit of engaging even more!

5. Revisit Old Blog Posts

Finally, one strategy that works and is somewhat of a half-step is to jump back through a few of your older posts that you just loved to write or that need some updating. Perhaps you’ll find the motivation and the incentive you need to write some fresh and compelling content!

You might also find that one of those posts needs a follow-up post or even needs to be turned into a blog series – the sky is the limit!

Finally, remember that at the end of the day you absolutely must do the following:

  • Relax – It’s just a blog. No one is “upset” or “angry” at you for not publishing for a while.
  • No Apology – It’s very typical for someone who’s coming back into the game to wax some large and long apology for not being around – guess what, who cares?!? Don’t worry about apologizing – spend time writing that great blog post1
  • Execute – At the end of the day you have to commit to writing and doing it.

I hope that most of you will not give up on your blogs – there’s so much fun and opportunity to be had! Don’t let your platform rot from underneath you!

[Image from alan]

  • http://thisismethinking.com Darrell

    Would you suggest reviving a dead blog or maybe just starting over completely with a new blog?

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      an existing blog has google juice… i’d probably start there and if you wanted start a new one.

  • Ashley Pichea

    I have a blog that was sorely neglected over the past year, but I’ve been working on resurrecting it in the last month or so. I was still getting frequent hits while not posting, thanks to SEO friendly topics. I need to go back and update the older posts w/ better SEO and monetize!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      this is great! don’t let it go to waste.

  • http://abrahamchronicles.com dustin

    Great tips, John. I think asking your “community” or readership is a great idea. Ask them what they’d like to read about…. go from there.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      this is what i’m talking about.

  • http://mosaicmercy.org David | MosaicMercy

    What does one do with a blog that has great content but they know they will probably never update it again because the style of posts don’t fit the author’s personal style?

    In other words I think I have a good devo blog but I’m not really a devo kind of guy. Any tips? Thanks.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      hmm. that’s a tough one. you could migrate the content over to keep the link juice… or perhaps donate the content to a network… (or sell it)…

  • joshuamtaylor

    Thanks so much for the reply John!

    This REALLY helps me and gives me a lot of fresh ideas about what to do and where to go next.

    I really do appreciate the time you spent on this!

  • http://gbrenna.com Graham

    Great suggestions John. I am thinking about a category pruning very soon again.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      how many do you have right now?

      • http://gbrenna.com Graham

        Here’s a screenshot of them (http://bit.ly/irMvwR). With my current re-organization of my blog… I’m going to be deleting some of them and just creating categories for new blog series. I really want to focus most of my blogging from now on around series instead of individual posts.

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          sweet! looks great dude.

  • http://stuartwooster.com Stuart Wooster

    Wow! Can’t believe I didn’t catch you tweet this post out John. I’m exactly in this same position as I have been working on a new theme and tweaking my categories on my trance music blog that I am relaunching ASAP.

    I left the blog alone for a number of reasons. I learnt many lessons I could easily write a number of blog posts about. Last year I started up my personal blog, but I find writing content there a little more difficult because I’m blogging about my experiences and thoughts as I go along. My content there is not focused enough; I blog about mindset, marketing, networking, social media and a little about WordPress.

    You could say that my personal blog has been my No.3 and I’m going back to my passion.

    • http://stuartwooster.com Stuart Wooster

      Didn’t realise I hadn’t made a comment here before, shame on me!

      • http://john.do John Saddington

        ahhhhh! ;) thanks for coming out of the dark…!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      can’t wait to see wha tyou do stuart!

  • Jane | Find All Answers

    Given that there are loads of dead blogs on the internet your points here make a lot of sense and usefulness. I am sure that if the blogger finds the motivation behind starting that blog, he/she could be able to get it up on track. And of course that is not so easy, there are some preliminary cleaning and improvising works associated with it.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      definitely some cleaning… but that’s part of the mental process of getting back in shape!

  • http://ichrch.com Rich Langton

    I’m planning on not being in the position to need this post. Thanks for writing it though, because it reminds me of how hard it is to get something moving as apposed to keeping momentum going. In other words, it’s so much harder to start a blog than to keep one going. I’m yet again inspired to keep going!!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      ah, i’ve found the exact opposite…!


    • Andrew

      I tend to agree with John. Getting a blog setup, writing your first 5-10 articles is easy. Once you need to post on a regular basis, I find that the hard part about blogging.

      • http://john.do John Saddington

        schedule! that’s huge!