Dontrelle Willis, in happier times.The sixth anniversary of Deadspin recently came and went, and it caused me to reflect on sports blog writers. It amazes me how some elite bloggers have managed to keep writing for so long. The best comedians still find new angles, the best statisticians keep digging for new stats, and the best opinion column writers still move the needle on controversy.
But I find myself wondering what a blogger can do when you feel that your best stuff isn't good enough anymore. Most of us aren't those elite who make blogging look simple. If you're lucky, the audience hasn't caught on yet to your decline. They're still demanding more of your stories and filling your comment section or Twitter mentions column with praise. But you know better, and you know you can't throw change-ups indefinitely. So how do you change directions or refresh your blogs without losing your audience or putting up with reader complaints?
I'd be interested in hearing from people who have made the transition. Maybe you realize you want to write about something different. Sports jokes that you loved to make when you were a single 20-something don't amuse you as much now that you're a married father of two. Or you aren't so interested any more in basketball; now your passion lies in soccer, or tennis. How have you made the transition yourself?
The other category I'm interested in is bloggers who did burn out. They had no ideas for anything new to write, and still wanted to write the same type of blog. But it became work instead of fun, and eventually it all fell apart. How can a blogger stop blogger burn-out from happening? I've heard professional bloggers say that one year of blogging is like 3, no 5, no TWENTY years of writing in a more normal job. Have you been able to dodge blogger burnout, and if so, what's your secret? How do you get back your blogging fastball when it's late in the season and your radar gun numbers look more like highway speed numbers than baseball numbers?
Feel free to comment or to start an email conversation with me at talktomc (it's a google mail address). I'm intrigued to read what you have to say.