Why do you blog? Whether you created your blog to give a voice to your own ideas or you’re simply fulfilling a task detailed in your job description, chances are that what may now feel like an ‘obligation‘ to frequently update your blog has its roots in a passion for writing.
Even within blogs with a specific focus — ‘small business entrepreneurs‘ for example — there are an infinite array of topics. That reality can be daunting — with so many bloggers out there, how can one person write something new and insightful?
My biggest tip comes first:
Write From Your Own Experience
Generally speaking, our desks and work stations are not the most inspiring places, but they’re where things get done. For jobs requiring creativity, you’ll be far better off if you sit down at your desk with ideas already in place.
These days, you don’t even have to carry a notebook, since smart phones have plenty of note taking capabilities. On a bike ride, a job, the commute home, or even on Sunday afternoon, don’t let something you read or observe slip by if it could serve as fodder for a blog idea.
The best blog post ideas don’t come when you’re sitting at the desk
Remember, your life is interesting, and the observations you make and lessons you learn are relevant to your readers. That’s why they’re reading your blog! Don’t hesitate to incorporate your three-year-old’s propensity for the blue toy truck over the red toy truck into a post about using color in your marketing scheme (marketing conference).
Keep a List
You’ll hear this tip whenever anyone talks about writer’s block, because it’s so critical. Keep that notebook (or smart phone) handy, and translate your ideas into an actual list of possible blog topics. I recommend keeping eight on hand at any time, so that when it’s time to write you can choose whichever seems most relevant or inspiring to you that day. Once you’ve crossed a topic off the list, it’s time to add another (or two more).
Getting eight ideas in writing, and then diligently maintaining your list with fresh concepts, will do wonders for stymieing blogger’s block at the source.
Get Your Blood Flowing
The first two tips are great and all, but you Googled ‘blogger’s block’ looking for help right now, and those require planning. Today, you’re still stuck at your desk and late on deadline.
If you’ve got blogger’s block, chances are that you’re frustrated. It’s difficult to focus and your heart’s just not in it today.
Stand up – right now – and walk outside. Take a lap around the building. Touch your toes to stretch out, or even jump up and down a little bit if you can do so without freaking out co-workers (or scaring your boss). Fill your lungs with a few slow deep breathes and think about the trip to the beach you took last year, or the Saturday you spent hiking with your family recently.
Remember how your kids were negotiating the treats from their bag lunches, then rewarding themselves with a bite of their chocolate bar for every thousand steps up the mountain they took?
Look to your own experiences for inspiration
There’s the intro for your post about savings and self-regulation. If you’re feeling uninspired, relax for a minute and focus on something that makes you happy. Let the ideas come to you.
Call For Help
Journalists don’t write front page newspaper stories based solely on Internet research and their own experience. Even if you don’t have blogger’s block, it’s smart to bring in an expert to comment and quote in your blog. Maybe you’ve got a post idea about ‘The Psychology of Sales’ for some specific product, be it cereal or riding lawnmowers.
Call a psychologist! Look up one in your town, explain to the secretary that you’re a local blogger (with a nationally read blog, of course) and you’d love to get a quick quote from an expert. Chances are, your source will be honored and pleased to have their knowledge called upon. You’ll be left with a post that virtually writes itself through the quotes you collect, and your blog will stand out among others in the same category for its unique content and real perspective.
Chances are, if you’ve got blogger’s block, trudging through uninspired won’t result in a post that’s worth reading. Instead, take a break. Take your mind off of the task at hand and let your memories wander to a relevant experience you can tie into your post. In the future, let those experiences suggest posts as you’re living them, and you’ll nix blogger’s block before it ever appears.