I have been blogging for about six months, and I will be the first to admit, I am NOT a success in many ways. According to most advisors, I have done many things wrong. My traffic is not yet where I want it and I did not start my blog off with a bang! That’s an understatement. In fact, the appearance of my blog is still very simple (there are things I like about that, but I would like to get to a point where it looks more polished).
There is one area where I feel I have succeeded. I post frequently, and I feel it’s quality content. But, hey, I am biased. I write about what I want to write about.
If you are a blogger with a specific niche, some of these tips may apply to you more than others. I write about what inspires me, and I hope will inspire others, offer some useful information, and entertain. I find myself in many roles, so I feel many people can relate to me. The sky is the limit for my content. However, I think even bloggers who write about very specific topics can find some of these tips useful.
It is very rare that I can’t find something to write about. In fact, I’m often chomping at the bit to put out my next post. For those of you who suffer from writer’s block, here are some ideas:
- Live Life
Blogging is a comparatively small part of my very busy life. My happy moments, my frustrations, my epiphanies – these are all potential fuel for my next article.
- Try a Challenge
I read about a challenge of writing something that began with each letter of the alphabet every day. I was not interested in writing a post every day, but I thought trying to write something that had a word in the title of each letter of the alphabet would keep me going, and stretch me creatively. It worked. As I have said before, it made for some weird titles at times, but I don’t mind weird.
I listen to KLOVE quite a bit, mainly because the music and stories lift my spirits. I started twitter a short time ago. I did not like it at all at first, but I have finally embraced it, and now I get inspiration from it. I often choose to follow pages because I feel the relationship will help me to grow my blog in some way, but I also choose to follow some simply because it seems their posts will be positive.
I have always been a big reader, but I don’t have the time to read as much as I used to. I find time to read a few pages here and there. It can take me months to finish a book, but I keep at it. In those stolen moments of reading just a few pages, I can find something that lingers in my mind for a day or two that eventually develops into an article. I read the Bible every morning. Sometimes, it may only be a paragraph, but even that small quantity often sticks with me, and keeps my mind working.
I read many other blogs as part of blogging groups, as an avenue to promote my blog (I’m sure most bloggers can relate). There are so many that I genuinely enjoy! Sometimes, reading a post makes me think of something to write about. Obviously, don’t plagiarize. I’m talking about taking a little nugget from someone’s post that takes my mind to something related, but original.
As a historically anxiety-ridden person, this is all too easy for me. I used to constantly question and criticize myself. I do still often reflect on how I handled situations, but I am much more kind to myself. Could I have handled that situation better? What did I do well? What impacted my reaction? All potential posts.
When you have kids, I think the small things become amplified. Millions upon millions of children have taken their first steps and learned to use the toilet. But, when it’s your little walker and pooper, it’s a big deal. Other parents can relate.
In the big scheme of things, making a perfect pie crust is not going to create world peace, but since many people struggle with this aspect of baking, it can become inspirational and relatable.
- Just get started.
I can’t tell you how many times I had just the germ of an idea, but decided to start writing even if it was not fully developed. The act of starting got my writing juices flowing and some of those have been my most successful posts.
Being honest does not mean you have to disclose everything. You have total control over what you decide to put out there. That said, people will find you more interesting if you share how you learned from doing it wrong the first time, than if you just talk about how you do everything perfectly and great every time.
- Keep a List
I still use a paper planner. I know – I am a dinosaur. But, it has some blank pages in the back where I can jot down an idea whenever it comes to me. Whether it’s your phone, or a spiral notebook, have a way to record an idea right away before it escapes!
- Get Uncomfortable!
Write about something totally outside of your expertise that requires you to do some research. Other lay people will appreciate and benefit.
When I was working on the alphabet challenge, sometimes I would get stuck on a letter. While thinking about it, I would come up with the posts for the next three or four letters. I would write those down and use them later, so it was not a waste. An idea would come to me when I wasn’t thinking about it, and I would try to come up with new titles for that idea that would fit in with the challenge.
- Take Lots of Photos
I have young kids, so I take many pictures. Sometimes, I can look at them, think about what was going on when I took the picture, and an idea for an article comes to mind.
- Shelve It
I had an idea for a post about funny things kids say a while back. I asked bloggers, and then non-blogger friends for stories. Some of the stories were very funny, but they just weren’t coming together. A great relationship with another blogger came out of my request for stories. While I never did write the article, I did feature just her story on my blog. In addition, she and I have worked together on some other things. Don’t be afraid to abandon an idea. Good things can still come from the process.