I’ve recently been helping some of the people in my Facebook group go through the Epic Blog Planner. And not only has it been a big help for everyone involved, it’s been a lot of fun!
But as helpful as it was going through and defining blog goals and creating a business plan was – when you get to the point of actually creating blog posts, a lot of people started asking “What should I write about on my blog?”
I mean, they have a niche… they know what the topic is. But actually getting down to the nitty gritty and writing posts that supported their niche, goals and readers’ needs? Eeek!
A lot of people call this “blogger’s block”… yeah, it’s like writer’s block, but for bloggers 😀
I know a lot of us have experienced it. It can keep you from publishing posts and creating content. But you might be interested in knowing that a lot of very experienced authors and bloggers don’t really believe in it.
Said author Philip Pullman –
All writing is difficult. The most you can hope for is a day when it goes reasonably easily. Plumbers don’t get plumber’s block, and doctors don’t get doctor’s block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working, and then expect sympathy for it?”
Plenty of other well-known writers – from Ernest Hemingway to Stephen King – agree. Basically, what they’re saying is this: Writing is hard work, y’all, and most of the time when you don’t know what to write, it’s because you’re mentally avoiding putting in the hard labor.
So, whether you believe in “blogger’s block” or not, there are things you can do to make it easier. There are lots of ways to come up with post ideas, which is often the biggest stumbling block to getting started. Next time you’re asking “What should I write about on my blog?” try doing one of these exercises:
• Review your own old blog posts for ideas. Is something out of date or changed since you last wrote about it? Write a new updated post, making sure you link it to the old one. Not only do you get a new post, you’re helping your SEO.
• Visit some other blogs in your niche. There are a couple of things you can do here – look for something they say that you can dig deeper into, OR find something you disagree with and write that! Either way, make sure to link to the original article, saying it was your inspiration, and let the other blogger know. They just might comment and share your post.
• Use Youtube as a search engine – type in “YOUR NICHE Tips” (of course, putting your actual niche or a keyword in where it says “your niche”). Check out some of the videos that come up, and get post ideas.
• No time to write a long post? Take one of those videos you found, write a short intro about why you think it rocks, and then embed the video in your post. Boom, blog post done.
• Take one of your own videos, transcribe it into a post.
• Check out the nearest magazine rack for inspiration, browsing magazines in your niche.
• Write about a current trend in your niche, and why you love (or hate!) it.
• Just start writing. Take your pen in hand, or start clacking the keys. Don’t worry about what you are writing. Just write anything and everything that comes to mind. Do this for at least 30 minutes, and see what comes out.
• Hit the library or your personal bookshelf. Physical books are sometimes overlooked as sources of writing inspiration.
• Use your life as inspiration. Is there something going on that you can use as a lesson in your niche? Because seriously, readers love it when you’re personal. 🙂
• Can’t make it to the library? Go to Amazon and search for books in your niche. Look for best sellers, and then use the “Look Inside!” feature to check out the table of contents. (This is super awesome if there is a “Your Niche for Dummies” book!)
• Make a Top 10 post about some great resources, books, tips or strategies relevant to your industry.
• Keep a notepad with you at all times. You never know when inspiration will strike. Using this strategy, you can always whip out your handy notepad when the ideas just won’t come.
• Browse through your readers’ comments.
• Do you have a several blog posts that have something in common? Like, maybe you blog about crafts, and have a bunch of different crafts that happen to use leftover yarn. Write an intro paragraph about how readers never have to let yarn go to waste, then link out to all the related posts (Bonus SEO points for this one, too!)
• Send an email to your list, or post in your Facebook group. Ask them exactly what they want you to write about.
• Read today’s headlines at News.Google.com. Hijack a current news story that you can link to your products, services or niche.
• Search for PLR (private label rights) content in your niche. You don’t have to buy any, but look at the post titles they’re using. That’s content that’s already been researched.
• Use mind mapping to brainstorm! Not sure how? Check out this post from BobWP – How to Generate Blog Post Content Using Mind Maps. I recommend starting with one of your blog categories, and working out from there.
You can see how I might use it if I were trying to come up with post ideas for my Iguana care blog. Habitats is one of my categories; by using the mind map, I can quickly and easily come up with about a dozen post ideas on that topic.
Seriously, this is just the tip of the iceberg! There are so many ways to come up with blog content, there really is no excuse for “Blogger’s block” whether you believe in it or not 🙂
Next time you’re sweating about “What should I write about on my blog?” just try one of these ideas! You’ll be filling up the page with words in no time at all!