It’s Sunday morning and I’m blog-surfing. Well, I’m trying to but some of my favourite bloggers are just not getting their finger out sufficiently often to keep me entertained and enlightened. Of course they might be focussing their attention on other priorities (though can feeding the kids ever be more important than blogging? Not in my house.)
So if the problem is blogger’s block – and I well understand what it’s like to gaze at a blank posting box willing words to magically appear therein – then let me share with you my "Ten Ways to Get Over Blogger’s Block"…
1. Put some structure into your blog. At my stuckest, I decided to start including a favourite quote every Monday. Search Google for quotes on your specific topic and you will have thousands of choices. Typepad enables you to post them all in one go but time them to be published when you choose. Your readers might get brassed off if all they see is a new quotation every Monday but from your point of view, the fact that your blog is not just stagnating is likely to make you feel more inspired to posting something yourself.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be a quote; it could be a weekly hot tip or a Q&A – which leads to:
2. Survey your target market to find out what they’re interested in. After all, the problem isn’t that we’ve forgotten how to put one word in front of another to make sentences, it’s that we struggle to come up with a topic we consider worthy of our readers’ consideration. Survey Monkey enables you to easily pull together a survey and it’s absolutely free for up to ten questions and up to 100 responses. Ask a few open questions:
- What’s your biggest concern around..?
- What one problem would you like to resolve?
- What was your biggest success..?
- What tip would you give to someone..?
3. Remind yourself of your objective in setting up your blog. Was it to share all you know about your particular passion like client, Madeleine Giddens (Mad About Herbs) or to track your progress towards your big hairy goal like client, Jeni Mumford (Run Starfish Run) or to share the trials and tribulations of being you (Wife In the North). The clearer you are about your intentions and objective the easier it is to know where to focus.
4. Sign up for Google News Alerts and receive news stories about your favourite topics directly to your inbox. Not only can you share the best of these with your readers but put your own spin on them and use the content as the starting point for an article of your own.
5. Check out your competition. Do a Google blog search and see what other people are blogging about in your areas of interest. Whether you share their perspective or take the polar opposite, link to their article using a trackback. For a great explanation of trackbacks and how to use them check out Business Blog Angel, Claire Raikes and sign up for her "Five Power Tools to Boost Your Blog Traffic" (top right hand corner).
6. Share a favourite resource. It could be a book, a website, a blog or even a piece of music. It might have everything to do with your blog’s theme or nothing. It doesn’t really matter. I love discovering who and what my favourite bloggers enjoy because it gives me an insight into how they feel, what they’re passionate about and helps me get to know, like and trust them.
7. Think of a
story or personal experience you can share, even if you created your blog as a business marketing tool, that will illustrate a
business principle or demonstrate a business solution. Adults love
stories as much as children and we think in pictures rather than words,
so the more colourful and animated a picture you can paint with your
words, the better your audience will remember you and what you do.
8. Invite a guest author or two to hang out at your blog. If you know
someone else with similar interests or similar business, invite them to
be a guest author. It’s a win-win-win for you, them and your readers
and as long as you don’t let them take over your ‘baby’ it’s one way to
keep the content coming when the inspiration isn’t. Alternatively,
head over to Ezine Articles and find a piece you know your readers will enjoy or learn from – but don’t forget to credit the writer!
9. Take a break. If it’s imperative that you, rather than someone else, creates the blog posting then inspiration is far more likely to strike if you get right away from your your desk. Find what works well for you; it could be 20 minutes in the garden, in the bath or on the kids’ trampoline. Something that will de-clutter your head and create some distance between you and your work / blog. I’ve lost track of the number of great ideas I’ve had during the course of a brisk walk or while under the shower.
10. Get over yourself. Sadly, for most of us bloggers, our musings aren’t destined for great things or massive audiences. That post we crafted with such tender care will drop off the bottom of our screen within a matter of a few short weeks and be relegated forever to the archives. So blog articles needn’t be sweated over like some great oeuvre, worked and reworked. Blogging was meant to be enjoyed, by you and by your readers. And I, for one, would rather read your ‘good enough’ blog post today than your perfect one next week. Off you go then.