Got blogger’s block? Relax. It’s quite common. Months of consistent blogging really can burn you out. Some days, you’ll be swimming in a sea full of ideas, and other days you’ll ask yourself, “Now what do I write about?”
Caught in a similar predicament? Well, here are seven ways to help alleviate blogger’s block:
1) See Your Thoughts
Humans are visual creatures. Sometimes, we need to see our thoughts before we can start writing about them. Other times, we simply need to organize them. Start with a pen and a fresh notepad. Outlines, thought charts – hey, even doodles work. The best part: The ability to do this at your leisure. Any time you catch yourself with a few moments to spare, jot down more ideas. It’s great to keep a journal with you at all times. I’m a big fan of Moleskine journals. There even are smartphone apps. Although I prefer to physically write down my thoughts, I occasionally use an app called Notability.
2) Conduct Interviews
Conducting interviews can be refreshing — not only for you, but for your reader. Not only does it lessen the pressure on yourself to write, but a change of pace/voice for your readers can make your blog more interesting. There are many experts out there you can interview at the click of your mouse button. All you have to do is contact them, send in a questionnaire, and publish. (ProfNet is great for this. *Cough, cough.)
3) Read What Other Bloggers Are Saying
List links of competing blogs within your niche — whether it’s written on a piece of paper, bookmarked within your browser, etc. See what they’re saying, and build on their work. What are the current hot topics? What aren’t the other blogs writing about? However, please note you must give credit where it’s due. To avoid any type of blogger conflict, attribution is mandatory.
4) Get Out of Your Comfort Zone (Physically)
Sometimes you just need to change your environment. I, personally, am not productive in any room that contains pillows. Physically being too comfortable signals my brain to be too comfortable as well. I tend to write the best material when I travel to New York, sit down at a random café, and write. Since writing becomes my main reason for the trip, my goal then becomes to write a masterpiece (or attempt to). Seek your creative habitats!
5) Just Write
I often overcome Blogger’s Block simply by taking the initiative to write. Procrastination is my vice and taking initiative isn’t always evident to me. Sometimes, you just need to start writing (or typing) about anything and everything. You’ll see ideas start to flow from there.
6) Focus on a Need
Chances are your readers are looking for something. They are reading your material because they feel some sort of need. Think about it: You do it, too. You stumble upon sites on the Internet seeking information or help. A need is what helps readers buy into what you are communicating. Ask yourself these questions: What questions am I asked the most? What is a need in my area that I fill?
7) Schedule Your Posts
Scheduling your posts also can ease Blogger’s Block. As you’re brainstorming and jotting down ideas, insert each of your blog post topics into a calendar. When it comes to The Blog Blog on ProfNet Connect, do you think I start writing about these topics on the fly? In a perfect world, yes. In our world, definitely not. I had this topic written down in my Google Calendar weeks ago. Ideally in my calendar, every Wednesday should be booked with a weekly topic for The Blog Blog. Time management is the key to consistent blogging, and planning ahead will help alleviate stress.
Now, go ahead and just start writing! Good luck.
Want more tips for blogging success?
Tune into our webinar Going the Distance: Tips for Finding Your Blog’s Focus & Defeating Blogger Burn Out.
Monina Wagner, community manager with Content Marketing Institute and blogger at 37° & Sunny, and Alicia Hansen, Cleveland chapter organizer of the Ohio Blogging Association and blogger at Poise in Parma, will join PR Newswire’s Amanda Hicken for a discussion on how to structure your blogging and consistently create fresh content.
Register at http://bit.ly/1Mug8PL, then tune in April 2 from 1-2pm ET and live tweet with us using #blogtips.
Melissa Ibarra is an online community services specialist at ProfNet, a service that connects journalists with expert sources. In the past, she has worked for CBS Sports and News 12 NJ and done freelance reporting for New Jersey News Room and Reel Reporting. She specializes in social media, graphic design, and video production. Follow her media journey @melibarraTV.