The word blog is a contraction of the original title web log which was a Journal. Most people’s understanding of journals is that they are accounts that are frequently updated; most commonly on a daily basis. So with that in mind, if you are the owner of a blog that you want to use to engage your community, keep them interested and connected to you; daily writing should be the standard you are aiming for.
Unfortunately for many blog owners the biggest problem in meeting this demanding schedule is not the time it takes to write the blog but actually what to write about. Assuming you set yourself this goal and you write every working day (even business bloggers deserve the weekend off) that’s 206 unique articles to create. So how do you go about generating so much content? Staring at a blank page for hours devoid of inspiration is the fastest way to turn yourself off blogging for good. So here are some of the tactics I use to inspire myself and get going on those days when the creative muses have left the building by the back exit.
Foundation first: Start by choosing a subject area that you are passionate about. Presumably you went into business in the first place because you had a passion for what you wanted to do or at least some aspect of it. If you were chasing the money, I’m pretty sure that there was something else that inspired you too or you would have probably given up already. So reconnect to the part of your business that holds your passion. For example, I am passionate about people and making connections. I guess that’s why I’m in social media. When I start to write an article I put on my “rose coloured passionate about people and connection spectacles” and see how the topic I’m writing about either detracts or adds to being able to follow my passion. In other words I look for my interest in what I’m going to write about so that I can be interested and inspired by the subject. It is so much easier to write about something that interests you. What’s more your readers will automatically pick up on a lacklustre article about something you found very turgid to write.
My next tip is a bit of an obvious one. When I’m stuck for things to write I just start writing. I write anything and keep writing until I get into the flow. Pretty soon it gets easier and easier until before I know it the article is in its first draft. And that’s another point. Many of the business bloggers I speak to who find it difficult to write adopt the perfect first draft approach. So let me dispel that fallacy. There really is no such thing as a perfect first draft. Just lots of re drafting and editing until you get it into shape. A word of caution though, if you use your computer to draft articles, try to avoid using the correction facilities for your first draft. Don’t worry about the spelling or the grammar. Just get it down and go back and correct it afterwards. Stopping to correct as you go along is a major inhibitor of creative thought as you are interrupting your flow every time you go back to correct something. Personally I draft my blog content the old fashion way using a notepad and pen; then I use my Dragon NaturallySpeaking software to quickly dictate it to the computer. It takes minutes and has greatly increased my productivity.
No matter how much you love your topic or how well you know it; obviously the time will come when you run out of ideas. So my next tip is about how to generate new ideas. Basically don’t reinvent the wheel. Everything about your topic that is worth saying or knowing has more than likely already being covered in one form or another by others in your field so check out what the other people are saying. Google, the king of search engines can in a matter of seconds produce pages of articles, blog posts, news items, video etc on your chosen topic. And it’s not just Google out there; there are other decent search engines and search tools you can use to find information. When you identify interesting or useful articles don’t just limit yourself to the article. The comments are also a great source of information and inspiration. Indeed it is possible to compile an article based on the points made in the comments alone. What’s more, start conversations with both other bloggers and the community about your topic. Ask questions and answer others and you will eventually build up a bank of questions, answers and interesting discussions to write about. At this rate you will easily have enough material to write two blog posts a day.
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