Is blogging as simple as sitting down and churning out great prose? Yes and no. Sometimes the words just flow other times it would be easier to collect hen’s teeth than to write a post.
There are some secrets I’ve learned during my years of writing and from the more than a million words I have written during that time. When I’ve taught writing classes I found there were always two kinds of people:
- I have a ton of ideas and don’t know what to do with them people, and
- I can never find an idea people
There is very little in between these two camps. There are, however secrets to blogging that can appease both sides. If you are a person who has an overflowing wealth of blog post ideas, you need to carry a notebook and write them down when they come to you. That way they will be captured and available for future use and you don’t have to fret about losing one while you work on another.
If you’re a “never have an idea” person you need to also keep an idea notebook and jot down snippets of conversations you hear, words that appeal to you, questions that arise about even mundane things during the course of your day. If you don’t think you have ideas, it could simply be because you’re not actively looking for them or you’re not realizing that they are right in front of you.
Some tips for finding great ideas include (HINT: once you have great ideas, write them in an editorial calendar so you don’t lose them!):
- Blogging about a topic you love. If you’re passionate, chances are you will be able to find topics. If you’re writing about a topic you don’t enjoy, it will be a chore.
- Consider topics that you talk about with people in your niche all the time
- Write about questions that people ask you about your niche
- Write about a personal experience
- Take to the internet and search for ideas in your niche
Once you have a topic, here are ways to take that idea and wrestle it into a blog post:
- Write without editing yourself. Editing can come later. If the words are flowing, let them flow without worry about grammar, spelling or punctuation.
- Write a headline first. In fact, take a half an hour a week and simply write headlines for potential blog topics. A headline can be the spark that will ignite the entire blog post. Keep a page in your idea journal where you only write potential headlines.
- Polish the post. Once you’ve written it, let it sit for an hour or two then go back and edit. Add in backlinks. Drop in an interesting photo that highlights what you’ve written. Hit “publish.”
Viola! While it may not be as easy at it sounds, it certainly isn’t as difficult as many people make it. Blogging should be a part of your overall marketing strategy. If you’re not blogging, why not? Is it lack of time? Ideas? Know-how? If you need help getting a blogging strategy together, give me a call, I can help!