Starting a blog can be a daunting experience. I remember starting mine and reading Crush It from Gary Vaynerchuk, he basically said in the book, if you can’t think of at least 50 posts off the top of your head on the topic your blog is supposed to be about – then you need a different topic. I think the idea is if you were able to write 50 articles, then you can write another 50, and another, and another…
But even the best bloggers and writers will at some point be feeling that their creative juices aren’t flowing some days, and no matter how hard they try, that 500 or so word blog post just ain’t happening. So here are a few of my tips which will help you keep on top of your blog and prevent it from going stale during the times when you aren’t in the “creative zone.”
#1: Creative Juices
If you find that one day your creative juices are flowing and you find it easy to write and article – keep going!! Reschedule your day so you can fit in a little extra creative time and use that time to write more blog posts, sometimes you can keep going for ages and ages…
#2: Support Requests
Clients and potential clients are a great source of inspiration, you may be able to go back over your client enquiries and find some great questions that can be crafted from support responses into blog posts.
If you find someone online who your readers may have an interest in, see if they wouldn’t mind participating in an interview, and send them a set of interview questions. Interviews make great blog posts. If you can, see if you can get a live call or video interview to add additional media channels for promotion and to add interest.
#4: Social Media
Twitter is a great place to find ideas for blog posts. I wrote a post once on how to get blog post ideas from Twitter for your specific market, but you don’t always have to stay on topic, check out what people are tweeting about, check out your favourite Facebook fan pages, what is it that people are discussing, do you have your own thoughts or ideas? If you would like to share those on your blog, reference the source of inspiration and share a bit of “link love.”
#5: The News
Sometimes I will like to see what’s happening on the news. Google news and alerts is a great place for up-to-the-minute info on what’s happening in the industry. Select things that are relevant to your blog, and share them, provide your own thoughts and feedback on them, and encourage people to comment as well. Most people will have an opinion on industry news events. Whether it be a product launch, new free download, interesting article or blog post from a newspaper or information relating to the industry as a whole. Always reference the inspiration source in your article.
#6: Just Talk
Sometimes I will be sitting at the dinner table talking about my day, my work, things that are happening or have happened in my business, and I actually think those conversations would make great blog posts, but you don’t realise it generally until afterwards!
That would be a great time to sit in front of your webcam and… Just talk… Freestyling can often produce the best kind of blog posts, natural, “off-the-cuff and real.” You can also get those transcribed or make them into podcasts.
It’s a good idea if you are someone who struggles for blog ideas to brainstorm. Keep a notepad, write down any and all ideas you get for blog posts when they arise. Sit and do and hour’s research online once a week for inspiration and when you are feeling stuck for content, look over all of your ideas and create an article, video or podcast from them. Cross the idea out when you’ve used it. Whiteboards are great for this type of thing.
When brainstorming, try to break the idea down into smaller ideas, this will allow you to produce more posts, so for example, let’s take this blog post. I could have easily created a few more from it:
- Why you should take advantage of days when your creative juices are flowing.
- How to get interviews for your blog.
- The benefits of using Google news to update your blog.
- How to use dinner conversations to create content for your blog.
- How to create list posts for your blog.
Do you get the idea? Watch out for those upcoming on this blog, one day!
If you have read a great book, used a great product, joined a great online community or mastermind group, then why not blog about your experience, and what you got from it? This is also a great opportunity to earn passive income, join amazon.com associates affiliate programme, and link back to the product or book you are reviewing. Join an affiliate programme for the service you’ve used, and make sure you place the link in the post, so you can gain some financial reward from sharing your experience.
#9: Guest Posts
Encourage folk to write guest posts for you that you can use in your blog, perhaps invite people to have a column on your blog, or regular slot. This is a great way to JV or partner with people. Most of the time the person writing the post for your blog will link back to it from their blog, website or social media, giving you a further reach, and wider audience.
#10: List Posts
Useful lists can make great blog posts, for example – Top 10, 30, 50, 100 “something’s”. The top 10 virtual assistants to follow on Twitter, the top 30 blogs to follow for online business consultants, the top 50 RSS feeds for digital nomads, the top 100 podcasts or You Tube channels for online entrepreneurs. If you think it might be useful to your audience, then it’s worth putting in the research and coming up with your “Top” lists. These can also go really viral through social media.
When you’re really stuck, or simply don’t have time, then really good PLR could be a great option for you. PLR means “Private Label Rights,” you can take the content and call it your own, and if you find a really excellent source for great PLR, PLR can be a lifesaver. You can put your name on them, change the content and titles to adapt it to your own style or simply take it as it is and use it on your blog, no matter what you decide to do with your blog, excellent PLR can save you the hassle and worry on the days when you don’t have a blog post ready, or anything in the pipeline.
In The VA Passport we have this covered, 10 superb brand new PLR articles for online service providers, available every month for download. Great for inspiration, for adapting to your blog, or simply using them as they come.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you can’t always strive to have every single post be a huge hit, some will be popular and go viral, others won’t. The fact is that when you start a blog, certainly if you need that blog to help generate traffic and/or clients, you need to commit to it, and commit to the community you are trying to build on it and regularly produce good content. The more great content you produce, over time, the more of a success your blog will be.