When the cursor blinks at you, winking slowly off an on, and time ticks slowly by, the stark white page stays empty and you just sit and stare at it.
'Well what do I do now that I have decided to start a blog - I need to write SOMETHING!' you think to yourself...
Most likely you end up in procrastination hell (more than likely in the kitchen!). But it's good to know that you dear reader, are not alone.
The first thing I do at the start of the year is brainstorm some of the ideas for posts that I might use - people here at work hate that because I write them up on the big window on my office - liquid chalk pens are one of my favourite things next to post-it notes! No idea is too crazy at that point because it might spark an idea for something else - this usually takes a day to do.
I then break that list down to a list of 'yes I will do' posts, 'maybe' posts, and then I wipe the board clean of all others.
Then I sort them into different categories so that I don't have a bunch of the same posts all at once - unless I am doing a themed series of posts.
But I digress - that doesn't help you - that's just my process.
Here are some different types of content that don’t require too much of your writing or creating, but will deliver value to your readers. They all begin with the word "curation". Curating starts with collecting things that fit inside of a context (that's my brainstorming from above).
For example, this article is a collection of ideas I use and have gleaned from others that fit inside the context of content creation. If you are in the fabrication business you might collect 5 popular articles within a context, like tools, new techniques, old techniques, interesting builds, and safety.
You can then package your articles into separate posts with an intro: who this is for and why you chose to write it, then the body of the post. But I always add in a positive and a negative to the angle I take - then when I write a different version of the post and see which one I am more passionate about at the time, and use that.
Something I haven't done much of lately - but you can easily do yourself... is to interview someone who has a complimentary service or product that would add value to your readers. If you are social media expert you might interview an expert in offline marketing, aka, networking. If you want to be extra nice, write the top ten takeaways from the interview for people who won’t watch or listen. Speaking of top tens, people love top ten lists, or 20, 50, etc. Say you are a financial planner, you could do the top ten things that rob your nest egg.
About once a year I compile a list of books I have read on the topic of marketing, advertising and promotions, and put them together in one post - it's simple but that post always gets a lot of hits. Mine for this year was done last week.
You could, like we did, take a sneak peak into the day in the life of you or your product or industry - see our poor attempt at it - HERE.
It can be a fun post, or a video story about how an especially good—or bad- day went. The bad day, the bloopers, owning the epic fail to your fans will always be a crowd pleaser.
Remember: If you are going to write, take the time to write well. If your brain is dry - then leave it for now. So instead do something different - ditch your usual way of connecting with your readers and have some fun instead. Curate, run a contest, record a video, anything is fair game, but most importantly, post something and stay in touch with them.
Writer’s block is real but it doesn’t have to crush the commitment to your loyal readers, (and the new ones who will happen upon your work) to show up with something good.
Breaking from routine is one easy way to break the spell of “everything has already been said, I’m doomed” mode of thinking.
But most importantly - and not many people do this - tell people about your blog posts - we do it on LinkedIn and in emails we send to clients.
Others do it on Facebook - and in their radio ads - whatever you do - let people know you have a blog where they can read more about their industry, and get more information from.
You will be amazed how sometimes the idea for a post will spring from a conversation with someone else - and sometimes those have started as simple interactions on social media, someone talking to you across the counter or when you read something from another industry and you think 'Hey! This would make an interesting post!"