Being a blogger is fun because you get to write about an issue or topic of your choosing when you want. Ideas abound everywhere and all it takes is imagination and natural curiosity to spot the potential for a blog post in, both, normal everyday situations and the big situations in life.The best bit about blogging is, for me anyway, that I have complete control over the point of view that I take.
As an example, when I blogged about ‘Love Island’ a few days ago the angle I took was about the parent and child interaction which interested me as opposed to the hundreds of articles written about the body beautiful contestants. Granted the latter was probably more newsworthy because the millions of viewers who watched ‘Love Island’ can’t have been sitting down just for views of trees swaying in the wind.
But bloggers are able to bring their own experience and interest to bear which adds to the diversity of opinions in circulation.
It’s all great going till you hit the wall of writer’s block. Don’t believe any blogger who tells you otherwise. It comes to all of us like a big black cloud that will not budge. Do you wait till it passes or do you fight back? If you choose to fight back how do you do this?
|My well thumbed personal copy|
I have discovered a whole list of great ideas to bust writer’s block in ‘The Million Dollar Blog’ book by Natasha Courtenay-Smith. Chapter 7 in the book titled ‘Content Creation’ is all about the constant need to generate ideas that can spark off blog posts and the freeing up of one’s ability to think up ideas. Recognise the following scenario which Natasha describes in the chapter?
“It’s a new day. You’re sitting at your computer, all fired up. You begin to type today’s blog post-and you freeze. The screen remains depressingly blank as you feel your anxiety levels rising-you’ve got to write something, but what?”
Natasha, the author, lists what she refers to as “tricks” to unblock creative thought. These are:
1. Research your readers. Diving into your readers’ worlds is important in coming up with blog posts that will help you connect with them. Using Google’s keyword planner and Google’s Trend tool to search for specific words and phrases will give you a valuable insight into what your readers are looking for.
2. Using surveys on social media to directly reach out to your followers to ask them what they would like to read or suggesting topics and asking them for their views on whether these would interest them as readers.
3. Look at what your competitors are blogging about. What have they written that catches your eye and can you rewrite this using your own voice and point of view? Caveat – don’t plagiarise and offer something different in tone and substance.
4. Write about what you think about. We all have a myriad of ideas that flash through our brains every day. The trick is to capture these in words via a blog post.
5. Write about what other people ask you. Are you an agony aunt in your personal life to family and friends? Could you write about the problems that you are asked to help out with?
6. Hijack the news by looking at news websites, magazines, newspapers for ideas that you could give an opinion on.
7. While most ideas have been written about and rehashed a million times it does not mean that a fresh view cannot be offered.
The list above is a paraphrasing of what is set out in the book. It’s a book worth reading in full, by the way.
The strategy I employ is to cut out articles, op-eds and even pictures from newspapers that I can refer to for ideas.
|My source of idea|
It would be great to hear from other bloggers about tactics they use to blast writer’s block.