While I’m taking some time of this blog to work on it and relaunch it into a purely business blog, I thought I’d still pop in from time to time to share some tips for blogging. After all, I’m still working doing blog coaching!
I know we all have good intentions and we want to stick to a consistent blog posting schedule, especially if we are running a business. Sometimes though — no matter how well we plan — there are sometimes days or even weeks when we can’t seem to write a post worth publishing. I’ve been there plenty of times! I always plan to write at least twice to thrice a week on my blog, but even though I’ve got an editorial calendar set up, a chockful of blog post ideas, lots of drafts waiting to be finished… and yet, nothing. (It’s actually like this for me now, during this blog sabbatical! Hence, the sabbatical. Hehe.)
But allow me to share a few ways I get myself going when I am struggling to write a blog post. Maybe these will help you like they’ve helped me get out of a blogging rut!
1. Free write.
“Free writing” is a writing exercise I used to do in high school when I would be assigned to write a 5-paragraph essay each week during English class. The point is to just write without thinking. You just write and stop thinking about the writing, stop obsessing over it. In other words: brain farts and word vomit, in millennial terms, hehe.
You can totally try this out, here’s how: Set a timer for 10 minutes and just write. Seriously, set it and keep writing about the first thing that comes in your head, and keep writing even if you go off topic. When the time is up, you will have done two things: (1) You would have gotten your mind to think about a certain topic, and you will have a rough draft of something you can edit and publish, or (2) you would have written something that could have spawned a better topic than the one you originally began writing about.
Do it. Turn off your mobile phone and don’t check social media. Just write.
2. Get deep, or get out.
If you have no ideas, no spark, then do either of two things: Get deeper into what you’re doing or get out.
This works. With me, if I have gotten the juices flowing after free-writing, I either get deeper into the piece and start to edit, change words, etc., I’ll turn on a podcast like The Lively Show or something that will spark more interest into the topic I’m writing about. I might read another article online to get more inspiration or read an old blog post of mine that’s somehow connected to the topi. I’ll go and research some new tangent or angle to my topic. When you “get deep” into writing a blog post, you immerse yourself in a bunch of things that will help you finish your post, so that you create something fresh to share with your readers.
Alternatively, if you’re tired of going deep and soaking it all in; if you’re reevaluating your topic or your blog direction or something just isn’t clicking, then it’s probably time for a break. It can be as a big as a blog sabbatical, where you step away from the way you’ve been blogging OR it could mean stepping out of the workspace, away from the laptop and doing something physical. Maybe you need to hit the gym, take a walk, leave the house and have coffee and read a book somewhere. Whatever it is, do something completely removed from the blog post you’ve been working on (or even the blog entirely). When you do, have a time to release yourself from all the thinking and processing.
With me, it’s taking time off from blogging, going back to actively homeschooling and fixing our home, and dealing with a limited number of clients so that I can have time to rehash Make it Blissful into something fresh, something sweet.
3. Ask questions (and answer them on the blog).
After some time (or some weeks maybe) and you feel like you’ve shaken off whatever rut you were in, go back to your blog. Maybe hit up your Facebook groups, ask questions among your readers, and look for a question someone asked you and create a blog post around that. This is the easiest way to create content when you can’t think of anything to write. Listen to your audience, keep it simple, help them take a step forward. (My friend Frances does this on her blog, through a monthly feature she calls “Dear Frances” where she answers a question from a blog reader. Brilliant! She has content.)
So right now, I’m doing all three as I’m on this blog sabbatical. I’m free writing away from the computer and getting some journaling done. I’m getting deep into research and inspiration, looking for new ways to write and new topics to blog about (and trying not to get overwhelmed). I’m just getting started asking questions from among my readers, and they’ve been really helpful. I’m confident after this break, I’ll come back with a bunch of articles worth reading!
What about you? What blog firestarters from among these three do you find helpful? Care to give them a try?