You’re sitting down at your PC or laptop. You’ve finally caught up with the day’s tasks to the point that you actually have a chance to take a second or 10 to lean back and catch your breath for a bit. But, around the 4th or 5th second, your mind inherently starts to scour the database for activities to stay productive and BOOM!!! It occurs to you that this would be an excellent time to write a new post for your blog – you know, the one that has been collecting e-dust since it was last updated seven weeks ago.
So you fire up your blogging account, impressed with yourself that you were able to guess your own password on the first attempt. You click the ‘Add New Post’ link on the dashboard and a moment later a fresh canvas awaits – a blank white box and a blinking cursor just waiting to be filled with your wit and expertise.
You begin to rack your brain for a quick nugget of knowledge that you can share with your readers. Five minutes go by – but no internal inspiration spills onto the page.
You start looking around the room, seeking a topic of interest to magically ascend from the cylinder of ink pens on your desk, or perhaps an interesting tidbit may leap gracefully from the pockets of your laptop bag and onto the screen. But alas, there is no inspiration to be found from the random objects in your office.
So you start to read some of your old blog posts. While this is often a great antidote to blogger’s block, this time it fails you.
Frustration begins to set in. You begin scouring your bookmarks and sites in your RSS reader in order to find something – anything that might make for a halfway decent article. At this point, discussing the pros and cons of the fold vs. wad technique is beginning to look like a viable topic of conversation.
Finally, after 45 minutes in front of your screen and only a working title and a sentence or two to show for it, you finally give up and move on to more pressing tasks, leaving the tumbleweeds to continue to occupy the online space that houses your blog.
Does any of that sound familiar to you?
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are easy ways to get past the usual blocks that typify the frustrations a blogger can frequently encounter. A few simple mindset adjustments will greatly enhance the blogging experience for both you and your readers.
Blog topics are everywhere. No matter what niche you happen to write for, there are always dozens of things to write about. Here are five tips for avoiding the traps of blogger’s block:
1) Tap into your expertise. Identify common problems within your niche that people are looking to solve. If you’ve answered a question about your topic in the past, expand on that in a blog post.
2) Practice ‘mind-mapping’. This is a technique used by many people that can be very helpful in identifying stuff to write about.
3) Stumble Upon. If you don’t have SU, sign up for an account and download the toolbar. Not only is it highly entertaining, but it can also expose you to a lot of awesome information you’d otherwise have missed. Set your preferences to items pertaining to your topic, and stumble your way to a million article ideas.
4) Change your mindset. The time that you’re sitting in front of your PC is NOT the only time you’re blogging. Think of blogging as a 24/7 activity. 99% of the time that you’re hit with an idea for a great blog post, you won’t be sitting in front of your computer ready to bang it out. You’ll be in a restaurant, or in Home Depot, or watching a movie, or having a conversation with a colleague. Be prepared to copy the idea down before it escapes your melon and floats aimlessly toward the ionosphere. If you’ve got a cell phone that was manufactured after 1999, it will have a note-taking or voice-recording feature which you should utilize to save ideas for a rainy day. Like a great photographer, be ready to capture that moment that an awesome idea comes to you.
5) When you get the chance, start a new post with a few quick notes about the topic and save it as a draft. This is especially helpful when ideas are plentiful. Then, when you’re short on stuff to say, you can go back to your stable of unfinished blog posts and go to town!
How about it? What did I miss? What’s your best method for defeating blogger’s block?