How to Overcome Blogger’s Block
Learn the 10 best resources for getting unblocked and writing your best posts in no time.
Hi there, The Digital Marketer here, ready to help you put the power of the Internet and technology to work for your business.
As an avid blogger and podcaster, it's easy to run into lulls when you just can't think of what to blog about next. Where can you look for fodder for your blog posts to keep the content flowing?
1. Headline news emails. Subscribe to emails of daily news headlines from just a few of your favorite news sources. More than that, and you'll get overwhelmed. But you can scan about two or three of them daily for current event-related blog posts. Subscribe to one news source that publishes views you usually don't agree with to really get your creative juices flowing.
2. Essential Twitterers. An essential Twitterer can be someone with strong opinions who is prolific, so they're a constant inspiration for blog posts. Or they can simply be someone whose tweets you find to be thought provoking and thus blog post-stimulating. Some of mine include Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan), Copyblogger (@copyblogger), Problogger (@problogger), Pistachio (@pistachio) and CC Chapman (@CC_Chapman). I have links to all of them on the show site.
3. Viral emails. You know those emails that get passed around by multiple people? Not the chain letters but the ones that have a modicum of interesting or quality content in them? Scan them before you hit delete to see if there might be a blog post idea hidden in there. A recent email I received from my Dad had a link to a fascinating video presentation about the supersonic growth of social media. I'm crafting a post about that message in the video right now.
4. Your competitor's blog. Are you even paying attention to what your competitor is saying though social media? Are you following them on Twitter? Subscribing to their blog? I wouldn't recommend talking about your competitors in your blog, but it’s a good idea to know what they're saying and doing and see if it doesn't stir up some thoughts and opinions that you can turn into a professional, insightful blog post.
5. Industry enewsletters. I keep hearing people say that enewsletters are dead. I still think they are valid even in this day and age of RSS feeds and blogs. People put a lot of thought into the content of their enewsletters so you may find little sparks that can burst into a blog post.
6. Facebook Notes Feed. We're all used to passively consuming the Facebook News Feeds from our friends but have you dug into the Notes Feed? Click over to your Facebook Home Page, and you'll see Notes listed on the left-hand side along with News Feeds, Photos, Links, and Pages. Go to Notes and you'll find a lot of random -- and rich -- content that includes people's versions of a Facebook blog post or feeds directly from their actual blogs.
7. LinkedIn News Feed. Don't underestimate LinkedIn for news, information, links, and tidbits about business. People often put a lot more thought into their LinkedIn status updates since it is much more of a professionally-focused forum. The status updates from your contacts can be good brain ticklers.
8. Informative podcasts. Never underestimate the power of podcasts to get your mind going. I listen to podcasts when I'm driving, which can be a risky thing if I'm constantly compelled to jot down notes about what I'm hearing. I think I compose especially good blog posts when I totally disagree with a podcaster and formulate a detailed response to their points.
9. A social news filter. There are many different tools you can use to grab specific content from the social mediasphere based on keywords and other criteria. Try tools like Filtrbox, Ensembli, Snackr, or Social Mentions to grab a tasty morsel to chew on.
10. The Week. Okay, this doesn't have anything to do with social media or technology, but I do get a great deal of blog post ideas from reading The Week magazine. The Week summarizes national and international news in digestible pieces so I get a wide range of topic ideas from health to new books and movies to provocative essays. In general, I still turn to print magazines for in depth reading and love to tear out pages with content ideas for blog posts. You know, the old fashioned paper tickler file?
Bottom Line: Think like a blogger. Never dismiss any news source or information exchange that crosses your path. Everywhere you look is a blog post waiting to happen. But make sure you stay focused on your blog's objectives and overall direction and voice.
That's all we have time for today. Visit the show’s website at digitalmarketer.quickanddirtytips.com for links to all of the sites mentioned in the show. If you'd like to ask a question or request a topic for The Digital Marketer, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message by calling 206-339-6279.
You can also book me, your humble podcaster, for your next event as a keynote speaker or lecturer on topics related to digital marketing and social media. Visit Macmillanspeakers.com/alizasherman for more information.
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1. Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan), Copyblogger (@copyblogger), Problogger (@problogger), Pistachio (@pistachio) and CC Chapman (@CC_Chapman)
2. The video I mentioned: Socialnomics - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIFYPQjYhv8
3. Facebook - http://www.facebook.com
4. Twitter - http://www.twitter.com
5. LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com
6. Filtrbox - http://www.filtrbox.com
7. Ensembli - http://www.ensembli.com
8. Snackr - http://www.snackr.com
9. Social Mentions - http://www.socialmentions.com
10. The Week - http://www.theweekmagazine.com
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