When we decided to take on the 30-Day Blogging Challenge, we knew what we were putting ourselves into. Writing for 30 days straight is challenging indeed because you need 30 different interesting topics with a well-written and rich in value content for each. Here at Spiralytics, we’ve set up an editorial calendar where everyone in the team will contribute for the challenge. Yes, including those who aren’t part of the content team, and boy do they hate us for it (just kidding, they love us!).
Writing a full article can be really difficult at times, even for those who do it every single day. So we fully understand when our 30-day blogging contributors tell us that they don’t know what to blog about. Then there’s the other dilemma, every writer’s worst enemy — writer’s block.
Don’t let writer’s block consume you. Unless you want to end up like this guy. Go watch The Shining if you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about. Shame on you.
I’ve had one of those days too, but instead of trying to kill my non-existent wife and son with an axe, I’ve learned non-violent tricks on how I can kick writer’s block to the curb and find the inspiration to write a compelling article that I can be proud of (plus the fact that I have no choice but to meet my writing deadlines or else I’m screwed).
Here are some tips and tricks on finding blogging inspiration and getting your writing mojo back (and to stop you from going on a killing rampage):
1.What are you really good at?
Look no further because your own pool of expertise and skills is actually a gold mine for topics to blog about. Not everyone knows everything, that's why they hired you to do things for them! It might seem such a basic idea for you but there are people who are looking for the set of skills and knowledge that you have to offer, and the best way to let them find you is by blogging about what you do best.
Before I started writing for the Spiralytics blog, they already had published posts about digital marketing, but ones that I have no idea about because all I know is about writing. So when it was my turn to blog, I had no idea what to write, I didn't know a thing about analytics or such! Then I had a light bulb moment, I should write about writing! It's way easier to write about something that you can do even with your eyes closed.
Beat Writer's Block Tip: Get as basic as you can. Example: "Blogging 101" or "How to Start a Blog". There's a reason why For Dummies and A Complete Idiot's Guide are still in business.
2. What stories do you have to tell?
Aside from your expertise, your personal experiences in your line of work are also great sources for blog topics. There are some people out there who are in the same spot as you when you were just starting out, and they're hungry for information and lessons from someone like you.
There are some articles that are too boring to read because they just state hard facts or numbers. You don't want to be that boring author. You want to be the cool author who's not embarrassed to write about the lessons that he has learned the hard way.
Like writing about what you know, it's also easy to write about your personal experiences in the industry because you already know the full story.
Beat Writer's Block Tip: People love stories. Get creative and add humor starting from a catchy title. Make fun of yourself but not to the point that it will affect your credibility as an expert. Show your reader that you were once a young clueless guy too who didn't knew what he was doing.
3. What's trending?
What are people talking about? What news articles or blogs have gotten a lot of shares? What are the big industry influencers sharing in Twitter that have been retweeted a gazillion times? These are the topics that you should write in your blog.
Read up on what your competitors are writing about, not to steal their idea but just for inspiration and to educate yourself too. For sure you'll find a way to spin it off and write it in a more interesting angle. Or better yet, you might know something important that they missed out on their blog.
Beat Writer's Block Tip: You don't always have to be serious all the time with your topics. If there are trending topics in pop culture that you know you can relate to your industry, go ahead and be creative, just as long as it still makes sense.
The wonders of having 'Breaking Bad' in your title
4. What does your analytics say?
If you still haven't set up analytics for your blog, do it now. It's a great tool for you to find out what's working or not for you in your site.
Your blog's analytics will tell you which pages get the most views. What does that mean? That's the topic that you're visitors are interested in, that's what they want to read more about, that's what you should be writing about.
Beat Writer's Block Tip: It may seem like it's difficult to think up of blog ideas for a single topic, but it's not. Map out your topic by jotting down concepts or ideas connected to it. If you have a team, work on it together with them.
Now, still think you have nothing to blog about?
Got any other tried and tested tricks to come up with new topics and get rid of writer's block? Share them in the comments!