Bloggers: 23 Ways to Counter Writer’s Block
By Kevin Harter. Filed in Web 2.0
All of a sudden, your blog seems like a dog biting your heel cap and refusing to let go. You do not have time for yourself, all your research zeal has been exhausted and the topics you want to write on are all water down. They have no juice anymore. You have no juice anymore. Welcome to the world of writer’s block!
(Image source: Fotolia)
All bloggers reach their writing limits at one time or the other. After blogging for some time, ideas just seem to vanish into thin air. All the great topics on your blogging pad have either been flawlessly covered in another blog or you simply have the title, but no content the write.
When this happens, do not tear your short point notebook. Yes, you can change the color of your pen, but hanging the gloves is not an option. You need to bring your sexy back. Below are some ways that will bring the juice flowing and help you come up with great topics for your blog.
1. Review a book by a foreign writer.
Surprise your readers with a review of a book by a foreign writer. Have you read any books by Tunisia authors? Get a different view of what you are used to. The world is vast and opinions are diverse. You just need to know where to look to draw inspiration from.
2. Review a product/service aftermath.
Every day, products are launched across the Internet; from coaching programs to physical products, services to magazines. The buzz generated a few months prior to their launch usually shakes other players in the same industry. But do the products live to their promise?
Follow up on a product that was launched a few years ago and track its performance. How has it changed? Are the initial business goals still the driving force behind the products?
3. Get inspiration from a different industry and adopt it to your industry.
Your niche may have its unique propositions but the essence of business is the same across all industries. Find out how people are solving problems in different industries and see how it can be adapted to fit your industry. Your readers will thank you for that!
4. Watch a classic western or oriental movie.
The Transformers or Fast Five may get your adrenaline rushing, but classic westerns like Joe Kidd or Dances With Wolves will get your creative writing juices flowing. Sometimes, you need to get back to the 1940s to find a topic to write about.
(Image source: Fotolia)
5. Is Joe writing that too?
Blogsdrop (coined from eavesdrop) often. Blogspdropping is not a sign of weakness. It is keeping up with the competition, a form of blog sport. In Hip Hop, rappers call it “keeping an ear to the street.” Find out what your industry experts are blogging about and bring a fresh twist to some topics they have covered.
6. Social media and Google Alerts are a must.
Use social media and Google Alerts to find exciting topics to write about. Check trending news in Google Alerts and subscribe for alerts on various keywords. Check articles posted in niche groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. LinkedIn is especially useful as the majority of the users there are professionals.
7. What would Sun Tzu do in your industry?
Probably start another fight. Get inspiration from a historical figure and adapt it in your industry. Buddha may teach you the importance of taking a break from your work and appreciating the simple things in life.
8. Let your readers drive your agenda.
Get ideas on topics to write about from your readers’ comments on your blog, email, Twitter or Facebook. Some bloggers have a “suggest a topic” button where readers can submit topic ideas.
9. You play soccer? Great, let’s go bungee jumping!
Take a break from blogging in your industry and write something completely different. Keeping up with the latest developments in your industry can quickly wear you down. You run on blood, not diesel. For a break, blog about something completely different.
10. Answer questions.
Check questions asked on Yahoo Answers and Answers.com that are related to your niche and create a post based on them. Join your niche groups on Google Groups and Yahoo Groups and check what people are asking. You can get great blog title ideas from these groups.
11. Table of contents.
Check the table of contents of top selling books in your niche in Amazon or Barnes & Noble to get ideas on what to write. Books sell because of the table of contents, what makes you think you cannot get a winning title from them?
12. Opinions please.
Create a poll about a topic and review the outcome. Ask your readers what they think of a particular subject. It can be about a topic in your niche or a recent news story. Readers do not live your industry alone. There are a lot of things not related to your industry that affect them.
Start a poll and let readers share their thoughts.
13. Take a break outdoors.
Go outdoors to clear up your mind up. Do not forget to carry your notebook. A serene environment is powerful enough to clear your mind and bring ideas locked at the back of your brains. It is what nature was made for. Try something new or finish up projects you left half-way before. A short break from your writing table may be what you need to get a great blog topic.
(Image source: Fotolia)
14. One on one with blogger X.
Interview an expert in your field and share the interview with your readers. Upload the audio and transcript on your website and ask for comments from your readers.
15. Best of the best posts.
Write a “Best of Your Blog” list and highlight articles that were a favorite with your readers. Do this quarterly, semi-annually or annually. You will rekindle the interest of your readers and may get some fresh insight to add to the articles.
16. Who made it in the Top 5?
Review top 5 of your favorite niche blogs. Your ‘favorite’ does not necessarily mean everyone’s favorite. Why should you review a blog that most of your readers already know? There are many hidden blog gems that have a rock-solid following that you can review.
17. Go visual
Make a picture or video blog post of a topic in your niche. 6 photos or slides are enough to make a photo post. Be creative and summarize your posts in the 6 photos or slides. Alternatively, post links to a series of videos that will provoke your readers in the particular topic you are addressing.
18. Previously on post X.
Write a sequel to one of your past blog posts. If you have a lengthy post, don’t give it out all at one serving. Spare some for next time. Just make sure the first post has the gusto to keep your readers yearning for the next installment.
19. Check your scribble pad for past topics.
Every time you want to write something, you probably have a couple of ideas to start with but only the best ends up on your blog. Some of the topics ultimately end up being shelved and forgotten as you struggle to keep up with your readers’ demand for exciting topics. Sometimes, the topics you shelved can be what you are looking for. A fresh insight or controversial view can be all they need to make it to your blog.
(Image source: Fotolia)
20. What I wish I knew before…
Write about what you have learned during your blogging months/years. Many successful bloggers make mistakes when they are starting out. Whether you enrolled in the most coveted blogging course or were coached by the Godfather of Blogging, you must have made some mistakes somewhere. Blog about the mistakes and how you overcame them.
A blog post about a personal experience is always a good read.
21. Same shirt, different place.
Compare your niche with a different one and show what lessons can be learned from the other industry. There may be differences in the working model but positive lessons can always be drawn from any industry and adapted to another one.
22. Best of the month.
Write a wrap up of your blog posts during the month. This can be a quick summary for readers who missed one of your previous posts.
23. Burst your guns (not for the faint-hearted).
Go on a critique rampage. Disagree with an expert in your field while providing insight on the stand you take. This step should however only be considered when you have a valid reason to disagree. Otherwise, when feedback starts rolling in, you may be on the receiving end.
There you go folks. Next time your creative juices are drained, follow one of the above tips. You are guaranteed to have an abundance of topics to keep your hungry readers satisfied for a couple of months.
Editor’s note: This post is written by Kevin Harter for Hongkiat.com. Kevin is a graphic designer, regular blogger and the owner of Crystalint Media. When he is not cranking his brains with new graphic design technology, he can be found desperately trying to write a poem!