Bloggers block can be a real headache because the fundamental concept of blogging is creating content on a consistent basis around topics that people are interested in reading.
Now, that content needs to be structured in a way that online users are attracted to; short paragraphs, concise sentences and a conversational tone usually does well.
While that may seem easy if it’s a niche you’re passionate about, it’s actually far from it. Figuring out what to write about and how to write it can be extremely challenging, especially if you aim for multiple posts per week.
Even the most creative of people with wild imaginations will eventually run into bloggers block.
Essentially, it’s where your mind goes absolutely blank. People will either struggle to find an appealing topic to write about; a topic that will captivate the attention of all your potential visitors.
Whereas, for others they’ll struggle to establish an approach to take on a specific topic, so therefore can’t put any meaningful words together.
This can occur at any stage throughout your blogging journey, and it’s something that you can’t really prepare for. Bloggers block happens to all writers, not just bloggers.
There’s an abundance of reasons why it can happen – from a jaded mindset to a severe lack of motivation – but it’s crucial that you find away around it.
If you’re serious about turning blogging into a successful career, then knowing how to overcome bloggers block is one of the most important things.
Before we move on to that, though, we need to dispel a couple of myths that you may come across. See, a lot of people will tell you to just “jot anything down that comes into your mind” or “it’s better to post anything rather than losing consistency”.
By doing that, you’ll dent your reputation, your site will lose credibility and success won’t come your way. Yes, consistency is imperative, but it should never outweigh quality.
You need to determine a solid strategy to get around bloggers block while still retaining quality, because that’s what will attract visitors and please the search engines.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to find inspiration to give you that boost that you need. Rather than listing them in this article, we thought we’d find a source that covers multiple methods and actionable tips. If you’d like to check it out, see here…
#2: Backtrack Your Blog History
You’re not a newbie blogger. Have you lost sight of where you’ve come from and what you’ve learned along the way?
Revisit your first blog post. Also consider downloading your Twitter archive to view your first tweet and use Statigram to find your first share on Instagram.
You’ll not only see a progression in the industry since you’ve started, you can also post about your own progression by revisiting updates about your early experiences.
Your past can serve as grist for the content mill.
#3: Cultivate Inspiration With Classes
It can become difficult to find new ways to rehash the same subject matter over and over. Online webinars and in-person events are a great way to immerse yourself in new developments and directions.
Check out upcoming webinars and events in your industry to spark new energy that leads to content creation.
Take a class or attend a webinar to learn something new that can help you climb out of your writing slump.
#4: Determine Deadlines to Make You Accountable
Writing takes time and it can become all too easy to put the task off. Due dates, even self-imposed due dates, force you to focus on completing an article.
Rather than picking a date far in the future, commit to a deadline that will arrive sooner than later.
Time marching on may be the spark that will get you started again.
#5: Engage in Groups on LinkedIn
It can get rough when you’re the sole source of content. That’s where networks can come in.
You can see what people talk about and use the information or trends you spot as a writing prompt to help get you started on a new piece of content.
For example, members in the Social Media Marketing Networking Club on LinkedIn may be talking about what apps social marketers find most successful for managing multiple social media accounts, and you have a lot to say on the topic.
Use your comments from within a group as a jumping-off point for a new article or blog post.
#6: Familiarize Yourself With Your Followers’ Preferences
Do you know what people expect and hope to find in content from your business or organization?
Reach out to a few friends and faithful followers, and ask them why they regularly follow your business blog. What made them decide to follow and what do they hope to learn from your site?
#7: Gain Inspiration From Sources You Follow
Your content well might be dry, but there’s no shortage of great material from online sources. Almost any article, even a past one, can point you toward new ideas, writers and resources to explore.
Spend time reading any back articles or newsletters you may have missed, follow their links and dig deeper. Don’t think of surfing the Internet as a waste of time. Instead, look at it as a necessary part of the research you need to do as a blogger.
For example, you may find inspiration on Brain Pickings by Mari Popova.
Remember to visit sites that inspire you to take you in new directions and kindle your creativity.
#8: Hit the Books
You can’t rely on short snippets and articles to provide a steady diet of knowledge for your mind. Books allow writers to give you more complete thoughts.
Books are great resources for educating yourself and they can be invaluable when you are stuck as a writer.
For example, David Meerman Scott’s fourth edition of The New Rules of Marketing and PRhas great examples to reference in articles on marketing.
If words fail you, read a new book. While you’re reading, use the week to connect with the author on social networks then send him or her a tweet, a message on Facebook or an email about your interest in an interview about the book for an upcoming article you’re working on.
#9: Inspect Infographics
For many, the data and information we receive about our industry seems tedious and difficult to understand. Quality infographics simplify that information and present it in an easy-to-understand format.
To find relevant infographics, Google the topic you’re writing on; for example, iOS7 infographics. You can also search a network such as Pinterest, where you’ll find infographics on every topic under the sun.
Use the data points you find to jump-start your writing.
Find infographics on Pinterest.
#10: Jot Down Ideas
Sometimes good ideas come easily but they don’t tie together.
As Stephen Leacock wrote, “Writing is no trouble: you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity itself—it is the occurring which is difficult.”
Whether it’s a simple paper notepad or a mobile note-taking app, having a place to keep track of ideas as they come to you is a great help during dry periods in your writing.
#11: Keep Your Eyes on Your Readers’ Questions
Often, articles you think are complete bring forward more questions than you anticipated.
For instance, the article Instagram for Business generated a number of questions from readers in the comments section.
Examples of questions from readers:
- How do I get my business Instagram page to link to my business Facebook page rather than my personal Facebook page? It seems to automatically link to my personal page and I don’t see any other options.
- Just want to double check if we can paste the links of our websites on the posts through Instagram.
- What types of businesses would do better on Instagram? If my site targets an older crowd (55+), should I bother with Instagram?
You can rest assured that if one reader had the question and took the time to post it, others will benefit from an article that answers it.
Based on the three questions above, you could write an article that addresses how to link Instagram to your Facebook page.
What Instagram’s policies are about the use of website links and the demographics that may make the most sense for creating a business presence on Instagram.
Find your content answer in the questions.
#12: Learn From Listly
At one time or another, everyone runs through their own curation resources. Where do you find new, reputable ones to learn from without spending too much precious time on the search?
Listly says “Lists = ranking. List posts = traffic. We help bloggers and brands curate, crowdsource and engage readers via live embedded list content inside blog posts.”
To tune into trending topics, go to the home page where you’ll find trending lists organized by All, People, Places, Apps, Media and Resource.
In the example below, Top Tips for Driving Traffic to Your Blog, started by Denise Wakeman, users can add an article to the list or choose to scroll down the list and find articles of interest.
Look through Listly’s topic tabs to find great sources of inspiration.
You can also start your own lists of links to articles you come across in research for articles you are working on.
All bloggers go through bloggers block at some point, the main thing is not to panic and keep pushing forward. There are many tools to help you get over bloggers block, like this article on socialmediaexaminer.com it really has some awesome tips to get you through the tough times.