If you are running a blog or thinking of starting one, the biggest challenge that most people will hit is writing fresh content on a regular basis. Ideally you should be blogging at least 2-3 times a week and sharing your posts across your social media to create the maximum engagement, however without a regular blogging schedule (and the discipline to stick to it) and a healthy dose of inspiration it can be hard to keep delivering relevant posts to your readers.
Here are 3 ways you can get continuous inspiration for new blog content every week.
1. Get away from your computer and visit you local bookstore
Strange as it may sound, when writers block hits you the best thing to do is actually shut down your computer and head off to your local bookstore with pencil and notepad in hand (leave your mobile devices at home!). When you get there go straight to the section that covers the topics you write about and pick up 5 to 10 books in your genre and simply run through the index pages. If there is a topic that inspires you on the index page read just that chapter, nothing else. You’ll likely be reading a chapter that gives you some new information that you hadn’t heard or thought about before.
Jot down a few of the key points and people that are mentioned in the chapter you are reading. These will act as catalysts for potential new blog posts, since your views, opinions or thoughts about the things you are reading about may have a different spin on the same topics. Perhaps you might challenge the author’s views (that will make great blog content, everyone likes an opinion) or perhaps you find out about another person mentioned in the book that inspires you to research their work further.
Of course we’re not advocating rewriting the works of other authors here, but we are advocating using books as a mastermind and inspirational tool to get your mind active in your field. Imagine if you could sit round the table with all these authors debating the things you’re reading about. In your blog post you hypothetically can. If you do decide to buy and read one of the books, how about writing a review of it for your blog. If you do make sure you send out a tweet with a link to the review, and @ the author on the twitter message too (it all helps to build your following).
2. Use Evernote to capture potential blog ideas as they come to you throughout the day
Every day you likely have hundreds of thoughts, discussions and ideas that would make great blog posts, but one of the reasons they never make it to publication is simply because they get forgotten. Using a tool such as Evernote is so simple since it’s accessible on your computer, in the cloud via their website and on mobile through their IOS and Android apps.
Simply get into the habit of making some quick notes when inspiration strikes, or if you’re in a hurry record an audio note instead. If you’re using the computer based version you can even install a browser plugin that will allow you to send interesting web pages to Evernote in a few clicks. There’s also an Outlook plugin so that you can capture interesting email content that comes in too.
If you have a schedule to write 2-3 blog posts a week, when you sit down on your designated day to write, simply dip in to your Evernote treasure chest and pick one of the many topics you have collected throughout the week. You’ll be surprised at how fruitful this technique can be.
3. Interview Someone
Sometimes external input can be a great way to start the content flowing. If you have an idea for a great article but don’t have full knowledge of the topic you want to write about, seek out an expert in the field and interview them, either in written, audio or if you’re confident with it, via video. Written interviews can be exchanged over email, audio and video can be recorded in person on your phone or over Skype and can be turned into podcasts too in the future.
The great thing about audio or video interviews is that it breaks up your usual text only blogging format so brings a mix of media to your output. Reaching out to book authors, heads of organizations that are involved in your topic, or using one of guest finder services like Help A Reporter (which is free incidentally) can help.
If you use any or all of these techniques for inspiration, the next time you sit down to write a new blog post the only challenge you should have is which topic to choose to start writing about.
Do you have any other great technique to keep your self inspired when writing blog posts? Do share your thoughts in the comments below, we’d love to hear them!
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