When I left University I hadn’t written a blog post… ever. Diving head first into digital marketing I soon learnt that writing blog posts can be a both fun and a daunting process (especially if your industry is not the most interesting).
Sometimes ideas flow, you’re excited about your subject and you can plan and write a blog on a lunch break. Other times you may struggle to come up with an idea, write a few paragraphs and then come to the end of the road and the end of that particular blog post *clicks close…do not save*.
Throughout the month of January 2014 I’ve been at that latter stage of blogging. Zero ideas, zero motivation. Being on the internet for a good 8-10 hours a day I see a lot of websites, I read a lot of blog posts and I scan through A LOT of Buzzfeed articles. My creative side is still there and I’m still keeping up with the latest trends in digital marketing as well as my own place of works industry, I just don’t have anything to put on virtual white paper.
This got me thinking, maybe I’m falling out of love with blogging? Maybe the so called ‘One year itch’ applies to the life of a blogger as well.
Like with all things in life writing down the issues you are having and making an action plan can lead to you finding a solution.
Time is the big factor here and the lack of it. Anyone who writes blogs knows that their best work comes when they have sat down and planned out a complete blog. We have been live for just over a year now and have tried to get fresh content out on a weekly basis. We all have full time jobs where our responsibilities are increasingly growing giving us less time to think about our own projects.
To plan a blog you must have an idea. Ideas can come from anywhere. I usually get mine from reading other peoples blogs, questions I get asked by friends, colleagues, customers or even things I teach myself and then share. Ideas come and go, some ideas are great and some sound great at the beginning but then you find a lack of information.
Finding a solution to these problems can be different for everyone. Those I’ve listed below have helped me get back on track, so helpfully can help some of you as well.
Take a Step Back:-
It’s always good to take a step back from things and reflect on what you have achieved. Over the past year I have learnt a lot in the industry especially when it comes to web development…our own site is still waiting for a facelift.
Enjoy your subject:-
Writing blogs for digital marketing can be a lot easier than writing for a particular industry. Currently I write blogs for a satellite broadband company, not the most glamorous I know. I try and take a inherently uninteresting topic and write blogs which are consumer friendly and have practical advice they can use weather they have satellite broadband or not.
If a subject area is interesting to you, try and pass on the information to make it interesting for your audience.
Write a Creative List:-
We all love a list…don’t deny it. The more arrow bullet points I can draw and fill in the better. I use pen and paper to write down ideas for future blog posts; this gives me blogging ammunition for a few weeks and allows me to focus on topic areas in an order which flows. It also means I can set aside a time to write the blog and publish it with a subject area in mind.
Try something new:-
Sometimes it takes something new to light the blogging flame inside of you. Writing the same things week in week out can get tiresome and you might find your work is not reflective of your best. It’s also not very interesting for your audience. Content should be fresh, up-to-date and serve a purpose. If you are doing a ‘How-To’, make sure that you take the audience through each step.
I’ve listed a few blog ideas below, but there are many others out there, search around, find what you like within a blog post and use it in your own industry.
Help Guides, Tips, Product Guides, Infographics, Special offers, Top 10 lists
Find inspiration from sources you enjoy reading
Blogging is easy right? 500-1000 words on a subject, add a funny meme to explain the whole thing and you’re done.
Whether you are on your way to blogging greatness or still blogging for fun, planning a blog is key. Write out an introduction, this should outline what your blog is going to be about and capture the audience’s attention.
Have a way to structure and plan out your blogs. I usually plan out my blogs the following way.
Title – I like to come up with a title that captures what I’m going to be blogging about (this title will change over time, but it will give me the initial subject area)
Core structure – I list bullets points of all the key areas and points I want to make throughout the blog. I then try and organise the list into a structure that will flow.
Introduction – After I have the core of my blog I can start writing the introduction. This is one of the most important parts of any blog as its captures the reader. Do they choose to read beyond the first paragraph or stray elsewhere?
Sign Off – The ending of a blog should round of the whole thing and answer the question or subject set from the title. I usually write the sign off once I’ve written the core of the blog as all my thoughts are on the page and I can conclude accordingly.
Getting your blogging mojo back
I’m sure at some stage all those who blog for fun or for work go through a stage of writers block where it doesn’t come as naturally.
I’ve taken it upon myself to write this blog for some self-motivation and also to help those who might be struggling themselves. The key to blogging in business is to write something you would want to read, try and write it in your own style and plan out what you write.
If you have any tips that have worked for you to get your blogging mojo back please feel free to share them with us in the comment section below. For Marketing My Journey it’s onwards and upwards, we are looking to design a new site (early 2014) take on more projects and grow in the industry.
Thanks for reading