You may have found that people who know anything about digital marketing will tell you that in order for your website to be at its best, in order for your company to get the most out of its branding and marketing strategy, you need to keep an updated blog. And at first, this may not seem so bad. It might sound kind of fun to write a little post about what an enthusiastic and quirky small business you are. You may write a post or two and maybe even enjoy yourself while doing it. But then, you realize blogging can really suck. There is a lot of pressure to update your blog as much as possible. It’s good for SEO and it is good for your business’s branding strategy. An updated blog makes you look like you visit your site a lot and that you are on top of your game. That is nothing to pass over. But updating a blog often enough to matter in the scheme of things? It’s a lot of work, and anyone who tells you differently is lying. Understanding that blogs are important, we must come to terms with the fact that we gotta. We gotta blog even if it takes time or if we don’t know what to say.
But how am I supposed to blog if I have writer’s block?
It may come down to how you’re thinking of your blog. If you think of your blog as a burden, you’re going to have a hard time posting new content. If you think of your blog as a tool, we are getting closer to where we need to be, but there is still something missing. You might want to consider the following question:
What are you passionate about?
I know, I know. You probably came to this post hoping it wasn’t a bunch of fluff, but I’m serious. What do you care about? Why are you writing this blog post in the first place? If it isn’t because you care about your company and the service or product it provides or the cause you are trying to promote, then why are you blogging? The best blogs come from people who care about what they do and write about what they know. When blog authors share about their passions, the blog post can practically write itself. Do not force what you do not care about and you’re well on your way to finding something worth your time and worth your readers’ time.
Use a generator
All this said, you may still need a hand in coming up with a topic. We’ve found a free tool that may be able to help you out with writer’s block, and it’s called Übersuggest. How Übersuggest works is you start with a word relating to your field or theme you’re going for in your blog. If you’re a dentist, an option might be something basic like “teeth.” Search “teeth” on Übersuggest right now and hit “suggest.” What Übersuggest does is it finds popular search terms on the web that include your word. There’s an enormous list of them. It allows for you, the blogger, to not only see what other people are curious about with your search term, but also it gives ideas that millions of people have contributed to. It’s like a huge list of cultivated blog topics, generated just for your needs. In the “teeth” example, one of the first search phrases I’m seeing is “teething necklace.” Being that I don’t know a single thing about dentistry, I would not be able to write this without some serious research, but I can generate a blog post idea out of that–an informational post about baby teeth perhaps? Children’s teeth care? Toys safe and unsafe for chewing on? A post about the Tooth Fairy? These are just a few things that come to mind, and this is from just one search phrase of many on the Übersuggest site.
I have a creative writing background, so this comes from a place of bias, but it also comes from a place of experience. One of the best ways to get going on writing and cure writer’s block is to write without thinking, or to free-write. How free-writing works is you take a pen and you take a piece of paper, and you set a timer for about 5-10 minutes. Make a rule for yourself that you cannot stop moving your pen, even if you have to write the words “I don’t know what to write about” over and over–eventually you will think of something different to write. Free-writing releases you from the pressure of having to write and come up with something perfect right away. Not all of us think in a linear way where a blog post necessarily comes out without any particular order. Free-writing also gets you to explore a subject like “teeth” and often you end up playing word association with the term, which helps to generate ideas as well.
Go for a walk or change your environment
I work a lot from home, so much of my work is done in my living room. This works fine for much of my work, but usually I can’t write from my couch, especially if I’ve been working on other things all day. One of the best things you can do for yourself when you have writer’s block is to switch up where you are, go for a walk (even if it’s doing a lap around the cubicles) or take a break. It’s rare when someone can work for six hours on something and then generate a brilliantly creative idea to write about. Do your brain a favor and give it something new to look at for a while.
Ask for help
If you’ve tried all of these things and it’s just not coming, and your blog post is due this afternoon, sometimes you just have to ask for help. There’s no shame in stopping by a colleague’s office and brainstorming with them. There’s also no shame in pulling someone else in to help give you ideas. At SocialNicole, we want your blog to be at its best. If we can help, we will! Best of luck to you in your blog-writing adventures. — Photo Credit