You spend a good amount of time reading them, but haven't quite got the hang of writing them: Blogs. No matter your subject, blogging can be one way to build that ever-elusive writer platform, or a way to attract and keep clients to your business, writing or otherwise. It can also be an inspiration for longer that book you've wanted to write. So, you get an account, or you open up some space on your website, open a file and...nothing. Deciding what to write in that daily, weekly, or monthly post can drive you batty. Here are a few places to find ideas.
- Respond to blogs or newspaper articles you are already reading. Your opinion or angle on a subject gives it new life.
- Visit forums on your subject or business. There are forums and communities online for just about everything; what are they talking about?
- Set up a Google Alert. Or two. Or Ten. If you write about hen figurines or other collectibles, make Google send you the day's listings of mentions on the web. (google.com/alerts)
- Read your Email. Especially your sent box. How are you responding to questions people come to you for? You KNOW about this stuff, or they wouldn't have engaged you in the first place.
- Write what you know. There's always the stuff that "everybody knows." Well, guess what, people new don't know, and people familiar with the idea may not know your spin.
- Recycle. Reuse. Repurpose. Have you written a blog for a while already? Give new thoughts to your old posts. Did you write articles or newsletters? Revamp that content.
- Step away from the computer. Talk with your friends, clients. What's on their minds?
- Free Write. With the keyboard or not, just start writing whatever comes to mind, without allowing your inner editor to surface. After a few minutes, go back and see if anything sparks your interest.
- Someday is now. Go ahead and write a small post about that thing you've always said you were interested in, if you only had the time.
OK, I expect to see links to fresh new blog posts soon, either as comments here, on my Facebook Wall, or sent to me on Twitter @ExcuseEditor. Happy Blogging!