So you made a resolution to blog more in 2014, but today, you're looking at a blank screen, immobilized by the blinking cursor. The New Year's Eve party you went to last night doesn't seem exciting enough to write about. You had planned to tell this cute story about something your daughter said... but now you can't remember what it was. And you're sort of pissed at your husband, but you don't think you want to air that dirty laundry. How are you supposed to blog more if you can't even find time to write?
Resolution help to the rescue.
Image: Lori Ann via Flickr
Pulling from eight years of almost daily blogging, I've compiled some of my best blogging advice for the New Year.
- If you're not living, you'll have little to write about. So look at all those other things -- hobbies, books, movies, walks, yoga -- as part of your blogging time. It's about collecting experiences and noticing the world around you.
- Reactive writing begets attention. Chances are, if you're having a reaction to an idea or event, then some of your readers will too. React to the world around you. Talk about how you felt or what you thought about world events. Write about your reaction to someone else's blog post, using it as a springboard to your own. Which means...
- Read other blogs. The best place to get blogging ideas is to read other blogs. What are they thinking about? Chances are, you may want to think about it too. Subscribe to sites that write on a variety of topics such as Huffington Post or... BlogHer. Scan the headlines if you don't have time to read every post. Again, you'll find a lot of fodder for your own posts.
- Join a community. It's difficult to blog alone. Find similar blogs, follow them, and comment. That way, those bloggers will organically find you too. Don't have a niche? There are plenty of existing communities that always welcome new members, such as NaBloPoMo. Sign up one month and use it as a way to find new blogs and have other bloggers find you. When you know you have readers, you'll have more reasons to set aside the time for blogging.
- Use writing prompts. Everyone hits a blogging wall sometimes. You don't need to be doing NaBloPoMo to peruse (and use) the monthly blogging prompts. They're there for the taking, whenever you need a post idea and none are coming to you. There are hundreds to prompts in the archives.
- Find your boundaries. Not everything is blog fodder. Make sure you know where the lines are so you don't borrow a story for a post and then regret it later. It also helps you to instantly know when you have a blog post idea on your hands and when you can just enjoy a private observation without sculpting a post in your head.
- Schedule ahead evergreen topics. Evergreen topics are thoughts that are relevant regardless of the day. There are days when you'll have three blog post topics pop to mind and time to write them. Rather than overwhelm your readers with lots of words all at once, schedule them ahead of time to run in the future. That way, your blog is humming even if you don't have the ideas or time to write.
- Create a blog calendar. As topic ideas come up, look at your week and schedule them. Notice that people comment more on Mondays? Schedule something thought-provoking early in the week and then post pictures or recipes later in the week. It can help to look at a post-it note and know exactly what you're going to write about that day.
- Start an email folder. If you're a little more spontaneous and the blog calendar doesn't appeal, start a folder in email to dump interesting ideas as you find them. If someone's email sparks a post idea or if someone emails you an article, move it to that folder until you're ready to use it.
- Use your draft folder. Even if you can't write the post in the moment, open up a blank post, throw up the title or a few notes in the body and hit save to draft. You can always delete, but you can't always remember what you wanted to write about when the time comes.
These are just a few ideas to help you kick off your blogging resolutions. What else would you put on this list?
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