We’ve all been there. You sit down to write your blog…and nothing happens.
Maybe you end up organizing your desk. Maybe you scroll through Facebook or start browsing Pinterest. Whatever’s happening, it’s definitely not writing.
SO frustrating! You need a way to kick your writer’s block in the butt, get motivated, start the ideas flowing, and get back to blogging!
Guess what? Writer’s block happens to everyone. But hey, even professional writers experience writer's block. ANY blogger will run into a moment when they aren’t feeling inspired to write.
Waiting for the perfect moment to “find motivation” (not to mention a clean house, sleeping kids, and a relaxing, quiet space) isn’t going to happen. Life happens. Distractions happen. Obligations get in the way. You know this. During those times, take a break, work on another blog-related task, and revisit your inspiration sources. Don’t worry—it will pass. Just do something productive to build your blogging business (even if it’s not writing).
BUT, know that when it comes down to it, if you want a successful blog, it take does take discipline…and, you know, writing. Blogging’s not hard, but you must be dedicated. To find success, you have to do the work. You have to want it.
So don’t wait for your muse to visit. Sometimes it won’t happen…which is why having a reservoir of blog post ideas saved up is vital (and why these blog brainstorming tips are so important)!
I recommend a process called batch blogging. It’s simple. When blog inspiration strikes, DON'T just pick ONE blog post to write for the day. When your creative juices are flowing, write as many blog posts as possible in one session. That's right: write up a whole batch of blog posts!
Now you're ahead of the game! (Sounds like a dream, right?) Now you've got a whole reservoir of posts to slate into your editorial calendar wherever you like. You'll never have to wonder what the heck to do on days you don’t feel like writing.
There are tons of other great ways to keep yourself inspired and motivated to blog. Having plenty of ideas ready and fuel for your creative fire helps you crank out awesome posts even when you’re feeling blocked.
In the meantime, here are 10 blog brainstorming tips to help you learn how to beat writer’s block and start rocking your blog posts!
1. Set Aside Time to Blog
Set aside a block of time to blog each week. If you wait for the time to appear in your schedule, I promise: it totally won’t. A distraction will come up to take you away from your writing—you’ll suddenly get a desire to clean the bathroom, go for a walk, or catch up on Instagram.
Block out time in your schedule just like you would do for a job, an appointment or any other goal you want to achieve. Hold your blogging time with the same reverence. You wouldn’t cancel plans with a friend over and over, or procrastinate over a doctor’s appointment. If you want your blog to grow, you must schedule time.
If you sit down to blog and nothing comes out? Well, then do another blog-related activity. Maybe it’s a great time to work on your WordPress tags or check your Google Analytics. Perhaps you could schedule social media posts or work on design updates. The point is, dedicate specific time to focus on your blog each week, every week.
2. Always Be Ready to Record Ideas
Keep your cellphone handy to record ideas whenever they pop in your head. Use the Notes iPhone app or the Google Keep app, record a voice memo or even keep a paper notepad, if you’re old school. The point is to prepare to jot down any ideas you run across over the course of your day. This is my go-to “backup plan” so I know how to beat writer’s block when it rears its ugly head.
Personally, I get GREAT ideas in the shower! Maybe your ideas come to you when you work out or right before you go to sleep. Whenever inspiration hits, record it. If you don’t write it down or jot down a note, it will disappear and you’ll beat yourself up later.
Get in the habit of recording all sorts of ideas. Not every single idea is going to be awesome or turn into great fodder for your blog. Some might even be terrible. That’s okay. From terrible ideas, great ideas still grow!
3. Discover Your Avatar
Expert blogging courses like Elite Blog Academy (the top blogging course I’ve ever taken—highly recommended) teach you how to connect with your audience. Branding and marketing businesses earn top dollars helping companies connect with their customers in the same way. Knowing your audience is the single most valuable action to always ensure your message is on target and worthwhile.
So, how do you get to know your audience? You create what’s called a reader “avatar” or “persona.” You think of WHO your audience is. Write out their story, give them a personality and opinions, and really get to know them. It sounds kind of silly at first, but this creative process actually helps you really target your writing and hone in on who you need to reach. Working through the exercise of creating your reader persona is great for figuring out how to beat writer's block because you'll probably come up with a ton of blogging ideas as you go!
EBA is absolutely fantastic at helping you craft your avatar and discover every detail you need to know about your readership. Like I said, I highly recommend Elite Blog Academy for any blogger. This is just one of the many awesome ways the course helps you take your blogging to the next level.
4. Try Reverse Mind-Mapping
Once you’ve discovered your avatar and gotten to know her (or him), an awesome brainstorming technique is to take out a piece of paper and draw your avatar in the middle. Now, you don’t need artistic skills, believe me, stick figures are fine, but capture a little picture of who your avatar is.
Then write down the problems you think she’s having. Does she wonder what to eat for dinner? Is she worried about staying in shape? Does she want to know how to keep her house clean? Is she planning her kid’s birthday party? Her dog’s birthday party?
This reverse mind-mapping technique will help you come up with great ideas for blog posts. Under each of the problems or questions your avatar is facing, break down sub-problems as well. What does she want to give her dog for his birthday? What kind of decorations should she choose? How does she make a dog food cake? Then craft a post to answer your audience’s questions.
Feeling inspired yet?
5. Take a Blogging Class
Taking a course on blogging is almost a must when trying to blog for full-time income. You wouldn’t accept a new job without some sort of training in how to be successful in that job right? This is the same deal.
If you want to increase your blogging income quickly, then you need to invest in your blog and treat it like it’s important.
Here’s the deal—even if you aren’t in love with the technical aspects of blogging, even if it scares the crap out of you—you need to learn the bare minimum to be able to write and work on your blog.
A blogging class helps you get the fundamentals down and understand your industry. It connects you with other bloggers. I’ve made a few of my closest friends through my blog and through the blogging courses I’ve taken. Taking a course opens up a huge world of possibility.
Elite Blogging Academy is hands down the best blogging course I’ve ever taken. It’s like blog college. EBA literally gives you every single tool you’ll need to grow your blog from a hobby to a business. It will connect you with other bloggers. You’ll learn from experts. You’ll find inspiration to craft better posts and content. You’ll know what to write and how to make your blog a success.
6. Explore Your Creative Hobbies
Blogging is a creative endeavor. Blogging involves creative writing, even creative photography. Blogging might include cooking, design, crafting and other kinds of creative work. If you want to get creative and come up with more blog post ideas, you need to let your artsy side out!
Now, admittedly, I’m not the MOST artistic person ever. I enjoy crafts now and again. I enjoy coming up with 15-minute meals. Where I really love to let my creativity shine, though, is when it comes to finding creative ways to save money. Finances don’t exactly seem like a traditional creative outlet, but yet, FOR ME, THEY SO ARE! So you need to find YOUR creative spot.
This means if you love crafting, craft! If you love reading, read. If you love cooking, cook. Get the picture? Whatever you love to do, get out there and do it! Blogging is about taking what inspires you and sharing your journey with others. In short: if you aren’t feeling inspired and you're wondering how to beat writer’s block, you need to get out there and do the very thing that fuels your fire!
7. Keep a Content Calendar
Plug all your ideas and all inspiration into your content (or “editorial”) calendar. If you batch blog, space out your posting so a few hours of writing gives you content for a whole month.
Keeping a content calendar gives you the lay of the land. A content calendar helps you plan when to post and keeps you from posting about the same topic over and over (or going off topic). You don’t need a fancy program to start. Simply get a paper calendar or even print one off, then write down the days you plan to post and what you want to write about. Plot out as many ideas as you can and go as far into the future as possible.
Now, you can always adjust your editorial calendar as needed, but whenever you’re having a hard time deciding what to post about, simply check it out. If you get a great new idea, swap the new post out for a scheduled post. Your content calendar is a great tool for helping you learn how to beat writer’s block once and for all!
8. Compile an Inspiration Binder
I love scrapbooking. I don’t do it as much anymore (now I use digital photo books) but I still find scrappin’ really fun and inspiring. You too? Well then use your mad scrapbooking skills to put together a binder of blog post ideas!
You don’t need to go to town to produce a super-pretty scrapbook of course, unless it inspires you. Simply rip pages out from magazines, keep swatches of fabric, tickets, maps, etc. in folders or clear plastic page protectors. If you read an article you like or run across a quote to remember, add the piece to your inspiration binder.
Include pages in the binder to jot down notes, brainstorming ideas or mind maps. Keep all your information in one place, so whenever you're feeling blocked or you need writing inspiration, you can grab your binder and leaf through.
9. Pin It!
Yep—I’m actually going to encourage you to use Pinterest! Here you were feeling like Pinterest was your biggest procrastination tool, huh?
Well, pinning ideas does help you get your creative juices flowing. Follow other bloggers' boards and “best of” boards to learn what’s hot right now. Don’t copy other people’s ideas of course, but use them to fuel your own creativity. Your take on a topic might be very different from someone else’s. The audience for your design blog might be very different from someone else with a fitness-focused blog…so organize your Pins by topics important to your writing and audience. Look at related Pins for even more ideas and inspiration.
The biggest trick isn’t to use Pinterest INSTEAD of blogging. You can (and should!) use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog as well as use it for inspiration. BUT If you catch yourself scrolling through Pinterest for hours instead of sitting down to blog, then you’re procrastinating, not getting inspired. Use Pinterest as an idea generator in your “free” (ya know, non-blogging) time.
10. Revisit Past Successes
What blog posts were your biggest hits? Is there a topic your audience can’t seem to get enough of? Look at your analytics and be sure you know your most popular posts (this is called your pillar content).
While you don’t want to post the same content over and over, definitely revisit and explore the topics that pique your audience’s interest. Ask yourself what questions you answered in the popular post and what questions they might still be wondering about. Use those questions to craft a related post to further delve into the topic or an aspect of the topic.
For example, if have a design blog and your most popular post was about redecorating your daughter’s bedroom, re-read the post and comments. Do people love certain aspects of the room? Are they asking how you made the window treatments? Where you found the bedspread? You could then write a post on how to create DIY window treatments (or how to choose the perfect bedspread). Look at your popular blog topics and branch out from there.
So, by now, you’ve probably got a few new brainstorming tips in mind and you're confident you know how to beat writer’s block. Don’t wait! I want you to get out a paper and write down your ideas NOW! Write a list right now of any ideas you’re having right NOW as well as the best practices you've learned in this post that you'll use as you work on your blog.
Use these blogging brainstorming tips as fuel for your blog! Remember: The biggest trait you need to grow your blog to success is dedication.