Have you ever stared at a blank computer screen with your fingers hovering above the keyboard just waiting for the lightning bolt of inspiration to hit you?
I know the feeling. I used to circuit break this by checking my emails, making another coffee, or worse, reading other people’s awesome blog articles and thinking “Oh, what’s the point? I have nothing interesting to say anyway.”
Then one day I found myself in a meeting with a client explaining the benefits of writing blog articles regularly and I felt like such a hypocrite. I decided that afternoon that I had to find a way to write consistently and low and behold, a few months later, I’m a contributor to Flying Solo and some of my blog articles get shared all over the world thanks to Twitter. Wow!
You don’t need to be an award-winning writer to keep up a well-maintained blog and you don’t need to be a highly skilled touch-typist. I didn’t even study English in Year 12 and I’ve been described as a two-fingered hammer on the keyboard. I’m hopeless! However, I’ve found a way to write regular blog posts and it’s very rewarding.
So here’s my solution to unlocking your creativity and generating ideas for creating blog content.
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Start with a headline
All you need to start with is a headline. Take a look around your own business, think about your work, your knowledge and your clients and complete these three headlines:
“Why you should…”
“The benefits of…”
Voila! You now have three ideas for blog articles. Once you pay attention to your own environment and thoughts, headlines start appearing everyday. Each one should be about a single specific thing and should add value to the reader. The most important thing is to make a note of them. It doesn’t matter whether you use a notebook or a mobile device, the point is you need to write the headlines down so they’re parked somewhere and you know where to find them.
Schedule time to write
That’s right, actually block out 30 minutes in your calendar to review your list of headlines and start writing. It’s crucial there are no distractions during this time. No emails, no phone calls. The sky will not fall in. I promise. Oh, and never, ever, ever edit as you write. Editing comes later. Just write for thirty minutes.
Schedule time to edit
Block out another 30 minutes later in the week to edit what you wrote. Editing your work after a sleep or two gives you a fresh perspective and allows you to actually write without being self-conscious because you’ve already delegated editing for later. Cool, huh?
If you follow these three very simple steps, you’ll soon find yourself making notes during client phone calls for blog ideas. I’m warning you, it can get addictive. The biggest reason people get stuck is that they’re afraid to block the time out of their calendars. Well now you have nothing to fear because you know what to do. Blogging is a marketing exercise and it deserves your attention.
So the first thing you need to do right now is take a look around, make three headlines and block out 30 minutes in the next few days to write.
Do you have any other tips for creating blog content for beginners? Please share them below.