Jan 26 2011
Whether you write your blog for pleasure or profit a hurdle we all have to jump over is the generation of stories. The more often you publish, the more you have to stretch yourself to come up with new content.
Of course you could just surf the net and rewrite other people’s stories… lots of people do it, but it kind of goes against the ethics of it all. It also removes a huge element of fun from the blog writing process. So to help out, I have put together a cheat sheet from my own experiences to help when you are having trouble with inspiration for your posts!
1. From your own experiences -This is the most obvious source of information and usually the one that people use first. The vast majority of people, even if they are blogging for profit, write about something they are interested in and/ or have some expertise within. This is a fantastic method of generating stories as it generally gives you a more authentic post. Blog readers want to be entertained and want to feel connected to you. I really believe that when you put your own experiences into your post that it shows.
2. Being inspired by the content of others -This is very different from just re-writing other people’s content. It is often the second step of story generation when people have run out of ideas from their own experiences. I read a great post a few weeks ago advising people who wanted to blog for profit to start off with a personal blog. I loved how the guy wrote even though I disagreed with what he said! I ended up writing a post totally contradicting this guy, but that is the great thing about blogging, everyone has a different opinion! A good way to get ideas from others is to join blogging networks. My personal favorite is ProBlogger: http://www.problogger.net/. I get daily updates via email and I find the standard of posts are really high. Networks like Problogger, can give you great examples of what others are writing and fantastic tips about blogging generally.
3. Surfing YouTube. Like most people I get inspired by some of the great viral videos out there online. A good tip is to just spend 10 minutes in the morning having a look through the top rated YouTube videos. Be careful that you limit this time though… I am sure I am not the only one who has wasted hours sucked into YouTube!
4. Search on google. This is the tried and tested method for inspiration. Yes, it brings everything up, but you never know what will inspire you. It could be an ad, a website or even an image. Anything can just spark off creativity! The only thing to plan out a bit is your search terms. Using bad keywords can lead to a headache and a lot of wasted time!
5. Old school style – I know it is a bit retro but newspapers, magazines and other forms of paper media are often fantastic sources of inspiration. To cut down on time and money, you could just browse your local library or magazine display and flip through multiple magazines looking for inspiration – perhaps one to not do too often in a store!
So, the great news is you never need to worry about generating a story again! OK, this maybe a bit hopeful, but I guarantee following these tips will get the creativity flowing and put you one step closer to publishing your latest post.
As a bonus, here are two things that kill inspiration quicker than you can generate it!
1. Over thinking your post. This is the easiest way to kill your inspiration. Get an idea, briefly plan it out and write it. If you spend hours thinking about every different angle of your post it never gets written and the inspiration leaves you.
2. Procrastination. This is a close cousin of over thinking! When you put off writing your post again and again, in your mind, the task becomes much harder than it actually is. Seeing something as a challenge does not get the creative juices flowing, in fact it does the opposite, it freezes us up. So just take an idea and write it.