Finding inspiration for creating good quality posts is probably one of the most difficult things for anyone committed to the business of blogging. Recently, I completed my first 30 day challenge in which one of my challenges was creating a one thousand word blog post every day (see Forming a New Habit). As I reported, I didn’t quite manage it, but the results were enough to convince me of the importance of blogging for my site as a whole. So, in this post, I thought I would list some of the ways I have discovered that have helped to kick-start my writing when I was sitting there staring at that blank page.
Find other good blogs within the same genre. You can often make comments on such blog posts, but personally, I find it relatively easy to write once I have decided upon the subject of my post. Reading what others are saying is very helpful therefore, simply in getting the creative juices flowing. I never reproduce or recycle what others are saying, I simply join in the conversation, as it were; and that’s really what blogging is about, the online conversation, so this method, I believe, is in the true spirit of blogging.
We all watch the news and so why not comment about it on your blog? You might think that the items on the news are not relevant to your blog topic, but in fact, putting your own unique spin on the news item, reporting your own original thoughts about it, can make for a very interesting post for your regular readers. Recently, for example, I posted about the Royal Wedding. What has that got to do with personal development? Well, on the face of it, very little, but actually, my post focussed on character, judgement and cause and effect, not simply reporting or commenting on events, as a news item would.
Discussion forums can also be great places to rub shoulders with other people interested in your blog topic. If you simply find, perhaps, half a dozen good forums within your chosen niche, you can then quite easily find out what people are talking about and what they want to know. One thing you need to beware of is the tendency to get drawn in to the discussion at the forum itself, which can easily rob you of the time you need to write your blog. I’m not suggesting you should not join in, but just keep in mind what you are trying to do in the first place, and don’t allow yourself to get too distracted.
You consume information in many different formats, both online and off, you read newspapers, blogs and books, for example. Hopefully, you will be interested enough in your niche topic to actually do some significant reading around the subject in your leisure time. Personally, I find writing blog posts very easy when I am engaged in reading a book. At such times, we are already engaged in a kind of conversation with the author as we make the effort to understand and digest what we are reading, so it is very easy to comment upon the material. As a bonus tip, include an Amazon affiliate link to the book too; that way, you might also earn some commission.
Your readers, who are interested in the topic of your blog, will also be interested in other interesting websites you have found within the niche. So you are actually proving them with a service when you comment and recommend good sites. Again, if you are engaged with your subject, you will be quite naturally finding and visiting these sites anyway, so why not also make use of this habit in your blogging activity?
Utilising various social media sites – in particular, Twitter – is also a very easy method of picking up the current buzz. I learned that the Royal Wedding was actually announced on Twitter first. That fact alone should speak volumes for the importance of this site in staying abreast of what is happening in
the world. Similarly, Google Alerts is an excellent method of picking up the current Buzz and, of course, all you need to do is make your own, unique comments on currently hot subjects. Simply by doing this, you will be positioning yourself in the mind of your readership as an original thinker who’s posts are well worth reading.
In closing, the basic idea is very simple: you just need to get properly involved in the online conversation around your chosen topic. Trust that your words will find the people for whom they were written, and, if you are original and you write from the heart, you will develop your own following over the course of time. Be yourself, write with passion, make up your own rules and you go along and – most of all – have some fun.