Starting a blog is an exciting time. You’ve come up with a great concept, you have the pieces in place and you’re ready to start writing. In the beginning you are pouring with ideas and trying to write as fast as you’re thinking. But months in, you quickly realize that posting multiple times a week is no short of exhausting! How are you supposed to keep it going for the next few months, let alone years in? Well, as I tell those that attend my writing workshop, The Writer’s Muse, it’s all about using life as your creative influence.
We already know that consistency is key. So you have to be able to stick to the posting schedule that you’ve set for yourself. Not that you have to be a slave to it, listen, I have missed a post or two in my time and I have learned not to feel bad about it AT ALL! But your readers definitely want to find fresh content when they pop in and out of your blog from week to week. So it’s super important to make sure that you are constantly generating new ideas or new takes on old ideas to keep a robust blog!
Over the years of pouring into the pages of this blog, I have definitely learned a thing or two about keeping up on content. Here are a few things I would suggest.
- Keep a Running List. I can’t tell you how important this is. If I just waited until I was sitting at my computer ready to write to come up with ideas, I would never write anything. As your topics come up for blog posts, write them down! Keep notebooks in various rooms if that helps. This is also important because you may be in the midst of a month-long feature, but you can save the other ideas for when you’re finished. I am rarely grasping for straws when it’s time to write because I can open up my notebook most often and choose from a list I’ve been keeping.
- Update Older Ideas. I have been blogging since about 2008. Yes, a lot has changed about my blog since then. Even the title, however, the amount of readers I had when I started are nowhere near the amount of readers I have now. SO … guess what, some of my old posts may not be new, but they are NEW to you! Ha! If it was a great idea, don’t be afraid to spruce up an old story and put a new spin on it to present it to your new audience. We gain new followers no short of every day. Most often there is someone on the blog who has never been before. Side Note: I’m not talking a 3-month old posts. But maybe something from last year or two years ago. Something like that!
- Read. You will always hear me say that writers should write and also that writers should READ! Like really. Reading for writers is like getting in the gym for athletes. This is where you should be learning and sharpening your skills. If you are having trouble generating ideas, read something! It can honestly be anything, another blog, a business book, whatever it is, I guarantee that reading may help spawn some new ideas. Side Note: Don’t go jacking anyone’s work. But I promise you that reading people in completely different lanes than you can help inspire. (I have to put these disclaimers. Lol)
- Add another category. I mentioned somewhere that I didn’t start writing about relationships on my blog until I released my first book, Dear Love. Before then, I may have brushed on the topic but I didn’t have a designated space for it. This is why it’s important when selecting your niche, to give yourself space to grow! Yes sometimes it can get daunting writing about the same things especially if you have been at it for years. Don’t be afraid to expand.
- Listen. I cannot tell you how many blog posts I have written based on conversations. Some that I was actually a part of, some that I saw on Twitter or in comments sections and some I may have just eavesdropped on. Who knows? But most writers are great listeners. There is a story in most conversations if you actually stop talking long enough to listen. Don’t skip over this one. It’s an important way to keep new and fresh ideas coming.
- Take Breaks. This is an important one. I know that everyone puts the fear in you that if you don’t post anything new for a week that all your readers will leave and you’ll have to start from scratch, but that’s not true. I think especially after you have built consistency and trust with your audience that it is perfectly fine to take a break. Whether it’s short or a longer one, just make sure that you inform your audience, so they know why you haven’t updated in a couple days. I mean even God rested on the 7th day. Give yourself a break to see the sights and take in new experiences and be inspired again to come up with wonderful posts that will change the writing world.
We want to always have great ideas and ground breaking posts, but don’t ever feel the pressure to post just to post. I went through a period like that and I realized that the content just wasn’t that great. It was a great learning experience because at least it just helped me become more consistent. But once I realized I was a slave to the schedule I took a step back and just tried to work farther in advance so that I could really give my posts their just due.
Click to Tweet/// Though consistency is key, never be so committed to the schedule that you don't give posts their just due!
The bottom line here is that most of the popular blogs that you may be aspiring to be, got there because they actually had well written posts that people latched onto. Remember, processes, systems, branding and strategy will not really help crappy writing. Always keep the writing first!
If you are looking for more help in refining your writing voice and expanding your reach, check out The Writer, The Brand. It’s an e-course made just for you! It caters to the bloggers that are writers first!
Do you have other ways that you generate ideas for your blog? Share them in the comments, I would love to hear them.
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