Tips for Avoiding Blogger’s Block
Stop the block and get writing!
In the past year that I’ve been a part of the Road Warrior Creative team, I’ve written blog posts on a wide variety of topics and with all different kinds of voices. One thing I’ve noticed, whether you’re a business blogger or a health and lifestyle blogger, is that writer’s block just happens. But through the writing process, I’ve found some things that help me get my blog posts going. Now, I’m not saying using these tips are going to solve all of your problems or magically cure a creative roadblock, but they certainly can help get your creative juices flowing. So, here are my tips for avoiding blogger’s block.
Understand Something is NOT Better Than Nothing
Recently, Amber and I took the time to watch the keynote speakers from Social Media Examiner‘s Social Media Marketing World Conference. One presentation that especially caught our interest came from Andrew Pickering & Pete Gartland (you can take a look at their website here).
Their presentation focused on the question: is creating and posting something really better than posting nothing? Well, the answer is actually no. I know a lot of us probably think that as long as we have some content out on our social media platforms or our blog, even if it’s mediocre, that’s better than having nothing. But Andrew & Pete took a look at some of those people who posted just something, and they found that this less than spectacular content was doing absolutely nothing to drive engagement or traffic – and in some cases it can even hurt you or your brand.Posting something on your blog is NOT better than posting nothing. Click To Tweet
However, when they took a look at content creators who focused their energy on creating really amazing content for just one platform, they saw the difference. Bloggers who release posts with fewer words often don’t see the engagement that bloggers who write longer posts do. And if you’re thinking, “but, writing a 1500 word blog post takes so much more time!”, that’s kind of the point! Users would much rather get blog posts once a week, or even once a month, that are informative and well written, rather than half-hearted 500 word posts 3 times a week.
So say it with me: posting something is not better than posting nothing.
Look to Others
When you’re not sure how to start a blog post or even what you should be writing about, try stepping outside of your writing space and looking around other places. Here are some of my favorite ways of finding inspiration:
Reading Other Blogs
Before you say it, no- this is not cheating. In fact, look what comes up when I google a question about social media marketing:
And guess what- that’s only 5 out of the 33 million search results. When it comes to writing blog posts, it’s okay to look to others for influence and inspiration! In fact, I’ve often read other blogs and found a tiny snippet that became a full-blown blog post. Even if you’re writing on the same subject, it’s still your voice and your blog.
So don’t worry about “stealing” an idea. Someone who’s googling a question wants the best information possible, and if your post can give them even one other tidbit they haven’t found somewhere else, you’re doing something right.
Looking Outside My Own Industry
Now this one is great for my personal creative blocks. I’ve found myself browsing through the websites on Awwwards, just taking in all the amazing ways that brands set up their websites. I’m usually not even looking for ideas or reading blog posts, but just taking a look because I’m kind of a dork about really cool website design, But, just like when I actually am looking for ideas on others’ blogs, sometimes the inspiration just hits. Sometimes it hits when I’m looking at a food blog or an athletic clothing company’s Instagram.
Looking outside of your industry can help you think up blog posts you might have never dreamed of on your own. It could be why certain brands drive such loyalty on their social media, or how a really great website design drives more traffic. Whatever it is, taking a step back from the world you spend all you time in just must inspire you.
Ask Your Audience Questions
Now, many of you probably have a comment section or some form of a contact button on your blog, but there are more options for asking your audience questions. One way that’s super simple and super popular is Instagram stories. With Instagram stories, you can do a live video Q&A and answer the questions in real time, or you can use the questions sticker so you have a little bit more time to give detailed answers. You should also be taking a look at comments on your blog and social media posts, as well as private messages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Why should you be so focused on the questions your audience is asking? Has anyone ever heard “if you have a question about it, someone else probably does too”? When people ask questions in the comments or in private messages, you can use that as an opportunity to write a detailed blog post about the answer (after you give them an answer on the platform, of course). Even if it seems simple, you have to remember once again that you live in the world of your brand, and your audience may not. So see what people want to know about you or your brand, and utilize that for your blog.
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Take Time for Yourself
This is another important element of blogging for me. I know that we can all get stuck staring at the cursor flashing on our computer screen, willing it to just write something for us, but I hate to tell you, it's not going to happen. What I've found, especially as someone who works remotely and sometimes only says about 30 words to another human in a day, you have to set aside time for yourself. And that means time that doesn't involve sitting alone in your office or at a Starbucks doing work. It's actual, quality time with and for yourself.
Some of the ways that you can do this are:
- Closing your laptop or turning your desktop off.
- Going for a 5-10 minute walk outside. (Yes, outside).
- Getting away from the computer and listening to your favorite music or podcast.
- Treating yourself to your favorite lunch or afternoon coffee break.
Of course it's important to take time outside of work hours too, but these are just some small things that can get you through the day when you're feeling really stuck. I know getting out into the world, even if it's just going to get my mail from the mailbox, gives me a break and helps me feel more ready to come back and get to work. So when you're feeling blocked, just take a break, and do something to get your mind off work.
Acknowledge That You're Human
As Hannah Montana once said, "everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days." And she is 1000% correct.
Some days, your blogger's block is going to win, and that's okay! Bloggers are humans too, and we won't always have perfect days where the writing flows and our fingers are flying across the keyboard.
What's important is that you remember that it's okay to let the block win every once in a while, but you can't let it discourage you completely. All you have to do is acknowledge that you're human and that you can always try again tomorrow. Maybe you'll find the inspiration and write it down in your phone notes right as you're falling asleep like me. Or maybe all you need is a good night's rest to refresh your brain. Whatever you need, just make sure that you know that being human is what makes your blog and your voice unique. And that's what draws your audience in the first place.
Want More Blogging Tips?
If you want to start a blog or just need some more tips on writing blog posts, get in touch! We're happy to answer any questions and help you get your blog on the right foot.