Blog Talk is Cheap
If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. On the other hand, if you do want to keep your blog fresh, I offer three content tips that might help get you inspired.
1. What’s up – Finding ways to tap into your thoughts?
Often the biggest issue with creating and maintaining your website is finding a topic perspective. I sometimes get stuck on what to write about especially when I want to come up with something different. Honestly though, this should be the easiest part given that everything here is about topics I love. But writing about projects is not the same as doing them I guess. I found a few ways to kickstart my thinking process. I hope you find them helpful too.
Count the Ways
It pays to take a few minutes to think about what you love about the subject. Dig deep. Think about the complexities of it, what you know or have learned along the way or even plan to research in the future. What makes you feel good about this subject? Why do YOU love it? What is a lesser understood aspect it that you learned yourself or perhaps a lurking social benefit you are proud of?
Ask a Friend
If you are truly stuck for a blog topic, reach out to a friend (or your dog – who make great listeners!) and just start talking about your website or your hobby. You might want to tell them how it’s going, what is happening, what is bothering you or what is coming up. If you pay attention, you will suddenly notice that you are talking about a ton of things without worrying about whether or not it is “topic”.
Grab one of those thoughts and write about it (especially if your listener didn’t fall asleep!).
Write it Down
Another thing I like to do to is make notes or running list of ideas that just drop into your head from time to time – often when you’re doing something else! I find that just by having a go-to list takes the pressure off and it is also great for when I want to explore a fresh idea for a bit.
Go over any related conversation you have had or plan to have, organize your thoughts and write them down.
2. Be Yourself
Try to write just like you talk and you will be more clear. I remember a few years ago, I wrote what I thought was a wonderfully-crafted piece of business writing – with some great thesaurus work thrown in. My boss read it and looked at me and said, “But what are you trying to say Fran?” I replied and she looked straight at me and said, “Well, write that then!”
Unless it is your thing, don’t worry too much about the finer points of grammar: split infinitives, dangling participles or ending a sentence a preposition with. The twists and turns about the use of the Oxford comma keep some people up at night. Intellectually fun and harmless to be sure, but it shouldn’t get in the way of the business of writing.
Shortly after I moved to England from Canada, I saw an ad for tyres in the paper. They had actually spelled it tyres! I was like, wow, bad spelling mistake there guys! I later came to realize that outside of North America, many native-English-speaking countries actually spell it that way. Back home in Canada, I’m much more aware of English being an international language with different “rules” not just pronunciations.
There may be guidelines voluntarily adopted by different organizations, but there is actually no final arbiter of the English language today. As long as it is clear, easy to read and matches with your style, let it go.
Straightforward and clear doesn’t mean sloppy though.
Glaring spelling errors are not cool on your blog regardless of your grammatical philosophy; you need to proof-read, use a spell-checker or text editor to weed out your unintended mistakes.
Use your own voice – don’t try to sound like someone else.
3. Research your Blog Subject
Writing and sharing expertise, composing your words and adding pretty images is great fun and fulfilling in itself. However, imagine being able to take the time to surf the net and discover new and interesting things about an area that you are already passionate about! How is that even work?
It is a good idea to take the time now and then to verify even the things you know well. Double check your memory, confirm your conclusions or get the latest figures. It makes for more interesting resources for your readers, and in the process you might learn a bit more too.
If you find yourself making an assertion or statement of fact of any size, research & possibly even link to a source or authority that backs it up.
So, there you have it – 3 quick tips to help you kick-start your blog content. Let me know if any of these tips work for you too.