Some will debate the merits of blogging as part of a writer’s platform, but many publishers and readers still want to see that an author has a permanent way to interact with readers. In an age where social media rules and uses constantly change, it’s also a good idea to have a presence that you own. But what do you do on the days you forget to write? Or the days where nothing much comes to you that seems worth saying? Here are a few tips to help you over the hump.
1) Keep a running list of possible blog topics. Then on the days you have no motivation or the well of ideas is dry, dry, dry, you have a list that can jump start ideas.
2) Not every post should be 500 words. People much smarter than me have argued the merits of different lengths of posts. What most people do agree on is that consistency is key. Stick with a blogging schedule if you can.
3) Consider what you can bring to your readers. Really think and pray about why they come to you. There are zillions of blogs. What do you contribute that is unique and different? How do you say it in a way that keeps them coming back?
4) Join group blogs — just like this one. Then the burden is spread out and you don’t carry the load of creating content every, single day. But in a group blog it’s very important to think about what you bring that is different from the other bloggers and what readers expect when they come to the blog. Those are important on personal blogs, too, but even more critical when you are part of a group.
5) Reuse old posts. Seriously. I’ve been blogging since 2006. I’ve written posts that nobody has seen or read in YEARS. Yet the content is still good and helpful. Dig through your archives (this is easier if you used tags well as you published your blogs) and update a post that is still relevant but needs to be brought back to the light.
Over the years, I’ve felt the pressure to blog every day, to contribute something meaningful, and stared at a blank screen with nary an idea what to write. These points have helped me draft posts quickly that still add value to the blogosphere. If you’re a blogger, what tips do you have to share with the rest of us? And if you love to read blogs, what keeps you coming back for more?