Some say there are more than 200 million bloggers out there, all looking for something to write about. If you’re one of them, you may find yourself staring at a blank computer screen, screaming (silently or not), “I just can’t do it anymore!” Relax. Ideas are all around you.
To succeed at becoming a human writing machine, you have to start by knowing your audience. You have to know what information they want and need, then provide content that’s so great in value, they want to stay in touch. Trust me, your friends and fans don’t want a commercial or a pitch. They want industry news, news they can use, thought leadership. There are two basic ways to deliver it. You can educate or you can entertain.
When you educate, you teach and explain or spell out how to do something, thereby enriching their lives: 3 tips to do X, 5 ways to improve Y, the 10 Commandments to getting to Z.
You can also entertain, but that doesn’t necessary mean with humor. You could tie your information to current events as long as it’s aligned with your key message. TCW blogger Gemma Allen does this beautifully, using the relationships of the Hollywood stars to suggest ways her readers can avoid their mistakes and missteps.
Robert Bruce, writing for Copyblogger, says it’s simple to find ideas. You have to research, read and steal. Ideas are at your fingertips, thanks to the Internet. Google certain words or phrases, and there’s no shortage of ideas and information.
And don’t get hung up on thinking that stealing is wrong. Noting is original. All creative work builds on what came before, according to author/artist Austin Kleon. So embrace building on what came before. Just don’t plagiarize.
Keep an ideas list for those days when the idea-well has run dry. Many content writers suggest using the ‘free write’ method, writing at break-neck speed without worrying about the content. You can go back and edit later. Ernest Hemingway always stopped mid-sentence so he could easily pick up where he left off.
So my fellow bloggers: write, write and write. Soon, the ideas will come easier and the words will flow faster. Believe in yourself as a writer. Believe in your writing ability, even when you have doubts. Fake it till you make it, as the saying goes. In no time at all, you’ll be a human writing machine.
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