If you are following the Halo Publishing blog you know that I frequently talk about the importance of writing blog articles or articles for your LinkedIn profile. That is all well and good, but if you struggle with a topic, all of the great intentions in the world are just that; intentions.
And trust me – I am right there with you. Sometimes you wake up and your mind is a total blank. So that is when I rely on a few little tricks that I’m going to share with you today.
When you don’t know what to write about, write about this:
- Consider setting up a schedule of “themed days:”
- Library Day: Write a book review
- FAQ Day: Answer a frequently asked question
- Story Day: Share the story (good or bad) of a writing experience
- Definition day: Define a term or concept that people in your industry don’t understand
- New Trends Day: Share something new in the industry
- Visit AllTop, Huffington Post, Ezine Articles, About.com and Work.com and check out what other people are writing about. You can republish their content as a blog posting as long as you give credit and link back to the article. OR you can mention the article – comment on one section of the article and then suggest to your readers that they follow the link to read the entire article.*
- Join Stumble Upon. Stumble Upon is a random search engine that allows you to select a set number of topics of interest. Then every time you hit the Stumble Upon button on your toolbar a different site, blog, PDF file or article will appear. You never know what you’ll find – but chances are, you’ll find something blog-worthy.
- Rethink your life experiences over the last few days – can you relate a personal experience to your blog audience?
- Make a list:
- 10 ways to say thank-you
- 14 reasons I became a writer
- 25 of my favorite books
A Picture is worth a 1,000 words
Take this old adage literally and take a few moments to look through pictures. Visit www.google.com/images or flip through your personal photographs. You never know what picture might inspire an article.
A friend of mine who is a professional speaker was scrolling through her Facebook feed and came across a picture of a hawk that had been posted by a friend. The hawk had landed in his yard that morning. Thinking about the hawk and her personal audience, she crafted a blog article on how the traits of a hawk are similar to someone focusing on a goal: Focus On Your Goals Like a Hawk.
When all else fails, the best advice I can give you is to put on the shoes of your intended reader. Walk a few steps in their shoes and think about what might be interesting for them to read.
If you enjoy writing children’s fiction and seek an audience of kindred spirits you might consider writing about how you got started. What children’s books inspired you as a child? Share the story of how you connected with your illustrator. Confess the true purpose behind writing your story.
A friend of mine had a wonderful relationship with her first born, a boy on the verge of puberty. There was a little tension as her young son was starting to pull away and seek a little bit of independence the loving mother was not prepared to give. So, in an effort to connect with her son, she began to write a story she titled Ben and the Smother Mother.
It was a fictional account of a twelve-year old boy who had a secret from his overbearing mother; he was a junior spy. My friend never published the book because the purpose of writing the story was to connect with her son. They had a lot of fun working on the book together and it helped them both understand the other a little bit more.
Do you have a story to share about your books?
If you write non-fiction books, consider sharing some of your research but write in a way that is easy to read. Do you write fiction for adults? Consider giving a little behind the scenes information about who inspired your characters or any real life travels you’ve taken that helped you write about a certain region.
Remember, your articles don’t need to be long; just long enough to share information or to make a point. When in doubt – take to your Facebook page and ask your followers what they’d like to read!
Bottom Line: Your online presence should be a continual stream of original content that helps readers know more about you and to help search engines find additional pages to index! Keep the words flowing.