I write two regular blogs. One for this site with a business leaning. The other is a very personal blog that I write and promote unrelated to me. I find blogging pretty easy because I’ve always found writing easy. I write as I speak. I even read my blogs out loud to hear if they sound right. Forever the broadcaster.
I’ll assume that because of this I was approached by a couple of friends of mine, both in business, eager to pick my brains about setting up and writing a blog. One of them is quite a way on with her blog, she’s posted several so far. The other felt that she should be writing, but needed to get started.
I tried to advise in terms of getting the account up and running and personalising the look of it. Then once the blogs are written, not to forget to get tags in. But my one big piece of advice was…to just get writing.
When you overthink things, “should I write this”, “dare I write that”, you are already limiting what you do. You are already tying yourself in overly complicated knots, which will never allow you get anything down on paper.
I used to find having a notepad really useful because I was able to scribble away merrily while I was waiting for meetings to start, or meet up with friends. The problem was, of course, I then had to find the time to type them all up. I’d end up with a stream of blogs in a notebook, but nothing getting published.
Now, if an idea pops into my head for a blog, I make sure that I do it electronically on a notes app on my phone. It might be just a thought, a title, a quick line, a question. Whatever it might be, get it down somewhere so it’s ready to be picked up again when you have the time to blog.
Sometimes, as happened the other day, I had 10 minutes to kill outside my meeting venue and I wrote a blog in its entirety…apart from checking typos and giving that final bit of polishing.
Strike while the iron is hot, don’t set aside a designated blogging time and hope that inspiration will smack you between the eyes. It doesn’t always work like that. It certainly doesn’t for me! Use those lost moments when you can’t really do anything else; waiting for something to upload, or download, or the computer to take updates. Or as I’ve already mentioned, when you’re waiting for people.
I’ve often, on restless nights, hidden under the bed covers typing away on my app as quietly as I could, trying to shield the screen light from waking my ‘Other Half’. But it gets my ideas logged in a physical way, it stops it from running round and round my head all night and mostly, I slip back off to sleep again.
The reason I’m writing this now, is because I had a great idea for a blog of the weekend and I didn’t follow my own advice. I cannot remember the topic, but I do remember thinking “ooh that’s a good idea”. I was so busy rushing about trying to fit everything in, I didn’t make a note of it. All I have left is a title that said, something, something something…discuss? But what are those ‘somethings’, NO CLUE! What use is that to me? I can only hope that with immense brain searching, it will come back to me. Eventually!
In the meantime here are my own top tips:
- Take inspiration from everywhere; where you go, what you see, the people you meet, the things that you do.
- Right down your thoughts – electronically or on paper – whenever you have them (unless you’re driving, let’s not be silly!)
- Jot down titles for blogs, topics for blogs, or even the odd clever line and eventually they’ll begin to evolve into a fully formed blog. If not for now, perhaps a blog for later.
- Make a list of topics you feel you know about, or are an expert in. You can use that a guideline to trigger ideas. Only one way to discuss blogging or marketing or motivation as subjects? No, there are LOTS of ways.
- I love writing, so it’s probably easy for me to say ‘enjoy it’. But if it isn’t so easy for you, think of it as a way of getting things off your chest, a way of showing your expertise, a way of demonstrating your products and services, a way of talking to your customers/clients, a way of building your profile…and eventually, you might find it rather therapeutic.