10 Ways to Beat “Blogger’s Block”

Dead endBlogging doesn’t come naturally to all of us and even the most seasoned, opinionated or prolific of bloggers occasionally encounters ‘blogger’s block’.  We’ve put together some of the techniques we use here at Wisdom London, and which we regularly share with our clients.  We thought we’d share them with you, too:

1. Stop staring at a blank screen

If inspiration is not coming to you, you probably won’t find it on a blank screen.  So stop, and move away from the blank screen!  Instead, mull over your idea with colleagues, test your argument on a friend (or the cat), just find a way to articulate it for yourself first.  Then write.

2. Keep a blog ideas notebook

A cute little Moleskine notebook comes as standard issue here at WL, for the specific purpose of capturing blog ideas.  And you have to carry it with you – that’s the rule. Whether you note down words, conversations, ideas, phrases, something you heard, whatever, just use it. That blank screen is way easier to fill when you have a note of your original idea. And we now merrily roam the streets of London, safe in the knowledge that no flash of inspiration is wasted or forgotten – because its home is in the little Moleskine.

3. Not a natural writer? Try a video post

Not everyone is confident in their writing and whilst it’s always worth honing that skill, reticence should never put you off blogging.  Mac and PC cameras make it pretty easy to instantly record a brief video post.  Just rehearse what you want to say a bit, find a quiet spot and go for it.  Also a dual video post (ie, a conversation) can be great content too. Keep it short and to the point.

4. Still not sure about structuring your post?

Voice record (on your phone is often easiest) your thoughts – just as you would explain it to someone you’re chatting to about the subject in question. State your argument and then elaborate. Round up. Listen back and use the recording as the basic copy.  Tidy it up, make it grammatically correct, of course, but it doesn’t come more natural than that.

5. Have an ideas store

Everytime you have an idea for a blog post, make a note of the idea and the basic premise.  You might not have time to write the post now, but you will have a handy stash of ideas for next time you need a topic.  My own list is about 15 ideas long at any one time.  This is a good thing, because it gives me the chance to pick and choose what I feel like writing about at a given time.

6. Take  real life as an example

Real life is the greatest inspiration of all, so long as you are prepared to not be too literal.  Take an idea from real life and expand it, by relating it to the areas that concern you.  Our latest inspirations have included: a night at a jazz club, observing how people cross the road, a movie and of course, the topics of the day (like Apple and Foursquare’s growth). Go take a look around if ideas are eluding you, and see what you can take from the real world and relate to your world.

7. Don’t get hung up about knowing the answers

Don’t worry that you need to know all the answers in order to write a blog post in a given topic.  You don’t.  Your interesting take on a subject is valuable. Exploring a subject and taking the trouble to look at it from different angles is valuable. Asking interesting questions is valuable.  As is hypothesis (what if…). Try it.

8. Are you a visual thinker?

Then create a visual blog post.  Some blogs are entirely visual.  Posting images that inspire and provoke can add real colour to your blog and demand little of your audience, bar their brief attention and their open mind. The great thing about images that we all see them through a unique pair of eyes, so the scope for reinterpretation, new ideas and exchange of viewpoints is huge. Great image(s) + your take on it = a totally valid and often very enjoyable post.

9. Change the way you do it

I quite like posting from my phone (WordPress for iPhone, but a gazillion apps are available, depending on your operating system and blog platform).  Why do I like it?  The more limited options and small screen galvanise me to just get on with it.  I also do this when I’ve stared too long at a blank computer screen, and often on the move.  Just think, that blog post you’ve been putting off could be done and dusted in the space of a bus ride….

10. Promise a blog post on a certain subject

This is my own personal psychological favourite – promising a blog post in a particular subject to  client, Twitter followers, online community etc.  It’s effective!

Kate Spiers is founder of Wisdom London and rarely at a loss for words.  This post is dedicated to wonderful Aisie, who Kate wishes would just get on with it 😉

Follow Kate on Twitter here


16 Responses to “10 Ways to Beat “Blogger’s Block””

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kate Spiers and Kate Spiers, Kate Spiers. Kate Spiers said: 10 Ways to Beat "Blogger's Block": http://wp.me/pN3pZ-7o […]

  2. Kate, there are some excellent pieces of advice here but my personal favourite has to be number 7.

    I try to never worry about knowing the answers and just let my opinion speak for itself. You can always tie up the loose ends after the flame war has begun 😉

    • Thanks Stuart! I totally agree, and am fervent in my belief that blogging is a must for a huge number of businesses….hence my mission to charge down the personal obstacles that some people face. Asking questions is one of my fave types of blog post – after all, we want a conversation, right? K

  3. Great stuff here Kate. As a blog newbie there are some ideas I use and some I plan to implement. I like to utilize the Notes app on my iPhone to keep ideas, especially for future posts. I also use it to keep track of the pubs I’ve been to since we moved to the UK, but that could also be a future post. :-0 Keep it coming.

  4. Number 10 Kate – that’s dangerous! i mean…AMAZING! I’m about to embark on a global escapade, in search of horses high and low and far and wide…and I’ve invested in a Sony “Bloggie” for video diaries, and am promising MYSELF I will do all sorts. But…to promise my readers/followers/friends/family that I’ll post on certain subjects, about certain things etc; genius.

  5. I think a lot of these are good tips for people who just want to write in general. Excellent tips.

    I use blogging as a way of keeping writing when my scripts are slow, and did most of these without thinking, but I think that’s because as tools they cross over all types of writing.

    A great checklist I shall be recommending

  6. Some good ideas. Sometimes it’s good to have a few blog ideas on the go as ‘work in progress’. Keeping them as Drafts means you can always keep popping back to refine/change/delete as you wish before publishing.

    Our top tip to beat Blogger’s Block – write about something you’re really passionate about – then you’ve always got lots to talk about.

  7. Thanks Kate for some great wisdom as always. I started blogging myself just 8 months ago and absolutely love it. As each month goes by I’m now getting more competant with all the various options out there. Will definitely take note of the point about keeping them short as I tend to get carried away with what I’m writing about.

    The hardest part is taking action in the first place. Once you get started it’s never as bad as you imagine in your head and always refreshing when you begin to appreciate there are people out there with common interests and views who want to read your posts!

  8. @stewarttownsend says lol, this is great, Im always no 1 in a sense know what I want to say but how to convey that message across, as Im more a visual person in terms of presenting and conveying a message..but some really valid strong points here indeed. Great post….

  9. I totally agree! Couldn’t have said it better. As a matter of fact, i do practice this but had not spelled or laid it out as such a tactical plan. Great stuff!

  10. Ian Huckbee Says:

    Excellent! I particularly like numbers 2 and 5. (I use Evernote and not a Moleskine notebook. Is that allowed?) Thanks for the wisdom, London!

  11. I’ve just been suffering from number one, but you’ve kicked me now. Great piece (again). BTW..I’m on my way out to go get a little notebook now too.

    I should now better because its my business but it helps to read something like this even for those who do regularly blog.

  12. I think it is going to be some bring old article, but it really compensated for my time. I will postedthe trackback to the article on my blog. I am sure ours visitors will thought this very useful

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