The blank page! It is the bane of every writer’s existence. But your blog deadlines won’t wait for inspiration to strike. You need to be ready to write through writer’s block.
Writer’s block can strike at any time. Whether you’re under the weather or overbooked, there are going to be days (weeks? months?) when you just don’t know what to write. The best way to combat writer’s block is to be proactive. By setting things up ahead of time, you will always have source articles to inspire you to fill your blank page.
Sign Up for Google Alerts
One of the first things I do when I bring on a new blogging client is set up Google alerts for several of my client’s top key words. Depending on the words you choose you, Google alerts could give you dozens of articles every day. Because the service pulls new content with those keywords it is also a great way to stay on the cutting edge of your issue and pull topics straight from the headlines.
Subscribe to Your Competitors’ Blogs
You aren’t the only one writing about your topic. You have competitors for your readers’ attention. But competitors are not enemies. Sometimes, your competitors can provide fertile ground for blog posts, particularly if you disagree with something they write. By creating a dialog with your competitors you can share their audience, and grow your own.
Save Your Runners Up
This week writer’s block may have you stumped, but last week or last month you probably had more choices than you could use. When you have one of those floods, use it! Don’t just pick your favorite topic and throw the rest away. Store them up using bookmarks, a note-taking app like Evernote, or an old fashioned list. Make sure you keep notes on why you liked the post and any thoughts you had while reading it. That way you can pick up where you left off when writer’s block leaves you high and dry.
Follow Your Mentor
The best professionals surround themselves with experts and mentors who are better than they are. If you have superstars in your network, take advantage of them! Follow everything they write, say, or do. If your mentor speaks at a conference, take notes (or better, get the recording!). If she writes a book, read it. If he has a blog, follow it. Then when your own blog gets stuck in the mud, you can use your mentor’s content as a spring board to new ideas and thoughtful content.
Every writer hits a writer’s block from time to time, but by doing the work up front to build up your inspirational library, you can work through it. By surrounding yourself with headlines, controversial topics, and expert opinions, you will give yourself the basis you need to work through writer’s block and meet your blogging deadlines.
Lisa Schmidt is a writer and blogging coach for Legal Linguist based in Ferndale, Michigan. If you are starting a professional blog, she can help you get off to a great start. To start writing, contact Legal Linguist today for a meeting.