3 Steps to Avoid Writer’s Block and Improve Content Value
This is a guest post by Michael D.. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
You’re sitting at your computer and you’re ready to post a new article on your blog. You open up your application of choice. Your hands hover over the keyboard as if they are supposed to direct themselves. You sit for about a minute and you realize that you have no idea what to write about.
Have you been there? I know I have. I’m constantly working on improving this routine. Being able to write interesting content consistently is key to running a successful blog. The good news is, dodging writer’s block goes hand in hand with writing great content.
There is a lot of mediocre content available on the internet and, hopefully, we can make a great impression on readers by writing valuable content on our own blogs.
There are a lot of useful tips available on how to improve your writing and how to enhance your creative skills. Many websites offer advice on how to attract readers. These sites list the details involved in writing a juicy post that will pull in more subscribers to your blog. That’s great, but I want to help simplify all this information by providing 3 simple tips that make it significantly easier for me to write better, and more frequent, posts on my own blog.
This 3R strategy will rake in those readers rapidly. All jokes aside, here’s the real 3R strategy:
Do your homework people. I make the effort to do some research before writing a post. This effort will make it dramatically easier to write quality content down the road. Even just 15 minutes spent here will make a positive impact on the value of your post.
When you do a bit of research before you write your post, you already expose yourself to the kind of material people are looking for. You have a better picture of what people want to read and you give yourself multiple ideas to write about.
My blog is about productivity and personal development so there are countless resources I can use to enhance my content. The fact is, no matter what you are blogging about, there are always books, magazines, movies, shows, blogs or even personal experiences that can help pump up the material on your blog.
I like to stick with traditional resources, like books. I believe that publishing companies are quite diligent about reviewing and editing books. Books are usually written by well-known experts and contain solid evidence to support their claims. The same applies for certain magazines and authoritative websites.
Blogs and other informal sources are also a great source of information, but I feel like the posts on many blogs have quite a bit of fluff and they are usually based off printed material anyway. (I don’t mean to use fluff as an insult. I believe that this fluff is what keeps blogs interesting and has readers coming back for more.) However, when I do research, I’m looking for hard facts.
Now we’re talking fluff. This is where the magic happens.
You want to be sure that each one of your posts have a bit of personality and entertainment value. Of course, depending on the nature of your blog, you may want to remain distant and informative. It’s up to you. People browse the web for information, but they also want to be amused. Otherwise they would have just picked up a textbook.
Add a bit of personality to your posts. Enjoy your own writing process. Have fun with your posts by adding bits of flair that are distinctive to you. Readers will enjoy this reflection of who you are.
Toss in some entertainment value. You can put in as little or as much as you feel comfortable. Just do something. Put up an interesting photo. Link to a relevant but funny video. Write in a joke, a quote or even a little story that explains your point of view. Personal stories are interesting, but throwing in a fictional story here and there will give you the ability to captivate your audience.
Lastly, conclude your post with a guide that solves your reader’s issue. A short list of steps that effectively summarizes your post and gives the reader the essential takeaway points.
If you’re not giving advice and you’re just providing information, be sure to conclude with cliff notes at the end. Give people the option to skim to the bottom. Yes, we’d like to have our readers enjoy our entire post, but it’s better to give them options rather than push them away from your blog. Gradually, people will spend more time on your site reading your content, and that is what counts.
I could also add another 2 R’s here: read and rewrite. Hopefully you already do both. Everyone is aware of the importance of proofreading, so I figured that it would be best to stick with the 3 steps mentioned above. Plus, I hope that the 3 steps I provided were more innovative than just “rewrite”. I wanted to keep it short and sweet, so it’s easier to remember.
Be sure to give your audience multiple streams of value. They want information, they want entertainment and they want a brief but effective solution. Give them all of this. Your readers will repay you for your hard work with loyal subscriptions.
I try to make the most of this strategy on my own blog. The truth is that I don’t always follow these steps, but whenever I do, it results in a noticeably better post. I hope this strategy benefits everyone out there who is struggling to consistently write quality content on their blog.
About the Author: Michael writes at Refine the Grind, a blog with tips on motivating yourself and taking action on your goals. Make the most of your time.
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13 Responses to “3 Steps to Avoid Writer’s Block and Improve Content Value”
Perfect timing! It is 7am and time for me to write my blog post – hmmm….nothing. Not a spark of inspiration to be found at the moment. However, your post has made me realise that this is not unusual and isn’t just confined to me.
What i notice is that I get great ideas and hope to remember them. But when the time comes, that great idea has simply disappeared. For that reason I now jot ideas down on my phone. I use the notes app just to write a few key words to remind me. Sometimes the whole article just appears in note form.
When inspiration is required I get out my phone and check my notes. That is what | am doing right now! Check out my blog in about an hour and see what I was inspired to write!
Ranjith (SR) | A light hearted talk
Research is very important while writing out a new blog post. If we provide inaccurate information, we may lose our readers.
I usually go through a writers block one a month or so, therefore I have tried to come up with a strategy to avoid it or go through it faster.
The most effective way for me is taking a break from anything.
I think most people would encounter writers block, from time to time.
One way to overcome it, is to just go ahead and write. If we have a reasonably good idea of what it is we wish to write about, waiting for “The perfect moment to write” to make it’s appearance, may cause us to lose focus altogether.
I normally spend anywhere from a few minutes to several days researching information. There’s so much information out there and it’s all available with the internet.
What a great concept – research! As a formal journalist, this is something that comes naturally to me, but I don’t feel like it’s a tool that’s very often used in the blogosphere.
Like you said, even just 15 minutes of research can give bloggers plenty of ideas to write about – with facts to back up their arguments!
sometimes i really got bored and dont able to write anything
I’ve found that Evernote is a super useful tool when it come to avoiding writers block.
There are always times when you have have ideas pouring out of your head, so you need to be able to take advantage of those time.
Evernote lets me keep all sorts of stuff I think of for later and access it again when I’m struggling to come up with something.
Every now and then I also experience this writer’s block. A topic will come to mind but as I am about hover my fingers in the keyboard, a blank white screen comes into play. Nothing will be written after almost 30 minutes staring at the monitor.
I think these 3 R’s are good advices to help us in writing a great content in our posts. No matter what the topic will flash in the mind, these steps will be a valuable guidelines before starting to write. I think the most important of the 3R’s is the Research. This should be the starting point when before deciding to write an article!
Ah, the all too often neglected research phase…
Oddly enough, I became a writer because I was absolutely obsessed with learning. Writing gave me the perfect opportunity to learn about anything and everything I wanted to, then put my findings to good use. 17th century Asian battle tactics? Got it. The activity of retroviruses on DNA architecture? Also interesting. Overcoming writer’s block, building traffic, freelance client management, personal development? All great topics to read about, and they’ve all come up in various writing/blogging projects. Granted, a little research can go a long way, but it’s my favorite part.
I particularly like the way you expressed giving your readers “multiple streams of value”. Every one of our readers brings a slightly different approach and perspective to reading our blogs, so educate, entertain, and solve a problem, then let your readers enjoy it on which ever level they chose.
Great post, thanks for sharing.
one big problem for writer is distraction (messenger, social networks, etc), if only there’s a tool for it, it would be awesome
@Fireman have you heard of the “Pomodoro Technique” ? It’s a timed method for time management to distract yourself while working. Haven’t tried it myself but I know people who swear by it and say they’ve been much more productive. Might want to check it out.
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You do not need these if you choose that niche which always attracts you.
I am also agree with Firman comments … DISTRACTION …
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