For some reason I thought I’d written a post like this years ago, but the closest I could find was the first post I wrote in a blogging series I put together at the time, back in the days before people started adding images to their posts (which now has one) or even thought about things like copyright (now it’s copywritten) or share buttons. Because that’s the closest I have, and because I want to be helpful, I figure it’s time I put something like this together.
what could you write about this shoe?
With nearly 1,800 articles on this blog and over 5,000 via all my blogs, blogs of others and a host of other things online, I’ve had to rely on my wits to come up with unique ideas all the time on a variety of topics. I’ve rarely had writer’s block (sometimes I’m just not in the mood to write; it happens), and that’s because of the 9 things I’m talking about below.
1. My/Your life
If there’s one thing you should know the most about it’s got to be your life. You’re the only person who’s always with you 24/7. You know your dreams, aspirations, inspirations, how many times a day you go to the bathroom and your favorite food or dessert. You might not know everything about yourself but you probably know enough.
How can you put something together in your niche that involves talking about yourself? I did that when I wrote a post titled Scheduling Time To Blog, Write, Work And Live, which is exactly what the article was about. It fit into the blogging/writing niche because it’s all about finding time to be both productive and still get to do everything else you want or need to do.
Lots of prolific bloggers and writers do the same thing. An article I read years ago that sticks with me (for all the wrong reasons) came from Ryan Biddulph when he wrote about roaches in Fiji and blogging. He’s always using his real life to talk about his subject and it’s probably what helps make him so popular (If Ryan actually comments on this post I might mention why it’s stuck in my mind along with another related post he wrote… maybe lol).
2. Real life
When you’re writing about real life issues, they don’t have to involve you, although they can. For instance, two years ago I wrote an article about the Syracuse Men’s basketball team that made a run to the Final Four when a lot of pundits didn’t think they belonged in the tournament in the first place and related it to social media. It’s my favorite team so one could say it was about me but it wasn’t close to being about me.
Another good example of talking about real life comes from Amy White. She wrote a post last year titled 4 Ways To Create A Positive Relationship With an Ex-Spouse and can talk about it from experience. The topic fits her blog well and is a very honest piece of writing… and it also involves her.
3. News items
Writing about news items doesn’t have to be about “real” news, although it is real news. For instance, I could write about what the city and state want to do about the Route 81 corridor here in the Syracuse area but there’s nothing I could relate it to on this particular blog. I could put it on my Syracuse blog but I’d have to have an opinion on it… and I don’t.
However, my last post about society and social media definitely fits into this category. I related a story that was the biggest deal of the previous week and tied it in to my thoughts on social media in general.
It pays to be timely with a post if it fits your topic, like I was when I wrote about those stupid Chrome “not secure warnings last September that were freaking a lot of people out. It was relevant news since Chrome’s the top browser in the world right now and I do write about things like this on occasion.
4. Other blogs
I read a lot of blog posts, as well as a lot of articles in general. Sometimes they inspire me so much that I decide to write about them… good or bad. For instance, back in March 2016 a blog post got me so irked that I took it to task for being misleading (I linked to the post in that article) and wasting my time. It was a pretty good rant if I say so myself; I certainly felt better after writing it.
I’ve written a lot of book reviews over the years and a few reviews about movies, although these days I’m more apt to put a movie review on video. If you do any reading and find something appealing or even irksome, it’s a pretty good thing to write about and share with your audience.
For instance, I wrote a review for a book my friend Rasheed Hooda wrote titled Life Is A Trip, where he talked about some of his travel goals and aspirations (he’s actually done some of them). That one was more for motivation than anything else, but I’m known to blog about motivation every once in a while. For something more to the perspective of a consistent blog topic here, I also reviewed a book called Ask, which was about internet marketing… and I liked it also.
6. Your profession/business
I don’t get to do it as much on this blog because blogging really isn’t my profession (although I have been paid to do it). Most of you know I’m a consultant in a couple of specific fields. One of those is leadership, so on my business blog I tend to write things like Being An Empathetic Leader. I’m also in health care finance, so I’ll write articles like this one here and there to reach that audience.
The important thing about articles like those is that you can use them in a lot of different places where you’re hoping your audience will find you and potentially hire you to work with them. I share all the articles I write on my business site on both LinkedIn and my Facebook business page; Twitter’s a given because I share everything there. 🙂
7. Relate other things to your topic
At this juncture I’m probably known by some people as the guy who relates weird stuff to blogging. In the past I’ve related traveling through airports, toaster ovens and poker to blogging. I’m of the belief that with a bit of imagination you can literally connect anything to whatever topic you happen to write about; if you can explain it, even better.
By the way, I got some of that from a lady named Laura Stack some years ago. At the time she was president of the National Speakers Association and was in town giving a presentation to members and invitees (I was one of the latter). She said her specialty is productivity yet she’s been invited to speak all over the country on a variety of subjects. Whenever she’s asked she always says “yes” because she knows she can take any topic and relate it to what she does and both sides will get something good out of it. It certainly makes you stretch your mind.
These are actually the easiest blog posts to write because the person you’re interviewing does most of the work. lol For instance, last June I did two interviews with my friend Scott Gardner, a marketing expert, one for this blog and one for my local blog. All I had to do was provide the questions; he did the rest, including giving me pictures to use for it.
9. General commentary
Every once in a while you might feel the need to get something out of your system. It doesn’t have to be related to your topic but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Blogging is my major topic around here, so when I had a stream of unconsciousness rant about it last year I had no intention of education or even entertaining; I just had some things I wanted to say.
Writing a post telling people why I hate auto DM’s so much is a general commentary about Twitter and what a lot of people who think they’re too important to actually talk to you first as opposed to when I wrote a case against auto DM’s, where I took more time to state why people shouldn’t do it and shared examples.
There you go, 9 things you might consider if you start having writer’s block when it’s time to write a new blog post. Let me know your thoughts… unless you’re a spammer, in which case I hope you slip and fall in a boiling miasma of lava! Yeah, I know… lol