Darren Rowse had an interesting blog post recently about the lessons he has learned from his five-year-old son about blogging. His son, otherwise known a “X”, is really into art, and often thinks about his next project while doing other activities.
It is a concept that resonated with me because, in many respects, blogging is about the next post. By their very nature, blogs are fluid and dynamic creatures. A good blog (and bloggers) constantly keeps moving forward. As much as a particular post can be fantastic, it is not long before the next post must be produced.
For some people, the steady demands of blogging can be overwhelming, which is why many blogs die on the vine after a few weeks or months. The need to “feed the beast” is a fact of life. By not blogging on a regular basis, a blog can lack the consistency it needs to attract an audience.
So what are the things that can be done to keep the beast happy?
A key is coming up with a non-stop flow of ideas that can be turned into blog posts. As important is the recognition that ideas can come from anywhere. You can be talking to a friend or colleague. Ideas can come from a newspaper article, blog post or newsletter. They can emerge when you’re working out, taking a shower or listening to music.
Given this reality, it is important to “bookmark” these ideas as they materialize. Keep a piece of paper or small notebook in your pocket, or have a text document on your desktop to quickly write down ideas. By being disciplined, you will be surprised by how quickly a notebook or document can start to fill up with ideas.
Not all of these ideas are going to be amazing but there will be enough quality ideas to keep your blog vibrant and consistent. As important, you’ll discover that as you open yourself up to ideas and start capturing them, the ideas will start to flow.
To paraphrase Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” (see the video below), doing well with your blog means being in a “Blogging State of Mind”.