I always find it interesting to read articles about how to discover ideas for blog posts, how to stay organized, or how to drive distribution.
It’s helpful advice but it tends to over-complicate blogging, which has much to do with writing content on interesting topics.
It’s really that simple.
The problem, however, is people tend to over-think how and why they blog. In the process, it becomes a multi-faceted approach overwhelmed by strategy, tactics and planning.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Instead, blogging should be something that happens naturally or, at least, happens by simply creating a measured approach.
When a blog is rumbling along, the ideas and posts flow. There’s no writer’s block or a lack of things to write about. It just seems easy.
How does that happen?
In some respects, it’s a matter of not trying too hard to make things happen. Yes, that may sound simplistic or unstructured but blogging shouldn’t forced or a lot of work.
Here are some tips for making blogging easy and, hopefully fun:
1. Keep a close eye for ideas wherever you go and whatever you read. Think about how something could be an interesting blog post by developing your own take on something, or reacting to someone else’s ideas or thinking.
2. Allowed yourself to be inspired rather than thinking about blogging as something that happens by coming up with a long list of editorial possibilities. Sometimes, blog posts idea come out of nowhere when you’re not working. And often, these are the best posts because they materialize when you least expect them.
3. Keep a notebook for ideas, even if they are half-baked. Sometimes, a blog post idea takes time to completely emerge so its essence needs to be captured right away. Another approach is writing quick drafts in WordPress that may feature a headline and/or a few sentences.
4. Write a variety of blog posts, rather than the same kind of posts day after day. It’s like visiting Baskin Robbins, rather than eating vanilla ice cream all the time. It’s a more interesting way to write, and a better way to serve your audience.
5. Think about your “customers” (aka readers), and their interests. What are kind of things that they would read to be engaged, entertained or engaged. What kind of things would encourage them to invest a few minutes of day on your blog?
6. Spend as much time on the headlines as the blog post copy. A bad headline will cut a blog post off at the knees.
7. Use images and links to spice things up and offer more information. There’s nothing like a wall of text to quickly discourage someone from reading a blog post.
8. Answer questions that your customers are asking. To discover the questions being asked, talk with your employees – people in customer service, sales, marketing, etc.
9. Blog when the iron is hot. If an idea pops up at 5 a.m. or midnight, it’s a good sign to starting writing. It may not be the best blog post but sometimes an idea just needs to come out.
10. Don’t look at blogging as work, otherwise it becomes tough slogging and a drag to do. Blogging should be interesting. It should inspire, spark someone’s curiosity or educate.
Putting aside the mechanics of blogging (e.g. creating an editorial calendar, holding formal brainstorming sessions, etc.), what do you think the keys are to a good blog?
More: For advice on how to blog faster, check out Brad Blackman’s post on how to use a checklist or template.