Last week, I featured some content from Sticky Readers: How to Attract a Loyal Blog Audience by Writing More Better by Margaret Andrews (and Thursday’s post on my blogging mistakes kicked up some great Twitter discussion!). Today, I’m featuring Margaret herself in a guest post drawn from the chapter in which she busts the myths of Writer’s Block.
I would like to thank Florinda for giving me this opportunity to flap my gums about everyone’s favorite excuse for not blogging:
“I don’t have anything to blog about.”
Pshaw, I say.
You Do SO Have Something to Write About
Many people don’t recognize a potential blog post when it’s sitting right there, at the next table, having an argument. The woman is completely ripping into her boyfriend or husband, or father–you can’t even tell! But she’s dressed like a ho in her money-too-tight-to-mention patent leather skirt and stilettos.
She clicks her heels out of the café while everyone stares at the poor sap who is stuck with the bill and has an uncanny resemblance to the most recent reincarnation of Doctor Who. **
And there you sit, staring at a blank page, annoyed by the domestic disturbance.
(**An interruption from me: How “recent” a regeneration are we talking about here? If that poor sap has an “uncanny resemblance” to David Tennant, there’s no way I’m walking out of that café. Just sayin’. Sorry, Margaret! I’ll give you back your post now.**)
My point is, there is always something about which to blog; you just have to learn to recognize it when it happens. And always keep a note-taking device on you for when it does.
Mind you, eavesdropping is not the only source of material. You have an arsenal of weapons to choose from. Here’s another:
Turn Comments into Blog Posts
If you comment on Joe Blow’s blog and your words become a little story of its own because you want to comment on how the same thing that happened to Joe happened to you, that’s a blog post. And don’t feel like you are copying someone else’s idea. This is actually encouraged.
If Joe Blow blogs about their pet elephant doing something silly and you find yourself thinking, “Hey I have a pet elephant and he did something silly the other day, too”, then write about it. And link back to your inspiration. Joe Blow will like you for linking back and quite possibly be flattered that his work inspired you, rather than hate you for copying his idea.
Here’s another source of realization while you comment on other blogs: if you find yourself talking about you instead of talking about the blogger on whose blog you are commenting, then you’ve got a potential story and potential blog post brewing.
People give you unintentional writing prompts all the time everywhere; you just have to recognize them when they happen. For example, a lot of bloggers encourage comments by asking questions at the end of their blog posts. Of course they do this to encourage comments, but you should take this as a writing prompt and write your own blog post instead of wasting it all in someone’s comment section. I mean, go ahead and leave a comment if you want, but don’t blow your literary wad on someone else’s server.
However, if someone does inspire a blog post out of you in this fashion, say so in your post at the end. Something like: “This blog post was inspired by so and so at such and such blog” with a link back to that post.
Finding inspiration from another blog is not only a good writing prompt source; it’s also a great way to get any needed blog reading in. It kills two birds with one stone.
So, kids, let’s go out there and kill two birds! Who’s with me?
Sticky Readers packs a lot of useful advice into its compact 76 pages. It won’t take you long to read, but if you care about improving your blog content, it’s worth every minute you spend on it. It’s available in paperback from CreateSpace,Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble, and as a Kindle e-book.