I Need a Blog: Where Do I Start?
I see you blogs. I see you. You’re necessary, I know. I notice your success on other websites, and you’re the reason why I’m in business. However, I have an indefinite apology to make with you. My own website blogs are desolate. Talk about defeat? Even as a content marketer, I totally feel fellow creatives frustrations. My situation is a bit different in that I spend the majority of my time writing blogs for other clients so my business blogs get pushed under the rug.
My future money making blogs won’t stand for it anymore and neither should yours. Blogs are a pot of gold for telling your brand's story and most importantly search engine food. We NEED to make time for them. We must. It’s easier said than done though. Can we get an Amen?
Today... make a pact with me. You will start caring and nurturing for your blog right now, and I know how to help you.
What if I told you I could help alleviate those burning blog questions that stop you before powering up the thought? You know those that go like: “I don’t even know where to start?” Or, “How do I know what to write about?” Well... I can’t promise you THE answer you’re looking for (which is someone else doing it for free), but I can give you some super effective brainstorming strategies to help you speed up the process in writing them.
If you try out some of my brainstorming sesh’s, you’ll find yourself spending more time writing the blogs rather than twiddling your pen and crafting paper airplanes. No more cutting into your Netflix and chill time. Whether you put one or all of these strategies into place, you’ll be able to pay homage to your blog pact and crank out 5-8 blogs per month efficiently. FOR REAL.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
This is one of my FAVE blog brainy sesh’s, and it’s super effective. I really and truly act out the Evil Queen’s mirror scene. Okay, so I don’t get dressed up in her costume, but I will say it out loud when I’m alone. You have to make it fun or you’ll never do it! I sit down with paper and pen and say “Mirror, Mirror on the wall what are my audience’s pain points of them all?” I start writing down all of the pain points I can think of (i.e. not enough time to write blog posts, horrible writer, what do I write about? etc…). Then, I come back after a tea break and write down all the solutions to those pain points (i.e. affordable outsource, invest in how-to writing books, a how-to blog, carve time out at the beginning or end of the day to write).
And, voila. The Mirror has spoken, and you now have powerful blog topics by listing your audience's pain points and solutions. This type of content creates effective blogs such as “How-To’s” and “Problem - Solution” topics.
The Why Game
Any clue about this one? Big hint, it’s all in the WHY. I literally write out on my whiteboard a big “WHY” to help kick start those creative juices. Never underestimate the power of WHY. Use the WHY in pertaining to your business, products, services and audiences. For example, think “WHY do my audiences need my services,” “WHY is my brand unique,” “WHY does my product stand out,” etc.. These why lists are super helpful in pulling more in depth blog posts for your readers. They can help convert your audience to followers and then into paying customers.
Through my many career adventures one of my mentors in the film industry drilled me with the saying: “Always be aware of your surroundings.” Not exactly sure why, at that moment or time, this phrase impacted my life but it did. Now, I apply this simple reminder to EVERYTHING I do or tackle. I absolutely use my surroundings as a planning tool when content planning.
This brainstorming technique is pretty self-explanatory, you listen and watch your industry for trending topics, popular trends, comments and issues. The content you pull from listening to a client’s problem, flipping through fellow creative’s Instagram accounts are all great material ideas for future blog posts that you can relate to your brand or services. This process doesn’t take an hour, it’s over a course of time so just keep in the back of your mind when alarms go off. Those alarms are signaling for a reason - a potential blog topic to tackle. You’ll be looking like an industry leader in know time.
Creatives who have that knack for organization will love this technique. I typically use this type of brainstorming in conjunction with all the others. For instance, after I pull all the pain points and solutions together, I’ll use an editorial calendar template to plug in what topics I should talk about and rank them from most important to least. I spread them out over a course of a month. Creating a monthly blog calendar helps create a healthy content mix. Visualizing what topics you’re going to write about in the future helps you formulate a hard deadline and kick procrastination in the booty. Afraid you’re going to forget about the deadlines? You can go as far as plugging these dates into your Google Calendar as alerts.
Hopefully these techniques are as helpful to you as they are to me, and you can walk away today with only praises instead of apologies. One shoe does not fit all so feel free to create different variations of these techniques that will best fit your personality and schedule. Remember, have fun with it… brainstorming should never be boring or it would be called ‘brainboring.’