How To Keep Ideas Flowing Smoothly On Your Blog
Have you ever wondered how in the world some blogs can generate amazing new content on a regular basis? I’m not talking about the big guys who can hire other authors to write for them, I’m speaking of the individually operated blogs whose content is written by a single source. It’s no secret that these guys have found an amazing formula and have stuck with it.
Create The Perfect Working Environment
I cant overstate this enough, treat your work environment like your little baby. This is your world, so make sure that it is in perfect harmony with your character. What works for one person will not work for another. However, there are some basic tips to help keep ideas moving forward.
Make your home office awesome
This is the one place where every single one of those creative ideas that you have collected actually come to life. Even if you’re working out of a single bedroom apartment and your office consists of a couch and a make-shift laptop stand, keep it clean and tidy. Cluttered desks lead to cluttered thoughts that can easily stray your mind away from the task at hand.
The sounds that surround you
Turn off the news, the washing machine and yes, the phone. If you’re on a deadline, even the soft tone of an email alert coming from your cell will leave your mind astray. I know you wont turn off your phone, but at least put it on silent when you’re needing to concentrate.
Even though I generally wouldn’t listen to it, I’ve found that classical music at a low volume keeps me moving. There aren’t any words and it all kind of seamlessly blends together. Call me crazy, but it works.
Keep your ideas in front of you
Take the time to structure whatever it is your going to write about. Write down a rough title and break up your ideas into subpoints with accompanying sidenotes. There is a reason you had to write all of those outlines in English class. Keep this in front of you the entire time you’re writing so that you don’t stray off topic.
After You Hit The Publish Button
You’ve put in all of that hard work and effort into creating your latest article. Once you hit the publish button there are a few rules you should follow in order to avoid getting stuck in a rut when shifting gears onto the next post.
Check your site once
Visit your site and make sure your new article made it through successfully. Check that the post image is displaying properly, that the excerpt doesn’t cut off at some weird point and that the article itself is complete and not some draft from an earlier version. Don’t spend any more time on it after your confident that everything is in its proper place.
Don’t check stats
The worst thing you can do is begin stat checking your post immediately after sending it out into the world. Unless you already have an established audience, get picked up on Digg or hit a string of good luck, your amazing new article will not take off immediately. Wait 24 hours or so before looking at your analytics. Watching the views climb one at a time is not healthy and can leave your mind racing.
Step away from the computer
All of the proofreading and editing should have been done before you published. Now is the time to step back and clear your mind for a bit. If you stare at your article finding ways to make it better after it’s already on the web, you’ll leave no room for the next idea to come to light.
Note: If you find yourself to be ‘in the zone’, keep writing. There have been times where I have cranked out a couple of articles in a row without stopping. ‘The Zone’ is real!
Fostering The Next Great Idea
To put it simply, writers block sucks! The best thing you can do is step away from your work and let the world around you inspire your next big idea. Here are three easy techniques that I use to help generate new topics.
Study your peers
There is no lack of brilliant posts making it to the web everyday. Take the time to study your peers thoughts and learn from others. One great idea can easily spawn another. Don’t just skim over articles.
Flickr groups rock
Let inspiration come to life on your monitor. Find a Flickr group in your industry and let it play as a slideshow on your screen. Add your own flavor of music and let the ideas start flowing. Here’s a great example of one from the design world, I recommend adding a dash of Radiohead.
Write down everything
Keep a pen and notebook handy at all times. If your short-term memory is as bad as mine, this can be a life-savior. When I struggle to come up with a new topics, I can usually rely on my notebook to have some cool idea scribbled in the corner of a page.
What Do You Do?
These are just some basic tips for keeping ideas flowing smoothly. I have barely scratched the surface. If you can’t keep your hands from typing out one article after another, please share your secrets with the others by commenting below.