How To Keep Ideas Flowing Smoothly On Your Blog

keep ideas flowing smoothly

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

post stats

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

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.

9 Comments

+Add your comment
  1. Great tips here Shawn.

    Here’s another tip that I want to add: Try asking your readers for some ideas. It gets them involved and you get tons of new ideas. It’s a win-win situation.

    Nice article by the way, it just gave me a lot of new ideas. :)

    Anyway, I’m off to write those new ideas down. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for the beautiful and inspiring article. I definitely distract myself a lot of times.

    Lately I have been getting ideas and a rush of energy at about 4 am and ignore it. When I go back to the idea later on in the day the flow is completely gone. I’m going to get up and start working away the next time this creative flow happens!

    Thank you oodles!

  3. I agree with DI above, some awesome tips here! (I especially liked the tip with classical music, as I use that when I’m writing on my fantasy story and finally sink into ‘the zone’!)

    I wanted to ask, when you said about setting up the perfect space, is that your setup with the MacBook and two large, side-by-side monitors? Or is that a stock image? If it is yours, that’s awesome – it’s what I’m planning for when I start to make some cash doing what we all share a love in doing!

    Thanks for this article – have retweeted DI tweeting you :)

    • Laneth – As much as I wish that was mine, unfortunately it is not. I have a very similar setup, but not quite as nice as the one used in the article.

      I found the image in a list compiled by Hongkiat.com located here http://bit.ly/8V8ggU. I have been drooling over it for sometime.

    • Heh, I think it’s a wish many of us share. I’m still battling my bank balance until it agrees to let me get a MacBook or iMac or something.
      Sorry for the late reply :)

  4. Nope

    That is a serious macfag setup.

  5. Smiffy

    I read a article under the same title some time ago, but this articles quality is much, much better. How you do this?

  6. Recegeve

    Thanks for taking the time to post such a detailed and informative article. It has given me a lot of inspiration and I look forward to more like this in the future.

  7. Thanks for the nice post ,Really great points ,one thing also do not check your earnings also ,check in one month

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *