Feb 18 No More Excuses: 5 Tips to Help you Write 100 Blog Posts
In late December, I reached one of my proudest milestones as a blogger for Ignite Social Media: I published my 100th blog post. Here are a few tips to help you reach the century mark.
1. Train Your Brain to Find Blog Posts
Time for an exercise I learned from motivational speaker Tony Robbins. Take a moment to look around and find as many blue objects as you can. Think: blue blue blue blue blue. Got it?
Where are all the red things? If your brain isn’t focused on a specific thing, it’s going have to trouble finding it. There are potential blog posts everywhere. You just need to train your brain to find them.
Write “How can I turn this into a blog post?” on a sticky note and stick it onto your computer. Whenever you read about an update to a social network, see an interesting Facebook post or tweet, or discover a new technology, ask yourself, “How can I turn this into a blog post?”
Some of my best blog posts have been about simple Facebook updates and Reddit posts. The regular Internet fodder you see throughout the day may seem entertaining and shallow at first glance; however, if you know how to think, you can find a surprising amount of depth. It just depends if you’re answering the right questions.
2. Answer “How?” and “Why?” Instead of “What?”
Unless you’re the first to break news, don’t use your blog post to explain what something is. Leave that to sites like Mashable and The Next Web. The real value readers will gain from your blog is from the “how” and “why.” Whenever you see something worth writing about, answering questions like these will help make for valuable content:
Why is this relevant to my audience?
Why do people need to start doing _____?
Why is a commonly accepted practice incorrect?
How can brands take advantage of this new social network?
How should you interpret this data?
How is this going to affect marketing strategies going forward?
And don’t forget that merely by being you, you have a unique viewpoint and experience. Share your insight and opinions, but don’t forget to back them up with facts.
3. Always Be Ready to Write
There’s a saying in the stand-up world that writing comedy is like trying to fill a bucket with a dripping faucet. When I’m going through a bout of writer’s block, I often think of this saying.
Creativity is never consistent. It comes in bursts. That’s why you always have to be ready to jot down anything creative that pops into your head. The nice thing about modern blogging platforms is that they exist in the cloud so you can access them from just about anywhere.
The most important thing to remember is DON’T LIE TO YOURSELF. The main lie being, “Oh, I’ll remember it later.” NO. YOU. WON’T! Ok, you might. But it’s not worth the risk. As soon as you think of something, even if it’s just a few sentences or just a phrase, hop onto a computer or whip out your Moleskine from your messenger bag and jot it down. It might not seem like much, but every sentence you write gets you one sentence closer to finishing.
4. Fall in Love with It
You’re about to enter a long-term relationship if you plan on writing 100 blog posts. And if you want this to be a successful marriage between your words and the Internet, then you better be in love with it.
You might want to experiment a little at first. Find a topic that you really enjoy writing about, and make sure it will be there for you down the road. Sure, that Miley Cyrus blog seems like a good idea now, but what about a year or two from now? Will she just leave you in a pile of tears? And when it comes to blogging platforms, try a few free trials. Maybe just a Tumblr… just for a second… just to see how it feels. Ok, I think I’ve exhausted my relationship metaphor for blogging at this point.
Basically what I’m trying to say is if you view blogging as a chore, after a while, you’re going to hate it. That leads you down a dangerous path in which you will see yourself annoyed at the idea of having to write and then leading to a point where you just stop caring. And then you’ll just get lumped in with all of the blogs whose last post was from August 2009.
5. Have Realistic Expectations
If you publish two blog posts every week (which is a fantastic cadence), it would still still take you an entire year to reach your goal. I’m not trying to scare or intimidate you with that statement. I’m just trying to help you set realistic expectations. It took me three years to reach 100 published blog posts, and not every one I wrote was published. It’s like running a marathon with your fingers.
Good luck out there and don’t forget to stretch.
Images courtesy of Unsplash.