It yearns to be filled with fresh, inspiring words worthy of publishing to our blog, but there are times when I feel like it’s all been said before, and there’s nothing left for me to grab.
It’s this blogging anxiety that paralyzes my thoughts, blocks the flow of creativity, and drives me into a dark hole of doubt. When this occurs, I remind myself that
I can (and will!) blog about any topic I choose,
because even if it has all been done before, there are always new—and more helpful—ways to cover a topic. The following tips offer ways to combat the fear that all the good ideas are taken.
5 Ways Not to Blog:
1.Don’t discount your experience as it relates to a trending topic.
Whether it’s personal or professional, your unique history will ultimately influence how you write about a popular topic—bringing a new perspective to a crowded conversation.
2. Don’t ignore the brains around you.
Use your team to brainstorm a unique idea for a blog post on a popular topic. You don’t necessarily need to gather everyone around the conference table. Instead, be open to conversation in and around the office. Bring up the topic during lunch and gauge how your coworkers are processing the content. My teammates have “brainstormed” many pieces of blog content for me without them ever knowing I was harnessing their brains for my professional gain.
3. Don’t hide your distinctive voice.
When a topic starts to trend on your favorite blogs and pops up in posts across social networks, take a moment to note the pieces that speak to you. For me, they tend to be the ones that offer valuable insight paired with a distinctively inviting, human voice. The posts are honest and real, and they might even boldly step out into a space away from the majority opinion. Never lose yourself in a blog post—even if the topic stretches away from your everyday life, find a way to insert yourself back into the prose. You may want to sound more objective in website copy, guides, or white papers, but not in a blog post.
4. Don’t jump in too soon or wait too long.
In this digital industry, it’s important to keep a pulse on what’s going on. Things develop at rapid speed, so checking in daily ensures you’re aware of changes as they’re happening. Being in the know is important, and sometimes it’s possible to blog about something first, but be strategic in doing so. I recommend holding off until you’ve taken time to survey the blogging landscape and assess the topic. Do your research. Become proficient in the topic. Then decide what message you want to deliver.But don’t wait too long. Join the conversation when you’re confident in your message—don’t wait for it to be perfect. I learned from Malcolm Gladwell that innovation continues down the line—sometimes it’s the third or fourth person to interact with an idea that really conceives something awesome. Jump in smart.
5. Don’t dismiss ideas when you’re away from the keyboard.
I pencil (lightly) blogging blocks into my calendar weekly, but sometimes my schedule is adjusted because an idea pops into my head as I’m cruising the grocery aisles, talking with friends, or watching the news. Be flexible enough to allow ideas to percolate when you’re away from your desk. Jot them down in a notebook or in the notes section of your phone. And never, ever think, “I’ll remember this tomorrow.” If you’ve got a topic top of mind, chances are your brain is already subconsciously milling it over as you go through your day—let it surprise you when it’s ready.
I hope these tips prove helpful as you continue to blog for your personal or company blog. And, as you invest more time into blogging, I recommend checking out our newest tool, The Busy Marketer’s Content Calendar Checklist & Worksheet, to help organize and promote all your fresh new content.