When you start a blog and write down your first few ideas, it can often be difficult to know what you should write about next. It can feel high stakes and like there’s only one right answer that’s just out of reach.
You’re not the only one confused about blogging – but I have a way out for you (for good!)
When you have big dreams, the reality of low sales and real-world expenses can cloud your previously inspired view. This is when we tend to hide in over-preparing, research, social media, curating other people’s opinions, or creating products without feedback from the people we want to help.
We don’t mean to, but when we’re scared we hide. Since you’re a smart and savvy person, having a hiding strategy that feels productive is part of the package. Unfortunately, the biological strategies that are meant to keep you safe (as in, physically safe and not mauled by a tiger) also flare up when we take risks that can’t physically hurt us. This can make it extremely difficult for you to succeed, so the first step is to acknowledge what’s happening and break the cycle!
How do you shake writer’s block for good?
What’s been helpful to my clients and me when we get stuck is having three tools to rely on: our blog values, our blog topics, and how we want our customers to feel. With these three pieces, you not only solve your writer’s block for good, but you also create a blog full of content that will attract your ideal clients or customers. Your site will then help you cultivate a following of people who understand your perspective and trust your work.
Sounds like a dream, right? So let’s make it happen!
Blog topics are what you might traditionally think of when talking about an editorial calendar. However, this is about the themes and topic ideas for your entire site, not ideas for individual posts.
Your blog topics are made up of:
- The subjects and themes that you want to help your readers with
- Categories you can use to brainstorm and break into post ideas
- If your blog was a magazine, start with the broad theme or topic it would be categorized under, such as lifestyle, design, business, or food. Then you can get more specific and inventive with yours.
The best part of your blog values is that they’re already in everything you do; you just have to start looking for them. Even if you haven’t started a blog yet, you can keep an eye out for them.
Traces of your blog’s values are found in:
- How you talk about your work
- The big-picture ideas behind your content which drive it forward
- The direction you want to take your readers in
- What bothers you about your industry – what could you talk about for hours?
- The things you love about your closest friends
- The vision you hold for your readers, customers or clients
You’re looking for the personality of your brand and its unique flavor. This is often hard for us to see for ourselves, so if you can, try looking at older blog posts or your emails to friends and see if you can pick up on your perspective. If you’re blogging for someone else, or for a company, consider the voice of the brand, any hidden morals in the founding story, and the function of what the company does for its supporters.
Some ideas for values are: craftsmanship, perseverance, precision, emotion, relationships, independence, rebellion, discovery, adventure, empathy, kindness, self-care, prestige, equality, resilience, humor, creativity, ease, sensuality, invention, leadership, community, trust, mystery.
If you’re struggling with these at all, use this post to get started. It guides you through this process step by step and gives examples of how you can create your enticing description of what you do.
How Do Your Readers Want To Feel?
Here’s where the magic happens. People make decisions based on what they feel, so it’s crucial to consider what your readers come to your online world for and how they want to feel when they leave.
If they’re looking for control, to feel mastery, to experience a little oasis of luxury, or to know they have someone in their corner, you can and should make sure the language you use in your posts reflects and reinforces that.
It’s not good enough to just think about it – you have to talk to the actual people you want to help. Either in person, through surveys, or through the comments on your blog.
So get to brainstorming: What are your blog topics? What are your blog values? And what’s one way you can inspire the kind of feelings your readers want?
With these questions, you can brainstorm, edit your posts with purpose and know that your work is taking you in the right direction.