If you’re a writer or blogger, you’ve been there—staring at a blank page and blinking cursor, not sure how to start or even what to write about. As a blogger, I’ve faced this many times. But I’ve also developed a couple of strategies that help me forge ahead.
It turns out, there are lots of things you can do when you find yourself stuck and trying to decide what to write about.
I’ve taken to keeping a collection of half-started posts in my drafts folder. Whenever I have an idea for a post, whether it’s a fully developed idea or not, I create a new entry for it. When I start one of these half-posts, I try to make the notes as detailed as possible. I also use sensory words that will help take me back to the moment. That way it will be easier for me to get started on it again when I’m feeling stuck.
The benefits of this strategy are immense. Later, when you’re struggling to generate content, pulling up detailed notes for a half-started post will make the job far less daunting as you already have a piece with considerable work put into it. That can be intensely motivating and much better than starting from zero.
Another way I get inspired to write is by turning to my audience. Conduct an online poll and ask your readers which type of your posts they most enjoy or what they would like to see more of.
Readers are usually happy to give input, and it’s a great way to motivate yourself to generate new content, because you’ll know your audience is hungry and waiting to read it. (And, as a bonus, this will boost engagement with your audience and help them feel more invested in your blog.)
Another favorite way I get ideas for posts is through keyword research. There are a ton of tools out there that can help you research keywords—ranging from free to very expensive.
If you prefer the free (and simple) end of that spectrum, you can simply use Google to help you find what else readers are searching for when they Google the topic of your post.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re writing about “things to do in Austin, Texas.” When you search that term in Google, the auto complete feature will suggest other related terms that users are searching for.
With these strategies, you’ll no longer have to fear the “blank page.” Blogging stays fun and interesting, and you’ll get to enjoy sharing your stories with the world.