Many people ask this question – how do you find material to write about in your blog?
Well, once you start blogging, you need to change your mind-set. You need to be able to click onto blogging mode (my family hates it when I do) and you need to gradually train your mind to be always on the look out for possible blogging fodder or to become susceptible to recognising suitable post material wherever you go, what you read, what reacts with you or whatever you bump into.
There’s nothing more irritating than forgetting a brilliant idea, so I like to be able to scribble down the gist of this new concept which pops into my head so that I remember it later and can develop it into a blog post – just that I don’t always get the time to regurgitate or finally write it up!
So where can you find stuff to write about?
1. Look in your in- and out-boxes in your email system; you may be fending off questions at work all the time, and if you think you’ve managed to write a successful or relevant reply to a particular query, why not rewrite it as a post so that more people can benefit from your wisdom?
2. Subscribe to a myriad of blogs within your industry; reading what other people write about in similar subjected blogs as you should not be a daunting experience, you should derive inspiration and write about the same things in your own style, taking advantage in the fact that that’s what people are writing about at the moment – but remember, plagiarism is not advised under any circumstances.
3. Set up Google Alerts to receive prompts from other blog; this is another way to how you accomplish the second point, and certainly you’ll find out daily the main projects and topics that are successfully stimulating the search engines. Being aware of hot news and commenting on it yourself will not only draw attention to you, but show you are riding the wave of ‘now’.
4. Be vigilant on social networking sites; this is another way of finding out what’s happening, and I use LinkedIn to generate new content by answering Questions on my particular subjects and responding to discussions on the Groups I follow (this is how I got the idea for this post). Of course there are lots of other sites specifically created to watch and recommend other blogs, such as Digg and StumbleUpon, where there will be lots of new material to read, learn, respond to and share with others.
5. Researching which keywords are ‘a la mode’ right now; for Search Engine Optimisation to be truly effective, you need to find out the most effective and popular keywords or keyphrases that the search engines are responding to at this moment. Leave it any later and they will become yesterday’s news, and you will have missed the boat. Once you’ve found your likely keyword, base your blog post about it for the most effective results, but don’t saturate your post with more than 10% or you will turn off both spiders and human readers.
6. Go out for a nice walk with the dog to let the creative juices flow; there is always something to be said for a change of scene. Quite a lot of stuff outside your place of work will stimulate new ideas, and sleeping on a problem and allowing your subconscious to work overnight will result in new material in the morning. I don’t expect you go to out and start talking to trees and flowers, but even the process of speaking your ideas into a dictaphone or scribbling down all your ideas quickly in a notebook may be enough to generate the perfect post you are looking for.