It’s not always easy to come up with fresh ideas for your blog posts. Why is it that whenever you sit down to write, you draw a blank?Why is it that whenever you sit down to write, you draw a blank? Click To Tweet
I used to find myself in this predicament fairly regularly; every week in fact.
I never used to plan my posts or even think about it before actually sitting down and trying to pound out a post.
Not only was I struggling for ideas, but once I had my idea, it was brutally painful trying to write more than a few hundred words about it.
Today I’m going to talk about what I did to turn that around and start consistently writing posts I was proud of. I’ll show you the exact process of how I go about generating and developing my ideas.
Now, I’m sure you just mumbled to yourself sarcastically “Oh great, another complex post planning strategy that won’t work for me”.
But don’t worry, you’re going to find it easier than tying velcro shoes!
I find that I get creative spurts every now and then, where ideas start popping into my head out of nowhere; and from talking to other people, it seems that I’m not the only one.
These ideas are commonly known as “Shower Thoughts” – because most typically they happen in the shower (you know, right when you’re as far away from a keyboard as you can possibly be).
Although popularized in the shower, for lots of people, these creative bursts happen at all times of the day.
For me, its usually around 10am.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been awake for a few hours and the coffees finally kicked it (seems most likely), or maybe it’s because it’s just after I’ve worked out – but I’m yet to pinpoint the cause of it.
What I do know is that when I get them, I need to capitalize on them ASAP.
When I get these creative bursts my writing becomes like a super power. I feel like a blog idea generating god, bursting at the seams with new posts.
Unfortunately, by the time it happens, I’m usually right in the middle of doing something else.
So, I decided to make a habit of whipping out my handy iPhone, popping open the notes app, and starting to write.
Usually, these notes turn out pretty messy, and to be honest, on their own they suck.
But, the purpose of this exercise is not to spew out perfect post after post in an endless stream of blog vomit. The aim is to capture a solid basis of information to draw upon later.
Let’s take a look at an example. Here are the notes I actually made for this post:
So, you may be able to tell already (although this isn’t the clearest example) but there are a few key points I try to take note of each time.
Now that I have this template, I always try to capture the same categories of information. They go as follows;
Try and title your post early on.
Getting a solid idea of what you’re going to name your post is going to help you remember where you were going with this idea when you sit down to flesh it out later.
The title isn’t set in stone, but I find it SO useful to have a solid template.
A good title tells your reader exactly what you’re going to discuss with them in the post. But again, it doesn’t have to be perfect at this point.
Write out a basic introduction to your post.
The first paragraph is always the hardest. If you can write it out now (no matter how bad it is) you’ll have a great starting point for later.
Even if you completely change it, which I normally do, just having it there in the first place seems to make the words flow more easily.
Try to entice your reader to read more. What problem of theirs are you solving?
Tell them why they should they read on.Tell them why they should they read on. Click To Tweet
Jot down points to base your post on.
I usually try to write down a minimum of 3 points I can write about in my article.
Here’s a better example showing a different occasion to what I posted above:
In this example I didn’t write the beginning or end part yet, but you can see that I’ve planned out what I want to actually write about.
This is an upcoming post, and you can probably tell that I didn’t edit it at all before taking the screenshot of it.
The part that says “Impressions formed within first 5 seconds (or whatever)” is because I know that first impressions are formed within seconds, but I want to find another article online to back that point up.
Linking to supporting posts legitimizes your points, and gives your readers something else to check out.
If I didn’t know something for sure, I would write something like “How quickly are first impressions formed – find article”.
Once you have the main points, if you really know what you’re talking about, it should be easy to form a hearty article fairly quickly.
Try and figure out how your story is going to end.
Combined with the previous points, you already have a beginning and the bare bones of the middle, now if you have an end – it’s all coming together!
A strong ending draws everything together into a neat little package.
You don’t need to include this in your notes, but in general, always reconfirm your point in your closing statement, and provide a call to action.
Ask your readers to do something; whether that’s signing up to your email list, sharing on social media, or anything else. People like to be told what to do (no offense).
It’s pretty easy to jot down ideas on the go that you can elaborate on later – the original note for this post only took me 4 minutes, whereas a full article would take me at least 2 hours.
My advice for you? Figure out when your creative bursts are, and make the most of them.Figure out when your creative bursts are, and make the most of them. Click To Tweet
All cell phones nowadays have a notes app. If you don’t have a cell phone; send yourself an email, go old school and use a pen and paper, write it on a whiteboard, phone your friend and tell them, write it on your baby’s forehead – I don’t care, just make some notes.
You don’t just have to note your article structure, you can include things like where you’re going to put your sales links, your own posts you’re going to link to, or anything else you may forget later.
Did you like this article? Want more? Sign up to my email list using the form below!
Please feel free to share this post on social media, and reach out to me on any of the platforms I have listed in my sidebar.
Send this to friend