The most important thing I’ve learned from having a blog is that blogging isn’t always easy. A lot of bloggers make it look so effortless when they’re constantly posting new, interesting, high quality content while also living busy lives. Me? I only post 3 times a week and I still feel like I have to really wrack my brain for something to write about every time.
Last week, I started some new practices in an attempt to hack my own mind and really practice getting in the zone for blogging. So far, the following three things have helped me with writers block and content quality:
1.) A little bit of noise. I love listening to music when I’m doing creative things, but it totally disrupts my writing process. Whenever I try to write with music on, it inevitably ends with me dancing around my room shouting the lyrics to pop songs and annoying my roommates instead of getting my post done. On the flip side, if I try to work in complete silence, I get bored and zone out. This week, I’ve taken to the website Noisli, which allows you to create your own mix of background noises to help you focus. It’s just enough noise to keep my mind centered without being distracting. I definitely encourage you to check it out and play around with the different noises. Personally, I like a mixture of rain, wind, and forest sounds.
2.) Thinking about your week. When I sit down to write a blog post, I usually try to come up with something totally random to write about. I look around the web to see what other people are talking about, I brainstorm for what seems like ages, and sometimes, I go out and do/try specific things just so I can write about them. There’s nothing really wrong with these methods, but I’ve realized that you don’t always have to come up with some random idea off the top of your head to write about. Instead, you can just write about stuff that’s happened to you or things you’ve done in the past week. It doesn’t have to be particularly interesting in nature, you just have to think of an interesting way to talk about it. I’ve found that a really easy way to think of interesting things that are already happening in your life is to look at a feelings wheel.
As you can see, a feelings wheel is pretty self-explanatory, but how do we use it for blogging? If you’re stumped about what you’re going to write about today, take a glance at this wheel and then ask yourself the following question: What made me *insert feeling here* this week? Then, write about the thing that popped in your head. Things that give us strong emotional reactions are the things we will write most passionately about, and that means better content. So try it out! What made you feel scared this week? What made you feel excited this week? What made you feel surprised this week? Now tell us why.
3.) Talk it out.People are always going to be more attracted to a blog that feels authentic. Content is king, yes, but personality is #queen. I often spend so much time trying to think about what to write about and how to write about it, that my posts end up sounding weird and manufactured — nothing like me. In person, I’m more of a dorky person who like telling self-deprecating jokes, puns, and long-winding anecdotes with no real point. Online, my presence is a lot more curated, which can lead to a slight authenticity issue. I’ve learned that my posts sound a lot more like me when I record myself saying what I want to say on my phone first. That way, I can insert all of the things I say that are more indicative of my actual personality and the flow of the post feels natural.