Blogs are arguably one of the most time-consuming areas of websites because they can be very content hungry. They need new content on at least a weekly basis, and the content must be of a high quality covering a new topic or new angle.
If you have run or are running a blog – for yourself or for someone you work for, you will, at some point have experienced what I like to call Blank Screen Syndrome (BSS).
BSS can strike anyone at any time. It’s that awful moment when you sit down in front of the computer screen knowing that your next blog post should already be online.
You might have around 20 minutes to bash out the 350 or so words you need, and this sounds easy enough because you’ve done it before and you know that after the first sentence, your fingers will fly across the keyboard as you warm to your blog topic and the ideas flow. But this time nothing happens and an hour later, the only thing on your screen is a flickering cursor.
BSS can sometimes strike when you are too busy, too stressed or preoccupied. For example, you may be going through some life-changing challenges – moving house, looking for a new (day) job, negotiating new family arrangements – the list is endless.
But crippling though BSS can be, it is still possible to overcome it.
Here are 5 ways to overcome Blank Screen Syndrome:
- Set aside five minutes every day (or every other day) to think about your blog and how you’d like to improve it – you can do this anywhere: on a train, while at the supermarket etc.
- Use the things that are going on in your life to spark your imagination – you’ll be surprised at how seemingly unrelated topics can be quite similar.
- Keep a notebook on your bedside table – because first thing in the morning is the ideal time to note down new blog post ideas and thoughts; and if you do this regularly, you will rarely run out of new ideas for your blog.
- Gather up these ideas every week and put them in a brief list e.g. ‘blog post ideas for August’. If you have time, add dates next to each idea or simply write your ideas in against the days in your diary.
- For larger topics, consider splitting your idea into a mini series of posts that can be spread over a week or month – or be used as a weekly or monthly theme. Here’s an example: if you blog about muffin recipes, your Friday theme might be ‘muffin recipes for vegans’ or ‘nut-free/wheat-free/gluten-free muffin recipes’.
All of these ideas work well for personal or business blogs. For business blogs, you may prefer to brief a professional to write your blog content written for you – and this can help free up your time to focus on other areas of your business.
Post written by DEBBIE THOMAS on 22 July 2011.