Staring down a blank screen is crippling.
When you have no idea what to write for your next personal (or business) blog post, writer’s block sets in quick. Ditto for creating client proposals on a deadline.
So, it’s imperative to always have a list of ideas to draw from when you’re ready to sit down and write.
Today’s question addresses a common concern for writers of all types — bloggers, marketers, content writers and even those who venture into fiction.
Question: How do you select a topic to write? ~ Sania Abbasi, Freelance Blogger
Answer: Hi, Sania. Thanks for reaching out via LinkedIn with your question. Thankfully, the bulk of my writing is client work, so they choose the topic and assign it to me.
However, I also maintain this blog and a personal blog which require me to come up with unique topics consistently. I also pitch story ideas to my regular clients during times of slow work flow.
Here are a few ways I make sure I’m never without a few ideas to write about.
- Keep a list. Sometimes ideas strike me at the most ridiculous moments. So, I keep a running list on my desk, in my purse and on my cellphone for blog post topics. After all, I can’t write a post when I’m in the pool or baking cookies!
- Check trending topics. Go to Twitter or Google+ and see what topics and hashtags are trending. If you’re writing a blog post that will be published the same day, this is a good way to focus on a topic that people are interested in immediately.
- Answer reader questions. Look closer at the comments on your writing — whether they are on a blog or on social media — and see if anyone has asked a related follow-up question. These easily morph into blog posts that are helpful for your readers.
- Draw from life experiences. For my personal blog, I often write about what happened earlier in the day. Since it’s a lifestyle blog, I might share recipes I’ve created, tips from the gym or pictures I’ve taken. Keep your topics simple and helpful!
- Use the calendar. Is a holiday approaching? Is there a change in weather coming? Use these seasonal shifts to power your next blog post since these topics affect everyone.
Do you have an idea for Sania? How do you come up with blog post topics so you don’t have to stare down a blank computer screen? Please share in the comments below!
Would you like to ask a question on Web Writing Advice? Send me a note. Please include your full name, job title, your question and a link to your blog, website or social media so I can consider your question. ~Angela
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