“I have writer’s block, again.”
“I write a paragraph and don’t know what else to say.”
“I don’t have anything new to say that has not been previously written.”
Do you find yourself thinking any of the above scenarios?
First you need to know that you do have something to say. It may have already been discussed on someone else’s blog or article but not always from the same viewpoint or written in the same style as your own. If you believe you have a story to tell, you will find that story.
#1 – Check your Send box. By far the most material for blogs and articles comes directly from my Send email box. I answer questions from clients and potential clients nearly daily. Half the battle has been won because you already know what it is that others may want to know. So check your Send box and see if you can find a topic that might spur a thought which can lead to an article or blog post. Elaborate on your answer and create 350 words from that entry.
#2 – Take a survey. www.Surveymonkey.com is free to set-up a survey whereby you can ask your subscribers (if you have an email list) or your colleagues, family or friends to take the survey and find out what it is they want to know. Once the survey questions are designed in Surveymonkey.com, you receive a link which can be posted to your website, blog or your can include in an email. Just ask a few questions about topics people want to know more about and if you can offer a free consultation or a free e-book or tips page, all the better.
3 – Sign up for other people’s newsletters. But do this sparingly because it can become overwhelming. I like to subscribe to blogging experts, real estate professionals and other virtual assistant newsletters. This offers a great source of information and let’s me know what it is people in my target field are interested in reading. Tip: Create a separate email just for newsletters such as a gmail or yahoo account. This way your business email does not flood with newsletters and email marketing.
4 – Find a forum related to your industry and participate in the discussion. There are many forums out there for nearly every business and there are forums on LinkedIn and Facebook which also offer a means to find material.
5 – Create Google Alerts for topics you want to know more about. You will receive a myriad of blog posts, articles and comments in your Inbox which are specific to your needs. Use that gmail or yahoo box for your Google Alerts as well. You can receive alerts daily or weekly depending upon your preference. If you find that an alert you have set up is not suitable to good material, click the delete button and keyword other topics. A good way to find good Google Alerts is to run a key word list from Google’s own keyword tool https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
6 – Go to the Library. As basic as this may sound, there is no other place I have found which one of the best sources for materia. Find an hour a month to go to the library and peruse the periodicals. Here I can find real estate news for my real estate articles, small business news for my blog and newspaper articles from papers I do not subscribe to at home. I also find local news and small papers in my area which prove helpful to reach local customers. Further, I just find the library to be a relaxing atmosphere so much more gets done without a phone ringing or hearing the ding that an email has come in.
7 – If you are a virtual assistant, ask your clients for publications. I received a box of real estate magazines from a realtor once which kept me in writing material topics for months. Ask your clients to send you e-newsletters they receive from the varying organizations many real estate professionals are members. Many of my blog posts for real estate are generated from Realtor.org for example.
8 - Write from personal experience. If you have a tale to tell about your interaction with a client use this as a means for discussion.
9 – Create a videoblog instead of a written blog post. You can use Camtasia Studio for free for 30 days and with this program you can explain ‘how you did something’ in video format. http://www.techsmith.com/download/camtasiatrial.asp Or try your hand with Windows Movie Maker or Powerpoint to make a slide presentation.
10 – Create an audio and post this to your blog. You can use Audacity for free http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ Topics to consider would be “how-to’s” or ‘the benefits of doing something in particular vs something else.
11 – Take a picture and write about it. If you see something funny or peculiar, this often can trigger good material. Posting a photo adds a nice visual and can drive your point home.
12 – If you are a real estate professional, and have not already, create a Rainmaker account on ActiveRain and then sign on for their daily webcast of popular posts. On days when you just can not find something to write about, comment someone’s blog post. But there are many great topics discussed on ActiveRain and ideas which regularly prove useful. If you are a real estate virtual assistant, you can open an account on ActiveRain as well and post your blog there and/comment others’ discussions.
13 – Recycle an older blog post or article and add something new to it.
14 – Take a webinar course through Hubspot and then write about what you learned. Sign-up for their webinar notifications and be informed when a topic comes about that may be of interest to you.
15 – Ask a question and then answer it yourself. An example might be, “What marketing tools have I used in the past 6 months which have helped to increase my client base?”
16 – Use a new hardware or software product and write a product review. Even if you sign on for a free trial, use the product for a specified period of time and take notes on the things you liked or disliked.
17 – List 5 things you like about your job and create 5 paragraphs about each item. It’s Ok to break down the likes into small increments. For example, if you are a coach, 5 things you may like about your job are: marketing your business, writing an ebook, coaching new clients, running a teleseminar, speaking in small groups. Then take each item and elaborate about each. What is it that you like about marketing? Is one type of marketing which you find to be the most challenging? If so, why? If you like writing an ebook then discuss the process of writing and why you like it. Has the process been inspiring in some way? And so on.
18 – What is the funniest thing that has happened to you while on the job? Write about this and encourage your readers to tell their own tale.
19 – If you could write a book, what would that topic be about and why? If you could meet someone in the past, present or future, who would that be and why? Try to make it business-related so you can reach your audience.
20 – If none of these tips work and you are completely tapped out for ideas, email me. I will see if I can help you come up with a topic.