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How to Keep Blogging when you’re Out of Ideas and Short on Time

by Elizabeth McGee

blogging ideas

If you’re a business Blogger, you need to keep writing. But like all of us, there are days when we’re simply out of ideas and short on time.

For me, there are 3 things that help me keep blogging:

  • Staying organized
  • Having a daily plan
  • Staying focused

These things aren’t always easily achieved, but they are the things that have made the most difference in my blogging productivity.

Staying Organized

When it comes to being organized, it’s the small things that matter. Things like keeping your office organized and keeping your online files easily accessible. I once asked a friend to show me a file that took her over 5 minutes to find. Do that several times a day and that’s time you’ve wasted and won’t get back.

Some people need to be totally organized, others work in organized chaos. Do whatever works for you, just make sure your method of getting things done isn’t hampered by not being able to find or locate things when you need them.

Have a Daily Plan in Place

palnning the dayThe worst thing you can do each day is sit down to your computer and start thinking about what you’re going to write about. If Oprah did that every day before each show, how great do you think her show would be? Not very.

It’s difficult to come up with blog post ideas right off the top of your head each day. I know. I’ve tried. Your blogging calendar needs to be planned out well in advance with blog post ideas for the week. Every day when you sit down to your computer, know what you’re going to write about.

For example, these are a few of my favorite blogging ideas, however notice that several of them require planning:

  • Personally comment on a new story in your industry
  • Conduct an interview with an industry expert
  • Write a product or service review
  • Create a specific step by step how to post
  • Conduct your own personal case study
  • Make a list of your favorite useful links
  • Conduct a survey
  • Create an answer to an email question you’ve received or seen in a forum
  • Open your blog for guest posting
  • Revive old blog posts

An interview with a niche expert for instance, isn’t something you can create on the fly. You’ll first need to find an industry expert to interview, schedule the interview and then schedule when to publish it.

Creating a post for a product review is another excellent post idea but will mean purchasing the product, using the product then writing a comprehensive review.

If you’re a fast writer, have a weekly blog post ideas list ready and write the post that day. If you’re not someone that can crank out a blog post within a few hours, write your blog posts in advance.

Whether you create a daily task list at the beginning of the week, month or year, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you have post ideas either ready to publish or ready to work on for the days you need them.

Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions

focus on bloggingYou can’t get things done without focus and eliminating distractions. The best way around distractions is to schedule them into your day. Determine when the most distractions occur and work around them. For example, if there’s a time in the morning when distractions are less likely to occur, use that time to get your blog posting done.

If the phone is a distraction, don’t be afraid to use your voicemail. If online applications such as Twitter, Facebook or email cause distractions, close them.

When I’m writing my blog posts I close all applications accept the one I’m working on and I use an old fashion kitchen timer. There’s just something about seeing and hearing that time tick away that keeps me on track.

If a thought or idea comes to mind while writing, don’t let it interfere with your immediate focus. Instead, keep a notebook on your desk and quickly jot the thought down so you can go back to it later on.

In Summary

It’s not uncommon to run out of ideas and time, but the remedy is effective planning, avoiding distractions and keeping a clear focus of what needs to be done for that day. For most of us this will take a conscious effort, but it will be worth the difference you’ll see in your productivity over the months to come.

How about you? What are the things you do to keep up with your blogging productivity?

Article by

Elizabeth McGee is the owner and author of Homenotion where she shares her internet home business journey and experiences with newcomers to the web. Elizabeth is an online entrepreneur with an emphasis on blogging, web writing, copywriting, affiliate marketing and SEO.

Elizabeth has written 1 articles at iBlogzone.com

1

(@sweetsfoods) (@sweetsfoods)

April 23, 2012 at 6:52 pm

How to Keep Blogging when you’re Out of Ideas and Short on Time http://t.co/D9dCsJi5 @ditesco

2

(@GrowOnlineBiz) (@GrowOnlineBiz)

April 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm

How to Keep Blogging when you’re Out of Ideas and Short on Time http://t.co/wJdqrUCA

3 Karen April 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm

There has been many a time when I’ve had that moment of “Bloggers Block” it can be a nightmare, specially when your blog has readers who have got so used to daily posts.

So I sometimes fall back to “top posts” and updating the most popular posts with more up to date information.

4

Liz

April 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Hey Karen,

Nothing wrong with those strategies, they work too 😉

In fact keeping your posts alive with updated ideas and info is a great way to keep your content current and interesting.

Liz

5 Karen April 23, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Thank you Liz, I’ll certainly be implementing your other ideas in to my regime when it comes to those awkward blogging moments 😉

6

(@ProblogSuccess) (@ProblogSuccess)

April 23, 2012 at 7:05 pm

How to Keep Blogging when you’re Out of Ideas and Short on Time http://t.co/yI1frfCS @ditesco

7

(@puxee) (@puxee)

April 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm

How to Keep Blogging when you’re Out of Ideas and Short on Time http://t.co/q0nJUNYU via @ditesco

8

(@KeepUpWeb) (@KeepUpWeb)

April 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm

How to Keep Blogging when you’re Out of Ideas and Short on Time http://t.co/9vMlC2G1 via @DiTesco

9

Pete Goumas

April 23, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Elizabeth, I don’t like distractions and I think this is the main thing that could affect my blogging productivity and after that procrastination but I usually less suffered from it. I don’t want to be a scruffy blogger and the best thing helps me in my blogging productivity is my proper schedule and balance between work and rest in my life.

10

Liz

April 23, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Absolutely Pete, you have to have a schedule, a daily plan and it has to fit with your the rest of your life, or things don’t get done.

Unfortunately distractions are my biggest weakness. I have to really work at fighting them off, it’s a real conscious effort for me, but I’m a lot better than I use to be 🙂

11

Joe Boyle

April 23, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Great points. I think the best thing to do is to just leave. There will always be time to write later. If you’re out of ideas, writing off of a crappy idea that you brainstorm at the last minute isn’t going to help you. I generally (on mostly all of my blogs) stick to a posting schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday. If there is a day when I don’t feel inspired to write, I won’t push it. I don’t want to ruin the content with my obvious un-inspired tone.

I think the general rule of thumb is to write when you have the ideas, and not to when you don’t.

12

Kazsandra

April 24, 2012 at 2:44 am

There are actually a lot of blogging ideas but as time pass, we know that bloggers also have great and unique ideas.. We should also create our own..

13

Liz

April 24, 2012 at 2:48 am

Joe, I agree for the most part but I do like to at least have ideas before me before I begin to write, so that’s where planning can be of benefit. Sitting down each day trying to decide on what to write about is a huge waste of time. If I have an idea and still don’t feel inspired then I won’t write.

I agree with your philosophy of not writing if you don’t feel inspired.

14

Mark Bloggs

September 24, 2012 at 5:26 am

Another good idea is to store up posts at times when you ARE inspired and maybe have lots you could write about…sometimes I have 2-5 posts in the queue!

15

Dennis@Top Online Learning

April 24, 2012 at 6:51 am

Perfect Tips for a person who’s a lot passionate about blogging but can’t get the job done due to lack of time & creativity. To-Do list is always the best option for scheduling your task. I use my smartphone’s To-Do list which alarms me about the current & upcoming tasks.

16

Becca

April 24, 2012 at 8:33 am

We know that people have their various preferences when it comes to getting information. Writers block is really a nightmare.

17

(@BasicBlogTips) (@BasicBlogTips)

April 24, 2012 at 11:01 am

How to Keep Blogging when you’re Out of Ideas and Short on Time http://t.co/RlsGnIYz via @DiTesco

18

Aasma

April 24, 2012 at 11:39 am

Certainly few nice tips to save your time,

I think if you have daily plan, then you can easily utilize your time and avoid wastage of your time.

19 Sian Phillips April 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

This is a great post Elizabeth. I have had bloggers block in the past but seem to be flowing at the moment. I’m very lucky that I am interviewing business people for TweakYourBiz.com as well as my own blog – which has been quiet until recently (needs a revamp too). And there are always lots of interesting people to interview. I normally have my days ahead planned but I think them through whilst walking my dogs every morning. Unfortunately the blog writing has to come after my day job is done but I always have a notepad next to me or open on the laptop to makes lists. Thanks for sharing this post on Bizsugar.com

20 Robert Koenig @ car accident lawyer April 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm

“Writer’s block” is often confused with being out of focus. Without a plan to follow through with, it is only natural for the mind to wander and consider things that are distracting from the task at hand. Without boundaries, your focus is non-existent. By establishing ground rules and a little context for what your mind is focused in on, you are so much more capable of finding something of value or recalling a thought that leads to a piece that your readers will love.

21

Bery C.P.

April 25, 2012 at 2:54 am

Perfect Tips for a person who’s a lot passionate about blogging but can’t get the job done due to lack of time & creativity. Unfortunately the blog writing has to come after my day job is done but I always have a notepad next to me or open on the laptop to makes lists. Thanks for sharing this post on Bizsugar.com

22 Jack Styles April 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

The way I produce fresh blog ideas is to look at the news. I blog about leadership styles – so I focus mainly on political and financial news and see what lessons from leadership I can draw from that. Using news keeps the blog fresh and helps to ensure you’re not completely duplicating someone else’s ideas.

23

Cathy Kerr

April 25, 2012 at 9:49 am

Great post! I think unless you have a daily plan you just cant do justice to any Blog! I mean, if you have a plan and you are following it regularly, the results will be consistent and long term!

Liz, Thank you for this post, I think these are great for new bloggers me..:)

24

Rye @Pay Per Click Advertising

April 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Based on personal experience, timing also plays an important role in writing. And by that I mean writing at your peak hours. For me, it’s at the those times when it’s most quiet. So I usually find myself writing late into the night or very early in the morning right before sunrise. These are also the times when my mind is most active. If I write any other time – I end up not “feeling like it” and end up dilly-dallying instead.

25 Ray April 26, 2012 at 1:04 am

There certainly are a lot of distractions that can interrupt your daily routine. I almost think spring and summer season can be a little more distracting. It’s like the weather is nice. The days are longer, and there are outdoor activities that I might rather be doing. Any way it’s always good to have a game plan, and to stick with it.

26

Keith Townsend

April 26, 2012 at 1:54 am

awesome suggestions here! I found the list of blogging ideas to be gold – I’m new to blogging so this article was extremely helpful for me. Retweeting this – thanks !

27

Keith Townsend (@keithwtownsend)

April 26, 2012 at 1:56 am

http://t.co/BHWr2YO5 ~ How to Keep Blogging when you’re Out of Ideas and Short on Time

28 Jim Antoine April 26, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Daily planning and procrastination avoidance is my recipe!!
I try to read magazines and newspapers of various to keep being informed.

PS. commentluv seems to have a problem here.
It says “Internal Server Error.undefined”.
Thank you!

29

Aditya

April 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Absolutely useful piece of information…..another point which I want to add is that the appropriate amount of research work on the topic for the post needs to be done so that your efforts can be applauded….:)

30

lucioemarci

April 27, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Your tips are excellent, I also think that update older posts, can bring more traffic to your blog, and of course help in business …

31 jen April 28, 2012 at 12:31 am

I was so guilty about your tip no. 3 “Stay Focused”. Sometimes I lose focus because my attention went to browsing FB, Twitter and other social media networks..I know it is just a matter of discipline, discipline, discipline! Great article by the way! Thanks

32 Charles Daniels April 28, 2012 at 1:49 am

I’m decent at having a plan, my problem is sticking to said plan. Any blog posts on how to stick to the plan? =D

Enjoyed your post. I just did a massive overhaul on how I had been storing files on my computer and it’s drastically reduced my daily headache in trying to find stuff. A place for everything and everything in it’s place, right?

33

Sanjeev

April 30, 2012 at 9:48 am

Having schedule is really important, I really missed it when I got stuck for 10 days without internet connectivity. After that I have build a proper schedule for blog posting and other activities which has helped a lot..

34

Professional PA

May 2, 2012 at 9:19 am

I think to prevent things such as ‘writers block’ as its known, writing about a topic that you enjoy will help you considerably when it comes to writing interesting content.

Michael

35

Michelle

May 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Great read Elizabeth. Often we find ourselves scrapping the bottom of the barrel for ideas, and even that isn’t enough on a slow day.

36

cristin smith

June 27, 2012 at 7:07 am

hey you talk exactly about what many blogger like me facing right now. many times due to work and short of time blogging becomes irregular and i will defiantly try your suggestion. thank you.

37

Mark Bloggs

September 24, 2012 at 5:24 am

I forgot to mention….it also helps to blog about something you love. Makes it easier to come up with things to write about because you are excited about it 🙂 But sometimes I get mental blocks too

38

Taran

January 13, 2013 at 4:43 am

These tips are so helpful, thanks for sharing great post.

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