No matter how much you enjoying blogging, chances are you experienced or will experience writer’s block at one point or another. Bloggers all have different ways to deal with it. Some choose to go on a hiatus while others apologize bluntly about their lack of ideas and promise to return soon with more material. Finally, some writers will feel so discouraged that they will simply stop blogging.
So, what to blog about when there is nothing to blog about?
Well, there are several ways to hack yourself out of a writer’s block.
Completing or starting a meme — If you’ve recently been tagged for a meme, now would be the time to complete it. As long as you manage to spin it in a fun way, most readers don’t mind them. And don’t forget it’s the chance to get some backlinks too! Haven’t been tagged lately? You can volunteer to complete a meme or start a new one. For instance, lists such as “X things…” are always popular. Identify your newly published list as a meme and write some basic rules. Usually, you should tell people to answer a set of questions or follow a model and list a few blogs you are “tagging”. Don’t forget to comment on the tagged person’s blog, inviting them to visit your blog to participate in the game. This way, you can generate interest from other readers of the tagged blogs to visit your blog as well.
Doing a photo essay — If you are lost for words, why not use a picture? Pretty much everyone has a camera these days. Even if you are primarily a writer, you can try yourself at a photo essay. Photo essays are basically a collection of pictures around a theme, such as a specific event, the weather, your home etc. Pick several of your best shots and arrange them in a way that suggests a story. For example, if you enjoy cooking, you could illustrate your best recipe step-by-step. Try to see the world from a different point of view, and don’t forget that your readers come from all over the world. What is common for you could be very exotic to them, so don’t be afraid of taking pictures of your hometown, your house etc. Just add a little bit of text for context and don’t forget captions!
Starting a series — Series are a great way to ensure you will have material for several weeks and some continuity in a theme. I usually start by picking a fairly broad subject I’m comfortable about. It is very important to write an outline before you start the series. If you promise your readers ten articles on XYZ topic, you don’t want to run out of steam half-way! I usually write series articles little by little but I follow the general outline I devised when brainstorming the series, complete with keywords and ideas for each posts. Series give your readers something to look forward to and allow you to explore a chosen topic in depth. I find my previously published series often become reference posts!
Additional tip: make a list of article ideas — The best way to prevent writer’s block is to maintain an up-to-date list of article ideas. I have a little widget on Netvibes, my homepage, with tons of ideas I picked up while reading other blogs or listening to the news. I write down a short one-sentence summary of the topic along with keywords, quotes and examples, and I work on the article whenever I’m inspired.
Do you have any tips to tackle writer’s block? Have you ever tried any of the suggestions above?