Have you ever happened to write a blog post in like 20 minutes?
Most definitely many of you have had the chance to both come up with an awesome idea and convert it into a finished piece in far less time than they thought possible. It’s great when that’s the case!
Unfortunately those kinds of “perfect” situations don’t happen everyday. What turns out more often than not is that you either have a great idea in mind but don’t have the time to turn it into a post or you desperately need new content but don’t know what to write about.
The following post will tackle exactly that issue…
Read below to discover five ways to ease the whole coming-up-with-ideas struggle. The next paragraphs will also try to help you transform your ideas into articles more effectively.
Let’s get going!
1. Be Prepared for Spontaneous Ideas
The thing about article ideas is that they rarely come when you are sitting in front of your desk and trying to come up with them.
Ideas occur rather randomly. They might spark from a walk in the park or a totally unrelated conversation. If you want to be certain that those ideas will transform into articles, you need to capture them right away.
A simple notebook is a great way to write down thoughts, sentences or just plain keywords. That way forgetting things will stop being a problem.
If you don’t have to deal with trying to remember that great concept that came to mind a few hours earlier, you’ll have more time to actually write. Add to that a bit of social media (see “Social Media Tips“) and SEO (see “Interlinking Your Articles“) and there you have it – more traffic.
2. Stay Away from Strict Scheduling
When it comes to improving productivity, a lot of bloggers like to talk about schedules and their positive effect.
Based on my experience though, the only schedule you need to have should come down to your paid tasks. After you complete paid assignments, do social media, or writing. The order doesn’t matter. How much time each of individual thing takes doesn’t matter.
With strict timeframes, instead of thinking about getting things right, you are thinking about getting them done fast. That often results in mediocre stuff. You only need to keep track of progress (i.e. to know what you’ve completed and what you haven’t).
3. Create a Simple File with Your Daily Blogging Routine
So here’s how to keep track of progress…
Sometimes (or even most of the times) the simplest of ideas produce the best results. Opening up Notebook and writing your daily routines down takes two minutes. As simple as it is for me it works better than the “sophisticated” task-organization tools I have tried.
Having a list to look at is a certain way to spend less time wondering if you’ve missed something..
I have actually gone a step further and added a bit of HTML. It is just a numbered list with what needs to get done (checking Twitter mentions, replying to comments, etc; see “My 9-Step Checklist“).
I have set it as my home page, so every time I open up my browser, I get all the tasks in front of me. Simple and convenient.
4. Have a List with Possible Future Posts
Consistency is crucial in blogging (as well in online business). Sometimes, we are stuck with no ideas and there is nothing we can do.
Although you might not be able to beat it and come up with a good blog post idea, you can prepare. Aside from catching ideas for soon-to-be-published articles (first point in this post), you need a back-up plan.
One thing I do is copy and paste various headlines I discover while searching for content to retweet (see “16 Effective and Practical Strategies To Get More Retweets“). Just the headlines, you don’t need anything else. Then I cut them down to 3-4 words to leave just the basic idea.
After that, I add some notes to have a direction for the article. From that point on, a finished piece is a day away.
5. Feel Free to “Borrow” a Concept
Although not a great time-saver, another good idea for creating content is to use another article as a “backbone”.
Here you don’t confine yourself to the headline only and go through a couple of other procedures…
Here is what to do:
- Find an article that covers points you can relate to
- Aim for pieces not longer than 700-800 words
- Copy the full article and paste it in your word editor
- Research for additional information on the topic
- Delete introduction and ending lines
- Read the post thoroughly
- Cut the points you don’t agree to
- Come up with your own ones
- Leave only a couple of keywords in the paragraphs that you haven’t deleted
- Start writing!
- Don’t forget that adding images is important
- Come up with a title that gets shared and clicked
In the end you will have a blog post that is longer than the original piece and one that provides unique perspective along with much more additional details.
Do take the time to try out some of those techniques when you are stuck and unsure how to move on. They are helping me big time, so they will probably prove useful to you as well!
Now it’s your turn!
What strategies do you follow to produce a lot of ideas in a short period of time?
How do you go about turning them into articles?
I look forward to hearing your two cents!