It's finally time. You have your computer opened, and the cursor blinks up at you from the blank word document. Now all you need to do is write your blog, but the minute you raise your fingers to start typing, you feel as if your mind is empty, as if suddenly wiped blank. This, dear readers, is writer's block, and it happens to everyone who has ever put pen to paper or finger to keyboard. Though it may feel debilitating at times, you need to be able to overcome writer's block if you ever want to have a successful blog.
Half the battle of blogging and fighting writer's block is coming up with engaging topics. What do you do when you’re fresh out of the good ones? Try these pointers for great blog posts.
We would never tell you to steal from someone, but borrowing is another matter. As someone in the industry, you probably have a running list of favorite publications, books and blogs that you routinely turn to each week or month for the latest updates. You might have even seen stories or topics that you think you could do better or ones that you flat-out don't agree with
We know stealing is bad, so don’t copy from other blogs. Just borrow. Borrow their ideas or topics and transform them to make each your own. If an article is arguing in favor of one trend, argue against it. If you feel like an article missed something or was unclear, address it in a blog post of your own.
Do an Interview
You probably have a long list of designers and manufacturers that you enjoy. They're the first stops in your showroom tour when you get to High Point Market or Lightovation, and you never miss one of their seminars at markets or new portfolio shots when they're added to the designer's website. If you find a certain interior, lighting or product designer fascinating, chances are your readers will too. Even if you are a designer, speaking with another designer with a different style can be enlightening to readers - and to you as well!
Contact the designer or company and ask to do a short interview. You’ll get the chance to ask all the questions you’ve been holding in, and you’ll be taking your readers behind the scenes. Most designers and companies have contact information on their websites, so start by reaching out to those addresses. If you think time will be an issue, offer to send no more than five short questions and ask the designer to answer them. You may not always get responses, but designers usually enjoy talking about their work, so it's worth trying.
No industry is exempt from frustrations and annoyances. If you work in a showroom, maybe you're tired of getting the same two questions from consumers. If you're a designer, maybe you have clients that consistently have the wrong ideas about how to incorporate colors into their rooms. These annoyances show a lack of understanding, which means they're teaching opportunities for you.
What makes you annoyed or angry can sometimes lead to great blog posts because chances are if it bothers you, other people feel the same. Now your blog becomes an opportunity to turn an annoyance or pet peeve into something positive that others can use. This, of course, doesn't mean that you'll never get the question again, but the next time you do, you can answer and then refer people to your blog for more information. This will help build your following and encourage online connections.
What do you think is the hardest part of blogging? Share your thoughts with us!