Well, this is one of the most important tune which keeps on rhyming and rhyming every second, every minute, every hour or everyday in the daily nitty-gritty of a blogger (whether you are a part-time, full time or occassional blogger).
WHY? – Understand What Sells
The bedrock of blogging is undeniably “writing/posting articles“; not just articles, but articles that will convince, persuade and attract the evergrowing virtual population. This will create an urge in your readers to come back to eat yet another wonderful article. And to write such type of articles, you will surely need “Ideas“.
Let me give you a more concrete analogy:
Consider a supermarket for instance. I think in your locality, there should be more than just one of them and in the best case scenario you might even find two of them very close with each other, and yet both of them do work fine, making good profit. Ever wonder and think why and how?
For the supermarket, the prime concern of its buyers is ITEMS. Not just any items (or products), but items that will urge buyers to come often, if not everyday!
Now, this gets us to our next thought, that is, “how” to do that?
HOW? – Think How To Sell
Each of those two supermarket knows that it has to come up with “ideas” of how to provide attractive items, keeping in mind that it has competitors just nearby. To do that, you will notice ideas like “buy one and get another free”, :”our item has an unbeatable price, if you find a better price elsewhere, come and claim one free!” and also most of the time these supermarkets will ALWAYS have something which the other will not provide, whether in terms of price, creativity, quality or quantity.
But the main thing is: To have the right idea, to sell the right stuff, to the right audience.
Let’s get back to blogging, how can we come up with wonderful ideas to attract readers and make them love our blog and create a feeling of “apartenance” to our blog? How can you bring the right idea?
While there are so many ways and quick tips to help you come up with wonderful ideas, I will first explore in detail, points that I consider to be more important to understand to us, bloggers (specially to new bloggers). I will begin with the “basement” and gradually climbing up to more useful tips. You will notice that I will go very deep inside each point I will mention. While it would have been very easy for me to just mention them briefly, I don’t find any fun or self-satisfaction with such quick approach. You will also find that each successive points is related to the previous ones, making them a complete process in themselves.
So prepare yourself for some deep thoughts and discussion (also please engage yourselves with us and discuss)
Let’s begin with two important approaches:
1) Have the right attitude – The constant thinking mind
First of all, ask yourself why are you blogging? If it is to earn some quick bucks online, then you better stop here!
Blogging is a philosophy and bloggers need to shape a certain behaviours and attitude. Bloggers blog because they are passionate and willing to spend time writing good informative and valuable stuffs for others to benefit first! Bloggers are eager to share! They are not selfish! Are you prepared to share your knowledge and experiences? If the answer is yes, congrats! You form part of the true meaning of being a blogger and you should be proud of it!
(What about the earning part? Common let’s face it, if in this process, after a big while, the blog earns the blogger some indirect money and fame, I don’t see why we have to blame him for that!)
Let’s clear one thing, can you play chess if you don’t like to think? No! Why? Because chess involves thinking and analysis in every single move. Similarly, you cannot blog correctly in the long run, if you don’t like to think.
Blogging involves a lot of thinking, analysis, observation and discussion. It requires constant thinking wherever you are; whether be it when you are eating, playing, working or watching tv. So, you have to develop the habit of thinking and asking questions to yourself. Excuses like “I cannot blog because I’m not able to come up with ideas” is a pretty lame excuse if you ask me. This is just because you are lazy to make your mind think! Think about it, am I right? (Now there are moments when really your mind can’t think, we will talk about this later). Nobody can inculcate this thinking attitude except yourself! Thinking, just like reading or writing, comes with constant effort and will. Infact, thinking is more natural and easy to do than reading or writing.. why not maximise this potential to your advantage? Instead of thinking about useless things, train your mind to think critically, analytically and creatively!
2) Reading and Interaction is crucial!
To be able to develop your analytical thinking, you need to read a lot. A lot? Not really! You need to read the right thing instead! When reading, quality is better than quantity. Learn to read some quality stuff. Read books or online material that have weight in terms of knowledge instead of craps or gossips or common daily stuffs (yes of course, once in a while it’s ok).. When you read an article, you have to feel you are gaining something. You have to feel that it is helping your mind to understand and see things better and probing your mind to think beyond!
Now that you like thinking and reading, it’s time to interact (or communicate)!
How? This is very easy since you have so many many online communities. But here also, you need to join communities which have substance. Also make sure you see that there are some experienced people around who can provide assistance and insights. This is crucial! A community with only newbies is not likely to do any good to you. You have to make sure the community is well balanced! Join communities centered around writing, blogging, online business and communities which will benefit on increasing your awareness on your niche..etc Examples of communities are blogcatalog, digital point forums..etc (There are so many, look around and see which ones best suit you! It is also a matter of taste.)
You’ve joined a community.. Very good? Not yet! You have to participate and communicate. Sitting around just idly or passively watching, will not work! Go ask questions, even if it is the silliest ones. Better be a fool for one day, than for your whole life! Everybody makes mistakes in the first steps, there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
With time, you will find yourself building some insight and getting the hang of how things are. So, now it is time to provide help to newbies.
3) Absorption Time
Now that you are making a good constant effort in thinking, reading and interacting. The next step is to allow your mind to digest all these activities.
There is a simple, but effective, approach to this process:
- a) Note down main points in a special notebook and re-read at a later time and try to make a recap about what you have read and understood. If you find that something is fading out, go back to your original online source and re-read and re-consolidate everything.
Let’s explain why you need this approach:
You see, when you are online and you are browsing so many pages, your mind will not be able to “store and save” all those information, simply because your mind is not a computer, is it? 😛
Therefore, whenever you come across a worthwhile article or line, take the habit of quickly noting them down in your special notebook (or whatever you use). This way, you make sure that you will not forget about important stuffs you came across, thereby also eliminating wastage of precious time and energy to search and re-read the same online article again and again. Another advantage to this, is that quick notes are more handy than the original online source.
The method of re-reading and re-thinking at a later time is very crucial. This time interval allows for better absorption of ideas and understanding in your mind. This is important for us, bloggers!
4) Regeneration of energy – Exercise and eat healthily to blog healthily
If you just keep on and on starring at your monitor doing all these things, your body will start to be tired; your eyes will be affected, you might run into small pains in your legs, at your back, in your hands..etc, just because you have been sitting for so long. The result is that your mind, your thinking genius which helps you blog, will gradually be less and less productive. Meaning, you will not be able to come up with ideas and to express them. (You remember last time I mentioned about “a moment when your mind cannot think“?)
Take frequent short breaks of 5 to 15 mins, or even more if needed.
What to do during this small period?
=> Go breeze some fresh air
=> Walk a bit around your house.. “move it up, move your body!” Do some light exercise.
For instance in my case, I love playing football, so I have a small balloon which I always keep in my house. Whenever I take a short break, I just run around with it, do some tricks and juggle with it. I never get tired playing and I always try innovative tricks with the ball. If you like weight lifting, do it lightly during frequent breaks. If you are an athletic person, that’s a big advantage since you will be very creative about how and what type of exercise you will need during frequent breaks.
The idea here is to do something which will move your body and make your mind relaxed.
=> Take a nap. Well, I will not exercise in all the breaks I take each time, I will at times just jump on my bed and take a nap (a short sleep or doze). Naps are also very good in helping your mind absorb things and also help your body regenerate its strength.
=> Drink a lot of water. Keep a bottle of water handy on your table and drink it often making it appear as if it is your “tonic”. Drinking a lot of water will also make you go to the toilet often and thereby making you leave your chair and move your body frequently 😉
=> Eat the right food. This will help your body stay healthy and when your body is healthy, your mind will work better.
6. PSM – Plan, Manage And Schedule Your Blogging Activity
To help you understand, I will take my personal experience with this point.
Initially, I used to blog only when I was motivated and when I felt in the mood to write something. But this proved to be a bad method since I saw myself blogging very rarely with at times producing only like 3 articles per month. And at times, I saw myself also blogging in excess – see my Archive Page to observe this trend. This eratic behaviour is not desirable in the long run, you have to blog in a consistent fashion; whether every week, every friday, only on weekends or everyday.
What I want to say here is to spot when you can blog with a free mind, on a day or days when you can only do one thing, that is blogging. In my case, I spotted my blogging time to be specially on saturdays and/or sundays. During this time interval, I concentrate only on doing one thing, blog. When I’m done with this day objective, then I go on to the next objective, in my case coding my online game.
7) Note Down Every Single Idea
The biggest mistake a blogger can make is to think of a brilliant idea and saying I will get back to it later when I blog. This “later time” is your idea killer. You will not be in the same state of mind as in that perfect time when that wonderful idea came into your mind.
To prevent idea leakage, do the following:
- a) Use a notebook – In real life, keep a notebook handy and jot down your ideas. When on pc, use programs like NotePad, WritePad or whatever you like to note and save all your ideas
- b) Emailing – When I’m work, at times it happens that an idea just flash across my mind, so I write everything on notepad and at the end of the day I just email it to myself. Once at home I have it handy.
- c) Recording – Some people like recording ideas. You don’t need to buy a recorder nowadays, most of the mobile phones do provide this feature. So those who like recording, just use your mobile 🙂
- d) A Moleskin – A handy framework which is aimed only at one thing: “help you note down and organise your ideas”
8) Put What You Noted, Into Actions
Just noting down everything and leaving aside, does no good. Most of the time, it might be easy to say that we have everything noted and we can surely get back later on. This is another mistake. Use your Planned Blogging Time, to put your jotted thoughts into action by developing them into a full-fledged article.
9) Write Ideas AT once
Whenever possible, do write down your ideas into a flowing article at once. Because the best time to actually come up with a good post, is the time when a wonderful idea hits your mind. This is the perfect time, why not capitalize on it?! You will find that writing things in this way, will definetly bring you the best of articles.
10) Inspiration And Motivation
Writing, just like any other passion that you have, can be triggered by inspiration and motivation. Analyse yourself and see what are the sources of inspiration and motivation. For some people these sources might be another successful blogger, a book author, an actor, music or just sitting in a place where you are in contact with nature and clamness.
Find it and see wonderful ideas emerging like flowers’ scent.
That’s it, we have a full blown set of approaches and methods to help you come up with wonderful ideas. Hopefully if you follow them, you will surely see a positive growth in your blogging trend.
Is It Over?
This series of coming up with the right idea is over, but keep hooking we still have to analyse how to bring the right stuff to the right audience.