We all get writers block once in a…. Uh…. Ummm…While. Yes, once in a while. Often the issue isn’t what to say, the issue is about what to say. Here are some structures you can use to post online. These work as status updates, blog posts, tweets, etc. We’ve stressed the importance of blogging and using a calendar. These ideas will help you focus your writing around reusable structures so you can get into a productive flow.
- Weekly columns- By creating a weekly column you build consistency and a sub-audience (people who come just for that article). Topics can be anything including the ideas listed below. Develop a format that is easy to follow and replicate then add new content each week or month. Think of it like a TV or radio show. The format is the same each time so readers know exactly what to expect. All that changes is the focus of conversation.
- Questions- Ask for questions from you audience. They can come from Twitter, blog comments or even other brands. Try to identify common questions and develop your own answers. One great source for this is conference agendas. Even if you can’t attend the event, you can garner ideas from their agenda. You may also want to follow the official hashtag from the show as well (this is a great alternative to going to the show). Pick the top 1 – 5 questions about the topic and answer them. You should have enough content for a while.
- Links to industry resources- Each industry has a few loud sources of news. By that I mean they have a large audience. They may have annual industry reports, whitepapers, or news. You can use these for yourself in interesting ways. For example, Internet Retailer magazine publishes the Internet 500 guide. It is a very detailed report about the top ecommerce companies and annual trends. There are many nuggets we can use in this guide over the year. We can add our commentary on their blog posts, infographics and more. Sharing a link to it is helpful and good for a quick bit of content but adding your thoughts to it will quickly become a blog post or even a whitepaper.
- Interviews- This is a great way to generate content. One suggestion is to have a set of standard questions you can ask. Create your list of 5 questions and distribute them to everyone you’d want to interview. You’ll have enough content to last you for months. Again, this fits well into the weekly column idea.
- Humor- Funny always works. Everyone has different tastes in humor but you can find ways so get laughs online. Comics, funny images, memes, etc all work well. You can repost other items that you find funny or add commentary to it. To avoid saying something that may not be funny, you can post an image and ask your audience to caption or title it for you. This generates interaction as well.
One suggestion we heard was to stick to a weekly routine such as, gather ideas on Monday, draft posts on Wednesday, refine and schedule them on Friday. Creating habits can be a huge help. Leave a comment below with your best tips.
Thanks to Flickr user miss_pupik for the image.