Oh no! I have a blog post to write!
How did this happen? You have a blog post due and you have no idea what to write or if you have enough time to write it.
Chances are you have found yourself in this situation – I know I have.
When this happens, you find yourself scrambling to get the post done and hoping that you write something that is at least halfway decent.
Although you will have to work through it this time, there are ways you can save yourself in the future.
Set aside time to write
The best way to avoid the “surprise” of a due blog post is to schedule your blog writing into your week.
First, create an editorial calendar so you know:
- When your post is due
- What topic you need to write about
Once you do that, set aside a specific time each week that you will dedicate to writing your upcoming post.
How much time should you block off? That depends on how you write. Some people can write a blog post in 30 minutes; others take an hour to write a post. If you need more time, consider using the Pomodoro technique and break writing sessions into smaller, focused writing blocks.
The important thing is to know how much time you need and to set that time aside. (It’s a good idea to round up when blocking off time – if you finish early, you can move to your next project … or take a coffee break.)
Have ideas ready
Your editorial calendar should have topics, but you may have gaps in your calendar or you may have only included themes.
In these cases, it is helpful to have an idea arsenal. You can pull your content ideas from:
- Idea parking lot: Have a file where you save ideas as they come to you. Your ideas will be there when you need it.
- Headline list: Brainstorm a list of potential blog post headlines. Well-written headlines can give you a great start to a post.
- News: Pull from industry news. Share your insight on a hot topic in the industry.
Don’t get caught without a blog post.
Take steps now to save yourself headaches later. If you don’t already have an editorial calendar, create one now. Also, now is the time to create an idea parking lot and/or brainstorm a list of headlines.
Thank you for some really good tips!
Ha! Don’t we all have this issue :) You want to write something but your brain just takes a total unannounced vacation :). I usually just write down things on a notepad or on my iPhone and than finish the post later on in the day or the next day. Thanks for sharing these tips as well.
LinkedIn forums are a great way of getting ideas for blog content – if people are talking about it, you can blog about it. Even better, with any luck, you will get the for and against arguments from other people’s comments. Win-win.
Thank you for the comments everyone.
Craig, I didn’t even think about LinkedIn forums – which is funny since my last blog post was inspired by a LinkedIn discussion.
I take a week to write a short blog post … I schedule 5″ a day for my blog post. Monday, I select the topic from my idea file and start the document with a headline. Tues-Thurs I draft the document. Friday I polish and write the tags. It makes the process pretty painless that way.
Katherine, that is a wonderful strategy. Thanks for sharing!