When it rains, it pours, my friends.
In one day this week I wrote 5 blog posts – and this was a day that I worked full-time and volunteered after work.
How did I do it? Beyond being able to type quickly, I followed a simple structure.
I used a brainstorming framework
I followed the first step of Barry Davret’s framework from How I wrote 200 blog posts in 200 days, and created a content list. If you’re too lazy to click the link and read his article, a content list is a list of the stories you like to tell or the feelings you like to leave your readers with.
In my case, it started off awful but got better along the way. The unfiltered list is pictured below. Don’t judge too harshly. There may be some repeats or redundancies.
I can’t tell you how much this helped me. Just by laying out the types of stories I like to tell and the way I like to tell them (which I hope is helpful to you, the reader), ideas started to flow.
It’s as if every idea that was sitting in my head, stuck because I didn’t have the right framework or message to share, started to pour out.
I was writing down blog ideas left and right – half barely made sense – and it became easier to think “hey, I can write about these things.”
I took advantage of breaks in my day
I do work full-time, but like most jobs there were some breaks. I was thinking a lot about who I am and why I am doing this project, so I wrote about that. It was a simple post since I am already an expert in the topic. 1st article.
During one break, I was having a conversation with my coworker about our futures – our grand, big, happy days futures. I then thought about my project and how I had grandiose ideals for how famous I would be.
Only problem: I was so paralyzed at my grand ideas that I couldn’t get anything done. I thought about this topic more, talked to my coworker more (who kindly reminded me the difference between dreaming and reality), and then I wrote about that, too. 2nd article.
I got meta in my writing
Writing a lot is hard. Writing a lot of good articles is even harder. I won’t sit here and claim my stuff is all gold; sometimes you write a piece of crap, but it’s about the process and the system of writing frequently.
I’m not sure about you, but I used to write about one topic once and then be done with it. I shied away from writing another piece about the same topic because I thought that people wouldn’t read it. What I was missing, though, was utilizing different angles.
And how did I find different angles? I got sassy (it happens). And then I got meta.
One of my first posts was about my process in finding a blog/website builder to publish my posts on. 3rd article down. This was the hardest one to write.
It was a super frustrating process. I could barely find any Canadian companies to fill this need, and it was a real downer for the triumphant launch of the Great Canadian Tech Experiment.
So I wrote about that. Boom. 4th article.
I wrote about how Canadian companies don’t compete well in this space as they don’t have some of the core features I was looking for (native blogging capabilities – they all merged with WordPress and I figured why not just go to the source).
Getting even more annoyed at how hard it was to actually find these companies, I wrote about that. 5th article, thank you very much.
I wrote about how Canadian startups who do compete pretty well against the global dominant players are so bad at marketing that I could not even find them when searching for “Canadian [company type] companies.” Not a cute look.
How can you do it, too?
You’ll notice that I really only had to think of two ideas – finding a blogging platform and describing myself. The other 3 articles came from the original topic.
If you’re struggling to find new content ideas, consider writing about your experience while developing your initial content (or write about why you think you cannot brainstorm new content ideas). Either one helps you deepen personal understanding and gives you content along the way.
It could even get you out of the rut by helping you get the source of your stuck-ness. If you’re really lucky, that content could potentially help someone else going through the same problem.
Sounds like a good enough reason to me.