Lee Odden

Reader Poll: Blogger’s Block

reader poll

Blogs are great marketing tools, but if you’re running or working in a successful business it can be tough to find the time. Hence, this week’s reader poll:

What do you do when you can't think of something or you're not motivated to blog?

  • Just don't blog (51%, 46 Votes)
  • Repost news of the day with your commentary (21%, 19 Votes)
  • Avoid the situation by scheduling content in advance (pre-write posts) (13%, 12 Votes)
  • Run a poll about how to deal with blogger's block (10%, 9 Votes)
  • Ask a co-worker to write a post (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Repost links to popular posts (2%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 90

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Are there other tactics you’ve used to create content for your blog that are not on the list above? Does a blog lose credibility if posts are not frequent or if posts are not lengthy/articles?

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Comments

  1. Another way I keep the bloggers block at bay is by posting links to new sites I’ve found or been told about that may be interesting to the readers :).

    Another thing I do is post links to sites that have recently blogged about or mentioned you. “Giving props” as some call it.

    Or I find a new online service or software in my industry to review.

  2. “Not motivated to blog”….huh? I don’t understand, does that actually happen to people? 😉

    I like all of your suggestions.

    BTW, what happened to the math comment plugin? Too many people getting 5+4 wrong? 🙂

  3. Another solution is to read a book. Seriously, I get tons of ideas for blogging from business books that I read. Many times they are lists that I reprint and add my own comments to, other times they just spark thoughts and ideas.

    I usually take thee ideas and set them up as drafts and when I need something to write about then it go through these and attack them one at a time.

  4. Great ideas Wade. In fact, we’ve turned the first suggestion you’ve made into a link bait effort that has paid off in spades called the Big list of search marketing blogs.

    Hey st0n3y, that’s a great idea. I know Aaron Wall does that often too with books he’s read.

  5. Hey Andy, we took off the math thingy ’cause it was messing with one of the plugins or widgets.

    I actually saw a math captcha on another blog that had two or three steps. Add, subtract then multiply. Maybe we should start using world problems!

  6. Although its not always easy to think of topics to blog about, I always try to find something different in order to avoid the ‘Don’t blog at all’ option, then again if you want to provide your visitors with quality content it doesnt always mean you should post just to know you have ‘blogged’ that day 🙂

  7. In local based search it is easy. Pick up a local paper, or better yet, a community flier. There is usually a ton of great information contained that won’t see the light of day until you push it.

    A trade magazine is also a great deal of help. Some of the insider articles that review or discuss topics that are so specific to an industry can be a tremendous way to light the fire. Again, might not see the light of day until your push.

    If you are writing about SEO… Good luck Lee. Neither of the above cut it.

    roblaw

  8. Igor M. (BizMord Blog) says:

    Avoid the situation by scheduling content in advance (pre-write posts)

    I thought this would be the most popular choice. I notice that most bloggers have at least 10 started posts in their draft folder to be finished. Every time an idea comes to mind, I write a quick title and few words to remind me of the idea and then I wait when I have time and need to finish that post.

    Reporting on news is a bit different. There you have to be one of the first to do so. If the news is relevant and important enough for others to read … you start typing at a speed of 100 words per minute.

  9. I think there’s definitely a friction between being consistent with your posts (aka daily) and relevant with your posts (aka interesting). It can be so easy to post crap, which might fix the problem of “What am I going to do today?”, but it might cause the reader to go “This blog just isn’t worth it anymore.”

  10. I’ve gone through pretty much all you mentioned above except for the poll.

    It usually depends on the mood that I am in when the block hits me. For me block is sometimes more than just about not finding anything to write about. At times, I just don’t feel like making a new post… then I think about my visitors.

  11. Add to the list: participate in or create a meme (and here’s one if you need it: http://essentialkeystrokes.com/the-reasons-i-blog/).

    I tend to use a combination of techniques as needed.

  12. I am new to blogging, what I am doing right now is finding news on other sites and reposting them, adding my own commentaries, but applying it to the subject I am into, I have a blog at: http://www.seopractices.wordpress.com, my main subject is SEO Practices, so I try to look for seo news which are talking about them.

  13. I’m a 1-2x per week blogger due to time constraints. My posts are often commenting on industry-specific surveys or newly-published statistics. I stay on top of (my) key industry sites like MarketingProfs, Sherpa, Emarketer, SEMPO et al for ideas. When I first started our company’s blog, I admit, I had a bunch of pre-loaded posts ready so that I could get out the gate pretty strong and not push a blog out that remained the land of tumbleweeds till I found time to publish a new post. 😉

  14. Hey Kim, I know what you mean. Sometimes that well of inspiration is dry and sometimes it’s overflowing. When in doubt, write about good things others are doing in the industry.

  15. Kim Krause Berg (cre8pc) says:

    I start having major guilt attacks when I don’t blog for a few days. But, if I force a blog entry, it doesn’t come out well and risks being boring or a waste of someone’s time. So I wait until the inspiration comes, or if it doesn’t, there’s almost always something to point people to that’s way more interesting than what I might have come up with on my own. I have no problem at all promoting other people and their work 🙂

  16. I keep a list of blog ideas as they pop into my head…seems everyday there are moments of inspiration from unlikely places (lunch room chatter, rants about clients, philosophical debates during status meetings). So this may be an obvious suggestion, but keep a notebook with you always so you can jot down the brainstorms as they come.

    My challenge is not necessarily running out of ideas, but making my blog a priority above all the other things I have to do each day. (I’m guessing I’m not alone in this.)

  17. So far, I’ve just fought through the blocks. Or I’ll comb my reader for ideas for a post that I find interesting. Sometimes that works. Today I posted the best ideas I’ve found to stop writer’s block now.

  18. Leonard Chen says:

    In most cases, I’ll prefer to stop at where I’m at and return to it later, probably the next day or so when I gather the points that’s going to come up in the post.

    This happens quite often actually, especially after a long day.

  19. It’s an interesting question. I’ve been experimenting with a tool to help with blogger’s block: TagMuse. It fetches the popular searches on Technorati and displays in bold those keywords which fewer bloggers have tagged. Pick one and TagMuse will find related tags. Give it a whirl next time you’re stuck. 😉

  20. I use a combination of things:
    a) write down post ideas in advance
    b) write book reviews
    c) review my delicious bookmarks and see if there is something worth talking about
    d) read a lengthy or very technical article and write about it in more simple terms
    e) sometimes I write long, comprehensive articles so I go back to them and see if it’s possible to write about only a part of it.

Trackbacks

  1. eBuzzMaster » Blog Archive » Blogger’s Block - and Time says:

    […] Apologies for not writing in the past two weeks. On receiving Lee Odden’s TopRankBlog article about blogger’s block, I realized that this is, in part, what has been happening. I love a clever article – and his to poll readers about how they approach writer’s block left me chuckling. […]

  2. SEO 2.0 | says:

    […] Many bloggers write about the so called bloggers block. It’s a situation where a blogger just does not know what to write or lacks the motivation to do so. I have a different problem most of the time, it’s the exact opposite of bloggers block, I like to call it “inspiration overflow“. Basically it’s about having too many ideas and wanting to write all the time. I just can’t handle it. […]