Writing a blog may seem like a good idea until you realize that you’ve made a commitment to producing content on a regular basis.

It can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve found that the biggest block to writing is my expectation that I have to produce blog posts that meet some undefined criteria I have created for myself.  When I first started nothing met my expectations, and that’s how much I posted – nothing.

Over time I’ve figured out some ways to get past the blocks.

  1. It’s good enough. Now is the time to get over making everything be the best you can make it. The internet changes so quickly that anything that is time sensitive can’t wait.  It’s easy to spend time fixing something only to discover that while you’ve been working, it’s become less relevant.

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2. Nobody is looking at what you write that closely. When you talk about publishing in the context of a printed book or magazine there is permanence that doesn’t happen online. While it’s true that nothing ever disappears, it’s very easy to make changes and edit your work if you need to.

3.  If you can have a conversation you can write a blog post. This is probably the easiest way to find inspiration and a topic.  Just imagine having a conversation with someone about something that they have a question about, or you are interested in.

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 4.  Capture your ideas when you have them.  I keep a list in Evernote, but you could just as easily carry index cards or a little spiral notebook with you.  I often dictate notes right into my Evernote account with my phone. Another option is to use something like the Dragon App for the iPhone  or Android.  You can dictate a short note, the app will transcribe it, and then you can email it to yourself (or to your Evernote account.)

5.  Posts don’t have to be written. You can post a collection of photos, images, or a video.  Video is especially good for SEO. If you tag your video with keywords and phrases, and post it on YouTube you can easily rank higher than you would with a written post on the same topic.

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6.  Curating content is as valuable as creating it. There is so much information available that it can become like background noise. By using your expertise to discover the best resources on your topic and then sharing it you are providing a valuable service to others who may not be able to make the same distinctions you can, or just don’t have time to do it.

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7.  Don’t save your posts for a special occasion. When you write a good post it can be tempting to save it for another time when it will have greater impact. The problem is that it isn’t doing you any good if nobody can see it. A good post, that’s optimized for SEO will bring people to your website.

I have a tag in Evernote (and a folder on my computer) called “posts-started.”  Posts end up there for two reasons. One is when I get an idea for a post and write some notes or an outline to remind me about what I was thinking. The other posts are ones that are almost done, but abandoned before they were finished.  Unless I am really stuck, I’ve learned that its better to push through and finish, because its hard to come back with renewed excitement to finish them.

What tricks do you use to get past writer block?

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