Break Out of Blogger Content Creation Jail

Have you ever felt chained to your blog? Or like you’re in content creation jail?

Even if you really love blogging, it can get tedious if you’ve got to sit down every day and publish a blog post.  So what can we do to give ourselves some freedom from daily content creation?

First, remember that you don’t need to publish every day to be a successful blogger!  Yes, during the Ultimate Blog Challenge we encourage daily blogging — but that’s for a specific length of time and as an exercise to really jump start or recharge your blogging.  My personal goal is 2-4 new posts a week (when it’s not a challenge month).

Second, there are techy tricks and creative strategies we can use to keep consistent content without being tied to our blogs.

Here are 10 of my favorite ways to break out of that prison and keep sharing fresh content on my blog.

1.  Learn to Love the “Schedule” Feature.

If you’re blogging with WordPress you can easily write posts in advance and schedule them to go “live” at the date and time of your choice with the scheduling feature.  Here’s a step by step video: How to Schedule Blog Posts in WordPress.

I wrote this post on Saturday, July 28th but you won’t be reading it until Monday, July 30th or later because I’ve used the schedule feature.

2.  Start with Templates.

This is a “Top 10”  or “10 Tips” style post.  I chose the headline and format before I started blogging.  It made this post much easier to write.

Here are some free blog post (and article writing) templates you’ll find helpful:

3.  Invite Guest Bloggers.

You don’t have to write all of your content by yourself!  Bring in your colleagues and friends to help.

Brainstorm other topics your readers would be interested in and then brainstorm a list of who you’d like to have guest blog — then match ’em up and start sending invitations.

4.  Use EzineArticles.com to Find Content.

One of my favorite strategies is to search sites like EzineArticles.com for topics or people I’d love to feature on my blog.

Here are some articles I’ve shared that came from EzineArticles.com:

Just go search for your topic and you’ll find lots of possible blog posts just waiting for you to share.  Step by step this is how  I do it (with screenshots of what you’re looking for).

5.  Bring in Regular Contributors.

One step beyond featuring guest bloggers from time to time is to use regular contributors.  CWAHM.com uses this strategy effectively.  Each of their contributors shares 2 posts a month on a specific area of expertise.

Could a similar strategy work for your blog?  Is there someone you could bring in once or twice a month consistently to share on a topic your readers would love?

6.  Create Series.

Have you seen Wordless Wednesday floating around the blogosphere?  There are lots of ways you can create a series for your own blog.  What about an inspirational post every weekend?  Or a “fun” post every Friday?  An infographic one day a week?  A question and answer (Q&A) day?  Video blog day?

If you know that every Tuesday you’re going to share a video, you can sit down and create your next 3 or 4 Tuesday posts in advance!

7.  Incorporate Videos.

It’s easy to share videos from YouTube or TED.

Here’s how to share a YouTube video.

Here’s how to share a TED video.

8.  Repurpose Content.

What do you already have that you can use as a blog post, or turn into a post with some editing?  How about these content types…

Written Content:

  • newsletter articles for your ezine or list
  • articles for reprint you’ve shared on other sites
  • your FAQ page
  • customer welcome kit
  • instruction sheets
  • forum posts
  • autoresponder series
  • ebook (for sale or free)
  • short report (great for getting list opt-ins)
  • press release
  • interview

Video Content:

  • you tube videos of you on camera
  • you tube video of a slide show with narration
  • webinars of your content

Audio Content:

  • audio blogs
  • teleseminars
  • short audio tip series

Social Networking Content:

  • Facebook fan page content
  • Facebook profile notes
  • Tweets
  • LinkedIn discussions

Image Content:

  • slide shows
  • infographics

9.  Share a Visual.

And while we’re on the idea of slide shows and infographics… the web is flooded with amazing infographics on every topic under the sun!

Find some you can share on your blog: 3 places to find infographics you can share.

10.  Start with PLR.

PLR = private label rights

PLR is (usually) written content that you purchase which you can then use as your own.  A great way to use it is as a “jumping off” or “brainstorming” starting point.  It can save you time on research and give you a great outline for your blog content.

Here’s a fantastic video that explains more about how it works: http://youtu.be/d190qWOCMO0

Your Turn

There’s my 10 suggestions.  What do YOU do to make it easier to keep up with your blog?  Do any of these 10 tips work well for you or have you discovered other secrets to share?

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18 Comments

  1. Hi Michelle,

    My most useful and motivating tool is your blog. You always overdeliver when you offer a wide array of ideas or in-depth tutorials on timely topics. .

    I have a string of drafts waiting to be finished and published. What gets in the way of those is my favorite technique, piggybacking off the news or major events. I also like featuring TED videos on compelling and related topics.

    When you can create great content and a alluring title, as you’ve done with this post, it’s a win-win.
    Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D. recently posted… 10 Ways to Market Your Book: Think Outside the BookstoreMy Profile

    1. Thanks Flora, title creation is an art I’m still working on. :)

      I love TED videos, too! So much great content there.

      I haven’t done much piggybacking on the news. Have you seen a bump in search engine traffic from it? I know I’ve heard from other bloggers that it can be really effective for traffic.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Ways to Connect With Your Blog ReadersMy Profile

  2. Thanks for your tips, as an artist i find it difficult to marketing my art. My blog did okay with the challence I received this month more than 1000 hits. Thanks for sharing
    coby lange recently posted… Some new treasuresMy Profile

    1. Awesome, Coby! Glad to hear the challenge helped with traffic for you. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Ways to Connect With Your Blog ReadersMy Profile

  3. Every one of these tips is very helpful. I’m all too familiar with being in a blog rut. I’ve finally started writing ahead instead of creating blog posts the night before. Although I do like the rush of adrenaline to finish a post before the morning!

    I also pay closer attention to the events around me. Even my friends and family have commented a few times, “What just happened would make a good blog post!”

    I’m going to ask more bloggers to contribute to my site. It’s good to get outside opinions and it will give me a short break. Blogging is harder than it seems, but these tips are going to make blogging a bit easier for me. Thanks, Michelle!
    Lisa Kanarek recently posted… All Dressed Up: Western StyleMy Profile

    1. There’s something to be said for working under deadlines. I know I get a LOT more done when I’ve got a hard deadline than a soft one (or none at all).

      That’s awesome that friends and family see blogging opportunities. I’ve been tempted to pick up the t-shirt that says, “I’m blogging this.” hee hee

      I love bringing in contributors and guest bloggers — it gives me a break and gives my readers new information and voices to learn from. Win win!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Is the Cheshire Cat Your Marketing Consultant?!My Profile

  4. I have yet to take advantage of ezine articles, which is probably not a good practice. I have been recycling old stories to stay current. I will start using this.

    1. Recycling can be a good strategy, too, Marcie. :) When you’ve been blogging a while you end up with great content sitting in the archives.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Ways to Connect With Your Blog ReadersMy Profile

  5. Thank you so very much for such an informative post – that’s so easy to read and cottons no jargon. For a beginner blogger such as us here at Chasing the Donkey HQ – it’s VERY MUCH appreciated.
    Chasing the Donkey recently posted… All things Croatian Part 1My Profile

    1. Glad this was helpful. Thanks for commenting.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Ways to Connect With Your Blog ReadersMy Profile

  6. These are great tips to keep the blog posts coming!

    I’d like to add a caveat to #9, Share a Visual. Make sure you’re not infringing copyright. Infographics are great to share if they provide (and you use) an embed code. Most bloggers are not aware that whoever publishes something online automatically holds copyright to it – so it’s not OK to just download images for your blog, unless permission is given, and you comply with attribution requirements.

    Thanks again for the great tips!
    Louise Myers recently posted… When is the Best Time to Tweet? [infographic]My Profile

    1. Hey Louise, you’re right. One of the hottest posts on my blog was “I Can *Borrow* a Copy of That, Right?” ( https://www.michelleshaeffer.com/i-can-borrow-a-copy-of-that-right/2011/06/14/ ) and I tweet it out pretty often in an attempt to reach more people with that info because it’s never safe to assume it’s okay to copy things. Thanks for mentioning that issue.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Ways to Connect With Your Blog ReadersMy Profile

  7. This is a post that I’m going to book mark. These tips are very useful. I have done Ted and YouTube. For a while, I was on an Infographic posting frenzy. I did Affirmation Fridays, even though affirmations is not my niche, they received the most hits. Hmm, maybe, there’s a clue I’m overlooking.

    Presently, I’m working on getting guest bloggers but your suggestion for having regular contributors is an awesome idea.

    Thanks a mil Michelle
    Adalia John recently posted… Words Are PowerfulMy Profile

    1. Interesting! I’ve had a similar experience, Adalia. The posts that get lots of attention here tend to be the more inspirational/motivation once even though I don’t necessarily consider that my thing… I think there’s a hunger for being inspired and uplifted — for leadership.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Let’s Try a Different Kind of ChallengeMy Profile

  8. Great suggestions here Michelle. If you are blogging for financial reasons it is important to love your blog and never to feel imprisoned by it. This post will help many of us to stay focused on the end goal.
    Neil Butterfield recently posted… Do kids need supplements?My Profile

    1. Yep, when we lose our enthusiasm it’s tough to keep blogging. So it’s good to change up strategies and try different things from time to time and get a little break.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 8 Reasons You Want to Grab My Favorite Plugin NowMy Profile

  9. First, I LOVE the title — clearly, many of us get that feeling! I’ll definitely put many of these suggestions to good use. Question on Tip 4: Do you think there’s too much reposting/retweeting going on out there in the blogosphere? Are we all just saying the same things, or is there actual marketing value in so much repetition?
    Erin Larson, Socialot.com

    1. I think some of it really comes down to audience. My audience is different from the original author of articles I’m sharing so unless there’s a LOT of overlap, my readers have probably never seen the content before. :) So I do think if we’re careful what and when we share content from others it can definitely be of value to our readers.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 8 Reasons You Want to Grab My Favorite Plugin NowMy Profile

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