What to Write About When You Don’t Know What to Write About

Ever had writer’s block?  Here are 8 great ways to come up with content when you’re feeling a bit stuck.

You’ll find this post especially useful if you’re getting ready for the January 2012 Ultimate Blog Challenge.

Guest Post by Debra Jason from Write Direction

As the new year approaches it seems that, from Facebook to Twitter, many people are writing about their goals or asking what others have planned for 2012. Me? During the last week, I found myself faced with writer’s block and wondered what to write about. So, I thought, “why not write about what to write about?”

Whether you’re posting blogs on your Web site, tips on your Facebook Fan Page or writing a newsletter, coming up with fresh content on a consistent basis can be a challenge.

Here are eight helpful ideas to help charge your battery and get your creative juices flowing. Take note of the ones that resonate with you and by the time you’re done reading, I hope you’ll have a great list to keep you going throughout 2012.

  1. Success stories. Do you have a product or service (old or new) that generates great results for your customers? Share them with others. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for feedback on their experiences as well. Then, write about them and let others know the good news.
  2. “How to” features. Most people like knowing they’re going to get a finite set of tips, guidelines or secrets. With this in mind, you can write about 10 smart ways to lose weight without even trying, 12 pointers for writing killer headlines, 4 ways to get great results from your Realtor, etc.
  3. Company information. Choose stories that acknowledge your achievements and lend credibility to your business. When customers/prospects read about how others respect you, they begin to look at you as an expert in your field.
  4. People stories. People like reading about people – especially if it’s someone who they know personally. It could be about someone who did something outstanding to help your community . . . an employee who excelled in his/her role . . . a customer who received an honor or won an award.
  5. Related interest stories. Is there something happening in current events that relates to your business (i.e. the economy, sustainability, solar energy, recycling, etc.)? Write about that.
  6. Frequently asked questions. You see them on many Web sites. Why not compile a list of those questions you receive from customers or prospects? You may find you have enough to write about for a while.
  7. Glossary. Are there words within your industry that need some explanation? While they may be common place to you, perhaps your audience needs some clarification before they really grasp their meaning.
  8. Journaling. As you may have discovered, some folks simply write about what’s going in their lives. I’ve seen posts about weight loss and fitness training written by Internet marketing professionals and business coaches. The world of social media has made it possible for us to share more of ourselves on a daily business and readers are responding positively to this. They like getting to know you on a more personal level.

So, what are you going to write about next? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Whether you’re going to write a blog post, article or a simple Tweet, I look forward to reading it.

Debra Jason is a seasoned copywriter with 25+ years of experience in the field of direct marketing. A recipient of the Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association’s “Creative Person of the Year” award, she started her business, The Write Direction, in 1989. When you’re struggling to find the right words to express your passion, Debra converts your ideas into words that transform your prospects into loyal, raving fans. Click here to connect with Debra and get a free How-To marketing report. Or, follow her Fan Page at http://facebook.com/writedirection

Photo Credit: dglider/StockFresh

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  1. Hi Michelle,
    I seldom if ever get writers block but I did the other day. I was completely stumped as to what to write. I had to break out some of my books until I found something interesting to write about.

    I think my brain may be in need of a vacation. :)

    Take care…
    Justin Mazza recently posted… How Does Acupuncture WorkMy Profile

    1. Sometimes a vacation is the right answer. :)

      Books are awesome for inspiration. Good reading almost always helps me get past writer’s block, too.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Make a Difference: The Mocha ClubMy Profile

  2. Hello Michelle

    There just come a point in our writer’s life where we lost word to write. I encounter this many times and I just take a few moments to relax not doing something and then something will just spark up as if in middle of somewhere word flow and that is the moment where I grab my pen and start to write before transferring it to my computer.

    Wish you all the best this coming new year..

    Ruth Sayson recently posted… Should You Buy Solar Deck Lights?My Profile

    1. Yep, it happens. A little break can do wonders. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How Determined Are You to Make it Work?My Profile

  3. ill keep that point list in mind, im often at a loss. At least there are more avenues than a creative slump
    Doug recently posted… Custom CMS – When do I need one?My Profile

  4. Debra, thanks for sharing these ideas. I’ve found two & six both work really well for me when I get stuck. Which are your favorites?
    Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Could They Erase YOU From the Internet Tomorrow?My Profile

  5. @Michelle, like you, I find that viewers really enjoy & value from How-To Features (#2) as well as answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Every so often, they also respond to more personal posts (#8) that resonate with something in their lives.

    @Justin, our brains definitely need a vacation away from the computer. And, like @Ruth suggested, taking a break can be a good thing that brings inspiration when you least expect it.

    @Michelle, thanks so much for sharing my post with your readers. Here’s to everyone’s writing success.

  6. Thanks for the post, and the ideas! It is nice to see that I’m not the only one that is occasionally at a loss for words – which seems hard to believe at times but does happen. Though a break almost always helps me, sometimes, the break feels too long and I need some inspiration. Thanks for the ideas.
    Tawnee recently posted… Homeschooling Statistics – How Do We Compare?My Profile

    1. I think it probably hits all of us, once in a while. :)

  7. Hi Michelle… I think when the moment comes that you wanted to write yet there is no ideas flowing in your mind can be really frustrating. What I do is relax a little so I can have fresh ideas.
    Diana Grant recently posted… The Palette CondoMy Profile

  8. I need to break the mind out of the rut on occasion, so what I do is either write down six story ideas (no matter how unappealing), roll a dice and match the result to one idea that I must write about until it’s finished.

    An easier way is to use a story generator.

  9. Sometimes I think it’s because we are bombarded by so many things and information overload we may feel that others would not be interested is reading more. I know I’ve felt that way. What often helps is to give my take on the topic so I may choose to present both views or just mine. But it can be challenging!

    I’m still debating on participating in the challenge because I write for three blogs but I’m formulating topics I could write on at the end of which I can use as an ebook or even a published book.

    Thanks for the tips in the post, Debra and Michelle.

  10. Michelle, your blog has great info’s I will come and visit often.

  11. Great discussion on ways to overcome writers’ block. One technique I use involves going for a run/walk with my Sony IC voice recorder. I just let my mind wander and enjoy the exercise. Invariably fresh ideas begin to creep into my mind. I record these for later follow up.

    Ellie recently posted… Treating Panic AttacksMy Profile

  12. @Diana, @Yvonne and @Ellie, thanks so much. I love your idea @Ellie about going out with a recorder.

    I was in yoga class tonight and an idea came to me – it wasn’t an idea for a blog post, but a helpful one for a client. Having a recorder in yoga class probably wouldn’t have gone over real well, but I did remember the idea when I got out of class. :)

    You just never know where the inspiration will come from. Happy new year everyone. Here’s to your writing success.

  13. And this one! :)
    Jo Harrison recently posted… Stuck for Blog Ideas?My Profile

  14. […] coming up with blog ideas are Michelle Schaeffer’s 50 Article/Blog Title Ideas and also What to Write About When You Don’t Know What to Write About.  Another good resource is the video by Ace Inspire 40 Blog Post Ideas in 5 Minutes as well as […]

  15. Interestingly enough these tips also work when looking for what to write about for your book.
    Isn’t that cool?
    Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D. recently posted… Something Bothering You? Maybe You Can Create the SolutionMy Profile

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