Last week fellow blogger Ha asked the following questions on her Living Libra blog: “How do you guys come up with topics to write about? How do you guys also find the time to write?”
I wrote a pretty long comment about my blog writing habits and idea generation, hoping it might help her, then I realised there might be others who have the same problem. So I decided to expand on my comment as a blog post, and hope that it will help anyone with their blogging problem! 😀
How Often to Blog?
I believe this is a personal preference! Sure, many of us would like to have the ability to post a post full of content every single day (myself included), but not all of us have the time, motivation, ideas or all of the above to do so. Those who do post every day are really incredible!
I think it’s important for us to find our own right posting rate – too little and we feel sad, too often and we’d end up burnt out.
My Post Publishing Rate
I set a soft deadline to post weekly, or bi-weekly if I have more to write. While I can write on a daily basis, I can’t publish a post at the same rate – such a frequent deadline is a bit too stressful for me to be productive. I prefer to go at my own pace and take a few days to write and refine a post before I put it up. 🙂
Also, the schedule feature is my blogging best friend! I could have a post finished in advance and schedule it the same time every week, and that gives me plenty of time to revise it if I want to. 😀
Finding Time to Write?
This is usually tricky for me, because I’m the type who needs to sit down and concentrate, so writing a sentence between tasks doesn’t quite work for me. I try to write when I can find at least half an hour when I’m uninterrupted, such as:
- Solo lunch time
- After work and before / after cooking dinner
- After dinner and before winding down to sleep
- While waiting for others
- When work is slow
Though during those times I usually end up catching up on reading instead! And it doesn’t help that I have “Squirrel!” syndrome or that I play an online game with my husband, which is really a time blackhole. 😅
Still, considering I haven’t missed a published post in 7 weeks, I must be doing something right! 😀
What to Blog About?
I’m a hobby novelist and I have a principle when it comes to writing – I write what I want to read!
First, the general theme of my blog comes from what I enjoy reading – usually about personalities and other people’s stories – on top of my plethora of hobbies. As for my individual post topics, I take random ideas from whatever I encounter and tailor that to my general theme of personalities and stuff!
Below a list of ways my ideas generate. 😀
Chatting with Friends
If you were to meet a good friend for coffee / tea / cake / etc right now, what is the topic you’ll enjoy talking about most? I’m sure you’ll talk about at least one topic under the sun – current news, life update, food, pets, etc – and the topic you enjoy most can be your next blog post!
For example, my best buddy draws comics and I write stories, so we usually talk about storyline stuff. Couple that with my general theme of personalities and stuff, I’d write about character points of view and understanding others’ perspective. 🙂
The Most Interesting Thing that Happened to Me Today
I work from home most weekdays, so my daily life isn’t exactly exciting. Still, sometimes the most interesting thing that happened may sound benign at first, but is actually pretty interesting when you put it on paper!
Actual post examples: I encountered a beggar while eating lunch at a nearby coffee shop, so that became “How Not to Feel Bad Dealing with Beggars?” I read about traits of an outgoing introvert, so that became “The (Outgoing!) Introvert and Me“. I encountered a bunch of bugs at home… and that’s likely to come up as a post soon.
So what’s the most interesting thing that happened to you today? 😀
Opinion on Something that Happened to Someone Else
I’m sure each one of us have an opinion about anything that happens. And it doesn’t have to be something that happened in real life; it could be something that happens online or even in a game!
For example, I play a war-based strategy online game with my husband (think paintball but with hundreds of people and tens of teams). One thing about online games is that one meets a lot of interesting people, and almost every player group intereaction in a strategy game are like something out of a political drama! I encountered quite a few interesting scenarios, except it’s still stuck as a draft post now… I’ll eventually get to it. 😅
Someone Else’s Blog Post
Sometimes I read other blog posts and I’m inspired to write something similar, or I’d write a comment long enough to be a post in itself! That’s what happened to “Stage Fright! The Horror!” 😀
Worried about stealing ideas? I doubt it’s considered that even if the topics are quite similar, because two bloggers with the same topic will have different styles of writing, especially due to uniqueness and perspective.
Of course, if someone else’s post inspired you, the following crediting actions will go a long way!
- Comment in their post with something like, “Thanks for inspiring me to write something similar!”
- Mention the inspiring post (and blogger!) in your own post and provide a link back to them.
As a blogger myself, the above will make me feel very happy and honoured if someone else did that to me. 😀
Keeping Track of Ideas?
Usually when I get a post idea, I can’t work on the post right away, so I’d take 30 seconds to draft the blog title (I have WordPress app on my phone) and continue with whatever I was doing! That way, when I get home and am ready to start blogging, I’d pick a topic from my drafts. 😀
The problem? I have almost 50 drafts that I can’t seem to whittle down. 😅
These are what helps me to get this blog running; hopefully it helps you too, whether or not you’re having trouble blogging!
Do you have any tips on blogging? Wanna share your blogging style? Do comment below. 😀
A Short Self-Compassionate Letter
It’s really nice of you to think of others and want to help by writing this post. 🙂