“I’ve been staring at the computer screen for the last two hours and can’t think of anything to write.
And this is not the first time either.
There’s a feeling of helplessness every time I sit down to write a blog post. I just can’t come up with any ideas!”
If this sounds familiar, chances are that you have either encountered other bloggers troubled by the lack of blogging ideas, or you’re going through it yourself.
Posting regularly is one of the basic requirements for anyone who wants to make a living from his blog.
But it’s also one of the hardest.
You can’t write regularly just for the sake of it. You also need to keep a close eye on the value your posts are adding.
The hardest part, though, is seeing other bloggers churn out interesting posts every second day while you’re struggling to come up with even one.
This happens to all of us at different stages of our blogging journeys.
However, in my experience, there are a few common reasons why bloggers go through idea droughts. The moment you identify them, you’re half way through solving the problem.
Here are 6 reasons why you’re struggling to find blogging ideas (and will continue to do so if you don’t take action)
1. You Don’t Follow a Fixed Writing Schedule
You might underestimate the importance of following a fixed blogging schedule, but this is one of the most common reasons why bloggers struggle to get their thoughts together when they finally sit down to write.
Writing anything valuable requires attention and focus. Without a fixed blogging schedule, it’s hard to achieve any of the two.
A fixed schedule is not only important for you, but also for your audience. It shows that you respect them, and that you’re serious about contributing value through your content.
When you leave yourself open to a flexible schedule, you actually deceive yourself into believing that you can write whenever you want.
That usually doesn’t happen, especially if you’re just starting out.
A posting schedule binds your thoughts together and gives them direction. It forces you to get the best out of you because your reputation is at stake.
Creativity is inside you all the time, but you need to squeeze it out through discipline and consistency.
a- Identify the best days and time slots to write.
b- Make a weekly posting schedule for your blog and announce it to your readers as well.
c- Set reminders in your smartphone and mark the days in your calendar.
d- Stay ahead of the game and always have at least 2-3 posts scheduled for posting.
2. You Don’t Have a Clear Objective with Blogging
Have you ever thought about the exact reasons why you blog? What are you trying to achieve through all the hard work?
Are you doing all this for traffic? Or just to get a few social media shares?
Without a clear answer to these questions, you might find yourself blogging about internet marketing one day, and your favorite basketball players the other.
A clear objective gives direction to your thoughts, and ultimately helps you decide the type of content you want to write about.
Each post that you write should move you closer to your objective. Stick to your niche and connect every post on your blog with the previous ones.
There needs to be a connection (at least in your mind, even if it’s not visible in the content).
Whenever you find yourself confused and out of ideas, just go back to the basics and have a close look at your blogging objectives.
If you’re clear about them, they should guide you in crafting your next post headline.
a- Write down the primary objective of your blog – make it precise.
Example: to create a sales lead acquisition channel for my freelance writing business in the internet marketing niche.
b- Write down the major categories and sub-categories of your niche in a spreadsheet on Google Drive.
c- List the basic concepts and common problems of each category.
d- Extract multiple blog post ideas from each concept and problem, and list them down as well.
e- Now organize these ideas and develop series of posts for each of them.
3. You’re Not Focused on Your Circle of Influence
The most successful bloggers and individuals in general, are not the ones who gain control of everything in their lives.
Rather, they learn to focus on things that are under their control and manage them effectively.
If you’re struggling for post ideas, there’s a good chance that your circle of concern is larger than your circle of influence.
You think too much about too many things.
As bloggers, we can’t control the next Google algorithm update or the next tweak Facebook makes to its features.
We can only do our job, which is to write.
A lot of the times, bloggers concern themselves with way more than they can handle.
As a result, the mind gets cluttered and ideas begin to fade away.
So stay focused on your core expertise. No matter what happens with Google, Facebook, Twitter and others, if you stick to your niche and keep adding value through your blog posts then you won’t have anything to worry about.
Marketing channels do matter, but they should never take you away from your core purpose.
a- Close every other tab when you start writing. No Facebook, Twitter, Emails etc.
b- Cut down the number of bloggers/niche experts you follow. Don’t take everybody’s advice.
c- You already have enough post ideas, so start working on them first before you kick off something new.
4. You Don’t Know Enough About Your Audience
You can’t build a blogging career on casual posts based on your personal opinions. As a professional blogger, you’re striving to build a community around your blog that you can utilize later on to sell your products and services.
For this, you need to create content that resolves the most common problems of your readers.
The reason why so many bloggers struggle to find blogging ideas is the lack of clarity about their audience.
A vague idea about your readers isn’t enough. It won’t help you in creating targeted content. You need to define your ideal reader and zoom in on his needs.
Otherwise, you’ll always find yourself staring at a blank screen.
a- Create a spreadsheet and start zooming in on your target reader. Define your target age group, target region, reader occupation, gender, interests etc.
Example: Your ideal readers can be internet savvy people from the United States, interested in online money making methods, and between 25 to 45 years of age.
b- Join 2-3 major forums that are most likely to be visited by your target readers.
c- Join Quora and start engaging with your target readers.
d- Have a good look at the comments on your own blog and on some of the leading blogs in your niche, and identify the most common problems.
e- Generate post ideas from these sources.
5. You Don’t Read Enough Quality Resources
If despite doing all of the above, you still find yourself struggling for post ideas, chances are that you just don’t know enough about your own niche.
This usually happens if you don’t read enough quality content yourself.
As a blogger, you need to read almost as much as you write. Don’t consider reading as an aimless and casual activity.
Every professional blogger, no matter how successful, needs to follow other authority blogs in his niche in order to regularly come up with new blogging ideas.
So make use of the research done by your competitors and start reading the best blogs in your niche.
a- Sign up at Feedly and start adding the top blogs from your own niche and a few complimenting niches. (This might help)
b- Allocate a few hours every week for reading. Whenever, you come across an interesting post, bookmark it for your reading hours.
c- Manage your reading habits carefully, since it can easily hurt your productivity.
6. You’re Trapped in the Perfectionist Syndrome
This is perhaps the biggest reason why I personally struggled for a long time with regular blogging.
The perfectionist syndrome is when you’re always looking to write a flawless, epic and mind blowing post. You become so obsessed with perfection that you end up taking no practical action.
This, in my opinion, is just another form of procrastination.
When you fall for the perfectionist syndrome, no post idea is good enough for you.
And even when you do force yourself to write on a topic, you stop mid-way because the content is not up to your standards.
As a result, you never make progress.
The only way out of this, is to understand that you don’t need to produce epic content all the time in order to succeed as a blogger.
Not even the best blogs can hit the homerun every time they publish a post.
You need to mix it up.
a- Just stick to your schedule and force yourself to write.
b- Initially, choose the topics that you’re most comfortable writing about
b- Instead of going for longer posts, start with short 400-600 word posts.
The key to successful blogging is consistently coming up with content that addresses the problems of your readers. Blogging is as much about focus and discipline as it is about creativity and flair. Understanding these fundamental points can help you create much higher quality of content on a regular basis.