We’ve talked a lot about blogging as a tool for writers to build an audience while they work on their magnum opus. A question that often comes up when I talk to writers about this is: How do I sustain blogging momentum? Blogs are a rich medium for genreating content.
Here are 10 strategies you can use to keep your content flowing when the muse has abandoned you.
Build a post queue – The muse doesn’t necessarily strike every day. So pick a time when you’re ready to write and generate several posts. Then schedule these to appear on a time table that matches up with your posting frequency. If you’re starting a new blog, I would build a queue of 15-20 posts before you publish your first post.
Use topic rotation – It’s a good idea to have multiple topics (which match up with your categories) so you can add some breadth to your blogging.
Guest bloggers – Invite guest bloggers to help spread the workload a bit. They can offer fresh perspectives and keep you from going stale with your writing.
Mine comment threads – Sometimes a particular post will receive an unusually large number of comments. These can provide you with new material; both through your responses to them and as whole new topic / sub topic areas to explore.
Reviews – Depending on the nature of your blog, you can review new products or services associated with your topic area – e.g. a book review.
Interviews – Conduct interviews of people who have something important to contribute to your readers. Depending on who you interview, this can lend additional credibility to your blog.
Surveys & polls – Once you have built up your readership, survey and poll results can provide an almost instant form of new content.
Research – If your topic area involves doing your own research or summarizing someone else’s, this is a great way to engage readers. We all like to hear about new things and it’s nice when someone else can do the legwork for us.
Host a blog tour – Why not host a blog tour for other authors related to your topic space. It’s a great way to become acquainted with your blog neighbors and build your own profile at the same time. Want to know more about how they work? Check out Steve Weber’s article on blog touring in the Publishers Marketing Association (PMA) April 2007 newsletter.
Set up information traps – Use some of the convenient (and often free) information gathering technology available on the Web to continually push topic relevant information to you for future blog posts. This includes RSS feeds, page alerts, e-mail alerts, etc. An excellent reference on this subject is Tara Calishain’s book “Information Trapping: Real-Time Research on the Web.”