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Saturday
Aug012009

Beating Bloggers Block: New Categories And To Do Lists!

If you've got your own blog or website (and if not, check out my post on how to do it, it's easy!) the main problem, after an initial flurry of content, is coming up with new ideas for posts and articles.

Without new work, even the best blogs will start to dwindle and die. In my experience the most important thing is to base your blog or site on something you're passionate about (photography!), so you won't get bored writing about it too quickly. Even then though you'll get to a point where you'll be scratching you head about what to do next.

The next point is that Google, and the other search engines, love sites that get regularly updated, and will index them in their results faster, leading to more visitors and a higher search-engine ranking.

It may sound simple, but I've found the best way is to keep a simple to-do list. Then what I do is as soon as I get an idea for a post, or a new category on my blog, I quickly make a note of it. Then, when I'm stuck for ideas but have some spare time to write, I'll look at the list and get inspired. (I also do a similar thing for my podcast).

You could use a pad or just a piece of paper, but hey, we're probably going to be writing our articles on our PC or Mac, so let's keep our list on our computer!

At the moment I'm using Google Tasks, which is an add-on widget for Google Mail, and it looks like this:

google_tasks


I've blurred my mail account, but you can see the Google Tasks box in the bottom right-hand corner. To turn it on in your Gmail account, just click on the tasks link on the left-hand side of the screen. You can even make it pop-out and open in its new window.

Google tasks is pretty basic, its just a list, with no different types of tasks, but you can re-order them and remove completed things.

If you're not using Gmail, you could just use a text editor and save your list to your desktop, but if you want a really great to-do and task manager, that's web-based, consider Remember The Milk.

rtm


RTM offers a comprehensive tasks manager in their free web version, plus applications for the iPhone, Gmail, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and much more. If you're after a task manger with serious horse-power, Remember The Milk is a good way to go.

The key to these services is to keep it simple, and to actually use them. Whenever you get an idea, no matter how far fetched, make sure you add it to your list for future posts. Believe me, if you don't have lists, you'll forget so many great ideas and will end up writing less and less.

Another tool for for keeping fresh content flowing for your website and blog is to write down, and add, new categories or sections to your site. For example in my blog, I'm considering (they're in my tasks list), new sections on Lens Reviews, Video Creation, Building Websites and Blogs, and Lensbaby. You'll come up with more, and by have these sections or categories that'll need filling with posts and articles, you'll find new ideas just popping into your head.

So, in summary, find a Task or To-Do list manager that's simple and works for you - and make sure you use it. Record all your ideas for new posts and articles in your list, and then use it when you're suffering from Bloggers Block.

Think about new sections or categories for your blog / website, then start to populate them with articles and posts. Before you know it you won't have enough time to write your content, you'll have so many great ideas, and writers block will be a thing of the past.

Hope this helps, Rob.

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