Writer's block stinks.
1. Plan ahead so you don't have to panic. If you work on your blog post plans before the last minute, I've found that it's a lot easier to make sure that all the blanks are filled in. It's when I have to come up with a post IMMEDIATELY that my creativity wanes and writers' block stomps on me. Write post plans up ahead of time and you have lots of time to come up with ideas for things that are stumping you.
2. Skip that post. For now. Work on another post and let the one that is causing troubles stew for a bit. Sometimes inspiration strikes when you are thinking of something else - you know, like in the middle of the night when there's no where to put anything on paper....
3. Look for ideas online. There are some great blog post and story starter ideas out there! Here's some examples:
4. Respond to someone else's writing. Once in a while, you will find a post or an article or something similar that will stir up feelings in you. Use that as momentum for writing - do a response that shares your thoughts, whether they are in rebuttal or agreement. Share your feelings and provide a good argument for your opinion.
5. Find a blog meme, party, hop, or link up. Every day of the week, you can find another blog hosting some sort of link up on just about any topic. Find one that relates to your niche and go with it. One of the most popular meme is called Wordless Wednesday, where people post a photo to share.
6. Pick a random word or phrase. Open your dictionary (or use a generator) and see what word you come up with. It might spark an idea!
7. Look through Pinterest. Since it's all visual, it's amazing the inspiration that it can provide. If just looking through the main page isn't filling your brain with suggestions, try looking by category, or even try searching through the "DIY" to see if you want to try any of them, or if you can come up with a DIY of your own to share.
8. Ask for ideas. Pull out a call to friends, on Facebook, fellow bloggers, etc. See if they can help you come up with some ideas. Quite often they are great at coming up with topics you can relate to and just needed someone to point out to you.
9. Read a book, watch a show, play a game, make something. Get off the computer and forget about the blog post that's holding you back. A fellow (amazing) homeschool blogger once wrote this post (A Life Worth Blogging About) and it's made me really think. Sometimes life has to come first, and you never know what will come out of it. You might just be inspired!
10. Use a photo. Either as inspiration or as a post all on its own, a photo can be a great way to fill in a post that just has you completely stumped. Write about what the post is or represents, how it makes you feel, the memories is envokes, why you love it, etc.
11. Make a list of ideas. One trick I've found amazingly helpful is to have a notebook full of running blog post ideas. I think taking some time to brainstorm ideas has revolutionized my blogging experience. If I get stuck, I can flip open the notebook and pick something that will work. I take the notebook with me, in case inspiration strikes in strange places (like the YMCA!). Write any idea down, flesh out any ones that need more explanation for when you look back on them, think of series or repeatable themes. Don't let yourself doubt an idea for your notebook - just write it down and look at it later. It might be just what you needed. Brainstorming is amazing.
12. Use a special day or month for a topic. Did you know there are a ton of obscure special days through the year? For example, January 8th was "National Clean-Off-Your-Desk Day" and April 20th is "National Pineapple-Upside-Down Cake Day." Just think of all the fun you can have with a topic like these! Plus, you can find out what special topic is being promoted or brought to everyone's attention monthly - like October being Breast Cancer month or Nutrition Month in March. These are a great way to fill in a blog.
13. Make a list of posts or pins. Share with your readers a collection of resources related to a certain topic. Let's say you blog a lot about being a beginner cake decorator - you can put together a post with links to other people's posts on tips, designs, recipes, educational or inspirational videos or even a collage of images from pinterest. Use other people's content to build your own - just be sure your links are well-made and point where they should and give any appropriate credit where it needs to be directed.
14. Use other people. Fill in the post for that day with a guest post. Interview another blogger, or a company, or someone special, or your kid, or someone in your favourite topic (like a local top cake decorator for their tips - using the scenario above for an example). Look through your reader comments to see if anyone has asked or said anything you can respond to. Think of your interactions with people on social media - has one discussion been particularly post-worthy? I once wrote a whole article about an interaction I had where my friend argued about why I wasn't qualified to be a homeschooler. I used it as a bouncing board to write about how to handle opposition and conflict. Just be careful not to belittle or berate someone publically or to share a private conversation - generalize and don't finger point.
15. Follow a theme of the day. There's nothing wrong with making every Monday be about things that are yellow. Think "Taco Tuesday" on the meal plan. As long as it's interesting to you and your readers, using a repeatable theme makes your blogging plans easier and always inspired by something.
16. Update/Follow Up on a past post. Look back at your posts and see if there's any topics you want to follow up on. Maybe you started a system that you thought would be great for helping your home to be more organized and you excitedly shared about it on your blog a year ago - how is that system working now? Maybe you shared about a website that you thought would revolutionize the world - what are your thoughts now? Did you get diagnosed with a allergy or disease that people don't know much about - tell us how you are doing now that you've lived with it for a while, how you are adapting or how you feel now?
17. Talk about a current event. Good or bad - there's always news, and there's always a chance you can use it for a blog post. React to something horrific and how it has affected you. Share little heard hero stories worth praise. Look at celebrities and muse about their lives, clothing, or choices. Lots of ideas here.
I'm linking this post to the TOS Blog Cruise, where you can find a great collection of other "How-To" posts! Make sure to check them out.