Sep15

Blinking Cursor Syndrome

writers block

What do you do when you’ve got a blog to write for your business and there’s nothing but a blank page staring back at you?

It’s a well-known fact that blogs can bring new visitors to a website. Some studies suggest that a blog can increase traffic by up to 55 percent.

Blogging best practice dictates that posts should be published at similar times every day or week to maintain consistency.

But what do you do when the creative juices refuse to flow? We’ve all been there – sat at our desks, staring at a bright white word document, as the cursor flashes at us.

Fortunately, there are a few tricks of the trade, which can help you combat blinking cursor syndrome. Here are a few…

1) Tap up twitter

At certain times of day, as many as 143,000 tweets are tweeted a second. Each one contains between one and four hashtags. And what are hashtags? They’re roadmaps to conversations. Twitter tells you which hashtags are trending in your area. If you want more in-depth knowledge of the twittersphere, you can use more powerful paid-for tools like Trandsmap. There will be days when the chatter on twitter has nothing to do with your industry, but there’ll be other days when the sight of a single hashtag inspires a topical blog.

2) Sign up for press releases

It may feel strange signing up for press releases when you’re not a member of the press. However, when you’re blogging, you’re as close to a journalist as you can get. The News4Media group distribute news to writers. You can get daily or weekly industry-related news announcements straight into your inbox for free. There’s a home4media, a books4media, a beauty4media, and a technology4media to name just a few. More often than not, these updates will spark an idea for a blog. Help a reporter is another good resource. Journalists use this site to post questions on articles they are currently writing.

3) Keep your eye on trends

This is easier done than said! If your product is fairly mainstream, you can sign up to sites like Bottlenose. This paid-for service helps you forecast emerging trends in your industry and monitor the spread in real-time. It also helps you analyze the emotion and attention in your market.

4) Sign up to Quora

Quora is a great tool for inspiration because it allows you to see what people like your customers are asking questions about. Search for the term Web Design for example and you’ll discover that people are asking questions like ‘who are the best web designers under 25?’ and ‘what are the biggest web design trends of 2014?’

5) Peruse the news

You don’t have to read every newspaper around, from cover to cover, to make this task worthwhile. Instead, visit a site like Alltop, which shows you what blog and news articles are proving the most popular with readers around the world. You can search by industry here, too, including work, health, culture, tech and sports.

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