You already know you should be posting to your college or university’s blog frequently – but why is it so hard to be consistent with your blog? Here are the 5 toughest problems you’ll face with your blog and how to overcome them.
1. Writer’s Block
Oh, the utter hopelessness that settles in your stomach as you sit at your computer with not a single word in your head! And if you’ve ever felt this demoralizing condition, you’re not alone.
Everyone has to fight through writer’s block some time or another. But there are some tactics you can take to overcome this monstrous challenge.
- Start typing… anything. That’s right. Just start typing whatever comes to your mind and get your fingers going. For many people, this is enough to break through the barrier and get the words flowing.
- Stop typing… and go think some more. Sometimes nothing is coming to you because you’re approaching the blank page too early. You may need to give yourself some more time to form your thoughts more clearly.
- Spend some time researching. You may not have the ammunition you need for the fight. Take a break and go dig through some Internet articles, or take a trip to the library, to give yourself what you need for that next article.
- Work off an editorial calendar that you have previously set up. By investing the time to plan out your schedule, you’ll save time and avoid the dreaded writer’s block.
2. Lack of Time
Twenty-four hours in a day– that’s all you and I have. Cramming in blog writing on top of all the other tasks you’ve got to focus on in the day can often feel like squeezing in a marathon right before bed.
In my post How I Save 5 Hours a Week on Social Media, I share how you can squeeze out the time you need to produce quality content. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find in that post:
- Work From an Editorial Calendar. Start your work early with an editorial calendar. It is dangerous to sit down at your computer without direction for blogging or social media. It takes more time to generate ideas one by one, and working without a plan guarantees drifting off course. Set up an editorial calendar as part of your social media strategy to save time.
- Write in Blocks. Besides creating an editorial calendar, scheduling your writing can save time. By scheduling, you can often generate many blog posts and social media updates in a short block of time. Consider scheduling one half-day per month to work on up to 6 weeks of posts.
The same screen. The same desk. The same words.
It’s true – writing a focused blog on one topic can just get boring sometimes. But there are a few things you can do to spruce things up:
- Change your content medium. Try creating an image-only or video-only post. These are powerful media that can inspire you and your audience.
- Change your content. Perhaps it’s time to do a human interest story, a case study on one of your students, or a journalistic piece digging into one of the research projects of your school. While being careful not to go off topic, do something out of the ordinary in your blog to break through boredom for you and your readers.
4. Lack of Creativity
For marketers, ideas are like fuel. Every minute of the day runs on the ideas that we have.
Because of this tremendous creative output, it’s not uncommon to simply run out of ideas or feel mentally fatigued. Normally this is no cause for concern, but when you’re coming up on a deadline, you’ll need an ace up your sleeve.
- Use cloud-based repositories to store ideas and clip web pages that inspire you. Tools like Evernote, OneNote, Pocket, or Readable are great resources for grabbing ideas on the go.
- Keep an idea journal. Digital journals like Day One, Journey, or Momento are great places to record those awe-inspiring thoughts that come at the most random times. But you don’t have to be so fancy. A pocket-sized memo pad and a pen are great places to record ideas, too. My favorites are the Moleskine and Rhodia products.
With these tools at your side, you’ll have a deep well of creativity to draw from when you’re all out of ideas.
When you’re writing for perfection, every post is a nerve-wracking experience that will eventually wear you out. Perfectionism is an almost sure-fire way to kill your blog.
“Perfect is the ideal defense mechanism, the work of Pressfield’s Resistance, the lizard brain giving you an out. Perfect lets you stall, ask more questions, do more reviews, dumb it down, safe it up and generally avoid doing anything that might fail (or anything important).
You’re not in the perfect business. Stop pretending that’s what the world wants from you.” – Seth Godin
Thankfully, perfect, mind-blowing posts are not a prerequisite for blogging success!
Of course, your content needs to have some level of quality – that is, it needs to be answering your audience’s questions in some way. But this doesn’t mean you have to create your magnum opus every single week.
If you need help slaying your blogging or content marketing giants, get ahold of us. We’d be happy to help!