How to Produce Content Every Time You Sit Down

Tackling the insertion cursor (that’s the name of the blinking cursor when typing) can be one of the most difficult tasks a blogger has. Content! Looking at an entire blank page and then being tasked with filling it up can seem daunting.

“What do I type?”

“Where do I start?”

“Do I need a title first or should I do that last?”

“Hmmm….maybe I should go browse Twitter for a while…”

Two Hours Later

“….blahhhh, I’ll do this tomorrow”

We’ve all been there. Just keep putting it off until another day and hope that it will get done. Hope is not lost however! Here are some awesome tips to help keep you writing great articles day in and day out.

Know What You Want to Write About

You might be thinking, “Well Stephen, this is quite obvious don’t you think?” And my answer to you is yes, yes it is. The problem is many people start typing without a clear goal in mind.

Having an idea and having a clear goal are two completely different things. An idea is vague and doesn’t help guide your writing. A goal helps guide your writing and sets up specific points you want to make in your post.

An idea might sound like this, “I want to write a blog post about how to use social media to market an e-book.”

You can take this further by setting a goal for this idea.

A goal for this might be,

I want the reader to understand how Twitter works, how to get the most out of 140 characters, how to leverage @ tags to your advantage, and why I think Twitter is the best marketing strategy available.

As you can see in this example, a goal allows you to see exactly what you want to accomplish. It gives you guidelines to follow and helps organize your thoughts clearly.

Now that you have a goal, it is time to start typing!

Discipline Yourself – Write For 30 Minutes

This is a tactic that works really well. The goal here is to close everything else that can distract you. That means Twitter, Facebook, email and turning your cell phone to silent.

Distractions are one of the greatest enemies to bloggers.

So open your blank document (or your notebook if your old school) and keep your goals in mind. At this point you may not do anything but stare at the blank page or write.

This means no going to the bathroom, no getting up for a snack, no peeking at the internet, and definitely no email!

At the end of the 30 minutes I guarantee you will have something written. When faced with no other option than being bored and staring at a screen, you will eventually start to type. As long as you keep your goals in mind, this is a great starting place!

You don’t have to stop at 30 minutes though. If you feel you are on a roll then keep going. I personally do this all the time.

Closing my browser and sitting in front of MS Word document is the most effective way I have found to get me writing!

You can do this as many times as you need to until the article is finished!

Proofread Your Post the Next Day

After you have finished typing, save your work and put it away. You are done for today!

Proofreading your work after a full day passes is the best way to ensure you get a “fresh” look at the content. This is the best time to correct spelling errors, change paragraphs or even rewrite your post to make it better.

This is also the day that I like to find a post image (I use fotolia.com), format the post for WordPress and set up all the SEO needed.

Another good strategy is to send your post to a friend and have him or her proofread it. Then instruct them to send it back to you the following day with corrections and suggestions.

These strategies work extremely well for me and I am sure they will work for you too.

Do you do any of these? Do you have any other tips that you do to tackle the insertion cursor? Let me know in the comments below!

Why Deciding Your Niche Can Make or Break Your Blog

Ever since starting this blog I spend most of my days thinking about things I can do to make it better. Niche is the most important thing!

Almost every minute of my twelve hour work days are spent thinking about all different aspects of this blog. I’m always in a rush to get home so I can type up a post or do more research.

I spend a lot of time reading other popular blogs to learn everything that I can. Shout out to Problogger.net and Copyblogger.com!

All things considered, I think it is safe to say:

I’m obsessed.

Rewind to the Beginning

It didn’t always use to be this way. I have created (well I’ve tried at least) blogs and I have tried different ways to make money in the past. None of those things lasted very long though.

I never stayed motivated enough to carry on with them and I would never feel like working on them because it felt like too much “real work”.  The funny thing is that this blog has taken much more work than all of my other ventures put together and yet it does not seem like work. It is fun.

I have started blogs and I have put together half-finished websites. I have bought stupid programs that promise you to “make money online fast”. By now I know, as I am sure you do, that these programs are completely BS and are just trying to get your money.

What’s different about this blog is that this is where my heart is. Blogging and making money are subjects I love. I enjoy researching and learning more about his subject. I enjoy writing the posts and sharing my experiences.

I know that people always tell you to write about something you enjoy doing. The only problem was that what I enjoyed doing I did not have much experience in. I have not made more than a few hundred bucks off the internet. Why would people want to listen to me if I have not become successful yet?

My Realization

There came a time when some friends started asking me about how people use the internet to make money. So naturally I started explain about blogs and websites, Google AdSense, affiliate marketing, PPC campaigns and email marketing.

I went into depth about each of these things and how they work.

I now realize that even though I may not have made that much money online, I know more about it than any other person I know. I can explain all aspects of making money, building lists, writing content, headline creation, and much much more.

So why can’t I make a blog to share this information?

Your niche decides your success

When starting out, I created a bunch of different sites about things I was not passionate about. Therefore my content was subpar, my work ethic wasn’t there and I was only interested in trying to make money.

That’s why when making a website it should not only be about making money. Even if that is you main motivation, your site should still be about something you love and are passionate about.

Making money can be done in any niche, so don’t pick a popular one just because you think it will be easier. It will not.

If you have been waiting to create your blog or website because you don’t think you are an “expert” in your field than you are only hurting yourself. Anyone can become an expert with enough research!

Don’t wait no more.

Get started with your blog and most importantly remember to have fun!

What to Consider Before Starting a Blog

Blogging is a huge commitment. What does “starting a blog” means? You must be consistent, you must work hard, and you must be willing to learn. Blogging can take a lot of time so you have to be sure to make room for it.

For every one active blog you find on the internet, I would estimate there are about 20 “dead” blogs.

This means that the odds are against you. Most of you reading this will not last in the world of blogging.

However, there are some ways that you can increase your chances of “surviving” significantly. There are several things to consider before you even begin creating your blog.

“Do you enjoy writing? Are you willing to learn? Are you ready for a lot of hard work?”

Questions like these need to be answered before you can go any further. If you do not enjoy writing then why are you even here? A blog is obviously not for you.

“Are you ready for commitment and hard work?”

Darren Rowse has put together a list of 23 Questions for Prospective Bloggers over at ProBlogger. Be sure to read each one to decide if you are ready.

What is Your Purpose?

So now you have decided that blogging is right for you. You enjoy writing, learning, hard work and are ready to make the commitment.

Before you decided to emerge yourself into the blogosphere I want you to consider one more thing.

Why do you want to start a blog?

Do you want to be internet famous? Are you trying to make a ton of money so you can quit your job and be rich? While these are probably the most common reasons to start a blog, they should not be your only ones.

The problem with starting a blog only for these reasons is that your motivation will die once you realize how hard it is to be famous and get rich. Blogs can take several years to develop before they start making any kind of decent income.

If you genuinely want to help people, share your knowledge and you enjoy the subject that you are blogging about then you have a much better chance. I am not saying that trying to be famous and get rich is a bad thing (after all that’s one of my goals too). I am just saying it shouldn’t be your only motivation.

Do You Have Enough Time?

Many people don’t realize how time consuming a blog really is. Researching and writing a single post can take several hours itself. Not to mention the countless hours you have to spend with email, comments, networking etc.

Some things that can determine how much time your blog will need are:

Topic – Some topics are much more “needy” than others. I just recently helped my friend start a political blog about the upcoming presidential election.  This kind of blog will have to be updated more frequently to stay on top of current events. Other blogs that will need to be updated frequently include technology and news blogs.

Popularity – If your blog starts getting extremely popular and receives hundreds or thousands of visitors a day then chances are you will be quite busy. Answering emails and replying to comments can take hours. As your blog ages, chances are your blog is going to take more and more time to manage.

Writing Style – Your own personal writing style plays a big part in how much time your blog will take from you. If you are a slow and careful writer then your posts are going to take a long time to type. Do you like writing long posts that cover every small detail or do you prefer short attention grabbing posts?

I Am Ready to Start…Now What?

If you have gone through this entire post and are still ready to start a blog, then you are ready for the next step.

Join me next time when I will look into the next step on your journey – How to Choose a Niche.