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5 Pre-Writing Exercises to Help Bloggers Generate Fresh Content

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Even the most articulate and renowned writers from every time period have experienced the all too-familiar and highly dreaded idea-road stopper known as “writer’s block.” But just because it’s not out of the norm doesn’t mean that there aren’t some simple exercises bloggers can do to keep the creative juices flowing at all times—after all, fresh and frequent blog posts is what attracts new readers and keep the ones you already have. With that said, below are some pre-writing exercises and resources you can turn to you whenever the well is running dry to generate a plethora of blog post topics.

5. Brainstorm.

Perhaps of the oldest and most basic pre-writing exercises, brainstorming is still a very effective way to come up with a solid list of blog post topics. To help you with the brainstorming process however, consider using the following 3 resources:

  • Google News: searching popular headlines that are currently fluttering in cyberspace can easily help you come up original or spun topics for your blog. All you need to do is simply type in a key word(s) in the search bar and shuffle through the results page to see the latest news (including controversial studies and stats) pertaining to your niche.
  • Social Media: Facebook and Twitter are also excellent sources for you to come up with possible blog topics. Pay attention to your friend’s statuses and take note of any trends. Using Twitter specifically, make sure to use the hashtag feature in the search bar and follow important people that are associated with your blog’s niche to come up with possible story ideas.
  • Read Archives: Go back to some of the more popular posts on your blog and see if you can expand on them—perhaps you can create some sort of series.  Pay close attention to your reader’s comments as well. If there is a particular debate between two readers or if one reader makes a good argument about a subject you can possibly create an entire post on that as well.

4. Free Write.

Another easy exercise to get your noggin working and put some ideas to paper is to simply write—about anything. Whatever is the back of your mind, your most recent dream, or about your daily routine— whatever you want, just write it down. And don’t worry about grammatical errors or concentrate on formulating complete sentences (bullet point lists and even sketches can work too). The idea of free writing is to simply get you in the habit of writing everyday and to learn how to unlock your mind. Most likely you’ll end up writing down a bunch of unusable gibberish, but you may strike a gold mine and come up with some great blog topics.  *Additional tip, always bring your journal with you (no matter where you go). You never know when a great idea will pop into your head and you’ll need to write it down. And don’t be surprised; even the most mundane things can bring forth inspiration.

3. Look at Mementos.

Another excellent pre-writing exercise is to take out your old memory box and see if you can gain inspiration for a blog post topic from items that may have sentimental value to you, such as old photos and videos. It’s equally useful to collect and save unique pictures, images, postcards or quotes that you find interesting and challenge yourself to come up with a prompt/ blog topic with these items.

2. Read—A Lot.

If you a struggling coming up with fresh content it may also be a good idea to turn to the pros, you know the fellow bloggers and writers whose work you admire and would like to emulate. Reading articles in magazines that don’t necessarily relate to your niche can be inspiring as well. For example, if Teen Vogue publishes an article called How to Dress like Victoria Beckham and you own a blog designed for small business owners, you can easily write an article on How to Properly Dress when Meeting Investors. When reading material from your favorite writers, don’t just look at the topic they are writing about but also pay close attention to style and voice.  When looking at blogs, make sure to bookmark your favorite articles so that you can easily come back to them when you’re searching for inspiration and topic ideas. Look at the reader’s comments as well and see if there is a way you formulate a full-length article to respond to a question or argument.

1. Make an Outline.

Also seen as one of the more traditional pre-writing techniques, make sure to make a quick outline before you write. This pre-writing technique can help keep your thoughts organized and allow you to write more cohesively. This is because making an outline can help you group subjects together and is visually easier for you to see the similarities or differences of your points. It should also give you a better idea of how to present those points to your readers. Because of the outline, you may also come to the realization that one of your points is so strong that it can make a good piece all on its own.

This guest post was written by Mariana Ashley, a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com.

Zac Johnson is a online marketer with 15 years of experience and also a blogger at ZacJohnson.com, as well as the founder of BloggingTips.com. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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How Much Traffic Do You Need to Make Money Blogging?

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Nobody knows.

But I do know this; if you ask this question you think like employees. Bad mindset for a blogger. Employees think putting in set amounts of work or reaching some specific goal results in receiving income. 100% of the time, this is NOT true as a professional or amateur blogger. Nobody has any idea how your traffic behaves. Is it targeted, or general? How did you attract your readers? Drilling deeper, it is impossible to surmise that a specific amount of traffic leads to some set amount of income.

Traffic and blogging income are only related in that, if you drive titanic amounts of targeted traffic to your blog, you will make some coin. But other than driving monstrous amounts of traffic – and any blogger asking this question is 10,000 to 20,000 hours away from this type of traffic – you need to understand that making money blogging is about generously helping people, building bonds, creating value, trusting in the process and developing your money mindset diligently, vibing abundance.

Do you want to make money blogging? Stop looking at traffic stats. Nobody pays you like an employer if you register 100 visitors daily to your blog. Stop thinking like an employee. Begin thinking like an entrepreneur. Help people generously. Make friends. Trust in the blogging process. Trust yourself. Think abundantly. Keep helping people. Develop your money mindset. Open multiple streams of income. Money will flow your way if you focus less on traffic stats and things, and more on generously helping human beings. Help people generously, patiently and persistently. Make money. This is the secret to successful blogging. But most bloggers fall lost in a world of stats and employee-level thinking, falsely believing generating a specific number of daily blog visitors results in some blogging employer paying them a set salary, a paycheck, for a goal achieved.

Do not fall prey to this common blogging mindset error in error. Money flows to you based on your generous service and based on your trust in the blogging process. Money can and will arrive but only after you relax, detach, help folks and give little or no thought to money, traffic and other blogging outcomes. The less you think about making money through your blog, the more you help people. The more you help people, the more money you eventually make. Successful blogging and making money is simply about helping tons of people for free to increase your blogging skills and exposure. Open multiple streams of income through which to prosper. Eventually, money flows to you.

Do not get distracted by ideas consistent with the blog post title question. Do not get caught up in blogging money and traffic outcomes. Stop looking for your blogging pay day and get busy helping people freely to learn the secret of effective blog monetizing. Money finds generous servants and money sprints away from bloggers routinely obsessed with making money. Sure you want to promote yourself at every turn. Goodness knows, I am always promoting my 100 plus eBooks and 2 blogging courses in all I do. Plus I promote my audio books and paperbacks, too. But my intent is mostly about helping as many bloggers as possible through guest posting, posting to my blog and via podcasting and broadcasting live. Prospering grows easier the more I help folks freely.

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How My Wildest Travel Experiences Can Help You Become a Successful Blogger

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How to Develop Super Human Confidence in Your Blog

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Baby steps, my Young Blogging Padawans.

New bloggers, baby step your way to being super human confident in your blog. Being wracked by doubt, with a little wild excitement mixed in, you cannot gain unreal confidence in your blog today. But slowly and steadily gaining clarity gives you the foundation upon which to become a highly successful blogger who feels bold, knowing your blog rocks.

I am about super human confident in my blog. I am developing the same level of confidence in my eBooks and courses, too. Why? Believing in my blog and premium offerings helps me to help more people and I also make more money too, which is neat, considering I live a worldly life.

Follow these tips.

1: Feel and Release Fears-Doubts Aligned with Your Blog

Before you become confident, you need to purge any lack of confidence. I know this feels bad but tis a necessary step to become super duper confident in your blog and in your premium offerings, too. Sit with doubts, those nasty traitors. Be with your fears about self, your writing ability and your blog presentation. Feel these unpleasant energies. Clear the energies. Proceed from a clearer, more confident, space. Confidence is borne of clearing a lack of confidence. Do messy energy work to become uber confident in your blog and in your blogging abilities.

2: Surround Yourself with Loving Bloggers

Loving, caring, compassionate bloggers see brilliance in you when you cannot seem to see it in yourself. Although all confidence issues flow inside-out, you need a network of supportive people around you who believe in you, versus being around haters or negative nellies. Never, ever, ever surround yourself with poverty conscious, failure conscious bloggers. Are you running a cyber charity? Are you a therapist? No! Negative people stuck in fear and failure throw negative cross currents into your being, shaking your already fragile confidence in your blog.

Hang with folks who believe in you and who believe in your blog. Pros share where and how you can improve but they always believe in someone who follows their dreams, and will instill that faith in you, and in your blog, too.

3: Write Your Butt Off and Publish Content Like the Dickens

Writing and publishing content is like breathing to me. I do not lose confidence in my ability to breathe because this is an automatic, auto-pilot, process. I just breathe without thinking about it. Ditto for writing and blogging. I wrote and blogged for 20,000 to 30,000 hours so now it is an automatic, easy process I have super human confidence in. I do not even think about it because I do it routinely, automatically, on a type of auto-pilot borne of making writing and blogging a habit.

If someone criticizes my blog, it is like someone criticizing my breathing; sounds weird, or funny, but it stirs me not, because I have equal confidence in each.

4: Do Energy Work

I do not play around; 3-4 hours of energy work daily allowed me to face, feel and release blog doubts, to become the clear, confident blogger I am today. Consider meditating, or doing yin yoga, or doing Kriya yoga, and power walking. Or do it all. I spend 3-4 hours doing each – collectively – daily, to expand my awareness so I can feel and clear doubts and so I can blog mainly from an abundant, generous, relaxed, detached vibe.

Be confident guys. Believe in your blog. Follow these 4 tips to succeed and to become super human confident in your blog.

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Should You Search for New Blogging Niche Ideas?

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Why?

Ask yourself that question and you will get an answer that best suits you.

I went with the blogging tips niche for people who want to circle the globe. But I did not go for this niche to be new, edgy or different. I had lived that life for many years. This made sense for me. I was being genuine, honest and as authentic as one can be. Perfect match. But if I chose a new niche from an energy solely of financial gain, being popular or some other fear-based driver, I would have fallen flat on my blogging face.

Why would you ask someone for new niche ideas? What is the energy or intent there? Do you want the fast track to success? Or are you in a creative space, wishing to do something different? I see searching for new blogging niches as being a waste of time considering the endless, established niches we already have at our disposal. Why waste time and energy searching for some niche if you have all the niches you need right before your cyber eyes? Toss in the fact that you need to research the niche inside-out if you have no prior knowledge and you invest a significant amount of time just to get the blog off of the ground. Makes no sense to me.

What do you love talking about? What is your biggest passion? Start there. Select that niche. You already have an ample supply of information in your noggin and the confidence to discuss the niche in clear, cogent fashion. Who cares if the niche is new or old? The blogging tips niche – my main niche – has been around for a few decades. Who cares? There is nothing new under the sun blogging-wise but thousands of new bloggers join our ranks daily. I also find that I seem to be converting people to blogging the more I persist in creating and connecting, keeping at this gig, being present, helping spread awareness about a pretty cool blogging niche, and, about a pretty cool way to help people and to free yourself.

Go with What You Know

When it comes to picking a blogging niche, go with what you know. Pick a niche inside of your blogging and knowledge wheelhouse because being armed with knowledge, experience, and a pulsating passion for discussing the niche makes you stand out from the blogging crowd in a major league way. I created this blogging course in under a day. Imagine that? 6 hours of recordings and oodles of blogging knowledge, packaged into a course that I created in under 24 hours. Imagine how much I needed to know about blogging and how confident and clear I had to be in myself, to ship in 24 hours? I go with what I know; sure doesn’t hurt me.

But when you pick a new blogging niche you have no knowledge of, it takes you 2 months to create and ship the course. Not good. There is the quick, and the dead, in the blogging world. We need be patient, persistent and generous to succeed online but in the same regard, adding years to your learning curve by deviating from what you know is a foolish blogging idea. Why? Go with what you know to prosper mightily over the long haul and to hit the ground running.

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