Guest Post - Our host is Christopher Wallace, In this post Christopher has some tips to keep your blog fresh.See How To Become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
There's no quicker way to kill your blog than to let it go stale. If you devotedly post every day for months, building a follower base, and then completely drop out for weeks at a time, people will be slow to return.
The most successful blogs add fresh content daily. Even if you're a one-man-or-woman operation, that should be your goal.
Of course, uninspiring (dare I say, boring) posts can be just as detrimental. If you have nothing to say, it can be better to say nothing at all.
So how do you ensure that you have fresh content to write about every day that never feels dull or tiring? We're talking about exciting posts that POP off the page. Is that possible, day in and day out?
Start a Running List
Your goal should be to have eight topics on hand, every day. Perhaps you have a few post ideas you've been turning around in your head for awhile. Go ahead and create a document and add those to it. I use a Google document because I can edit it from the Google Drive app on my phone and tablet. You could also use a Word doc (and access it via Dropbox when you're mobile) and send yourself text messages or emails when you have an idea.
Put Yourself on Constant Alert
If you're a blogger, you're already 'on call' most of the time. We never know when we'll stumble upon a good idea or read something that inspires a post. Now that you've organized your idea list into a document, there are no more excuses for forgetting about a good idea because you didn't write it down. When you have a blog idea, immediately add it to your list or send yourself a note in a manner where you won't forget about it.
Make Bookmark Programs Your Friend
Taking quick notes about a blog idea is now more convenient than ever, thanks to bookmark applications like Evernote and Pinterest. I used to keep a Pinterest board that was just for 'pinning' stories I found online that gave me an idea for my own posts. Because Pinterest is so public, I ended up switching to Evernote for this purpose, but it's possible to set up a second Pinterest page if you don't want to confuse your followers by mixing blog notes about social media trends with your pins about what to cook for dinner. Evernote allows me to not only bookmark a page, but to copy sections of text into a note and add my own thoughts on the fly. It's proved a very useful tool for saving blog ideas on-the-go.
Read Like-Minded Blogs
Reflecting on the ideas presented by similar bloggers is obviously a great way to get ideas for your own posts, but the time to do that is not when you sit down to write. If you go searching for a concept at crunch-time, you're less likely to contribute your own perspective (and more likely to end up ripping off someone else's post in your own words). Go blog fishing AFTER you've written your post for the day. Find ideas that you like, bookmark them, and then add your own take on the concept to your topic list. By the time you sit down to write on the similar topic, your unique angle will have had time to marinate and your writing and ideas will be truly your own.
Repeat and Replenish
When it's time to sit down and write, having eight potential topics to choose from means that you're virtually guaranteed to find something that's particularly inspiring to you that day. Of course, there will be plenty of times where a post idea hits you on the spot, and it ends up becoming a blog without ever reaching that topic list. But when you do draw from your list, it's important to add new ideas to it to replace the ones you've used. Make it your goal to keep eight running ideas at all times. If one goes stale or you utilize one for a post, go web surfing or just sit and brainstorm until you find another to replace it. Remember, you're just thinking of ideas for the topic list -- you can flesh them out later when it's time to write.
By keeping a steady supply of blog topics constantly churning in your mind (and written down, where they can't get lost), you're far less likely to ever sit down to post and feel like you have nothing to write. What other tricks have you utilized to keep your ideas fresh and constant?