Overcoming blog writers block: top tips from other bloggers

I’m in the process of updating some training on blog writing and so asked my Twitter followers for their top tips and how they approach writing a post.

Here’s what they came up with:

  • Think about using The Pomodoro Technique® (structured time keeping for activities) here’s an example post using it. – @abigailH
  • ‘Think about where else it might get re-produced write with a specific audience in mind.’ – @AdamVincenzini
  • ‘Use a local/offline editor — on the Mac, MarsEdit is king.’ – @nevali
  • ‘If I can nail the title, the rest of the post just writes itself. The title describes “what?” and the post fulfils “so what?”‘ – @helenduffett
  • ‘Don’t be afraid to amend or add to a blog post after it has been published as a story evolves or new facts emerge .’ – @jonworth
  • ‘Do it somewhere different from other work. I often write posts with my laptop on the kitchen counter (with coffee).’ – @stray_and_ruby
  • ‘Really, really keep most posts under 300 words. Always look at the word count, so you know how much you write.’ – @gregorymarler
  • ‘People love reading about themselves, so write about people.My concert reviews of visiting USchoirs are widely read.’ – @timothywriting
  • ‘Find your voice.’ – @dickyadams

And mine?

I try to think about what might be useful or entertaining to others and I occasionally use this blog to think aloud. Presuming that you’ve already decided roughly on a topic or have an idea these tips might also help:

  • Write your post as an email to yourself
  • Explain your idea for a post to someone else, thinking about the main thing you’re trying to say, then write it down
  • Don’t worry about writing from the top, start in the middle and then fill in as you go
  • Think about how you would explain something to someone else
  • Just go for it, then edit
  • Have a person in mind that you’re writing to

UPDATE 20.45, 16/06/2011
I think I’ve been caught out…
Nicholas Toller Tweets
Nicholas Toller second Tweet

Public training courses for May, June and July

A list of public courses I’m teaching over the next few months:

11 May – Social Media and Social Marketing, London
16 May – Social Media and Social Marketing, Manchester
18 May – Introducing LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook, London
20 May – Twitter for Business, London (half day)

1 June – Social Media and Social Marketing, London
2 June – Twitter for Business, London (half day)
29 June – Blogs and Blogging, London

1 July – Social Media & the Law, London
27 July – Social Media and Social Marketing, London
28 July – Twitter for Business, London (half day)

Online journalism and the law

I’m currently preparing for a course I’m teaching in December entitled ‘Legal issues and social media‘. Today I came across this excellent presentation by Paul Bradshaw, senior lecturer in online journalism at Birmingham City University, that he gave earlier this week to his MA Online Journalism students.

The slides go through the main areas of law affecting publishing on the web as well as giving defences for each section of the law. All of which are relevant to anyone who is publishing regular content or encouraging user generated content on their website or a site which is under their jurisdiction – not just journalists and bloggers.