"Conquering Creative Constipation" or "Overcoming Blogger's Block"

By
Real Estate Agent with Fathom Realty West Sound WA State 52404

"Conquering Creative Constipation"

or

"Overcoming Blogger's Block"

(another helpful article in the 'Blog Tips for Rain Drips' series)blog tips for rain drips

 

If you've been blogging for any period of time, then chances are at some point you've experienced 'Blogger's Block' - that discomforting dry spell in the writing desert where your inner muse seems to take an extended hiatus, and you find yourself staring at a blank computer screen for hours on end.

Well, take heart, Bucko! This article is just what the doctor ordered!

Here you will find some practical, sure-fire methods/strategies to unplug your creative constipation, and ensure your blogging pipeline is chock full of smooth-flowing content that keeps those search engine spiders busy and coming back for more!!

As most of you know, in order to effectively attract, engage, and retain any meaningful amount of readership/traffic to your blog, you have to be committed to consistently contributing good, relevant content to your blog.

I once heard a statistic which claimed only 4% of the people who start blogging will still be blogging after 3 months. If true, that's quite an attrition rate. So why do so many quit?

There are probably many different reasons, but I think one of the main ones is that people get to a point where they feel as though they've run out of things to say/write. They hit a mental brick wall where inspiration and creativity seem to elude them.

Personally, I think this dilemma has a lot more to do with a lack of proper planning and discipline than it does a loss of inspiration/creativity.

To successfully compete in the ‘marathon' that is blogging, you must develop a consistent, long-term, organized strategy for writing. While a certain portion of your blog writing will come as a result of creative moments of ‘inspiration,' other portions should be planned or scheduled, and become part of your regular writing routine.

Top Ten Ways to Maintain Blogging Regularity

#1. Take a Relax-a-tive  

Sometimes you just have to ‘unplug' yourself completely from the use of all technologies, and take a short respite. One of the first things you need to learn is how to pace yourself. At times, social media involvements can seem to be a huge sucking black hole that consumes a significant amount of your time and energy. Establish clearly scheduled time frames for your social media marketing. Take regular breaks to focus on other marketing efforts. Few things will be more helpful to restoring your creative juices than taking a break to re-focus and re-energize.

 

#2. Keep Your Drafts on Tap

Rarely do I ever sit down and write an entire post from start to finish. When inspiration hits, I always have a notepad app on my cellphone to save a few collected thoughts. It may be something as basic or simple as just a working title, but I make a point of jotting down my ideas as they come. When I have a few minutes, I'll transfer my thoughts/ideas into my blog publisher and save them as 'Drafts.' That way, I can come back to them at a later point in time to develop them further. You should always have a half dozen articles in process.

#3. Use The ‘Buddy' System

Find a Blogging Buddy: I've been most fortunate to have the constant friendship and encouragement of fellow Rainer, Mark Flanders. For over 5 years now, we've been meeting nearly every week on Thursdays for coffee at The Global Bean. We started our own blogsite together, SoundBiteBlog. Mark is like my blogging cheerleader (Can't you just picture him with a skirt and pom-poms?) Mark is a genius when it comes to all things SEO and is a skilled code monkey. I've learned so much from him over the years, and I owe much of my social media successes to him. Find another Rainer in your area or perhaps someone else in your office who is interested in blogging/social media to be an encouragement partner and motivator to you.

#4. Pimp Your Market Reports

I publish a real estate market report at the beginning of each month for all of Kitsap County WA. My reports contain 3 primary components - statistical data; my personal opinion or analysis of the current market; and a local area component/business/interest story. Consumers don't want cold statistical data, they want your expert analysis and interpretation of that data. They also want a sense of what makes your area such a great place to live, work, and play.

#5. It's a Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood

This is where you can do a detailed overview of specific neighborhoods, developments, or communities within your market. Be sure to include lots of pictures, median home descriptions and prices, school information, shopping, parks, homeowners association info, utilities providers, etc..

#6. Building Bridges with Local Business

What better way to build relational bridges with area business owners than to promote their services/products on your blog! Start off with recommendations of service-related businesses that you yourself patronize and support, and ones that new residents would find the most helpful, i.e. auto repairs, plumber, restaurants, etc..

#7. Previously on '24′- Create a Series

create a blog seriesOne way to keep yourself disciplined to blogging more consistently is to create a multi-part blog series. In fact, you're currently reading one right now! It can require a lot more work than usual, but it will become a worthwhile and valued addition to your blog archive. One of my most successful blog series is entitled "Adventures in 1st Time Home Buying." It is a 10-part series that takes 1st-Time Buyers through the entire home buying process from loan pre-approval to closing. Now, when I have a new 1st-Time Buyer, I simply give them a link to the first article.

#8. Become The Local Real Estate Expert

Both Trulia and Zillow have done an excellent job with this particular approach by providing forums where consumers can pose questions and solicit answers from local real estate experts. Provide a link on your blog where readers can send in questions, and those questions can become source material for future blogs. Or simply, make a list of the most common questions that Buyers and Sellers are constantly asking you, and turn your answer(s) into blog articles.

 

#9. Preview of Coming Attractions

Consumers can access listings from literally hundreds of websites, but what they really have difficulty finding is good relevant information on local entertainment, recreation, and attractions. What are the ‘Must-See' points of interest in your area? What are the primary local sights and attractions that make your area such a great place to live?

#10. Pictures are Worth a 1000 Words

sunset-on-the-hood-canal-kitsap-county-wa

Consumers are graphically oriented or ‘picture happy' and are accessing the Internet in droves with searches of images for their destinations of interest. If your goal is to expand your digital footprint and increase the likelihood of consumers finding you, then creating photo galleries is one more effective methods to employ. In addition to creating photo galleries on your blog, also consider similar galleries on your Facebook Page, or on social networks that are dedicated to photos, like Flickr. Keep Your Digital Camera with You at All times:  Whenever you're out and about, take pictures of your area. Capture the essence of your market and where you live through pictures. Then come back, and write about it. Make sure to name your images effectively, using 'Alt Tags' with geo-targeted titles so consumer clients can find them easily with their searches.

Some of your blog articles need to be inspired by your creative inner muse, while others can be regularly planned and scheduled. Either way, this will ensure that you're consistenly publishing good, quality content to your blog.

~     o     ~     o     ~     o     ~     o     ~     o     ~

Rich Jacobson is a licensed professional real estate broker providing Relentless Representation and Knowledgeable Empowerment for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at KitsapLife.com, HomesByHarbors.com, SoundBiteBlog, Everyday CK@KitsapAgent and Crabbing in the Hood, or e-mail:  kitsapagent@gmail.com

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Rich Jacobson is a District Director for Fathom Realty and a licensed REALTOR®; an avid Crab Hunter, Clam Digger, and Oyster Shucker, He is the Social Media Evangelist for Life on the Kitsap Peninsula & The Western Puget Sound in scenic WA State.

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Todd & Devona Garrigus 11/29/2010 04:55 PM
  2. Jon Quist 12/15/2010 10:39 AM
Topic:
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Tags:
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Rainmaker
1,378,639
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

Rich,

These are all good ideas, and I use a number of them. If you have some market reports, then they come up every month. It's also helpful to have some drafts on hand. Sometimes, when you are in the mood, it's easy to create 3 or 4.

Brian

Nov 30, 2010 12:39 AM #26
Rainmaker
3,622,595
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Great ideas Rich.  Being non-tech...I finally figured out how to use the draft.  But, is there an easy waay to look at what I have in my draft without paging through all my blogs?

Nov 30, 2010 01:12 AM #27
Rainer
123,931
Lisa Hicks
Hoang Realty - Augusta, ME
Serving Central and Southern Maine

Rich - excellent post!  I especially like the graphics you've included...very funny!

Nov 30, 2010 01:38 AM #28
Rainer
41,720
James McGary
Agents Set Free, Inc - Irvine, CA

Wow, excellent post.  All ten of these should be adopted by everyone.

Nov 30, 2010 01:44 AM #29
Rainmaker
656,437
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

Sometimes I feel my writer's block has morphed into something far more impenetrable, like a bug trying to get through the deflector shields of Star Trek's Enterprise. These are good tips, I'll have to put them to work for me!

Nov 30, 2010 01:58 AM #30
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Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional

Rich...

There are days when it is very easy, and days where it is very, very hard!

Nov 30, 2010 02:07 AM #31
Rainmaker
931,204
Corinne Guest
Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
The Choice of Professionals for Luxury Home Buying

I'll be honest, my planning sucks! I am always thinking about setting up a plan for my posts and it never gets done. So I guess I really must start there but your ideas are good.

Nov 30, 2010 02:52 AM #32
Rainmaker
66,177
vFlyer Blog
vFlyer Inc. - San Francisco, CA

#1 is critical not only to maintain blogging flow, but one's own sanity!  Unstructured social media time can leave one feeling like an empty shell.  Thanks for the tips.

Nov 30, 2010 04:23 AM #33
Rainer
237,468
Mike Leibel
CIR Realty - Condo Specialist - Calgary, AB
Associate Broker - REALTOR®

Great post Rich, you've clearly spent a lot of time and effort putting this together for us.  There are some really good ideas here.  It looks as though you follow your own advice to the letter. Congratulations for that and please keep up the good work.  You're doing a great job!

Nov 30, 2010 04:54 AM #34
Rainmaker
272,565
Ross Quintana
Real E Smarter - Spokane, WA
Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966

Rich, if I got more points for comments on the same blog I wouldn't stop :]

Nov 30, 2010 05:04 AM #35
Rainmaker
669,682
Christine Bohn
RE/MAX Professionals - Gainesville, FL
The Bohn Team, Gainesville FL

Rich - I admit blocks and disconnections.  This post was inspiring for me.   I never find time to write, because I'm working, and it's a cycle.   The reason I am busy is because of the SEO on my blogging.  My recent post is a perfect example....with no power, all I could do is think.   And I thought of alot of new posts to do :)

Nov 30, 2010 05:32 AM #36
Rainer
26,814
Chris Rooker
Kline May Realty - Harrisonburg, VA

LOVE these ideas! Thanks for all the helpful information! All bloggers get "writer's block," so its good to have lists like this to keep the creative juices flowing. The key is to keep blogging and don't give up! Local residents will notice... if not now, then soon.

Nov 30, 2010 05:44 AM #37
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Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Rich, I've bookmarked mark this for sure! What a great list of ideas and thoughts to get the cobwebs out when things seem old and stuffy in the head!  I have a quote on my Droid "solitude is creativity's best friend"...  sometimes we I just need to sit in the quiet... 

Nov 30, 2010 07:05 AM #38
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Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

I think Ross just did that to get the points for 3 posts.

:)

 

 

Nov 30, 2010 08:59 AM #39
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Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Been there...  The things that I find help me the most are writing series, and an editorial calendar.  On my LaneBailey.com blog, I have everything written for this week.  If something breaks (news-wise) I can push back even further.  I am trying to work up to having about 15 posts in queue for that blog, and a couple of weeks set aside on my other blogs...

Nov 30, 2010 02:18 PM #40
Ambassador
570,875
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Lane:  You are a great example of successful blogging for others to follow!... And you were part of the inspiration for my new blog!

Dec 01, 2010 06:38 AM #41
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Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Erica:  I completely agree!!!

Dec 01, 2010 06:39 AM #42
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Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Thank you Rich...  Normally I just inspire people to get mad at me...   ;^ )

Dec 01, 2010 02:02 PM #43
Rainer
19,156
Sandra Pearce
Republic Mortgage Home Loans in Olympia Washington - Olympia, WA

ok, so I have to say, this is the first blog of yours I've read and it is not only entertaining but useful as well.  I'm a newbie to the rain and am sure I will enjoy many more of your blogs to come :)

Dec 07, 2010 07:35 AM #44
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Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Rich...What have I been missing?  I'm going to check out some of the others in your series.  I'm a Rain Drip that can always use some good ideas.

Thanks,

Kate

Dec 20, 2010 11:31 AM #45
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