What Can I Post About?
No Post Ideas? Mind Gone Blank?
We've all been there - done a few posts, learned a few tricks, got the bug. And then, the first flurry of ideas is used up and we stare at the screen helplessly. What to do next, what can you post about?
Well, sooner or later you'll go shopping. You'll look at a few things, perhaps compare a couple of different brands, buy one of them. Go home, stare blankly at screen again, make another coffee ...
WOAH! Rewind, you've just done a comparative review of two products. Something made you buy one over the other. You have a product and can use it - there's your next post, and you can give it the personal touch that sells, make your own pictures, use the kids as testers ...
Intro image: By Roger469 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Have you ever suffered it? How did you get past it?
Things You Own
What do you own that's useful, easy to use, makes you glad you bought it? What do you own that's a pain in the backside and you wish you'd bought the brand your neighbour has?
Okay, your iron is better than the last one you bought - why? Lighter, doesn't leak when the water gets low, cord is long enough to not need extension leads? Or your iron is great but next door bought a similar model for half the price. Bummer.
Do some online searching for reviews and comparisons of similar irons. Talk to friends and neighbours. Write it all down and get onto that keyboard. You'll soon have a review of popular irons with personal recommendations on price and features.
Image: By TakingITGlobal (http://www.sproutecourse.org/) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons
Things Related To The Things You Own
Page on irons up and running, back to staring blankly at screen? No, What's that table-like thing you put clothes on to iron them? What's the cloth-like thing it's sometimes covered with? Where do you store laundry before it's washed? Before it's ironed? Hangers? Wardrobe and drawer fresheners?
How about a page on ironing board covers? Better, how about a page on ten great ironing board covers to match a variety of decors? Theme it to make it nichier (sorry about that word - ooh, how about a psot on words that don't exist but should?). Better still, several sets of ten.
But aren't ironing board covers unsexy? Not necessarily, and anyway everybody needs them. Glam it up with flowered covers, coloured covers, anything you like. Grab that niche and hammer it,.
And After All That Ironing
You deserve a rest. Lock the kids in their bedrooms and send hubbie out with the dog. There's a new programme on TV you want to watch, with two of your favourite actors, and it'll look good on your new flat screen television.
Right, if you know where we're going next, you're getting it already. Page on televisions? Not quite, write about that particular television - use the product name and code as the title: People will search for Panasupersonic LED SZ-987765 and you're in that niche market now. Televisions is too large a subject to write a reasonable length page about and you're not an expert on the subject. You are an expert on the product you have in front of you.
Ideas written down (always write them down), back to the programme. You remember when the lead was in .... Lightbulb moment - write about him? Again, not quite. How about a page on "Fred Smith: the early years" . Your mum loves him as well? She's not your mum, she's a source of information (well, she's probably older than you and will remember when Fred Smith was in an embarassingly bad kids show). Write it down.
Kids pick the lock on the bedroom door and charge down to watch purple space monsters and large-busted cartoon women fighting. Turn off brain for the duration. Wrong!!! There's a birthday coming up and you suspect you'll have to buy one of those purple monsters immortalised in plastic. Or kit out a bedroom in purple stars. Or theme a party with purple cake and jelly .... Start writing down these ideas.
I Need A New Iron, Now You Mention It - Context-relevant ads but what's missing?
As the title says, what's missing? Put a description of your own here - good for search engines and especially good to show readers that you know what you're talking about.
Thank God That's Over
Space monsters all killed in a variety of ways, kids bathed and in their pyjamas... REWIND! KIds bathed using that new foam that they love because it smells nice and doesn't sting their eyes. Bath was fun because of the game of battleships with the plastic ducks. That new shampoo is good. Is it - why? Dry your hands and write it down.
Pyjamas - who bought them? You did - why? What made you choose those? Price, a brand you trust? Long lasting? Non-iron? Purple space monsters? Anyone up for a lens on ten great Donald Duck Pyjamas? And some ads on related subjects like bedding, wallpaper, lamps ...
Now It's Really Over
KIds asleep, hubbie found his way home from the pub and didn't lose the dog - it took a while to settle in as it came from a shelter and had been badly treated as a puppy. You love it and sometimes help at the shelter or raise money for them .... Yep, ideas galore, and all with pics of cute dogs and a sad tale with a happy ending. Get local with some of the ideas - Google is starting to love really locally-based pages, so a post on the shelter at Lower Fall, Wichita, not on dog shelters in general.
Buit it's only a mongrel, not like the pedigree poodles my friend breeds ... Phone her, she's to be awaiting you tomorrow when you arrive with your camera and notepad. Breeding them, feeding them, caring for them, common problems with the breed, winners at Crufts. Never mind Crufts, ask the expert about local dog shows. She mentions a friend who paints portraits of pets from photographs .... Write it down!
Do Anything Else Today?
Come on, you're a mother - you work hours that are illegal in civilised countries! You made a beef stew, your grandmother's recipe, the kids love it. Or just a quick meal of baked potatoes with your patented tuna and sweetcorn topping. Except for little Billy who hates fish and ....
Okay, how many posts in that opening paragraph? By now you won't say one on family cooking, you'll have one on grannie's recipes, one on baked potatoes, one on fussy eating in children, one on .... And we haven't even mentioned the cooker you're looking at buying, or the waffle iron, or the knife set ...
But I Can't Write About Me
Wrong, in most good posts you're there anyway - it's your words, your opinions, your experiences.
Take it a step further: so there's nothing special about you, you just married, are raising a family, balancing a budget, dealing with life's little problems, diagnosing illnesses, treating them sometimes, sitting worried while doctors do things. You're a consumer, a product reviewer, a nurse, a psychologist, You talk to people like you every day. You laugh together about the toddler who put the plastic soldier up his nose and the peanut butter sandwich in the DVD player. You spend a lot of time alone with husband at work and kids at school. You have a computer and an internet connection ....
Produce Posts Related To The Posts You've Produced
Grab that niche
You've now written several pages about the things in your home and the cat is refusing to do any more interviews - what next?
It's time to get serious and to get pages supporting each other. Someone once said produce pages about the things you own, I said produce pages related to the things you own, now it's produce pages related to the pages you've produced. In the jargon, develop your niche. Judge from traffic and from keyword research what other aspects of an area you can work on, and now get more specific. Say you've done a post on a brand of make up - now you can look at lipstick.. Even better, one post per colour range - one on reds, one on greens and so on. You'll pick up people who search for "Paul's Lipstick", plus "red lipstick" and "Paul's Red Lipstick" - all those nice specific searches which mean more chance of sales.
Note: when planning the post on reds you'll realise that the same structure will do for every other colour - you've invented a template - and so production of the lenses will be faster and easier. Plus if something isn't working after publication it's easier to make similar quick changes across similar lenses.
Use whatever linking tools to get the posts in your niche linking to each other - a bit of search engine juice and you're offering good alternatives when people visit any one of the set,
It's Not That Easy Is It?
Yes and no is the answer here. Yes, it is that easy to shift the way you think - from "what can I write about?" to "how can I make a jub/blog/whatever about that?". It's comparatively easy to learn decent structures for your posts, to get a feel for what modules work and how different presentations go. The hard part though is getting the traffic, and that's where many come unstuck and even drop out of the game.
To do well, you need traffic. To get traffic people have to come from links or search results. Your next mission, should you care to accept it, is to learn about keyword research and SEO. How to do all that is way beyond the scope of this page but I'm not going to leave you completely in the lurch - there is a good forum at Squid∩ Community and there's excellent resources via the Hubpages forums.
There Are Places I Remember
Places you know and love.