Keys to Blogging: Start a Draft

In a prior blog post, I wrote about how you can create a blog topic pipeline through the use of a pyramid exercise. This is an excellent way to strategically plan your content weeks in advance, but it does not address the numerous ideas that will come to you at any given moment.

It never fails: You know that you had several ideas swimming in your head for blog posts during the past week, but now as you sit in front of your laptop you can’t think of them, or the details of your argument aren’t clear.

The solution: The minute your idea comes to you, start a draft. Create a blog entry with a title and a brief description. This way, those initial thoughts are always there, and they will be queued up and ready to go when you need to get your blog post done for the day.

I find this approach is much more effective than simply keeping a running list of blog topics in a Word document. Here’s why:

1) Starting Point

There’s always a moment of clarity when an idea comes to a writer’s mind. That clarity goes well beyond the topic itself. You can see how the blog post will be structured.

So take the time to write a title and a couple paragraphs of thought around the purpose of the post. When you only provide a list of topics, it’s easy to forget the original plan. By mapping out your thoughts beyond the topic, you are giving yourself a head start when you eventually sit down to write.

That’s exactly how this blog post was created!

2) Commitment

By starting a draft, you have committed to writing. Every time you come to your blog admin page, you’re going to see something that looks like this:

Pending Blog Post Drafts

This serves as a constant reminder that you have work to do. Those “Draft” labels won’t disappear until you either publish the post or delete the draft!

Have a Plan

In the end, it’s always best to have a plan before you write. If you sat down without one, your readers will notice. So take the time to strategically plan your content weeks in advance, but also make sure to create the building blocks of your blog posts well before you start them. Not only will your readers find your content more enjoyable to read, but your writing will come effortlessly!

Your Turn

I write an average of seven or more times per week, and I never feel like I’m out of blog post ideas. It’s exercises like this one and the Blog Topic Pyramid that keep my writing fresh.

What are your techniques for generating blog topic ideas and keeping a steady flow of things to write about? Share them below!