Beat the Summer Blogging Blues

Graphics courtesy of Ben Butler and Heather Harder
Graphics courtesy of Ben Butler and Heather Harder

Got a case of summer writer’s block? Want to start a blog but not sure what to write about? Here are a few tips from 2013-2014 National Committee members Heather Harder (vice president of member services) and Ben Butler (vice president of public relations) to help you find motivation, whether you’re a veteran blogger or a newbie.

Choose a theme you’re passionate about.
Heather: Blogging will never be enjoyable if your only motivation is to increase your SEO and make yourself more marketable during interviews. If you’re going to beat the blogging blues, especially during summer, choose a theme you can connect with. For me, that theme is public speaking. On my WordPress blog, The PResenter, I mainly post tips for speeches and presentations. While my blog ties into my career interests, yours doesn’t have to. You can also blog about a favorite hobby or a personal interest.

Establish your audience.
Ben: One of the initial challenges of starting a blog is deciding your target niche audience. In order for a blog to be successful, it must be focused on a clearly identified niche; for me, that niche was public relations professionals – both new and seasoned. My niche audience loves coffee (it’s an industry standard), so that’s where esPResso: “fine grinds of fine minds” found life.

Brainstorm potential topics related to your theme.
Heather: To select the right theme for my blog, I created a list of topics that fit into each option. If I couldn’t think of more than five topics right away, I eliminated the theme. Your theme should be something you can create content for each week, so make sure you have lots of ideas for topics before you start writing.

Ben: After finding my niche, I found that everything else – including my main topics – emerged. I decided upon an interview-driven style blog that is based entirely on the wisdom of others. I wanted to draw out advice that I had not seen anywhere else and share it with my audience.

Develop a habit of posting.
Heather: To get into a consistent habit, I incorporated a Friday blog post with my independent study. If you do not have a class that requires you to blog, choose a day of the week to post new content, and be as consistent as possible. If you know you have a busy week coming up, try writing a few posts at once and saving some to post during the weeks you don’t have time to write.

Stand out.
Ben: WordPress has always been a fair companion, so naturally that was what I used to launch esPResso. It’s easy to use and offers thousands of ready-to-go themes. I say if you are going to do a blog then do a blog right – purchase its domain and a unique theme. The last thing you want to do is look like every other blogger out there.  

Get inspired.
Heather: Read articles and follow blogs related to your theme. Watch TV shows and follow Pinterest boards. Look for inspiration everywhere you go, and keep a list of topics you’ve thought of. Just be sure to give credit if you use information from another source.

More questions? Ask away in the comments below. 

This is a guest post co-written by Heather Harder, PRSSA vice president of member services, and Ben Butler, PRSSA vice president of public relations. Follow Heather at @HeathHarder and Ben at @BenButlerPR.

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