Whenever I get through a week or so without posting, as for example I have done this week past – other than for a couple of my del.icio.us links – I think of the standard advice for bloggers, to have a number of blog posts in reserve.
But that didn’t help me to get moving and post something today.
What did help was to notice a post by Irish blogger and social media wiz Damien Mulley on the made-to-order-for-me-today topic, Words don’t come easy – What to blog about?
The post has several good, practical suggestions, including what not to blog about:
At MulleyWorld we’ll make sure that all your needs are catered for. Our well-trained staff. Blah de blah. No brochure crap please. No advertorials about how you guys rock. Stop. Remember it’s a conversation and it is meant to engage with people.
Riff on your comments
One of the more positive suggestions which appealed especially to me was to use the comments you post on others’ blogs to generate a post of your own, by expanding on your own comment. A kind of a riff on a riff.
I reflected that often, even though I may have let couple of days or more go by without a blog post – as in this week past – I have found time to share some of my thoughts with others via a comment or comments on others’ blogs.
What a good idea, then, to take the basic idea of your comment and extend it into a longer piece in the form of a blog post.
So, for example, I had commented on Damien’s post, suggesting that another way to generate a blog post was to exercise some reciprocity: in other words, notice when another blogger links to you and repay the favor by incorporating in a post of your own a link to their blog. As I’m doing now in a stream of actions that started when I noticed the other day that Damien had linked to a post on one of my blogs.
And while this post is not precisely about the reciprocity idea in my comment on Damien’s post, the process of thinking about, composing and posting the comment got my brain going in more of a blogging vein than had been the case half an hour or so earlier. I was able, in other words, to take something I had written and use it to beat the day’s instance of blogger’s block.
Implicit also in what I’ve written here is another suggestion for generating ideas for blog posts: Go Fishing – in your Google Reader, or FeedDemon or whatever feed reader you use. That’s what I do often, to get ideas for blog posts, and did today.
Which is how I came to notice Damien’s post.
Blogging as conversation. To and fro.