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Frustrated by Blogger’s Block? Try this Exercise!

Feeling frustrated today about a lack of ideas to write about on your blog? If so, you’re not alone. Here’s another technique that I use to overcome it.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post here on ProBlogger that gave a tip for fighting blogger’s block. It asked you to identify a problem that you had three years ago and to write a post that solved that problem for your readers.

Another variation on that technique for overcoming blogger’s block is to write a post that taps into a “feeling” that your readers might typically have.

There are probably thousands of bloggers in your niche writing content to solve the problems of your readers, but I bet that in most niches, most of them don’t look after the feelings of their readers.

Acknowledge and work with those feelings, and you’ll be blogging with empathy—not only solving problems, but making emotional connections with your readers. You’ll also be connecting with different personality types than if you just write a dry how-to type post.

Which feelings should you concentrate on? While negative feelings might be the obvious choice I think there’s a case for writing about the whole gamut of feelings:

  • Feeling lost? Here’s a way forward.
  • Feeling paralyzed? Here’s how to get moving.
  • Feeling excited? Here’s how to capture that excitement and use it for good.
  • Feeling lonely? Here’s a place to connect with others.
  • Feeling overwhelmed? Here’s how to navigate that.
  • Feeling fearful? Here’s how to overcome your fear.

You’ll notice in the above examples I’ve taken each of the feelings and then written a how-to response, but there are other ways to tap into the feelings of your readers, too.

One great way to do it is to tell a story.

  • Feeling Lost? Here’s a time I felt that, and here’s what happened.

Another way to tap into feelings is to start a discussion.

  • What do you do when you’re feeling overwhelmed with your work.

So sit down today and think about what kinds of feelings and emotions your readers might have.

You might get some hints in the comments section of your blog. You may also want to think about your own feelings and emotions (past and present) as they pertain to your topic.

Once you’ve identified a feeling, write a post that starts with that feeling. Acknowledge it up front, then write something that helps your readers to move forward from that place.

I’d love to see links below to the posts you write after doing this exercise! Please do share them.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Justin Mazza says:

    So good Darren. A dry How to Post is quite common on the net these days. My most popular posts are ones that I write about my personal experiences including the pain that I endured. We are more than just minds, we are energetic beings that have feelings.

  2. Dwayne@TWC says:

    WOW, Darren. That’s a whole new post for each emotion. I can’t believe I’ve overlooked the small things that can bring big ideas. I am definitely going to apply this and see how it works.

  3. Mike says:

    Emotions are a key way to connect with people. When you show that you can connect with individuals on a basic emotional level, they tend to return at least a few times more. That is essential for the community.

    • I agree completely Mike. Most people buy with their emotions and they tend to see the world through an emotional haze. Catering to that is something no blogger can afford to ignore; like you’ve said, it is essential. I wrote a post about the loneliness of working online and I think it hit a nerve.

  4. I rarely experience writer’s block so I almost bypassed this email. I’m glad I read it, because it was perfect and I learned something new that I’m going to try out on my blogs.

    I think these are great ways to start a story that will connect with my readers.

    Thanks.

  5. DuyLe says:

    I think main emotion most entry level Bloggers face is loneliness, They build blog and are not sure how to build a commonuty around . For long time blogging and having no plan and stategy to make himself present, they soon get bored and rarelt feed blog,too.

  6. Hi Darren,

    Sensational idea here, because humans are emotional creatures. Tap into your reader’s emotions and you have a loyal, hungry reader, eager to see what you have to share to help them solve their problems.

    By listening and writing, your content is perfectly constructed by whomever you listen to. The hints come up again and again: Skype messages, blog comments, social network comments.

    I had a few conversations on Skype a little while ago which work wonderfully with your topic. I can immediately see how I can show more empathy, dial in to my reader’s feelings, and create a content rich post which helps my readers solve their problems.

    This was a challenge for me, for quite a bit. Why? I had my own problems to solve, my own issues to work through. I was so self-centered that I forgot who I was writing for: my audience. I forgot that by solving their problems, I could solve my own.

    So I am learning to listen with a more empathetic ear, tuning in to the feelings of my readers, and my target market, and building content which is tailored to solving the problems, needs and anxieties of my audience.

    Covering the gamut works well. I have experienced those emotions along the way as a blogger and I know many of my readers do too, whether they are bloggers, cash gifters, MLMers, whomever. Nobody is immune from feeling lost, or overwhelmed, or anxious in their day to day living, at least for a moment or 2. Keep listening and you quickly find out that most people provide you with sensational blog post ideas, if you simply tune in and listen to a conversation.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Darren.

    Ryan

  7. Christin says:

    You have impeccable timing. I just told my husband tonight how I felt I was empty of anything left to write on my blog. *Thank you*! :)

  8. Writing about your feelings is a good approach. However, sometimes I find it hard when I am feeling different emotions. I guess I need more practice. Thanks for your advice.

  9. Hi Darren,
    Great post…opens up so many more ideas for blogging subjects when you start to think about emotions in this way. Am already writing a list of headings whilst adding this comment. Thanks again.

  10. Hmm. Interesting article – food for thought on future content ideas and approaches. Thanks Darren, much appreciated.

  11. Bryan Ring says:

    I remember that posting. Since I do not consider my self a blogger for $$’s kind of guy, I’m finding more & more that I have to be, in order to gain the traffic and be found.
    I learned this along time ago and thousands are practicing this everyday: “Suit-up, Show-up & Shut-up”. I love this!, and do my best to practice this in my everyday.
    Here’s another one that is similar, but geared for bloggers: “Keep It Simple Stupid” or it could just be for us smarty-pants. Neither one of these quotes are mine.
    I love how you tell it D, there are plenty of emotions floating around the world, we could easily talk about just that and break “Word-barriers” on articles.

  12. Not only are emotions great to get new post ideas, but it’s a great selling and marketing tool, it’s what made Apple what they are today.

  13. Dzulhelmee says:

    Hi Darren

    The article keeps me refresh as I almost forget that feelings is one of important matter to consider in writing an article. I will try to capture to feelings on my next post.

  14. HiepNguyen says:

    I’ll do that exercise daily! Another great post, Very useful. Thanks very much!

  15. Daniel says:

    I think if a person has chosen a topic to blog about that they ARE NOT really all that passionate about, sooner or later the wheels will start to fall off.

    As times passes, they will find more and more reasons NOT TO WRITE that next blog post.

    If the person has moderate interest in their blog topic, there should not be too many problems coming up with regular posts.

    As far as writers(Bloggers) block is concerned, the only way to beat writes block is to write.

    Once you start writing, you will build momentum and soon be back in full flight.

  16. Marryann says:

    Love the term bloggers block. Everyone is right that articles must be written with emotion because if the article is not written with emotion then passion lacks and dryness/boredom ensues. The only problem with writing with emotion is that many times articles/posts that are written may not get published for fear of getting harrassed/belittled for the emotion that is shown in said article, especially if that emotion tends to run against the norm for said issue (I am currently dealing with this in one, myself, on a post I have written but have yet to publish).

  17. Anurag kumar says:

    hi
    Darren Rowse

    Nice exercise for us . But i think people are interested in the feelings of great and famous personalities like you. If i am going to share my feeling not much of the people will be interested to read . And if you are going to write something like this , then i am waiting for that moment. I would request you to share your feelings also sometime. So that we get inspired to do something for ourselves.

  18. It’s important to tap into the feelings and emotions of a blog audience when possible. After you’ve been blogging for awhile, you should understand who your audience is and what they want to read. Don’t be afraid to ask them what kind of content they would find beneficial.

  19. Jean Wolfe says:

    Brilliant .. negative emotions are especially powerful as they give permission to readers to acknowledge their feelings too. Love it, thanks and I hadn’t wuite seen it in this way before.

  20. Another great post, Very useful. Thanks very much!