The “Secret” to Writing Blockbuster ArticlesAug 23, 2021
Tell me if this has ever happened to you: it’s Monday morning, and you’re ready to get some writing done. In your head, you’re already publishing a blockbuster article. The only thing that’s missing is the red carpet.
But then you sit at your desk. That damn blank page reflects the image of a creatively bankrupt blogger; your fingers are stubborn, the muse is shy.
You want to write brilliant articles. But you just can’t…
What’s the secret to being consistent, anyway?
How do you punch the keys, if your mind feels empty?
The truth is, writing is half magic, half strategy.
And today we’re going to have some fun and talk about a secret that allows you to magically sit at your desk and punch those damn keys.
Most bloggers struggle because they approach writing as the act of creating something out of nothing. It’s the main reason you want to bash your head against the keyboard.
In fact, writing the damn thing should be the easiest part of content creation.
Once I realized that you can’t create something out of nothing, I could wake up at 5 AM, have a sip of coffee, and sit down to punch those damn keys until my hands hurt.
No more time wasted staring stupidly into the abyss of a blank document, no more cursing that blinking cursor thing.
Disclaimer: This tutorial is taken straight out of our latest course, The Art of Writing Blockbuster Articles.
The Secret? The Brain Dump
I assure you of this: every single blogger who struggles to come up with ideas for articles, they do so because they don’t go through the step I’m about to share with you.
In other words, before you start thinking about writing, you need to warm up the creative muscle.
How do you do that?
Feed your brain.
I have an impressive list of blogs, email newsletters, YouTube channels, and podcasts that I follow.
Great Bloggers Steal… Kind Of
The truth is most bloggers struggle because they try to write in a void. They approach the blank page as a world of infinite possibilities.
If you were to place me in a dark room, with no access to humankind’s collective ideas and thoughts, also known as the internet, I’d be like, “Uhm… yeah… ahm… where did my brain go?”
Most bloggers are plagued by the curse of originality, meaning that they are trying to create something out of nothing.
In truth, blogging is more like being engaged in a conversation. All you have to do is add to the conversation, share your opinion, share some facts, but most of all… you have to connect the dots, you have to connect what someone else said to what you want to say.
Don’t believe me?
Even Picasso was no stranger to stealing… like an artist.
That’s why I spend most of my time reading content all over the web, listening to podcasts, watching movies, TV shows, documentaries, reading interviews…
I am feeding my brain, but while I do so I am also asking myself these questions:
- Do I agree with them? Why?
- What do I have to add to what they said/wrote?
- How do my own experiences relate to the information I am consuming right now?
I stumbled upon this system by commenting on a lot of blog posts. Sometimes, if the article truly inspired me to think, I’d share some insight, come up with some idea or thought, that I instantly recognized as being worth writing an entire blog post about.
By starting with someone else’s ideas and words, I’d put in motion my own creative mind, and I’d undoubtedly share something that was mine, all mine.
What Are You Looking For?
Do this long enough, and consistently enough, and you will stumble upon two types of articles:
1. The idea you can’t get rid of.
If you stumble upon a piece of content that you simply can’t get out of your head, even if you keep feeding your brain, then it is, most likely, worth writing about.
Think in terms of:
- What can I add to this idea?
- How can I improve upon it?
- What questions do I have? What is there left to explain?
2. The idea you can’t agree with.
One surefire way to come up with an idea for a blog post is to find a piece of content that makes you say, “Yeah, but…”
It shares an idea or an insight that you agree and disagree with at the same time, meaning you can add to the conversation that takes place around that topic or idea.
Also, most often, it also means that you have first-hand experience with the idea that’s being discussed and that the insights you want to add are quite valuable.
How Do You Create a Brain Dump?
As you will be spending a lot of time writing down ideas, quotes, entire paragraphs from certain blog posts, you need to have a deliberate approach.
You can use a simple tool such as Evernote, or even your phone’s notes app, or you can have a draft in WordPress, or even a Google Docs or Pages document.
Now select whatever you need:
- Camera – take pictures
- Attachment – add a document
- Audio – record an audio note
- Checkbox – write down a checklist of your ideas, questions, etc.
- Sketch- draw an idea for a chart, graph, or custom illustration
- Link – Add links to inspiring articles you find on the web.
Whatever tool you choose, you should go with a tool that:
- Syncs across all your devices, like Evernote or Apple’s Notes App. Or Notion.
- Syncs in the cloud. You don’t want to lose all your ideas if your device decides to die on you.
- Offers you the choice to add links, images, and take audio notes.
Another cool tool I’ve found is Curator, which allows you to, well, curate a huge list of different social media feeds and such into a single timeline. That’s great for inspiration.
This is the first step when it comes to content creation: feed your brain with information that makes you think, information that’s so good you wish you had thought about it first, information that inspires you, that makes you go, “Oh, my, this is actually brilliant.”
The next step is to sit down at your desk and think about the ideas you “stole” from others.
There’s this interesting statistic I once read about having to spend 8-12 hours thinking about idea for every hour we spend punching those keys.
It might make a lot of sense, but a lot of bloggers don’t deliberately invest time to thinking about ideas.
And here’s the trick: You must think about thinking differently. You must decide to think for the sake of it, that’s why it’s so important to stumble upon the ideas that truly inspire you.
Don’t think to write, think to understand.
If you do this long enough, you will eventually start to connect seemingly unrelated dots.
The basics don’t work anymore
Most blogging advice you find online sounds like this:
- Publish as much content as possible
- Write longer articles
- Stuff your article with keywords in the vague hope of ranking as high as possible on search engines
- Use the same old basic headline formulas that everyone else has used and abused for the past two decades
Over two billion search results, and the vast majority of the advice you’ll find only kind of feels like a solution, feeds your enthusiasm until you click the publish button and… crickets.
But don’t worry, there’s a better way…
Master the art of writing blockbuster articles that help you grow your audience and become an authority within your niche by enrolling in our newest course, The Art of Writing Blockbuster Articles.
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