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October 4, 2007

Have You Found Your Blog Topic for Blog Action Day – October 15

is October 15, and the founders of the event are asking bloggers around the world to blog on the topic of the environment.

Similar to the April 30, Day of Silence, when many bloggers around the world didn’t publish anything but a sign honoring the day in protest of personal violence, Blog Action Day asks you to turn your blog into action by blogging about the environment on that day. You can choose any topic, as long as it has to do with environmental issues.

The idea behind Blog Action Day is to use the power of united voices to call attention to an issue. This year, Blog Action Day is dedicated to the environment. Next year, they may have a different subject.

With millions of bloggers writing about the environment, readers can’t help but be exposed to the news and information just from the numbers. This type of unified action often speaks louder than the small chorus.
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July 5, 2007

Lighting Your Blogging Fire With Community and Imagination

If you are pausing before blogging, wondering why you do it and what good your blogging does, it helps to stumble across posts like Jan from Circular Communication, who said in “Why You Should Blog With Community in Mind and How to Do It”:

Blogging can be a wonderful experience where you learn a lot, get inspired by great personalities and get to now new people. You may even get to teach others what you know, inspire them and win new friends. There is so much more to blogging than meets the eye. So much more than merely churching out content and monetizing your blog. Or at least there can be. You decide what you want from blogging when you define your purpose and start your blog. The next step is to actually make it happen. It will probably be a long journey, but since the journey is the purpose is that exactly as it should be.

Are you stumbling with your blogging, failing to find the joy and passion you once had? Here are some quick tips to energize your blogging experience, just as Jan found:

  1. Find Friends: Find other bloggers to comment and communicate with to build relationships that inspire, promote thought, and challenge you to move forward not backward.
  2. Aim Lower: Sometimes we set the blogging bar so high, it smacks us in the head as we pass by it, or we dangle from it, unable to reach the ground. Lower the bar and think simpler, easier, and attainable. This doesn’t mean “dumbing down” your blog’s content. It means setting goals you can reach in measurable, reasonable steps.
  3. Comment on 10 blogs: Set aside some time in the day or over the course of a couple days to find worthwhile blog content worth commenting on and comment. Watch what will happen.
  4. Start Over: I don’t mean start over with a new blog. Look at your blogging topic and think about how it was when you started. What were the challenges? What made the process harder than it needed to be? Now translate that beginning perspective into an experienced, knowledgeable perspective and blog about it. Remembering your roots can help you remember your passion and why you blog in the first place.
  5. Guest Blog: Find blogs with similar content and ask them to guest blog, or get some guest bloggers on your blog. New input generates new interest and enthusiasm, reigniting your blogging spirit.
  6. Look At Your Blog With a Mirror: Remember your school days and writing secret code with a mirror. Da Vinci was an expert in disguising his writings with the mirror technique. Use it to look at your blog with a similar mirror-like perspective. Instead of looking at it as you see it, reverse the image and look at it as your readers do. What are they seeing when they look at your blog through their eyes, not yours. You might find some very interesting discoveries from your reader’s point of view. And if this is too hard, ask for help.
  7. Ask: Ask for help. Ask for advice. Ask for questions. Ask for answers. When you ask, you often get an answer and that answer can inspire you forward with your blog’s content and energy.
  8. Quote: I find a lot of blog post ideas from quotes. Quotes from other bloggers as well as quotes from all kinds of people, including those long past.

    What people are ashamed of usually makes a good story. You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald

    If that doesn’t get you inspired to write…

  9. Take a Break: Take a break. Leave the computer. If your mind keeps racing back to your blog, then stop and deny it access in your imagination. After a few hours or days, then let it move towards your blog in your mind. Ask yourself why it is so important for you to return to your blog. You might be surprised by the answer and the new self-confidence you feel in writing your blog.

I’ve just brushed the surface of things you can do to stimulate your imagination regarding your blog to find renewed interest and enthusiasm. Do you have some suggestions for lighting the blogging fire under bloggers?

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February 7, 2007

What Gets You Worked Up Enough To Blog About It?

Filed as Features with 4 comments

Writing this weekly column for the Blog Herald has been a new challenge for me — I’m not used to blogging “on demand.” On my own blog, Publishing 2.0, I just waiting until something gets me sufficiently worked up that the blog post practically writes itself. Because of that dynamic, I also have a pile of unfinished posts that just petered out — if the momentum runs out, I typically find the post wasn’t worthwhile anyway. I’ve also gone days without posting because nothing got me sufficiently worked up (in the old days they used to call it writers block).

So I had to write this column today, and nothing really topical for the Blog Herald had me stirred — so what to do? Well, for one thing I can raise the core issue of blogging motivation, and ask the pointed question — what gets you worked up enough to blog about it? I can also posit for comments and reaction that the best blogging comes from the gut (although it’s also well informed by the brain).

Beyond that, I’m going to take the liberty of running through a number of brief items that got me worked up today, any one of which could have been a full blown blog post, but the point is to explore what the seed of a good post looks like. So here goes.
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