There is a simple way to create content for a blog, and there is a complicated way.
The complicated way usually involves stressing and getting blocked.
The simple way I call Writing for Grandma.
Going by the results of a search I just did on Google, a lot of us are trying to do it the complicated way – or just not doing it: my search on the term “bloggers block” (without the quote marks) drew fifty three million three hundred thousand results.
So if you get stuck on what or how to write, know you have company.
Now I fully realize there are all sorts of barriers that can come up if we really want to fret about creating content. Actually, I think I know most of them from having hidden behind one or other of them at one time or another, or had others speak to me of what blocked them.
Here are a few, actually twelve, that come to mind:
- I really don’t know enough about this topic
- Other people write much better, more interesting, more readable posts than I do
- I need to work on the layout of my blog, then I’ll get on to creating some content
- I can’t write
- I don’t have any ideas today
- I need to do all that SEO stuff and I don’t really understand it
- I’ve never been good at writing
- Someone said my posts are too long
- Someone said my posts are too short
- Someone told me I should have pictures in my posts and I don’t have any good ones
- Why would anyone want to read what I write?
- I have to do research on this and I don’t have time.
So what is this simple “Writing for Grandma” way?
Inspired by a story a very seasoned journalist and popular writer told me once about his grandma, I want to suggest a simple, stress-free way to create blog content.
My journalist friend was old school and he could make words sing. And having written a very successful column for a metropolitan daily, he knew deadlines and he knew how to compress and simplify. He told me part of the secret of his success. He said that as a fresh young reporter on a rural newspaper he had been called in by the editor and the conversation went like this:
“You got a grandmother, son?”
“Well, write for her.”
He told me that after that, and even when he graduated to a city daily, if he got stuck, he would picture his grandma and tell the story in a way he thought she would like.
Now I don’t know about you, but both my grandmothers, may they rest in peace, would probably have made a valiant effort to listening to me if I had been talking in a foreign language, but they would have appreciated much more a plain-spoken story, in English, maybe with some opinion I held at the time and ideally with something in it to make them smile.
Like most grandmas, they wouldn’t have judged (or if they had, they would have kept it to themselves and smiled).
And they would have appreciated my sharing something with them that I thought was interesting or important, or maybe just some thoughts I was working through.
In other words, they are good, friendly, non-judgemental audiences for me to think of when I hit the keyboard.
So we don’t have to do in-depth research and we don’t have to send ourselves off to a writing school to be able to create bog content. We can just share a thought on something within the general range of topics of our blog and tell the story as straightforwardly as we can. And hopefully, when appropriate, with some humor.
Don’t “write blog posts” if you don’t want to do that. Write a note for your grandma. You know you’ll have at least one person genuinely liking your content.
Like to share a way you have found to keep the content creation process simple?