Why Blogging Success Lies In Idea Generation
Everybody can learn the basics of writing, but few can generate new ideas every single day.
Okay… to be honest, learning to write well is really f*cking hard work. I’ve been writing for about four or five years now, and I suppose I’m still an average writer at best.
But here’s the thing:
To be a successful blogger, you don’t need to be a really good writer. It’s enough if your writing skills are pretty average.
Remember, you are not trying to create the most beautiful stories in the world, like a fiction author would.
What you are really trying to do is triggering people’s emotions so that you can solve their problems. People will listen to you and pay you if they feel that you are the one who can help them get to where they want to be.
This doesn’t mean that you should stop working on your craft as a writer. It just means that you don’t need to worry too much about creating the most well-constructed pieces of content that you could ever imagine.
Focus on first captivating the readers interest, getting your main idea across, and then fulfilling your objective (e.g. a subscribe or a download of your free ebook).
To do that, you first need an idea that’s worth sharing.
Over the past 3 1/2 months, I have published about 170,000 words in 113 articles here on Medium. That’s the equivalent of about three books, if you’re looking at the pure word count alone.
The truth is, producing these words once I have a good idea is pretty easy.
Most of the time, I enter flow state pretty quickly, so an article of about 1500 words is done after about two hours or so.
If it was for the pure writing process alone, I could probably produce about 6000–8000 words per day.
But the reality is, that just doesn’t happen.
Because for every article that I am writing, I need at least two hours or so to come up with a decent idea and a title.
My first writing policy is that for every article I produce, I need to come up with at least 30 ideas. Out of these 30 ideas, I then select the best one to turn into a written piece.
Plus, this article idea should at least be an 8/10 for me to write it. Everything that I personally don’t consider to be good enough to be an 8/10 doesn’t get produced.
Because my failure rate for articles is still incredibly high. In fact, only about one out of five articles I write get good responses from readers.
It is simply not worth my time starting to write a piece which is not grounded in a good idea. In the end, I will have only wasted my time writing something which doesn’t attract an audience at all.
I’m trying to focus on the ideas I have which I believe to be really worth sharing.
The writer’s paradox
On the one hand, quantity of production is one of the most important factors when it comes to writing success. The more you produce, the higher is the chance that some of what you produce will have a real impact.
On the other hand, the more time you spend writing, the less substantial your ideas will become.
Just think about it:
If all you ever do is writing, then what do you still have left to say? What do you have to share with your readers?
Eventually, the only thing that you can still write about is the process of writing itself. Which, perhaps, is also the reason why I am writing this article right now.
To get good ideas for articles, you need to get more practical experience in the field that you are writing about.
You need more share-able stories, and more share-able insights.
For example, if you are writing about building a successful online-business, but the last time you were involved in business was three years ago, then how do you want to keep producing high-quality content in that field?
Great ideas come from real problems that you yourself have faced.
If you don’t lead a balanced lifestyle, and if you don’t actually do the things that you are writing about on a daily basis, then no good ideas will ever come to your mind.
Some final words:
For years, my writing niche was intercultural communication. To be able to write about this topic, I moved to three foreign countries in a period of seven years, so that I would get exposed to people from different cultures every single day.
That’s the only place where really good ideas come from.
By actually living them yourself.
For a blogger, there are two main aspects to their professional life. The writing process itself. And the topic that they are actually writing about.
If you want to be successful at blogging, then you need to adjust your whole life around these two different activities — the process of writing, and the process of living your niche.
One great idea is worth more than hundreds of average ones.
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