A lot of freelance writers have clients who need blog posts written and posted for their website or websites. Sometimes the client is very specific in their directions to the freelance writer. Other times the writer is encouraged to take the ball and run run run. There are advantages and disadvantages to both of these styles. In a lot of ways, it boils down to control.
In the setting that allows the freelance writer to go whichever way they please, then the good news is that the writer has the control. Now the bad news: the writer has control. If you are chock full o’ ideas this is a good thing but if you are in a slump, it can be difficult to come up with suitable material and depending on the subject you could find yourself stuck.
When this happens to me – and oh, trust me on this one friends and neighbors it does happen – I turn to Twitter to help me through.
Here’s how I do it:
Fortunately, the blogs I write for are thematically in tune with who I follow for the most part. This means that coming up with new ideas for a blog post may be as simple as cruising through my timeline. I can see what is trending and get a sense for what is happening in my particular circle of influence. It’s amazing what I find there. I can be inspired by a title, a hashtag or a quote. I’ve also tweeted a request for ideas on topic”X” and have been responded to with some fantastic ideas.
If you happen to be in a situation that requires a subject that is way off topic for your Twitter stream then you can always use the search function on Twitter to see what others are saying about a given topic. Let’s say you had to write a blog posts on pets and you’re stuck. Search #pets or #animals or something similar and you will be amazed at what comes up. Much like an internet search, one tweet leads to another and before you know it you have plenty of ideas for that pesky blog post.
The other advantage of using Twitter this way is that you will inevitably find interesting folks to follow and engage. Through the use of the methods I’ve described above, I’ve met some fantastic people who assist me nearly every day through their wonderful tweets. I’m lead to articles that I otherwise would have never discovered. I’ve also been in the position of helping others in my stream who were looking for advice or help on a specific topic. Reciprocity rules on Twitter, my friends.
I’d like to know how many of you have Twitter accounts and if so, are you active? Have you ever used Twitter to get ideas for what to write?
I’d love it if you were to follow me. http://twitter.com/GeorgeAngus