Bail Out Post Ideas to rescue you from Writer’s Block, Boredom or Lack of Time

Most of us go through writer’s block (or blogger’s block) many times in our blogging lives. If not for this issue, there may be still situations where you just don’t have enough time to come up with your blog post of the day in order to maintain your post frequency.

One way to tackle this issue is to schedule a number of posts well in advance as mentioned in one of the old posts here that talked about Quick bail out blog post ideaswriter’s block. But if you already run out of those scheduled posts or they are kind of in draft form, you may need to go for the so-called ‘bail out posts’ – as I would call them. In this post, I would like to list several ideas to come up with a quick bail out post.

List of bail out blog post ideas

#1 Link Love posts: Most common way of filling the post gap is via link love posts. These (‘Someday’ love posts) are part of many bloggers’ weekly schedule these days. It should not take more than ten-fifteen minutes for you to quickly go through your RSS reader and find the links to write about regardless of whether you love them or not.

#2 Poll post or Survey post: If you are running out of ideas or not having time to think, ask your readers for their views on a certain thing. The survey posts can be sometimes very interactive and even result in new ideas and topics to write about. In addition, this gives an opportunity on yet another dry day to post about the survey results.

#3 Blog updates: This is another common thing as well. You could always talk about self at any point of time, right? So talking about your immediate plans for your blog, blog statistics, issues that you are facing, income reports etc, can make a good reading, at least for a portion of your readers. But be sure not to overdo such posts.

#4 Make a post that lists several old posts: Coming up with an aggregate of posts (of similar topics, tips etc) can be something good for your newer readers. This is also a way of internal linking (good for SEO) and marketing your old posts that need more visibility.

#5 Talk about your opinion on a certain news of the day: This can be as simple as commenting. You just need to browse around your favorite news sites, forums or niche sources to write about the latest (sensational) news. This can keep the audience happy as well.

#6 Digg out an old comment and elaborate: Sometimes comments can give you a lot of inspiration to talk more about what was commented on and resume the discussion from where you paused.

#7 Answer email queries as blog posts: Most active bloggers get a lot of queries from their readers. Answering their questions is a way to enhance the credibility at the same time the answers can serve as good blog posts as well.

#8 Ask an interesting question on Twitter and post the reply log: This is a trend that is gaining momentum these days. You could post your twitter logs as an entirely new post and there are several bloggers who do it periodically.

#9 Just talk about how your day has been: After all, your blog ‘originally’ was supposed to be your online diary. So why not talk about the day’s activities? (This may not be possible on all types of blogs – e.g. this blog)

…and if you are still clueless…

#10 Talk about the latest WordPress (minor) update: I know, 500 other bloggers have already talked about it and you have read it yourself several times as well. But some how it still sells and you just need to copy paste part of the release notes! And fortunately, there is a WP release every other day or so!

Comments

  1. Nice Tips buddy. Whenever i am out of ideas , i like to post about something that some reader asked about.

    Madhur Kapoor’s last blog post… NexusFile – Dual Pane File Manager for Windows

  2. Blog for Bloggers :

    Nice tips, I like #’s 4 and 6.
    You could do some sort of “Back In Time” Post. And comments are an awesome source of ‘inspiration’ for new posts, i think i have managed to get 3 ideas out of comments on my blog.
    Anyway, I don’t like “link love” posts cause they are too over done by most bloggers. They just annoy me after a while.

    Blog for Bloggers’s last blog post… How To Set Goals For 2009, Plus My Goals For Blogict

  3. LOL @ #10. A great list over all though. I prefer to use the term “post arsenal” and have hundreds on file lol. Some complete, most needing updating. 🙂

  4. Very good tips. Every now and then I have a huge mental block, so I try to make sure that I always have scheduled posts in the queue.

    And I’m a huge offender when it comes to #10. When WP posts something, at least a thousand blogs will talk about it that day. But for some reason, I feel like I should be 1001. lol.

    Another thing that always works for me is a tutorial or a post containing some random code snippet. I have so many bits of code floating around, so its easy to write a little blurb about it and make it a post.

    Shirley’s last blog post… Why The Alexa Widget Is BAD For Your Website

  5. Great article. It is indeed true that bloggers will face this issue along their journey of blogging so this article will be very useful. But I will avoid writing about the WP update because it is really too common and most people will just click away without commenting once they see the same topic again and again.

    Wei Liang

  6. I always run out of ideas 🙂 , some of the post ideas are too common to put up on the blog and have been done to death other bloggers…

    ZK@Internet Marketing Blog’s last blog post… Dell makes $ 1 million in revenue via Twitter

  7. The link love post has the potential of getting some link love in return or at the very least some comments from those that the love went out to. Sometimes it may also be a good idea to blog about something that is newsworthy as this may create a bit of interest.

    Sire’s last blog post… Blog No Evil,The Fourth Wise Monkey

  8. Ajith, Great post.

    Point #1,#2, #3, #9 and #10 – doesn’t fit my style. The rest are good.

    I typically maintain at least 50 items that I want write an article about. But, when I just pick one from the list, I always end-up having writers block, unless I’ve done enough research on that topic.

    My Cure for writers block: Identify the topic and get into research mode. Start researching online and read books.

    Also, I collect at lest 5 times more material that I need on a specific subject, which always get me going when I start writing.

    Ramesh @ The Geek Stuf’s last blog post… Vi and Vim Autocommand: 3 Steps to Add Custom Header To Your File Automatically

  9. @Madhur, thanks. I am glad that you pick topics that readers have queries on as well…

    @Ardit, yep aggregate posts are great fillers. But getting post ideas out of comments can be more innovative and ‘fresh’. I myself am a big fan of getting post ideas from comments. As for link loves, I hate them as well. I do not use a dedicated post for providing link loves but once in a while link from normal posts.

    @Dennis, 😆 #10 is one of the commonly found posts these days other than link love posts and blog updates. You seem to be having a lot of posts sitting in drafts. I liked the term ‘post arsenal’

    @Shirley, having a number of scheduled posts is the right way… And I agree with your point on the code snippet or tutorial posts. And 😆 so you are into WP updates news service as well!

    @Felix, yep… Even I do not post anything about WordPress upgrades usually. In fact, when everyone wanted to write about the 2.7 release, I wanted to spoil the party by introducing Microsoft Oxite

    @ZK, you should learn to keep 40-50 draft posts or at least 5-6 scheduled posts in your reserves all the time 🙂 As for me, I always have drafts but sometimes converting them into publishable content is like one or two hours job. And these ten tips are for those who don’t have that one hour as well.

    @Sire, I hate link love posts only when people over do it. For example, if somebody has only one good post per week and rest of the days it’s all about link loves, blog updates, surveys etc. it may not be the right practice. However, if done carefully, it can be great as you said.

    @Ramesh, thanks… I know that you are not a big fan of interacting too much and talk about personal stuff etc. Usually, that’s the way geek blogs work 🙂 And as you rightly said, by reading more and doing your research you get the right ideas to post about. I like your approach of collecting your raw materials in well in abundance before writing. This can potentially give you more posts than just one that you are planning to write.

    Thanks everyone for your views. I really liked some of those ideas…

  10. Whenever I think of something I draft it immediately. Just a title if it’s descriptive enough to remember, otherwise a few sentences at least….if I do have the time, I’ll write the whole post on the spot and save it like that.

  11. Great tips man. But, time will not be a constraint all the time ( or at least for me) for writing new blog posts. I believe, its very imperative to have a peace of mind for creating some new content. Sometimes its bit difficult to have, if we get some free time in the middle of a day filled with lot of other activities. I would be happy to know your thoughts on this.

  12. Point 5, 6 and 9 seem to be me. Talking about recent news works more on my blog as most of my blog readers want a place for better expression. Well an email we receive also help many time. Infact I will say that most of my most hot and commented articles was written after someone sent an email lol.

    You still remember the last one about defimedia i guess 😀

    A poll also work like hell. Recently i decided to make a small poll for the best mauritian blogger just for fun as I had no post in mind to blog about. I didnt expect it would become a nest of reactions and even competition.

    Well as for point 9… its usually on the sunday nights.

  13. @Dennis, that is a very practical approach indeed. Even I do the same except that I keep it in text files than directly in WordPress

    @Pras, time in fact is a major constraint for me as blogging is not the first priority yet. However, I agree with you on the fact that in a busy life, if we get some free time, we may just browse around the web or listen to online music than probably blogging 😀

    @Kurt, It simply indicates that you are a reader-friendly and popular blogger 🙂 because you elaborate on day to day events, a little bit of private life and then listen and reply to your readers’ comments.

  14. i have a bunch saved in a text file, and another boatload of ideas saved right in email as well. 🙂

  15. Sure, go ahead and give away all the things I’m doing; I don’t care. LOL Great stuff, though I have to admit that I haven’t used either #7 or #8 yet, but I’m going to start paying attention, just in case. Nice list, Ajith.

  16. @Mitch, haha… it wasn’t ‘just’ about you. Twitter polls and follow ups are one of the great strategies adopted by even pro-bloggers like John Chow.

  17. Domain Marvelous :

    I have seen the filler post methods used in this holiday season; most common being “digging up old post links” in a summarized version. Filler post sometimes manage to attract far more exposure than your niche posts. Reason may be that filler posts are general in nature, which allows visitors from all works of life to comment, as opposed to SEO posts, which only attracts attention from SEO “Experts” and/or webmasters.

    By the way, I am also going through a writers Block (or maybe boredom) after coming back from holidays 😉 This post will surely help me avoid it.

  18. @Forsaken, you are right 🙂 boredom can hit really when you are back from your holidays… But that’s when scheduling should help. Before you take off for five or six days, you should have had 3-4 scheduled posts in place… haha

  19. I usually write blogs to ‘save for a rainy day’, in other words when I am completely stuck for words. This is a common state for bloggers I am sure, having to come up with new content each and every day can be a bit daunting. This would only work if you were talking about stuff in general, if you want to be right up to the mark with topical points then you just have to get on with it, wouldn’t you agree ?
    http://paullhamilton.com

  20. @Paull, you are right. Once you stick to domain or niche specific posts, it is very hard to write generic stuff… One ideas coule be to divercify your blog slowly and steadily to other areas to insert fillers as well 🙂

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