OK – here’s a quick quiz. Question 1: What is the fastest way to contact someone? Did you say email? Or Twitter? Or an SMS text message? If you came up with some digital method – it’s the WRONG answer. The fastest way to contact someone is…wait for it….the telephone. You call, they answer, you speak to each other. If you send an email, it might not get through to them thanks to spam filters. Even if it does, they might decide not to answer you right now. If you thought of using Twitter, well, what if the recipient doesn’t use Twitter, or isn’t logged on when you send your message? The phone is virtually guaranteed. In other words, sometimes we plump for new technology, when something rather old is both effective and efficient.
Which is why my blogging system is old-fashioned…but it works…! I am often asked how I manage to produce ideas for my blog, where I get the information from, how I keep up with the demands of blogging. And my answer is always the same – I have a system. Most people who face difficulties with blogging do not appear to have any kind of process or system in place – and that’s why they get so frustrated. Here’s my system – feel free to copy it…!
Firstly, I divide my blog up into daily themes. Monday is about psychology, Tuesday is about blogging, Wednesday is about online business, Thursday is my social day and Friday is on e-commerce. So, I know what subjects I need to cover each day. The next bit is the old-fashioned bit.
I have a filing system on my desk, beside my computer. It has five folders in it marked “Mon-Psychology”, “Tue-Blogging”, “Wed-Business” and so on. One folder for each day of the week. Then, when I read something which I think would be of value in my blog I tear it out of the newspaper or magazine and I slip it in the relevant folder. If I see something online which is potentially useful I’ll print it out and insert it into the appropriate folder. If it’s of long-term value I’ll add it to my Evernote filing system under the relevant day of the week as well. (Evernote stores complete web pages for me).
Of course, sometimes my ideas don’t come from reading magazines or newspapers or looking at other websites. Occasionally I come up with things on my own…! Ideas can strike me at any time and so I write them down. If I’m not at my desk I’ll scribble the notion down on a slip of paper and then when I return to my office I’ll fill in my “Blog Idea” form – which then gets inserted into the appropriate day of the week folder.
In this way I have at my side a whole host of blog idea forms, slips of paper, photocopies, printouts, cuttings and so on which can provide ideas for my blogs. When it comes to a particular day, all I have to do is go to the appropriate folder and I’ll find something to trigger a blog post.
It is an old technology system, admittedly – but it works. And how do I know that? Well, guess where this blog post came from? The idea was written on one of my “blog idea” forms following a chat with a delegate at one of my workshops recently. They wanted to know my system for coming up with ideas – I explained it to them and they said that would make a great blog post. So here it is…!
If you want my “blog idea” form as a template for your own, then please use the link below to download it (Microsoft Word format).
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+