It was over a month ago that I last wrote about Google Alerts, but don’t let this fool you, using Google alerts is a great backup for finding content and cure for ‘bloggers block’. If you are unsure of what Google Alerts are then have a quick read of that post before you continue with this one.
What is bloggers block?
Bloggers block is just like a writers block, where you just cannot come up with something creative to blog about. Many people tend to get bloggers block when they just start their first blog and simply don’t know where to begin. I have had a few questions from readers of this blog asking things like ‘how do you find something to write about?’, which I shall now endeavour to answer.
- By reading blogs that are in the same niche.
- A potentially infinite (well not infinite but you get the idea) number of blogs can be read, so lots of information can be gathered + ‘meditated upon’.
- Visiting the blog yourself presents the opportunity of commenting and ‘networking’ and possibly building the foundations of a relationship with that blogger.
Kills two birds with one stone.
Gives practice surfing the blogosphere. By using the search engines we can gain an idea as to what sort of sites have done well with SEO (search engine optimisation), which we can learn from. This is a bit of a loose point but you can’t have a hope of implementing successful SEO with out being an experienced search engine user yourself! (most of us already are anyway…)
- Time consuming.
Can yield few poor results if you don’t know where to look.
- By using Google Alerts!
- Quick, easy and free.
You can choose how often you want to be sent an alert, so potentially can provide infinite ideas.
- Makes networking a bit less appealing, because you didn’t find the site yourself and have not had a rummage around on it to find what you are looking for. I.e. you don’t have an idea of the blogs popularity and so cannot judge how to word your comments accordingly. (Does that make sense?)
Some alerts are a ‘mismatch’ and are completely off topic.
No experienced gained for searching the blogosphere.
Posts made using Google Alerts can seem unconnected; despite being on the same niche you will have fewer opportunities to refer to a previous post.
Can clog up your inbox if you find yourself not using them after signing up
Google Alerts are a great backup, but should not be relied upon. I personally have only fallen back on them a couple of times for content, and both times I have ended up writing about Google Alerts, rather than any of the actual alerts! lol… Put into a single sentence, only use them if you don’t have time to browse other blogs yourself, which should be a rare event if you are going to be a successful blogger.