I often hear bloggers say that they “write for themselves” and they “only write when they feel inspired.” That’s fine if you don’t care about growing your audience. If you do care about growing your audience then “writing for yourself” only when you’re “inspired” won’t work .
If you truly want to grow your audience then you need to commit to writing on a regular schedule and writing for a target audience (BTW, if you’re reading this you’re in my target audience). A funny thing happens when you commit to publishing on a regular schedule for a target audience, “inspiration” arrives much more often than it does when you aren’t committed to publishing on a regular schedule for a target audience. This happens because when we know that people are expecting something from us, we’ll work hard to meet that expectation. Some days when you sit down to write, you won’t feel inspired by anything other than meeting a deadline, but that’s still inspiration.
Another neat thing happens when you’re committed to a blogging schedule, everything becomes a potential blog post. The picture in this post, taken on a road trip in 2012, was the inspiration for a post about Google Earth that I published on Free Technology for Teachers.
Writing for a target audience helps in the ideas department too. When you’re writing for a target audience, you already have some direction for your next blog post. Think about your audience and what they want to hear from you. And don’t overlook turning an email response into a blog post. When you find yourself responding to an email from a reader, think about whether or not other readers could benefit from your response. If they can, use that email as the basis for your next blog post.
Commit to a publishing schedule, write often, and inspiration will show up more often than not.