Quick tips to find new ideas for your blog postsWritten by Helmut Watterott
The journey many people take when writing a blog, be it personal or for business, if often the same. You start full of energy and beans, ideas flowing as easily as water down a stream. Then the ideas start getting a little harder to come by and you find that you are publishing less and less, until, BAM!!! You haven’t written anything in 3 weeks and you have no idea what to write. Blog post ideas don’t have to come naturally or wait for you to be inspired, you can work on them and find them in a methodical manner. Here is how.
1. Ask your readers for their questions. Q&A type blog posts are a great way to generate new content that is also useful and interesting. A great combination. This approach also helps to position you as an expert in your field and the questions are very SEO friendly which means people are more likely to find you though long tail searches as well.
2. Get inspired by other blogs. This isn’t a tip to rip anyone off, but there is nothing wrong with standing on the shoulders of giants. For example, if a blog has written an opinion piece, why not write a counter argument covering it from a different angle?
3. Use tools. A great tool to use is www.topsy.com, this is a social search engine but also a great way to get inspired. Simply type in keywords related to you blog and the results should give you a spark of inspiration. For example, by simply typing in "marketing" I have given myself the idea to write a blog post about how to automate my marketing efforts.
4. Create lists. The list format blog post has been used a lot over the years, but it still works. Look at any social bookmarking website and you’ll see it is dominated by "Top X of Y" posts. This is because they are quick to write and people like reading them. They also give your mind a structure to develop an idea e.g. Top 9 examples of logos with hidden meanings (I just came up with that off the top of my head too).
5. Write reviews. Books, software, hardware, services, they can all be reviewed, and as long as they are in depth enough, relevant and honest, people will want to read them.
6. Run a contest. People love to win things, and running a contest is a great way to build engagement with your blog. I’d recommend asking people to leave comments to enter so they get in the habit of doing so. Contests also help to increase sharing via Facebook and Twitter. That’s 3 boxes ticked (content, comments and sharing if you are counting).
7. Resource round-ups. Create a definitive list of links to resources that your readers will find useful, funny or interesting. This is a great way of creating content that people want very quickly.
8. Blog sneezes. A lot of blogs power forward, writing new posts and never looking back. Your old content is still a gold mine waiting to be mined. Blog sneezes are a round-up of previous posts themed around a topic. Give a summary of the post’s content and then link to the post. Simple.
9. Interview people. In the time I have been writing this blog, only a very small number of people I have approached has said no to an interview. An interview is mutually beneficial to both parties. You get great content (presuming you ask good questions), and they get some exposure on your blog, a link and probably some traffic.
10. Write a sequel. Even the most in depth blog post rarely covers a topic comprehensively, and there is often so much more to say. Take a look at your old posts and see where you can continue in part 2. For example if you did a "Top tips for XYZ", you can revisit it with "Another X tips for XYZ".