Nobody ever said that having a blog is ever going to be a walk in the park.
Setting it up may be, if you happen to be a web developer or just technically inclined, but maintaining it is certainly another matter altogether. You know your business needs a blog; that’s already a given. What may not come automatically is the sheer volume of content you have to churn out every week in order to keep your blog fresh, active, and thriving.
So where do you get your ideas?
At some point it’s understandable to run into a dry spell – and quite literally at that. After all, how many ideas can you come up with on your own? There will come a time when you’re bound to be staring at a blank screen, and you’re hard pressed to figure out what your next topic will be.
Here’s the thing, though: you don’t have to do it alone. Try these tips to help you land on a fresh batch of ideas for your blog.
- Make a simple survey for your readers.
If you already have a steady following, you can quickly create a survey on free tools like Survey Monkey, or post a question on Facebook or Twitter. Ask your readers to share what they’re struggling with or what their recurring problem is – just make sure your question is related to the product or service you’re offering. For instance, if you’re a fitness coach you can ask them what’s keeping them from hitting their ideal weight, and then write a post based on the answers you get. By keeping your readers engaged, you can help make sure that you publish posts your audience is really interested in getting.
- Check out Pinterest.
You may be missing out on a lot of inspirations if you’re not yet on Pinterest. So if you don’t have an account there, it’s high time to sign up soon. The site can prove to be a treasure trove when you’re hunting for new ideas; everything from food and travel, to technology and trends – and just about everything in between. Something to take note of: set a reasonable time limit for your research, or you may find yourself scrolling through other people’s pins for hours on end.
- Write about industry leaders.
It doesn’t matter what field you’re in. Find out the most influential leaders in your field, or new names that are making big waves, and write about them. You’re bound to learn a lot, not to mention give your readers inspirational and motivational material. You can make your write-up more personal by searching for industry leaders right in your city and then arranging an interview (even via email or by phone) with them.
- Indulge in your hobbies a little.
It’s quite normal – actually, very common – to experience burnout and fatigue when you’re in charge of your company’s content marketing. So rather than deny that you’re downright exhausted, take this as an opportunity to get a much needed break – and yes, strike on an idea too. Go to the movies, watch a concert, or hang out with your friends. You never know where you’ll get your next good idea. That, and the fact the time away from the office will help you reboot your creativity. So it’s a win-win situation.
- Legitimately thank your customers.
Your business wouldn’t even be existing without your customers, so it just makes sense to thank them properly. Of course, this doesn’t have to mean going completely overboard and risking bankruptcy to show your gratitude. But it does mean that you take the time to show your genuine appreciation to them. A good way to do this is by offering a freebie. It can be an ebook or report, or a free consultation. Make sure it’s relevant to your business and is aimed at helping your clients address a problem they have.
- Compile an FAQ list.
If your business has been around for a number of years, you may already be familiar with questions that your readers frequently ask about – and you have to answer often. Why not compile a list of these questions and create a blog post out of it? You can include specific examples, research findings, or case studies in order to be as informative and comprehensive as possible. And another great thing about this idea: you won’t have to keep answering the same questions again.
- Share a personal story.
Remember: your company is as much about the solutions you offer as it is about the values and ideals you uphold. So rather than focusing solely on what you can do for your customers, it also helps a lot if you show your more “human side,” so to speak. If you’re an online entrepreneur, for example, you can share your past struggles when you were just starting out with your business, and how you overcame them. This will help you to better relate with your readers, and they will tend to open up to you more.
- Go through your Facebook or LinkedIn groups.
Don’t underestimate the insights you can possibly get simply by checking the discussion threads on your social media accounts. Pay attention to the trending topics, to the questions people ask, and to the pieces of advice offered. You’ll likely get some nuggets of information to help you have your next topic.
- Get (re)started on reading.
Because of all the tasks that you need to do, there’s a high chance that reading has fallen off your list and sent to the back burner for an indefinite period of time. Here’s what you need to do: pick up on your reading again. It doesn’t have to be a book if you really don’t have time for it, but maybe a short ebook or an audio program you’re interested should be a good start. You can also quickly browse magazines; just taking note of the headlines can help you create better blog titles.
Coming up with consistently good ideas for your blog can pose quite a challenge, but it’s likewise very fun to try and come up with ways to brainstorm for your next content. You just need to inject a dose of creativity into it; you’ll find that ideas are everywhere.
How do you generate new ideas for your blog? Share with us your tips in the comments.