If you’ve got a blog you’ve definitely experienced the situation I’m about to subscribe:
You need to write a post, you’re due. Today’s the day, you’ve finally got a spare hour or two to do it. So you get a cup of coffee, sit down in front of the computer, open up word, and……. nothing. You’re totally bereft of blog ideas. You’ve got ‘blogger blank’!
Keep it together – you don’t need to shut down your blog just yet; hundreds of blog ideas are out there, you just need to find your way to them – here’s how:
KEYWORD-BASED BLOG IDEAS
Google Keyword Tool is one of my favourite places to start looking for blog ideas. If you’ve got even a vague idea what you want to write about, say it’s “social media” just type this into the tool, hit search and all of a sudden you’ve got 800 new blog ideas!
The beauty of the keyword tool is that it doesn’t just give you blog ideas – it tells you how many searches are being made for particular keywords and how much competition there is for them, allowing you to make a smart decision on where to place your efforts.
BRAINSTORM FOR BLOG IDEAS
I know I know, you’ve got blogger blank – and you’re probably saying “how is brainstorming going to help me, I’ve got no ideas!!”.
The key here is structuring your thinking. Ideally you want to do this with other people, you’ll generate a lot more ideas this way; if you’re blogging for a company you can use colleagues, or if you’re a freelancer and don’t have access to work mates you could perhaps get some of your freelancing buddies/other bloggers etc to join you in a skype chat and bash out some blog ideas.
I won’t delve into the processes of effective brainstorming, but if you’d like to try it out these two articles provide some good info on how to do it:
ASK YOUR FRIENDS
Like brainstorming, you can do this with colleagues, or with any other like-minded contacts you might have.
Simply shoot them an email or give them a call and say “Jeff, give me your 5 best blog ideas RIGHT NOW”, then hang up. No don’t hang up, thank them for their input, then hang up. If you do this to a few people you could have 10+ ideas in no time, and you might be pleasantly surprised with the quality of some of them..
This one’s nice and easy; and requires zero creativity. Here’s an example of how to do it:
Pick a topic of interest to your audience, say it’s “How to Blog for SEO”. Then do a google search for this topic, find 10 good posts on the topic and bang! You’ve got the content for your new post, “The 10 Best Resources For Learning How To Blog For Seo”.
Not only have you created a post out of nothing, the people who’s sites you link to will be your new besties.
Interviews are an awesome way to create a post when you’re lacking blog ideas. Why? For starters there’s a bunch of ways you can do an interview:
- Simply do a Q & A via email
- Do it one on one with a video or audio recorder
- Interview remotely using Skype in conjunction with a recording app
Here’s some of the other benefits of interviews:
- They’re pretty easy to produce and can be done relatively quickly.
- Add a fresh voice and perspective to your blog
- The profile of the interviewee will benefit your blog
You’d be surprised how willing people are to give interviews as well, especially if you make it easy for them. After all, you’re helping them get their name out there! The key is to be confident and don’t be afraid to ask..
Here’s a good resource for how to find interview subjects: How To Find Interview Subjects For Your Blog.
ASK YOUR READERS
An often overlooked source of blog ideas which should really be one of the first places you look is your audience. You audience is your audience, so they know best what they want to read about (obviously).
There’s a few ways you can solicit their input – ask them via posts on social networks like twitter, facebook or linkedin, or even write a blog post asking them what they’d like you to write about.
You can even involve them in the content by compiling their responses to particular questions and making them part of the post.
This article on Social Media Examiner gives some great tips for getting content from your readers.
GET SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT (solicit guest posts)
Okay so it might sound like a cop out – but it’s definitely a great way to get content when you’ve got NO blog ideas.
If you’ve never done it before, it’s a lot easier than you think too. A simple and effective way of soliciting posts is to find 5 or 10 blogs similar in size to yours (page rank is a good guide) that you really like the content on, and invite the owners to write a post for you.
In most instances they’ll be flattered you asked, and more than happy to provide a piece to you. The added bonus is they’ll probably let their audience know about it, generating extra traffic for you!
RAD SOURCES FOR BLOG IDEAS
Well hopefully the above techniques will have you spilling over with blog ideas. However, if you’re STILL stuck for ideas, try out these sources:
- 101 Blog Post Ideas
- 21 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don’t Have a Clue
- 100 Blog Topics I Hope You Write
Slap dat blogger blank!!
GET SOME HELP!
So realistically, even those with the worst case of Blogger Block should have plenty of blog ideas by now.
If you’re running a company blog or similar though and frequently finding yourself either lacking the time to put together posts or struggling for ideas; it might be time to consider hiring some help, or else you’re just not going to get any value out of your blog.
Don’t go straight to a freelance copy writer though. I would recommend looking for someone who has a strong social media/internet marketing background along with good writing skills, as they’ll be better suited to creating content that will spread online via social networks and drawing search traffic.