Hands up…who is struggling with their blog content? Who is struggling to come up with ideas? Who isn’t sure what to write about next?
Oh, it is one of the joys of the ‘content treadmill’! However, the favourite bit of my job is coming up with ideas. I love inspiring people to get excited about their business, their products, their services and consider what else they can share about it. I don’t always know where the ideas come from, but I also have some particular sources that I do go to when I am needing some inspiration! Let me share them with you.
Look through old blog posts
This blog post was genuinely inspired by looking back through the titles of all of my old blog posts. I was reminded of the ones I have written on blog topics and blog styles and the specific ones I have written on types of blogs, such as interviews and top tips, for example.
By looking at what I have written before, it gave me the options to consider extending a topic or simply update an old blog – which is perfectly acceptable!
Do a brain storm
I love a brain storm or mind map – my top tip is always to do it on a coloured piece of paper – then you can easily find it in amongst the ever-growing pile of white plain paper! Put your business name in the middle and then write down everything and anything that comes to mind when you think of your business. I mean everything!
- your location
- your products
- your services
- your USPs
- your mission
- your values
- your philosophy
- your future plans
- your ‘big’ goals
Consider adjectives, verbs and nouns – i.e. how people describe your business; what you do (in every extent); what you are; what you offer and what you would like to become. Consider also what you don’t know and what you don’t want to be perceived as.
Now, look again at everything you have written down and see if there are areas that you have not discussed on your blog. What could you convert in to a post?
Create a tree diagram
If you have written quite a few blogs, consider going back through your categories (get some if you don’t have them) and create a tree diagram, giving you a visual representation of how your published blogs fit together. Now, look again and see if you can identify any gaps. Is there a category where you offer little depth? Is there a section that just seems lacking? Or, is there a really obvious area (especially when compared to your brainstorm above) that is missing and would sit neatly in relation to another blog you have written? Importantly, don’t forget to interlink between them!
Check if your industry is in the news
It is great to write on topical subjects or on areas that are trending (see below). However, I also appreciate that your industry or profession may not make the headlines very often. Did you know that Google has a specific ‘news tab’, alongside images and video, etc (and the standard search results)?
As an example, I just typed in ‘content marketing’ and selected the news results. The top result was this article from Forbes.com published on 22nd October 2019 – https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2019/10/22/public-relations-and-content-marketing-which-is-right-for-your-business/#275326d51811
What’s great is that it is from a reputable source and very up-to-date…and, instantly, has given me some interesting ideas, like ‘explaining what content marketing really means’ and ‘describing PR styles of copy, such as press releases’…
All major news websites are also searchable so you could have a look on these too…but be careful, you don’t want anything too out of date.
Remember this is not about ‘copying’ ideas and certainly not plagiarism, but getting inspiration and sharing your view on topics in the newsphere. And it is obviously good practice to reference the original story or article, if you discuss it as a source of inspiration and give a link.
Search social media platforms
Similar to above, search for some key terms related to your business on some social media platforms – what are people talking about? Importantly, what are people asking questions about? Can you provide the answers in a blog post?
Twitter is famous for dictating what is ‘trending’, so take a look at the hashtags and see if there is anything relevant for you to discuss. Remember it may not always seem immediately obvious but sometimes the best content is when two seemingly unrelated topics become a really engaging article – see my Clash! blog for more information.
It is not easy to keep on thinking of ideas for your blog, but it doesn’t have to be hard work. With a strong strategy, a continuous record of ideas and good sources of inspiration, it can be a lot easier. I run Blog Starter training for £55 in which I discuss in depth ways to ensure continual blog content ideas – if you are interested, please get in touch with me via my Contact page or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org .