Isn’t it annoying when you sit down at your blog editor, all ready to write, and nothing comes to mind? All you can think of is a big blank nothing…
To have a successful blog, you need to be able to create great content week after week, which means that you need a lot of ways to come up with new post ideas.
In my experience, having just one method doesn’t generate that many ideas, and sometimes there are methods that don’t work as well for some people as they do for others.
For example, sometimes I will spend hours on social media, looking for questions I can ask, and find nothing. There are times I can spend a whole afternoon searching in forums, and not come up with a single idea.
When that happens, I turn to another method.
Here, I have collected 8 methods that I use when I have to come up with ideas for blog posts:
I carry a notebook with me everywhere, and I have several notebooks and notepads all around in my office and home.
You can use other tools and systems, as well, from websites like Evernote to simple text docs on your computer to the Note function on your phone, but write down everything that comes into your head. It might look silly at first sight, but can really pay off later, when the all of the pieces of the mosaic come together.
Talk to Your Customers
You better want not only sales from your customers, but to strengthen your relationship with them after the purchase, as well. Talk to them.
Make your content solve their problems. Ultimately, that’s why a lot of people come to your blog in the first place. But to do this, you have to know what their problems, fears, and desires are in the first place. And to do this, you need to ask.
Ask them about their experiences with your product, about their story, what’s on their mind, and if they have any questions.
By talking to our customers and solving problems for them, you can build deeper relationships with both current and future customers, and make them more likely to want to do business with your brand. When you build a strong customer relationship, you create repeat business, and help create customer advocates.
Every time you interact with customers, whether by email, in person, on social media, or through blog comments, ask them.
Borrow a Few Ideas from Your Competitor
Look at the top articles. Type your keyword +blog and see what’s already out there. Searches can give you thousands of blog posts, starting with the trendiest.
See what your competitors are talking about and what is generating interest with customers. Then do some research on the topic and write your own post about it.
Do Keyword Research
Content marketing isn’t about stuffing keywords into a post, or regurgitating massive amounts of information without rhyme or reason.
Content marketing is about delivering value to the readers, solving their problems, and building relationships.
Doing keyword research is a good way to come up with new ideas for the problems you want to solve.
The easiest way is to type your keyword in the Google search bar, and look at the suggested results. You can’t imagine how many good questions there are out there, looking for answers, and how much inspiration you can find and read more about.
Use a Tool to Generate a Bunch of Questions
Question related blog posts (how to posts, why, what, etc.) are very popular. People have questions and looking for an answer. Which means that they will search for those answers – and hopefully find your blog.
But how do you come up with these questions?
There are lots of question-generating tools out there. My favorite is “Answer the Public”.
If you type a keyword, Answer the Public shows you the questions commonly asked about the topic. It’s powered by Google auto-suggest, and combines question keywords (“how,” “when,” “where,” “what,” “why,” “who,” “which,” and “are”) with auto-suggest results.
Look at Social Media, Forums, and Other Online Communities
If you know your customers, you have an idea where they hang out online.
For example, you know which forums, Facebook groups, Reddit, or Quora communities they tend to participate in and follow.
Listen to their conversations, the type of questions they ask, and the help they need. Monitoring other communities can give you a lot of ideas for your new blog post.
Read Comments on Other Blogs
If you don’t have comments on your own blog, or can’t figure out an idea from them, look at the comments on other blog posts.
Start with the most popular blogs in your niche; these are competitors that will be most likely to have an engaged community and active comment section.
Read a Lot
Reading great books or following informative and interesting magazines not only helps you relax, it’s also a great source of inspiration for new posts.
If you take the time to read something new every day, you’ll constantly find new and new ideas popping up.
Now you have some methods to help you come up with new blog post ideas. You just have to go through each and take notes.
Use digital and traditional sources for your research. Sometimes the best ideas can be found on the street or on TV.
How do YOU get inspired and come up ideas for your blog posts? Share with us in the comments!