A blog is one of the best online marketing tools you can have. It keeps your website fresh and interesting for your audience and search engines love the new content. As I always say, each additional page is another “in” to your site. The more, the better (as long as it’s quality content).
I’ve spoken before about the importance of keeping a regular marketing schedule. (Though I’m one to talk, eh?) Well, we all do our best!
Something very common is for someone to set up a new blog, commit to posting once a week, stick with that plan for a while, and then run out of steam. Often this happens because you’re “just too busy,” which is usually a good thing (although I always recommend to keep at it, no matter what, in order to minimize any future dry spells). An equally frequent cause is simply running out of ideas. No matter how many topics you have in mind when you start your blog, there will eventually come a time when you’re stuck for what to write about. So how do you come up with new ideas? Here are some suggestions.
1. Keep a Running List
Rather than feeling pressured to come up with an idea for your blog at your scheduled time for writing, try this: any time you have an idea for an article, write it down. You never know when inspiration might hit. You could be having dinner with friends, out for a walk, or lying in bed. Don’t assume you’ll remember the thought later; you might not. So write it down as soon as you can.
Whether you have an organized list or just a bunch of stickies, keep this stash of ideas accessible. Then, when the time comes to write your weekly (or however frequent) blog post and you don’t have a subject in mind, you can refer to your list and choose one.
2. Be Topical
Often there’s something going on in the world that can be related to the theme of your blog. It might be something political. Or environmental. Or pop culture. There’s often an angle to connect to your blog.
For example, say there’s a recent surge of media about climate change. If you’re a therapist, you could write about how to deal with feeling hopeless about the environment.
Writing opportunities around holidays can also arise. As another example, if you’re a nutritionist, you might write about how to eat healthfully over the winter holidays.
3. Think Like a Potential Customer/Client
Too often we tend to write about what interests us. But what really attracts new clients is writing about subjects that interest them. This often takes the form of answering what may seem, to you, like a basic question. Put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes and think about what they — not knowing what you know — would like to learn about.
For example, if you’re an architect, you could do a post answering a question like: What are the first steps in building an eco-friendly house?
4. Learn Something New
There may be new (or old) items of interest in your industry that you’ve heard about, but don’t really know much about. If so, take some time to research one of those subjects. (Have you heard, there’s this new tool called Google…) Then — just like we did in school — write a report on it. Not only will it be a useful article, but may open the door to a new service you can eventually provide to your clients.
5. See What Your Competitors Are Writing About
On the surface, this may not sound very ethical, but by no means am I advocating copying your competitors’ ideas. Simply visit their websites and see what they’re blogging about. Truth be told, most of their articles won’t be overly original, but they may have covered a topic you simply had never considered writing about. I’d actually suggest not reading the articles or simply skimming them over, just so that your writing isn’t too influenced by their content. That way you can come up with your own, original, take on the subject.
There are many ways to find inspiration for writing for your blog. Hopefully these five tips help the next time you’re stuck for an idea!