There’s nothing worse than sitting down at your computer and finding you have absolutely nothing to write about. And even though you might be a prolific blogger, it happens to all of us at one point or another. The great thing is that there are plenty of brainstorming methods we can use to hear the tap, tap, tap of our keyboards again.
Here are 15 of those methods:
1. Be ready anytime. It’s funny how blogging ideas strike as at odd times. Sometimes, it’s when we’re watching a movie or standing in line at the bank. Other times, it might be when we’re exercising or watching our kid’s soccer game. While you can’t always take the time to blog the moment an idea strikes, you can certainly take note of those great ideas. Always keep a notebook with you or keep your mobile device handy. You can write down your ideas in the notes feature of your device or use the audio recorder for later review, if you prefer. It doesn’t matter how you record your ideas, just make sure you do.
2. Expand. There is always so much more that can be said on just about any topic. If you’ve written a popular post about teaching children how to save money and it turns out to be very popular, do more with it. You can expand on each point you made in the original post, create budget spreadsheets for kids, recommend related products and so much more. Always leverage the work you’ve done in the past to create more of what your audience wants now.
3. Fill your RSS reader. Other bloggers can be a great source of inspiration. Fill your RSS reader with blogs in your niche and scan them regularly to find the hot topics and latest news that you can incorporate into your own blog.
4. Take or share a picture. There is so much truth to the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Pictures can evoke emotions, make people think and get them to pay attention. If you don’t feel like writing, take a picture or share one you already have. Let the picture tell your story.
5. Ask questions. It’s one of the easiest types of posts to make and they often get the best response. Instead of lecturing to your audience, ask them a question instead. Think of something controversial or something they’ll be passionate about and ask them their opinion.
6. Accept questions. Create a submission form so that your readers can submit questions to you. It’s an easy way to come up with ready-made topic ideas that you know that your audience is ALREADY interested in. Include your readers name and blog (if they have one) to give them a little recognition and exposure as well.
7. Write a response to someone else’s post. Once again, the writing of other bloggers can be a great inspiration. If you read a post that you really resonate with or one you vehemently disagree with, you’ve got yourself a brand new topic idea. Of course, if you happen to disagree with a blogger and you don’t want to burn any bridges, always state your case logically and respectfully. Not only is it good content for your readers, but it could be the start of a mutually beneficial relationship with the other blogger.
8. Have regular topic brainstorming sessions. Coming up with topics on the fly is hard. If you don’t already have that great idea before you sit in front of the screen, you may find yourself dumbfounded, distracted and the next thing you know, a few hours have gone by. Instead, set aside time each week or each month to brainstorm topic ideas. Once you get one idea, it’s easier to come up with more, so making brainstorming a focused activity is very beneficial.
9. Reintroduce old topics and give a new reason to read it. When you’re super busy, you may not have time to write something new. But if you’ve been blogging for a while, certainly you have a nice library of great posts that much of your audience has probably never seen. Let’s say you’ve been talking to your readers about the importance of composting lately and your readers are really responding to this. Turns out, you wrote about 5 posts on the topic in the past 3 years. This is the perfect opportunity to point your readers to those posts. It’s likely new information for them, but even if they read it before, it’s a great refresher and extra exposure for your existing content.
10. Interview someone. Instead of you answering the questions all the time, interview someone else. You can interview popular bloggers or experts in your niche, bringing your readers some new perspective and valuable content. You can even ask your readers to help you with the questions you’ll ask in the interview, so they can be part of the interview process as well.
11. Conduct a case study. A case study allows you to showcase a clients or customers experience with your product, service or advice. It not only provides useful information to your audience, it’s also a source of social proof because your readers can see that you are actually helping real live people. Always keep track of your success stories so that you can showcase them in a case study.
12. Let someone guest post on your blog. Be open to the idea of having guest bloggers on your blog. Many bloggers will write for free, in return for a byline and link back to their website. Just be selective in the guest posts you publish. It’s your blog and reputation on the line, so choose posts that understand your audience well and delivery exactly the kind of content your readers are looking for.
13. Review a product. If you’ve recently tried a product that you think would be of interest to your readers, review it. Audiences appreciate detailed and honest reviews from someone they trust (you). Not only do reviews provide your readers with valuable consumer information, you can earn commissions through your recommendations as well.
14. Search current news and relate it to your topic. In addition to adding bloggers to your RSS feed, you can also sign up for topic notifications from various news sites. For example, at Google News, you can customize their site, so they show more of the stories you’re interested in, you can sign up for RSS feeds in specific categories and more. Staying up-to-date in your niche is crucial and there are plenty of tools to make it quick and easy for you.
15. Share content and add your commentary. For super easy content on the fly, all it takes is a trip to YouTube,or SlideShare and you can find useful content to share with your readers. Be sure to add your own commentary, so your readers know why you’re sharing it and so they get your unique perspective.
Coming up with fresh and interesting content, is an important job for any blogger and it’s easy to get stuck sometimes. I’d recommend bookmarking this post or printing it out. Just keep it handy whenever you stumble and you’re sure to have new great ideas in no time.
Martin Ellison’s posts help business owners take the stress and hassle out of blogging, so they can concentrate on the more important things in their business.