Running a blog is great for business, but it can be tough work. One of the hardest parts about running a blog is coming up with new ideas for interesting content. Trust me, you’re not alone on that. But with a few tips, you can make the process easier.
A long time ago, I used to be a newspaper journalist. One of the best takeaways from that experience has been learning to use an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar helps you plan and organize your content publishing schedule in advance.
Plan topics ahead of time (I recommend doing it in monthly chunks) so you’re not left hanging at the last minute. Organize your topics into a calendar, easily done with Google Calendars or even a regular Excel spreadsheet. If you run a WordPress blog, you could also use the Editorial Calendar plugin to keep track of which post is being published when.
I find that if I do my brainstorming ahead of time, instead of just when I’m about to write the post, I end up producing much better content for the blog. Also, it’s much less stressful! So my tip? Make some time every month or every two weeks to plan out topics for your blog. The streamlined process will help you produce better content.
Right, so being organized is a great tip but that doesn’t give you actual blog ideas. I know, I know...I’m getting to it! Here are some tips on how to keep your creativity flowing and never run out of blog ideas again.
Every industry has something new going on and news is well, new. Keep an eye on what is going on in your industry and use recent events as fodder for a blog post. You could use the news to provide an update to your blog readers. Or, you could use the news and make it relevant to your audience with a special tip or some expert advice.
Imagine that I run a blog on social media marketing. Now Facebook has very recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. I could use this piece of news and turn it into a blog post about how 10 years of Facebook has forever changed online marketing.
Even though you might think everyone has already heard about that big story that just broke yesterday, you can still write about it. Think about how to creatively present it to your audience and add something new and valuable for them.
Like news, there is always a new and upcoming trend in every industry. As the industry expert that you are, your blog would be an excellent platform to discuss these shifts in trends.
You can forecast what you think is going to be the next big trend. Or, if you spot a trend that’s making its mark, you could break it down and discuss how it would affect your audience.
Trends tend to change the industry status quo. It challenges how people do things and people are sometimes a bit skeptical of something new. By explaining a trend, you can alleviate fears and help them embrace the changes.
Bringing in a guest blogger is a great way to introduce a fresh voice to your blog. Guest posting is very helpful because when you have run out of things to say, someone else can step in. A guest poster will provide a unique perspective on a topic.
Network with others in your industry so you can capitalize on opportunities to invite guest posters.
What questions does your audience need answers to? Are there any particular issues that need addressing? Sometimes, all you need to do is look to your audience for blog ideas.
Browse through your help section, support queries, blog comments and even social media comments. This will help you get an idea of what information your audience is looking for. Use this information to create a post that will be useful and informative for your readers.
Conduct a Survey
Not sure what your customers want to read about? How about just asking them?
Send out a survey to your email list, asking your audience what they’d like you to cover on your blog. Or better still, keep it simple and maybe just ask them something like “What is your number one affiliate marketing problem?”
People love to talk about their problems and will appreciate that you want to know. Also, not everyone will have the same problem so you will probably get a bunch of responses that will be useful. Use this data and convert the ideas into blog posts.
More Than Just Text
A blog post doesn’t have to be just text. If you’re running out of blog ideas and simply need a break from writing, how about trying a different content format?
You could create an infographic post. You don’t even have to be a skilled designer to create an infographic. Some good data and a free tool like Infogr.am is all you need to get started.
Haven’t got enough data for an infographic? How about an image-based post. May be something like “The Top 30 Quotes About Music,” accompanied by images of famous quotes relevant to music.
You could also do review posts on the blog to mix up the type of content. Say you run a site about sports and you know your audience just loves sports news. How about giving them a list of the best blogs to keep up to date on all the industry's happenings.
You could even break it down by individual sport; for example, “the Best Blogs For Football News.” Cover as many blogs as are relevant to the topic. It’s not as intensive as writing a full blog post, yet the information is useful.
Break It Down
When we first start blogging, most of tend to write about topics that are quite broad and all-encompassing. If I were running a healthy eating blog, one of my first topics would probably be something along the lines of “10 Tips to Eat Healthy.”
This is great, but once you’ve been blogging for a while, you start to run out of general ideas. Every topic you think about has been covered. Or has it? It’s time to get granular with your blog topics.
Instead of keeping it so broad, you need to break it down and focus on one particular angle. So, you could break down the eating healthy topics into granular topics such as:
- How to Eat Healthy While Travelling
- Healthy Eating Tips for Pregnant Women
- Top 10 Healthy Dessert Recipes
- How Quinoa Can Help You Achieve Your Healthy Eating Goals
By breaking your topics down into smaller, more concentrated topics, you will have more to write about and your audience will enjoy the value of highly specific information.
To learn more about the basics of blogging, be sure to check out our free lessons on blogging for affiliate marketing.
This is my list of things to do when I’m running low on blog ideas. How about you? Where do you look for inspiration when you need something new for your blog?