Have you ever sat down in front of your computer, knowing you need to write a blog post, but just not knowing what to write? I have, plenty of times. Despite this, somehow I'm able to get out of my writing “funk” and constantly come up with new blog content ideas.
I thought I would share some of the strategies I employ to come up with a never ending flow of new blog post ideas.
Before I jump right into it, I should also note that today is November 1st! What's the big deal about November 1st? Well, today marks the first day of of the content creation group for the month of November. Around 100 or so of us have gotten together to share our individual goals for the amount of content we want to produce in the month of November. The purpose of the goal is to motivate and inspire each other to accomplish our content creation goals.
As such, I figured I would kick off the month with a post about brainstorming for content ideas. After all, I am going to be brainstorming a lot this month – and in fact already have. I want to get most of my blog post ideas figured out for November as early as possible. So, hopefully, these tips will help you continuously brainstorm for great blog content ideas during this month and beyond.
1. Think of Your own Problems and Solutions
This is by far the number 1 source of blog post ideas for me. In fact, as you look back on the posts I've done on this blog, you'll see lots of articles that originated with me building niche sites and lessons learned.
Through the process of thinking of the headaches I've had in my own business, I've done a review of Bluehost vs. Hostgator, I've created a video tutorial of how to insert Adsense ads just below your header, and discussed my quest to find Adsense alternatives.
2. Read Past Comments
If you have an active community on your blog, you can literally take the questions posed by your readers and turn it into a full blog post. Not only is this a great source of fresh ideas; its also a great way to interact directly with your community! Finally, using this technique ensures that your blog content is on target with what your readers are looking for.
3. Emails from Subscribers
Closely tied to the previous point, is answering questions you get via email from subscribers in a blog post. I've received lots of great questions or insights from readers via emails which have later turned into further developed content for my blog.
4. Read Forums in Your Niche
Another way to stay in touch with your niche, is to be active on related forums. In particular, if you take note of which threads are the most active you'll find some great hot topics that people are interested in. The key is to get inside the head of those in your niche as much as possible to understand where they are coming from.
5. Read Other Blogs in Your Niche
Most of us probably already read a few other blogs in our own particular niche; however, perhaps its time to expand a bit. With just a few minutes of research, you are likely to find other high quality of sources of information in your market. Use Technorati.com if you must, but a few related Google searches are also sure to turn up some quality blogs.
By simply looking at the headlines from 10 or so active blogs each day, you are sure to be inspired with topics to write about for your own site.
6. Case Studies
Set a goal or do something unique, and document your results on your blog. In the past, I did an Authority Site Project and I also documented the process of building my first iPhone App. Case studies work great in any niche as well: weight loss, running, martial arts, education, you name it.
7. Follow up on Previous Posts
Everyone loves a good case study, but no one likes it when you don't follow up! Admittedly, I've failed to follow up on my Amazon Associates Project started here. Lets just say, it didn't go very well.
However, case studies are not the only posts that can be followed up on! By simply reading over what you have already written, you might see areas that could be expanded upon, or paragraphs that could be expanded into an entire post.
Readers have already engaged with your previous posts, they just might like to hear more on the subject.
8. Use Keyword Research Tools
If you have a general topic that you want to write about, a good keyword research tool, can help you get more specific ideas. In fact, I recently showed how to perform long tail keyword research for authority sites.
Essentially, keyword tools can help you find specific phrases or perhaps even niches to discuss that you may not have thought of on your own. By altering your post title or phrases used, you are more likely to rank in Google for those keywords that you know bring in traffic.
9. Ask Your Readers to Do Something
Many heads are better than one. I've asked my readers to give me seed keyword ideas in the past so that I could make a video. Even though the post was very short (about 200 words), and I had to put almost no thought into it on my own, it received 86 comments and generated lots of great discussion. The post also directly lead to my next post using my readers ideas.
Pat Flynn is also known for doing his reader challenges, that not only create great post ideas for him, but also creates a great deal of interaction with his community of readers.
10. Post Something Fun or Personal
Although, you don't want to get carried away, posting something about yourself or off-topic can be a good way to mix things up on your site. For example, I recently posted about my 3rd Marathon that I ran a few weeks ago. This really has nothing to do with niche business ideas, but hey, its my blog…AND people connect with personal tidbits. I received several messages from fellow runners out there that also happen to be internet marketers.
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11. Tie Current Events to Your Niche
There is a never ending supply of fresh news. If you are creative enough, you can think of ways to tie current events to your seemingly unrelated blog.
For example, the Superstorm Sandy is a huge storm affecting a large portion of the Eastern US right now. For my blog, perhaps I could write an article titled, “What Business Owners Could Learn From Superstorm Sandy”. (For the record, my heart goes out to all those under difficult circumstances due to the storm right now).
Or perhaps I could say something about the young sensation Honey Boo-Boo. I could write a post called, “Why Honey Boo Boo Needs to Start a Blog ASAP!”
Not only can you come up with some great subjects, but because you are writing about current events, its actually possible to start getting Google traffic for these related news keywords. I haven't done much of this, but I would LOVE to try it this month…
12. Highlight Inspiring stories
Everyone loves to read about someone having success. If you have a weight loss blog, find someone that has lost a lot of weight and write a story about their success. If you are in the small business niche, find a bootstrapper that grew his or her business into something successful. Stories of others success make excellent blog posts.
13. Make a Video
Record a video tutorial of a common problem in your niche. Or simply sit in front of the camera and do a video blog to change things up. Sometimes a video is MUCH more effective than the written word.
14. Record a Podcast
Rather than simply highlighting inspiring stories on your own, why not invite someone to record a podcast with you? Although, I've only recorded a few episodes of my own podcast here, its had a number of benefits. First, its provided great content for my blog. But secondly, its allowed me to network with other bloggers and guests as I have them on my show.
Finally, I've had many people tell me that they found my blog through my podcast.
15. Guest Posts
If you are still having troubles finding great blog post ideas using the above methods, then have someone else do it for you! Other bloggers in your niche are likely willing to provide a guest post. Not only does this provide great fresh content for your blog, but it gives you just a little bit more time to discover your next great post idea.
Overall, these are some ideas that I have used to brainstorm for great post ideas, and I'm sure they can help you as well. I plan on utilizing lots of these techniques this month as I try to accomplish my goal of 16 posts in the month of November!
Please leave your comments and let me know your thoughts. Do you any other ways that you use to find great blog content ideas? If so, I'd love to hear it below!