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What else can I possibly write about? We’ve all experienced it. You sit in front of your computer monitor, staring blankly at the empty document before you. The cursor blinks, seemingly mocking your failure to let the words flow freely.
It’s frustrating and at times it makes you feel like you’re going crazy – perhaps even prompts you doubt your skills – even for just a brief moment. It’s the dreaded WRITER’S BLOCK! (insert sinister sounding music here)
Inspiration is hiding from you and it seems like you’ve written about everything imaginable.
To help you overcome this dastardly condition – I’ve come up with some practical ways to keep a steady stream of blog ideas:
1. Listen to your customers
What questions are your clients asking you? You or your team likely talk to scores of customers on the phone and in person. Are there common themes to their concerns? If you are hearing a lot of the same problems from those within your industry, then it’s definitely something you need to write about. Your customers are looking to you to solve their problems. Strategically written content that will make their lives easier establishes you as a thought leader and expert in their eyes.
2. Read the news
What are the hot topics in your market? Pick up the leading industry trade journals. You might read an article on a trend that sparks your interest. Perhaps a game-changing technology is in the works or an unfortunate event occurred. Write a spin-off of the article, voicing your own take on the subject or lessons learned.
3. Find blogs on similar topics
They do say imitation is the best form of flattery. Do a Google search for other bloggers in your field – and follow them. See what topics they are covering. And definitely read the comments – the opinions or concerns expressed by readers could be possible blog ideas!
4. Flip your blogs for first-time visitors
Stats show that 60 percent of visitors to a blog are brand new, so it’s likely they haven’t read your past blogs. Take a look at what you wrote months ago. Is it still relative and can it be reblogged as is? Or can you give that already-written content a bit of a makeover to make it more relative? Republishing will get fresh eyes on it.
5. Engage in social media
There are several ways that social media can generate blog ideas:
- Look at your followers’ or fellow industry colleagues’ Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook feeds and see what they are talking about.
- Find out what tweet chats are happening that deal with your industry issues. Tweet chats are open forums where a moderator leads the conversation (via Twitter) and everybody is welcome to respond and give their input. Simply search the #chat name…and all Q&As from the discussion will show up as long as each participant includes the hash tagged name in their responses. (i.e. I take part in a weekly marketing tweet chat #BareItAll) These virtual conversations are informative and an excellent way to be an active voice in your area of interest. In my experience, I have gained several new followers during each chat, as well.
- Join LinkedIn groups in your industry. Simply search the keyword terms on LinkedIn to find prospective groups. Once you join, it’s much like Twitter. You can view discussions and take part in the conversation.
6. Step away from your computer
This is the non-technical way to refresh your brain. Take a walk. Take a shower. Play with your dog. Go to the store. You never know what you might see that will spark an idea. A change of scenery can always help.
So there you are. If you are experiencing an episode of writer’s block or if you’re sitting down to write for the first time – coming up with blog ideas can at times be a challenge. Follow these steps to get the wheels turning and your blog ideas flowing!