Do you struggle to find content ideas for your website? Do you sit with your fingers over the keyboard waiting for blogging inspiration?
“But what will I blog about?”
This is a question I’ve been asked many times by business owners embarking on blogging. It can be hard to come up with ideas and to keep that idea stream going. Where should we look for blogging inspiration?
Listen below and discover 10 techniques you can use to find blogging inspiration:
1. Read blogs
To write well you have to read and it’s no different for bloggers. Finding and reading blogs every week should be a big part of your strategy.
Here are a few places you can discover new blogs to read:
- Google – Search Google for blogs related to any topic. Just add the word ‘blog’ to your searches and you’ll find the top blogs relating to the topic you are searching.
- BlogSearchEngine.org – I’ve only just found this site but it’s a great resource. It’s powered by Google custom search. When I used it it didn’t just bring up blog results but also posts outlining the top blogs in my industry. If you do give this a try, let me know how it works for you.
- Google Alerts – Google alerts will send you daily emails relating to search terms you give it. When I started blogging about social media I set up alerts for ‘social media Ireland’, ‘Twitter’, ‘LinkedIn’ and ‘Facebook’. It helped me find great blogs to subscribe to and still throws up some interesting articles. Google alerts works best when you pair it with an RSS reader. More on how to do that here.
2. Keep an ideas book
You know you get THE BEST ideas in the middle of the night, when you are out or when you are in the shower. It’s important not to let these slip away. Keep an idea diary or book close by and jot down the ideas as they come to you.
I’ve been keeping my ‘little book of ideas’ ever since I interviewed Eamonn O’Brien for this podcast.
It doesn’t have to be a physical notebook, I also use Evernote and the voice recorder on my phone.
3. Time out
One of the biggest challenges for small business owners is time. If you are anything like me you have a jam packed schedule and a bursting to do list every day. However busy you are taking time out, real time out with no plan, no to-do list can really help the creative juices flow.
It’s no accident that we get the best ideas when we’re in the shower or in bed, that’s when our mind wanders. So schedule some blank space in your life where you can just relax and think about whatever comes your way. You’ll find that you have better ideas as a result.
Schedule planning time for your blog. It will always take longer to come up with ideas if you sit in front of the computer the day you want to publish and wait for inspiration. Instead, set a time once a week or once a month where you can really brainstorm ideas and fill in your content schedule.
I mentioned Google earlier and Sandra talked about using Google autocomplete when I interviewed her in episode 23.
I’ve found this the simplest way to come up with ideas for my blog posts. Start typing your topic into the Google search bar and it will show you suggested searches.
Choose one of those suggestions and scroll to the bottom of the search results. You’ll find more inspiration here in the form of related searches.
Here’s a search I did for Wedding flowers. Any florist would find a wealth of ideas from these results.
Us Twitter search to find out what questions people are asking about your industry or blog topics.
For example, I typed ‘anyone know blog ?’ into Twitter search and found a whole bunch of people looking for blogging help.
Quora is a website full of questions. Users submit questions they want the answers to and others provide answers.
Here’s what I found when I searched the topic ‘blog’
8. Ask questions
Use your social media channels to ask questions, find out what people are interested in, what annoys them, what challenges they face. I find that I get into at least two long conversations on Twitter a week using this technique and I use these as inspiration for Facebook Live and my blog posts.
9. Answer questions
What questions do your customers and social media audiences ask? Keep a note of queries from phone calls and emails and ask people on social media to share their questions with you.
I’ve found that posts I’ve written as a result of answering questions will get lots of traffic, if someone is asking me directly there are probably lots of people searching Google and social networks for the same answer.
You can use BuzzSumo to discover the top shared articles relating to any topic. If the results you get are a little broad you can narrow your search to results that include your topic in the headline.
This is a great way to find out what areas of your business are popular online.
It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve given you a challenge.
This week I want you to try the techniques above a come up with 20 content ideas for your blog.
Don’t stop at the idea either, come up with headlines and rough outlines before slotting them into your content schedule.
A massive thank you to everyone who has left comments or reviews on my Podcast. If you enjoy this podcast please leave me a review on iTunes or Stitcher or let me know about your blog in the comments below.