We have all been there. Your reflection stares back at you from the white blank document on the screen… you look around the room, out the window, at your shoes, even your lunch. Crickets… Finding inspiration for blog content development can be a challenge for everyone from time to time, from the novice blogger to the blogger extraordinaire.
It's a challenge to come up with original takes on topics and talk about ideas that not every other “expert” in your industry is already buzzing about. This blog is a prime example. Other people have certainly discussed ways to find blog topics. It’s a simple concept, but one that we’re actually asked about all the time by clients and friends: “What am I supposed to blog about?” So, we’ll shed some light on the sources that inspire our light bulb moments and hope they can turn the switch on for you when you’re feeling in the dark.
1. The Headlines
Check out online news headlines for the scoop on industry trends, stats, studies, new products, technologies or other newsworthy topics related to your business. Simply set up Google Alerts and RSS Feeds of your favorite industry and other news sources and have the headlines sent right to your email inbox. Then all you have to do is scan the headlines for the most interesting topics each day and start filling in a blog editorial calendar with post ideas.
2. Other Blogs
Subscribe to the top business and personal blogs in your market to be inspired. You don’t have to focus only on your industry. Check out blogs in other industries and put your own spin on a topic. Has someone written about a topic that you have a different take on? Share your ideas. Just like media headlines, you can add blogs to your RSS feeds and web readers and browse them daily, or several times a day, for new sources of inspiration.
3. Emails and Blog Comments
Your own email inbox and comments on blog posts can spark great ideas for blog posts. What questions are your customers, clients and audience asking the most? What topics have you recently discussed with colleagues? It’s very likely that if one person wants to know more about a topic, others will too. Learn more about the needs and wants of your clients and customers and write posts that offer solutions or insight to their issues. Your blog should definitely strive to help solve the problems of your audience.
4. Social Media
Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn create never-ending sources of blog inspiration. A quick scan of your current Twitter stream or Facebook news feed can provide lots of fresh ideas on hot topics in your industry, as well as links to blog posts and news articles that might not be on your radar. When staring at a blank screen, pop on Twitter or check out one of your LinkedIn Groups to see what people are talking about.
5. Pop Culture
I’m a news junkie and admit to being hooked on celebrity gossip. But pop culture news can be very inspiring and often create buzzworthy blog ideas. Check out the latest juicy Hollywood scandals, indie or blockbuster movie plots, NY Times bestselling book list or even the latest YouTube sensation for topics you can relate back your business or industry. Referencing a hot pop culture topic will usually generate lots of interest in your post and can drive new traffic to your blog.
Remember blog titles are really important too. Once you have your topic, include calls-to-action, offers, numbers and keywords in your titles to capture people’s attention and interest. Put your creative journalistic skills to use. Think about what you would be drawn to.
Where do you find blog inspiration when you’re staring at a blank screen?
For more ideas for inspiration, download our new e-book Content Continuity: An Interactive Guide to Editorial Calendars now available in the iTunes store.