12 Places to Find Inspiration for your Blog Posts
If you’re blogging to build an audience and market your business you probably know the importance of creating fresh, original content, but what happens when you run out of ideas?
Writers block is not just something that happens to professional writers, anyone can suffer from the anxiety inducing experience of staring at a blank page and thinking “now what?”
No matter how exciting and newsworthy your industry might be there will be days when you struggle to come up with anything interesting to write about. This is often worse if you are writing in a subject area that can be considered limiting or even boring, but it is possible to find inspiration and think of original, relevant topics on an ongoing basis.
Years of blogging professionally across a massive range of different topics, many of which would be considered ‘boring’ has led me to a variety of different places in search of inspiration. Over this time I’ve developed a no-fail list of places to go to when I’m short on ideas, no matter what I have to write about.
The top places to find blog writing ideas
Here are 12 places I usually go to find topic ideas for my blog, or my clients’ blogs. Keep this list handy for the next time you’re stuck for ideas (and feel free to add your own).
Competitor blogs. It’s always a good idea to keep track of what your competitors are blogging about, and their blogs can come in handy when you’re trying to think of something to write about. Copying is never a good idea, but finding a fresh angle on something other people are writing about can be a great starting point for your own blogs.
Social media. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be valuable sources of information to let you see what people are talking about and what questions they’re asking. Try searching on topics related to your industry using the hashtag function and see if there are any questions or issues that you could address in a blog post.
Question and answer sites like Quora. Like Twitter, Quora lets you see what people are asking and gives you a great deal of insight into the issues that are important to your target audience. If you create a blog post or piece of content around a question that’s been asked on Quora you can also go back and post an answer linking to the content for a bit of extra promotion and link building.
Old blog posts that were popular. Rehashing old content may sound lazy but if you can put a fresh angle on a high performing blog post you can create something that is of value to your readers and that you know they will be interested in.
Keyword research. Google’s keyword research tool lets you see what people are searching for and what terms they are using. Keyword optimising your posts is a great way to improve your online visibility and get more traffic. You may also come across phrases and questions people are asking that can spark ideas for new content.
Google Alerts. Staying ahead of trends and news in your industry can spark off some great ideas for blog posts, and also help you position yourself as someone who is in touch with the latest developments.
Content sharing sites. Much like your competitors’ blogs, content sharing sites like Hubpages are great places to see what other people are writing about in your industry and help you find ideas for your own content.
Your clients or customers. Are there any common questions that your clients or customers ask you? If so could you turn one of those into a blog post?
Comments and questions on top blogs. It’s not just blog posts that can help you think of new topic ideas. People often ask relevant questions in the comments section and you can take one of these questions and answer them in a blog post.
Other forms of content on your site. Getting extra mileage out of your existing content is a tried and tested marketing strategy. Look at your previous blog posts and think about whether you can repurpose them by turning them into a video or an infographic, or even a longer piece of content like an e-book.
Industry newsletters and research. It’s always a good idea to subscribe to relevant industry newsletters. New research and industry developments can be a great basis for a blog post or other piece of content.
Real life examples of work you’ve done for clients. Turn a success into a case study. Case studies are a great way to prove your expertise and engage your audience and get great original content for your blog. Think about a situation you’ve recently experienced with a client and how you solved their problem for them. Chances are you’ve done something lately that has helped someone and writing it up as a case study can help you show other people how you can do the same for them.
By keeping a steady flow of ideas coming in you can avoid writers’ block and ensure you have a regular supply of valuable, relevant content for your blog.
Where do you get your ideas? Feel free to add suggestions in the comments below.