Whether you’re blogging to promote your business, trying to become an authority in your niche, or you just enjoy writing, you will at some point run out of blog topic ideas. Writer’s block is as old as writing itself and we’ve all been there.
But how do prevent yourself from staring at a blank screen? How can you consistently come up with great ideas?
Our following 8 tips can help …
1) Develop Your Existing High-Performing Content
A new blog post does not necessarily have to be a brand-new topic altogether. In fact, the best way to build an audience and rank well in search engines is to focus on a specific area (or niche).
With that in mind, one great way to come up with new content is to look at popular posts you’ve already written and update them or offer a new angle on the subject.
Perhaps there were details you missed the first time or cut out so it wasn’t too long. Maybe the topic has been in the news since you last wrote about it and there are new things to discuss. If you looked at one side of a topic the first time, you could try offering the counter argument this time.
Another good source of inspiration is the comments left on your popular posts. Did anyone ask any questions, provide added information, or rubbish the post completely? All of this can be covered in a new blog post.
By looking at Google Webmaster Tools, Analytics or other tools for measuring post popularity, you can ensure your new post has an in-built audience. There’s no point expanding on posts that nobody engaged with – unless of course you just enjoy the topic yourself and aren’t too bothered about traffic.
2) An Original Take on a Topical Subject
The news (whether that’s the mainstream news or within your niche) is an obvious source of topic ideas, especially if the topic is particularly popular.
Can you provide more information than is currently out there, counter the argument presented, or otherwise offer your own unique perspective? If so, then it’s a good topic for a blog post.
In some cases, you could draw from a popular but general topic in the news (the Super Bowl) and apply it to your blog’s niche as well.
Even old topics can be reworked. People have blogged about making money for years, but not so many people have written specifically about how to make $500 fast.
3) What’s Trending Tools
You don’t have to rely on your manual browsing to find trending topics. Sites like Alltop efficiently aggregate the most popular posts from all major niches, from across the web. Buzzsumo lets you enter a keyword (perhaps the niche of your blog) and it will return Tweets, blog posts and other content around the term, which will help spark your own ideas.
You could also look at popular hashtags on social media or explore key-terms further in Google Trends.
4) Note Ideas Daily
Ideas can come to you seemingly out of nowhere, at any time of the day. Some people claim to have had their best ideas while brushing their teeth or sitting on the toilet!
Don’t miss out on these opportunities. Be old-fashioned and carry around a notepad and pen or use your smartphone, but be prepared to note down your ideas throughout your day and then overview them in the evening to see if any stick and are worth turning in to a blog post.
Eventually, you will have quite a substantial list to refer to.
5) Inspiration from Others
Chances are, your blog is quite like somebody else’s, so don’t be hesitant to look what they’re blogging about to get ideas.
A cutthroat cynic would say “copy the competition.” However, it’s perhaps preferable to be inspired by the competition rather than ripping them off completely.
In some cases, you may be able to respond to, expand or counter one of their posts, and if you remain polite, you could get a link back.
6) Social Media Arguments
How many times have your browsed social media and seen arguments played out in the comments to links or posts? If they’re compelling, you have a topic idea right there.
Perhaps it’s you that’s fuming at what somebody has shared. In that case, you have all the motivation required to write a new blog post.
7) Other Mediums
Believe it or not, sometimes subjects and ideas have yet to make their way to the blog format. You could be the one to do it.
It could be anything from an old book to a popular new YouTube video, but if you find the content interesting, blog readers probably will as well.
Of course, be wary of plagiarising a book or simply transcribing a video. All content you write should be in your own words.
8) Answer Questions
Popular question and answer sites like Quora are ripe for blog topic ideas. You could look for questions in your niche that you can answer, but instead answer them as a blog post. Or you could read questions that have already been thoroughly answered, gather the best answers and sources, and turn that into a post as well.
We all hit that proverbial brick wall sometimes and can’t come up with any new ideas, but by following the above tips and using a little common sense, your creative juices should get flowing again in no time!