Most small businesses require extensive blogging and content creation to market themselves and establish authority in any field. This can get tedious, and business owners — or those who create content on their behalf — often hit a “blogger’s block.” There is nothing worse than knowing you have to create content to be successful, but having zero inspiration. These tips will help you avoid that by stimulating new ideas for your online content and offering some alternative solutions to the content creation grind.
1. Piggyback on Industry News
No matter what your industry, something exciting and innovative is happening somewhere. Use current events as topics for your content. Your readers are not only gaining valuable, current information, but you can also include your take on the matter. Take the opportunity to give advice or share an anecdote — don’t just dryly repeat the newsreel.
While people might have already heard about the event, they haven’t heard your opinion on it. Explain what it means for your business, or what it means for them. Present news in a creative and engaging way and you’ll have a bottomless well of content ideas.
2. Follow Trends
Those innovations in the news often turn into trends. If you’re following the news in your industry closely, you might be the first to discover a growing trend. This is what makes you an expert — and discussing your thoughts on these trends will demonstrate that expertise.
Even if you aren’t the first to notice a trend, you can offer a clear explanation of a trend someone else has noticed. Why is it growing and how does it affect your audience?
3. Feature Guest Bloggers
Guest bloggers are a breath of fresh air from the content grind. Not only does this benefit your website because you can offer a new perspective, but it also benefits the guest poster by providing them with publicity and backlinks. As long as your relationship with the guest poster is above-board — no buying or selling links — Google shouldn’t ding you for it.
Finding guest posts for your blog is usually very simple. Make connections within your network and you should immediately discover some opportunities for partnership.
If you’re really having trouble finding someone interested in guest posting for you, there is always the option of hiring a freelancer to write for you.
4. Answer Common Questions
Questions make for really good blog post titles. Your audience is curious and probably has some good questions about your industry that would make excellent content for your blog. Browse forums, help sections, blog comments, social media comments, and the web to find out what people are asking about. Then do a blog post breaking down a commonly misunderstood idea. Not only does this help you overcome blogger’s block, but it’s likely to be a very popular post.
If you aren’t finding good questions, solicit this information from your readers. Ask them what they want you to post about or what struggles they are facing. You can do this by sending a survey to your email list. You are probably going to get a number of different responses, which means ideas for lots of future blog posts, too!
5. Try New Formats
When you’re hitting a wall with content creation, it’s time to start thinking outside of the box. Try changing the format of your content to shake loose some new ideas. Blog posts don’t need to be text-heavy.
Using a tool like Infogr.am, you could create a cool infographic. This type of content is very shareable, too. You don’t need any special design skills, just some solid information that you want to share in a creative way.
Reviews and collections make good posts. You could do a round-up of the best blogs, Twitter feeds, or Instagram accounts for your readership to follow. This won’t be as demanding as writing a full blog post but it provides your audience with valuable information all the same.
Content curation, like guest posting, presents an opportunity for you to provide your audience with valuable information without doing all of the hard work. This just means you find something you audience will enjoy (such as a video) and post it on your website with proper attribution and your commentary, much like when you cover trends and industry news.
7. Get specific
For most people, our go-to content is broad topics. This means that we use up all of those ideas early on and when you start to struggle for inspiration, you need to get really specific. Think of niche ideas and specific angles for your blog posts. For example, if you run a photography blog, a broad topic might be “10 Tips To Improve your Photography.” That can be broken down into a number of sub topics, such as “10 Tips of Improve Your Low-Light Photography,” or “10 Tips for Newborn Photographers,” or “How to Get the Best Engagement Photographs.”
The more specific, the better, because it gives you more topics to write about. Audiences value specificity and detail.
Don’t let blogger’s block get you down. Providing consistently valuable content to your audience is a major responsibility that’s a cornerstone of successful business, but it doesn’t have to be a constant challenge. Use these tips to get you out of your content-creation rut!