Coming up with enough content ideas to keep a blog going can be hard work.
It doesn’t matter how enthusiastic you or your marketing team are about following your content marketing strategy to the letter and publishing week after week, eventually, writer’s block is bound to strike.
Over the years I’ve developed a few tricks to keep the ideas and the blog posts flowing. Some of these ideas come from traditional journalism; some are from the world of content marketing.
If you’ve been trawling the internet looking for ways to break your writer’s block and generate ideas for blog posts for your business, hopefully one of the following suggestions will help.
This is always a first port of call. Pull out the calendar and see what’s coming up.
Don’t just look at the big, obvious holidays, like Christmas. Look for the “awareness days” with themes relevant to your business. Maybe that’s National Workplace Safety Day, National Egg Day, or Foster Care Fortnight.
There’s a good chance you’ll find some kind of “day” coming up that provides an opportunity for a blog post on a relevant topic
The UN actually runs a calendar of global “days” — like International Women’s Day, World Wildlife Day, World Intellectual Property Day, and the International Day of Yoga — which could be just the spark you need for ideas.
Your sales representatives are out there on the frontline every day, talking to people who are interested (or potentially interested) in your business.
So, what questions are they being asked all the time? And do you have content on your website that answers those questions?
Sales teams are a ripe, but often forgotten, source of ideas for blogs, newsletters, and other content. Yet if your blog writers and your sales team work together, you can create content your sales team can use as part of the sales process. That’s a huge value-adding proposition!
People aren’t just asking questions of your sales team; they’re also asking a lot of questions on the internet relevant to you, your business, and your industry.
What questions are they asking and can you provide an answer in a blog post on your site?
There are so many places you can find out what questions relevant to you people are asking on the internet. Here are a few that are particularly fertile hunting grounds:
Testimonials and reviews are a fantastic source of the “social proof” that can help convince people to do business with you, but those aren’t the only ways for your customers to tell their stories.
Testimonials and reviews are usually short, and they don’t usually tell a complete story. Could you create a blog post around a customer’s success?
These sorts of blog posts are like mini “case studies” which, if written well, avoid sounding “salesy” and focus on the customer’s story.
Whom have you got working out the back? Who is in the lab or on the computer or out in the field? I mean the really geeky ones, the boffins — the ones who really know the nuts and bolts of things.
“Geeks” are fantastic resources for blog writers at any company because they’re deeply passionate about something and understand it inside and out. Talk to them about their jobs, their work, their field for any length of time and you should come away with half a dozen great ideas for blog posts.
Can they help demystify a complicated process using easy-to-understand terms? Or perhaps contextualise why something is important or unique? Or even share their own story of becoming obsessed with the very thing they now make their living doing?
What comments have people left under your old blog posts or on your Facebook posts? Rather than just respond on the platform (which you absolutely should do), could you also create an entire blog post around the topic?
Don’t just check your own comments; check those of your competitors and industry-relevant pages, too. There could well be something there that sparks an idea for a blog post — or even an entire series of posts.
This is a tried and true trick from journalism: update your old stories.
Go back through your archive and see what you wrote about two or three years ago (hey, even six months ago). Have things changed? Has the story evolved? Is there new data? Have regulations changed?
Even if the fundamentals are the same, there are often options. Did you mention something in passing that warrants it’s own blog post? Could you cover the same topic again, but from a different angle, with a different focus, or in answer to a slightly different question?
Whatever you do, don’t forget to link between your old blog post and the new one!
Typeset is a specialist editorial services company owned and operated by journalists, copywriters, and content marketers. We know how to generate content ideas. Get in touch for an obligation-free chat about your needs.