Don’t worry, it can happen to anyone. It’s a totally normal and natural occurrence, and much more common than you think.
Whether writing for clients or for their own blogs, even the best writers get stuck for blog post ideas at some stage.
Here’s what to do when it happens to you.
How to generate blog post ideas:
1. Play around with keywords
Think about what phrases you’d search for if you wanted to find out more about your topic.
Either paste them into a Word doc. and just start brainstorming a post around these keywords, or insert them into Google’s keyword tool and play around with them for a while.
You might be surprised at what this exercise can do for generating blog post ideas.
2. Look for blog post ideas on social media
You’ve got a blog post to write so this is not – I repeat: not – an excuse to lose a few hours in a social media frenzy.
Stay focused and hone in on what people are talking about in relation to your topic.
Look up hashtags on Twitter. Sift through Quora questions. Join relevant groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and participate in discussions. This is an awesome way of finding out what people are interested in or need help with.
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3. Get blog post ideas from the news
Sure, the news is a crazy mess these days. But it can help you generate blog post ideas if you’re smart.
Pick up a newspaper (yes, they still exist) or scan the news online for something you could build a blog post around. There’s bound to be something relevant to your topic happening, and if you search under Google News you’ll likely to find it.
Even if there’s no dramatic breaking news in your particular niche, you can always find inspiration for a comparison type post, e.g. ‘How Pitching for Writing Clients is Like Trying to Convince Brexiteers to Stay in the EU.’
4. See what’s worked for you before
You’ve come up with useful, insightful, witty and downright brilliant blog post ideas before, right?
So go back and see what worked. Look at blog stats and comments on your past posts and see which ones got people talking the most.
Find out why these posts worked and make a note of this for future blog post ideas. If inspiration doesn’t immediately hit, you could write a follow-up article to one of your most popular existing posts.
5. Do something else
Yeah, you’ve heard of this idea before. Do something unrelated to trying to find new blog post ideas. Go for a run, a walk, a 9-inch Sub. Have a bath, read a book, sing a lullaby.
Why do we always hear this advice? Because it works. It’s not magic – it’s science. Something about different parts of the brain… or something… the point is, it works.
When you’re frantically trying to come up with inspiration for something utterly brilliant, sometimes the best thing you can do is to focus on something else entirely.
Personally, I’d say this one works for me 98% of the time.
The other 2% of the time? See points 1-4 above.
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Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash