The blogging job seems simple enough – find out what people want to read and give it to them. Online crowds are a plentiful source of inspiration like that, but even the most resourceful blogger can sometimes run out of ideas. In between evergreen topics, trending keywords, and common issues that people keep struggling with, one can easily get lost, hopelessly asking: What should I write about next?
Instead of choosing just about any topic, take some time to reawaken your crowd-pleasing genius. Start researching and compiling notes. Ask questions, draw connections, and look outside of the box. Until the inspiration finally kicks in, try keeping the content ideas flowing with these 7 clever prompts.
Accept Guest Writer Submissions
Sure, a guest writer can diversify your blog, increase your traffic, and extend your network of influence. Another’s experience, knowledge, and perspective can complement yours, filling in the gaps and creating a more comprehensive resource for the readers. Plus, you’ll finally get to catch a break.
But, that’s not all.
When others contribute to your blog, you’re reaping mutual reputation benefits. A guest writer’s post is a confirmation of your own field authority, just as well as your approval showcases that the author at hand is a trustworthy content source. Such relationship brings better visibility, while simultaneously opening new link-building opportunities. If you promote others, they will always promote you back.
Outsource Writing to Rising Authors
When you’re a one-man band, keeping up with new buzzwords and trending topics can be hard. Taken together with those that you’re personally interested in writing about, this myriad of ideas can sometimes pose a different kind of problem – having more headlines that you know what to do with.
Weather you don’t know what to write about or don’t have enough time to address all intriguing topics, outsourcing can help you. Just like guest writing contributions, it can give you some fresh perspective. The content will be posted on schedule, but you’ll get to use your time more creatively.
Leverage Crowdsourcing Content
No author is good enough for you to entrust him or her with your blog posts, either with guest writing or with outsourcing? Why not harness the raw power of a larger crowd then?
When it comes to ideation, crowdsourcing seldom fails to deliver.
With brainstorming, collaboration, and networking all being embedded in this practice, the result is always a dynamite blog post. Simply ask experts and influencers from your niche community to voice and share their opinions on a specific topic, or to come up with uncharted grounds for you to explore.
You can gather published quotes from field experts and give them credit for their contribution, reach out to influencers on social media or via email, run a crowdsourcing contest, or spark a discussion on public forums like Quora. With so many expert opinions, you can create posts to drive traffic for years.
Conduct Interviews with Niche Experts
Compelling content is all about actionable insights coming from first-hand experiences. If you’re running a business blog, for instance, your readers will want to read about how their more successful competitors have tipped the scale. And, who better to tell them that than niche experts themselves?
Find them on LinkedIn, get their email addresses, and ask them to share their stories. If they agree, a single conversation can get you tons of great material for both the actual interview and for the rest of your future blog posts. You’ll expand your niche knowledge and receive a few useful advices yourself.
Do More Research (Yes, More!)
It’s a shocker, I know. There’s no such thing as an epic blog post without an epic research session, especially today when virtually all gripping topics have been exhausted to detail. Your audience craves for something original, if not in terms of actual subject matter, then in terms of how you approach it.
Don’t wait for a muse to tell you what to write about. Research is needed for both after and before you’ve chosen an engaging topic, and there’s a number of unconventional ways for you to find out what your blog visitors want to read about. Google AdWords is merely a beginning of a long journey.
You can spy on their online conversations, for instance, be that on niche forums or social media. Leverage Google Trends and the People Also Ask box. For 10x content – the epitome of original blog posts – conduct your own case studies, public surveys and interviews. Whatever you do, be proactive.
Ask Your Audience for Input
Speaking of public surveys, did you know that you can actually ask you audience about their reading habits and preferences? It goes without saying that you cannot rely on this method for every single blog post, but every once in blue moon, their feedback can help you come back to the right track.
Surveys can collect an impressive amount of useful information, but bear in mind that they require time and energy. If you’re short on both, you can simply engage your audience on social media, or invite them to comment on your blog posts. Just let them know that their opinion matters to you.
Rework Old Content into In-Depth Pieces
No, rewriting isn’t playing safe. It’s actually something that all great authors do, whether they are world-known laureates or your fellow niche bloggers. Behind every paragraph of every article you’ve ever posted lays a yet unexplored body of work. Revisit them all, and start expanding on those ideas.
Of course, such rework asks for in-depth research. Now is a good time to support all your expert tips with new studies and stats, and add step-by-step guidelines for their successful deployment. The end result will be not only a complete guide on a certain topic, but also a compelling 10x content piece.
Great ideas are everywhere around; you just need to silence your weary mind and listen. In the meantime, these seven tricks will allow you to delegate a few of your frustrations and discover a fresh perspective to employ in the future. Take some time to read and think, and the ideas will start flowing.
Damir is an avid writer here to help you with graphic design and branding tips in order to take your business to the next level. Part of the team at DesignContest, a place that will make your every graphic design idea come to life.