Regularly coming up with awesome content ideas is one of the toughest challenges business bloggers and inbound marketers face. Oftentimes, coming up with the blog article idea itself is half the battle.
So the next time you get into a blogging rut and are struggling to get out, consider the following 8 tactics for coming up with awesome blogging ideas. We have a funny feeling you'll come up with something great to blog about by the time you finish reading this post.
10 Inspirational Ways to Brainstorm Blogging Ideas
1. Read Industry News: Because news is always, well, new, industry news sources are definitely a blogger's friend. Subscribe to a bunch of blogs and websites that cover news related to your industry, and scan the news every time you're suffering from blogger's block. Find a particularly relevant or interesting news story, and cover it on your blog. Do your best to relate the story back to your readers, and be sure to include a valuable explanation, lesson, or takeaway they can learn from the story.
2. Encourage Others to Contribute: There's absolutely no reason you should be the only person contributing to your business blog. Whether you're the marketing manager, the business owner, or you're on a multi-person marketing team and you're assigned as the blog manager -- you shouldn't be the sole contributor. In fact, a one-person blogging situation is the easiest way to burn out and result in a boring blog. Ask other members of your team or even colleagues in other departments to contribute. Different minds think differently, and you'll find they will often come up with ideas that never even crossed your mind. In addition, consider opening up your blog for guest posts and allowing other industry bloggers to contribute, too.
3. Come Up With a New Angle to Another's Content: Many of my own content ideas come from reading other bloggers' content. Subscribe to other blogs in your industry, and scan those blogs when you're short of ideas. Maybe you have a differing perspective on a topic they've covered, or maybe you even disagree with the stance they've taken on a subject. Blog about it! Or perhaps they've just covered a topic you've never even considered blogging about and you have something to share about that topic, too.
4. Repurpose Content: Think of ways to repurpose content you've already produced. "Repurposing" could mean a number of things. Perhaps you wrote an ebook. Chances are, you can take an excerpt from that ebook and publish it as a stand-alone blog post. What about an older blog post you published a year ago? Have there since been developments or changes to the topic you wrote about? Consider taking the post and updating it with new information; then republish!
5. Be Open to Inspiration From Unlikely Places: Some of my most creative ideas for blog posts come to me when I'm not necessarily focusing on coming up with blogging ideas. If you're having a hard time coming up with content topics, take a break and try an activity that relaxes you. Maybe it's going for a run, baking, or taking a bath. Have an open mind. You'll be surprised what great ideas you can generate when you're not expecting it.
6. Try Combined Relevance: Combined relevance is taking two concept that don't necessarily have anything to do with each other (like cupcakes and marketing), and connecting them in a clever and valuable way. For example, one of our most popular blog articles is called "Marketing Lessons From the Cupcake." On the surface, cupcakes and marketing don't have anything to do with each other. But by connecting the two ideas, we were able leverage the power of combined relevance and reach people who love cupcakes and marketing!
7. Think Simply: Sometimes the most successful, ingenious articles are the simplest ones. Bloggers are often so obsessed with coming up with mind-blowing content ideas that they can easily overlook these simple blog ideas. Think basic. Can you write a how-to article that clearly articulates how to do something you might know like the back of your hand but your readers struggle with? One of the toughest things for bloggers to do is step back and think at the level of their readers. Just because you're an expert on something, doesn't mean your readers are (and they likely aren't if they're reading your blog).
8. Get Granular: When you first started blogging, I bet you made a list of what, at the time, seemed like endless topic ideas. But if you've been blogging for a while, maybe you've exhausted that list. There's nothing left to write about, right? Wrong. Don't think that just because you wrote a blog post about a particular topic once, you can't write about that topic again. In fact, there are probably many other sub-topics within that particular topic that can likely be addressed. Think granularly, and focus on a specific piece of the topic as a whole.
9. Consider Different Content Formats: A blog post doesn't always just have to be text-based. Switch it up, and get creative! Come up with an idea for a cartoon, present information in a chart or graph, or combine this idea with our previous idea to repurpose content. For example, take a blog post you write that could also be effectively expressed visually, and turn it into an infographic or a video.
10. Curate Other Awesome Content: While some mistakenly look at curated content as 'unoriginal,' curating content can be very valuable for your readers. It aggregates a lot of valuable information in one place, and it can be an awesome traffic generator for your blog. Curate others' content (e.g. infographics, videos, slideshows, tips, etc.) on a particular topic into a post on your blog (just be sure to credit the original sources).
What are some other ways you make sure you never run out of fantastic blog ideas? Share them in the comments!
Image Credit: J. Money