You sit down to write. You’re on a quest to pen a magnificent blog post. You take a sip of coffee. You stare at the screen. You gently tap your fingers over the keyboard. Inspiration will surely come after the next sip of coffee. One more sip. You stare out the window for a moment. It sure is sunny out there. You stare back at the screen. You glance at your phone — no texts. Maybe there’s something on Instagram? Nothing. You notice your kitchen is in shambles and leave your desk to put the dishes in the sink. "No one can be expected to write in a dirty space!" Maybe you need to clear your head. The sunshine might do you some good. Just a quick walk and then you’ll start writing.
Does this sound familiar? If not, please accept this invitation into my real-life experience sitting down to write this very post. Writer’s block happens. It’s hard to always be inspired to write something that feels fresh and new and brilliant. Unfortunately, your boss probably won’t accept “I wasn’t feeling inspired” as a reason to miss your next deadline. While we all wish we just had hundreds of blog post ideas at our fingertips, here are just a few ways you can prevent procrastinating and get inspiration your next blog post:
- Interview Customers (or have them fill out a survey) and turn it into a blog post
- Follow your competitors’ blogs and social accounts
- Use incentives to encourage your own employees to write for you
If you aren’t leaning on your customers as source material for your blog, you’re missing out on huge opportunities. When asked the right questions, customers can give great perspectives on your company, in addition to helping diversify the content that already exists. Don’t forget, your customers also have audiences of their own, and it’s a good bet that they’ll want to highlight or share their interviews with their audiences. If you love expanding your reach, increasing your blog’s authority, and broadening your network, customer interviews are a great jumping-off point. Plus, you’ll likely gather some great feedback to gauge how your company is performing.
Follow Your Competitors
There’s a good chance that your competitors and you have very similar audiences. So, why should you care? If your competitors have popular, high-performing content, it means that it could be your popular, high-performing content. BuzzSumo is a great tool to analyze your competitors’ most shared posts and to identify the best performing content out there. Once you’ve identified that content, ask yourself: “Self? Can I write about this topic better or with more depth than what’s already out there? Can I offer unique insights on this topic that will help my blog audience?” If the answer is yes—you ought to be writing those blog posts.
Have Employees Write for You
Some companies have the resources to have full-time bloggers on their marketing teams. If that’s your company — wonderful! For those of us who wear multiple hats, it can be hard to continually grind out fresh topics or perspectives. I recommend running an employee competition for best blog title/post. I worked with a customer during a Marketing Hub Fundamentals class who offered a $10 gift card each month to the sales rep whose blog post had the most page views. Alternatively, you could place a Call To Action on all of the competing blog posts and determine your winner by the most clicks. Whatever the metric of success, the result was that this company had multiple blog posts to publish and was able to gather new perspectives from customer-facing employees who typically didn’t write for their blog.
When in doubt, you can always try the HubSpot Blog Topic Generator to source ideas. In the end, blogging should be a fun, relatable asset to your business. Writer’s block happens to us all, but we shouldn’t use it to justify why we’re not writing. If you’re interested in learning more about blogging and other ways to help your business grow, join us for a live Customer Training. Happy writing!