Writing content for your website is difficult at times. Sure, there are days where the ideas just flow, but other times you can sit and stare at your monitor trying to come up with something to say. That’s just the life of a writer. Here are some ways to get ideas for a blog post that you may not have considered lately.
1. Comments From Your Social Media Pages
Did a recent post generate discussion on your social media pages? Take off from that and cover whatever new angles the comments brought up. Give credit where credit is due, but take the ideas further.
2. Respond To Someone Else’s Articles
Sometimes the stuff you read elsewhere can inspire you. Don’t limit yourself to commenting on their websites; consider whether or not an article on your own site makes for a better response. Make sure you link back to the article that inspired you. They get a link, you get inspiration for more content on your site. Do it right and there’s some serious mutual benefit.
3. Refresh Old Content
Your old posts may still be good stuff, but often enough there’s something more you can add to it or update. Little changes make a big difference. It’s also a great way to bring up a familiar to you topic to new readers who may not be aware of it.
As a matter of fact, this post is an updated old post from 2012. I went through my archives to look for posts that were good, but outdated. I made some changes in recommendations and added new information.
The other advantage to this is that the post has probably already been indexed, and depending on how old it is, may even have some social media activity on it. The search engines love seeing updated posts – it shows that you aren’t neglecting the older content on your site.
4. Answer Frequently Asked Questions
If people email you a lot of questions or post a lot of questions in your comments, you probably have some you see over and over again. Write up a good blog post. You may be able to write an entire post on a single question or cover a bunch of them in one shot, depending on how much detail is required.
Around here, I often get people asking how they can find a work at home job. As that’s usually all the information they give me, I send them to my blog post, How Do You Get Started Working From Home? That usually gets them off to a good start. That post itself was updated from its original version and has had links to relevant newer posts added since then.
5. Read Related Forums
Posting on relevant forums with a signature line can be good marketing, but it can also help you get ideas for your blog. Look at what people need from the forum. What do they talk about? If it’s relevant there, you can probably work it into a blog post.
If the forum permits links, you may be able to refer to your post when answering questions. Even if you can’t, odds are that similar questions are being searched for on Google and such.
6. Check Your Analytics
How do people find your website? The search phrases people use can tell you a lot about what people want from your site. Write more about those subjects.
Google Analytics is what I use. You can use whatever analytics your hosting company gives you, but I like Google Analytics better. It’s very detailed and free to use. It will take some time to learn to take good advantage of some features, but it’s worth it.
7. Check Relevant Hashtags
Twitter hashtags are great for finding out what people think is relevant to what you do. Keep an eye on what’s getting tagged as relevant and figure out how to use it.
You can use a hashtag generator to come up with hashtags if you aren’t sure what to use. There are quite a few out there. I keep a list of my favorites for various topics so that I don’t have to keep generating them. It’s a long list so that I can use a variety.
8. Do Keyword Research
You don’t have to have a fancy tool like Market Samurai (although I love it!) to do keyword research for your blog posts. I recently learned about Answer the Public, which gives an amazing amount of information to queries. Put in the keywords and see what happens.
If you get more ideas than you can use right now, great! Make a list and you’ll have blog post inspiration for a while. Who doesn’t need extra ideas?
9. Use A Blog Title Generator
If you have a keyword for your post, but don’t quite know what to do with it, a blog title generator can be surprisingly helpful. They mostly use the same basic titles over and over, but the good ones have a long enough list that it isn’t a huge problem.
I’ll usually change the title somewhat from what the generator gives me. Every here and there, I’ll be going through the list and realize that it has given me a great angle on a topic.
10. Compile Great Information On A Topic
Your posts, someone else’s posts, whatever makes the list useful. Linking out to other sites can be good for your site, and linking to your own information can help your readers find information they didn’t know you offered. A well compiled post can itself be a great resource for your readers.
If you want to do this regularly, consider joining a roundup post group on Facebook. People post about the kind of roundup posts they want to do, and other members share their relevant links. It can save you a lot of research, and you can usually get information to use an image from their posts if you need to.
11. Ask Your Readers What They Need
The people who know best what they’d like to hear from you are your readers. Ask them in your blog, on your Facebook page, your Twitter stream or wherever else, what they wish you’d blog about. Some days it’s much easier to get ideas for a blog post from your readers than to come up with one on your own.
12. Make A How Not To Post
How to posts are common. Have a little fun and make a how not to post. I did this some time back with my how to fall for a work at home scam post some time back – most posts are about how to avoid falling for work at home scams, so I twisted that around just a little bit for the fun of it.
13. Share Your Milestones
Have you reached a great milestone in your business? It can be as simple as an anniversary or as big as reaching a certain goal.
Readers love hearing about success. This is why so many bloggers do monthly income reports. They get attention.
14. Discuss A Myth
Most industries have their myths, such as the notion that running a home business is always ridiculously easy, what with the fancy house and cars. Discuss a myth relevant to your site and explain why it just isn’t true.
I wrote my 12 Blogging Myths You Can Ignore post a while back, for example. No matter your niche, there are probably a lot of myths.
15. Check Pinterest
What relevant pins are trending in your industry? This works better for some subjects than others, but can have great potential, especially if your take on it is highly pinnable.
Don’t copy what the established posts are saying – come up with your own perspective, and give credit where credit is due. You have to stand out with new information if you want to get anywhere.
16. Share Photos And Other Images
People love to share photos. That’s why Instagram is so popular, as well as the other visual social media sites. If you have a great photo, make a blog post around it. Use it to illustrate a point.
The best photos are ones you’ve taken yourself – you don’t have to worry about having the rights to it. Next are Creative Commons Zero photos, and there are a number of sites where you can find these. Whatever you do, make sure that you have the right to use the photos, both on your site and on social media. Getting this wrong will make your life difficult eventually and may get expensive.
17. Make An Infographic
A good infographic is hard to make, but can be utterly worthwhile. Share some great information in an infographic and make sure it’s easy to share. Include code for those who want to embed it on their own site.
18. Use Quora
Quora is a wonderful place to discover what people want to know and get ideas for a blog post. You don’t have to answer questions on the site itself – if someone’s asking there, odds are people are wondering the same thing elsewhere and using a search engine to find the answer.
That said, answering questions on Quora can also be a good way to generate traffic. Keep your answers relevant, and don’t just say “check out this post” – give solid information so that people want to go to your site for more information. It’s a good way to become a trusted resource.
19. Check Current News
Is there anything happening in current news that you can relate to your subject? Be sensitive to what’s going on, but relating to news stories can bring in a lot of visitors. Consider how a particular bit of news will impact your readers or your business, for example. Done right, this can bring in a lot of traffic.
This can backfire if you aren’t sensitive, of course. People will view you and your business more negatively if you seem to be taking advantage of a tragedy.
20. Use Videos
Make your own video or embed a relevant one from YouTube and discuss it in your blog post. You don’t have to have a perfect setup to record something all your own to make use of video. Just find something and include it in an article. Making your own is most effective, of course, but it’s not for everyone.