Some days, your workflow is on fire and you’re able to churn out blog content like nobody’s business. Then come the dry spells and nothing you write seems to be innovative enough. Or worse, you can’t think of anything to write at all.
When you have blogger’s block, it can seem like there are no more ideas left in you, signaling the time for you to throw in the towel and retire from creating content for good. However, this is a completely normal part of every creative individual’s life.
There will be times when ideas are pouring out of you and times when you’ll be running on empty, but you never stay in either place forever. We all have a natural creative cycle that needs replenishing every now and then.
Content does not exist in a vacuum, and neither should your content creation skills. So read on to learn what to do the next time you draw a blank on what your next blog post should be.
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Writing Warm Ups
Like with physical exercise, you need to warm your brain up before you can exert too much creative effort. The way content creators can do this is by sitting down and setting some parameters around brainstorming times.
Right now, the biggest problem is a lack of quantity, not quality content ideas, so remember that when writing your thoughts down. Even if you think a topic is completely outlandish and would never work, write it down anyways.
It may help you think of an even better idea later or may make more sense in combination with another subject. Although you may struggle with writing a single word, jot down any random thought that comes into your mind.
Just writing, “I don’t know what to write,” might help turn some gears and open up the floodgates. Also try to be as specific and concise as you can possibly be. Broad ideas have their purposes, but you can reach a qualified audience by tackling something more niche.
This is only brainstorming, so no need for detailed outlines or killer titles yet. By the time you’re done with this exercise, your brain should be primed with several ideas to work from.
Tools to Add to Your Blogging Belt
Every creative individual has a belt of go-to tools that help them make their job easier. Content creation is no different. There are plenty of tools you can find online that can jumpstart your thinking process. Here are some content idea tools to get you started:
01. Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator
This webpage is great in helping you think of ideas as well as titles — the bane of many writers’ existences. By inputting three topics you would like to write about, Hubspot will generate five article titles that have to do with your chosen topics. From there, you can invest more time in the ideas that interest you or click “Try Again” to receive more options.
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BuzzSumo can give you a little more bang for your buck since it not only makes it easier to come up with fresh ideas but also helps you figure out what kind of content is trending now. By searching for a keyword your blog is about, a list of related popular content gets pulled up along with their social media metrics. From there, you can see the kind of angles you should take in your writing as well as which social media networks respond the best to certain topics.
03. Portent’s Content Idea Generator
Portent’s Content Idea Generator is similar to Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator in that you provide a keyword and the tool produces a title with that word. However, Portent’s titles are a little more attention grabbing, making you wish the article the title suggests was real. Plus, four lighthearted, sometimes helpful blurbs crop up every time you generate a title, releasing some of the tension you may have from your lack of ideas.
Let the Research Begin
Research is required for pretty much everything, blogging included. It’s especially useful when you run out of ideas to write about. One of the best things to keep in mind when looking for potential blog topics is your audience.
People will more likely read what they’re already curious about, so read the questions your readers have about you and your content. If you don’t have readers asking you questions, check your competitors’ blogs and the questions their readers are asking them.
It’s recommended to keep tabs on your competitor’s blogs — especially if they receive more traffic than you — to see the kind of posts that are gaining traction. Don’t copy them word for word, though. Avoiding plagiarism isn’t just for school papers. Instead, use their content as inspiration to make even better blog posts.
It’s also a good idea to see what’s trending on social media and websites having to do with your industry and bounce ideas off from there. Trending topics can have small windows, though, so it’s best to write this kind of content as quickly as possible.
Research the keywords you want to rank for as well and see what people are searching in regards to it. To get a good idea, type a keyword into Google’s search engine and see how Google auto completes it. By using verbs and other words in different orders, you can see the search terms most people are looking up and create content based on that.
Sometimes people struggle with how personal they can be on their blog. How much is too much? Do people even want to know? The answer to the latter at least is a resounding yes. Readers want to know the person behind the blog.
They’ll be curious about your story and why you got into the industry you’re a part of in the first place. Share what you’ve learned along the way as well as some of the pitfalls you’ve experienced. No one’s perfect and no one expects you to be. However, people can appreciate someone who can own up to their faults.
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Excuses or placing the blame on others usually doesn’t make others want to read more of your content. What readers do enjoy, though, is a behind-the-scenes look at what you do and how you do it. Don’t be afraid to share industry secrets and what you do to achieve success. This will show that you’re an expert in your field, leading your audience to trust you and the content you provide.
Recycle Old Blog Content
Recycling is good for the environment as well as your blog. Instead of coming up with a completely new idea, look through your older content and see which posts could see the light of day again. However, recycling your content doesn’t mean you just post the same thing again.
Even if a short amount of time has passed, new information is always being unveiled and can be added to an updated post of an old topic. Also look and see if your whole article or particular sections of your content could be elaborated more on.
You can create an entire series based on some of the questions posed in previous posts. Don’t forget to take into account relevant news and pop culture as well. Apply processes you’ve explained in previous content on issues and events that are affecting people today.
If some of the posts you’ve written before talk about emerging industry news and tech, consider writing follow up content on how accurate those predictions were and the kind of impact they truly have.
It takes many elements to create a successful blogging business. Having a website that works and an audience to write for are just a couple. However, a blog is nothing without content. Crafting new posts can be one of the most difficult steps in the blogging process, but it doesn’t have to be.
By following these tips and skills to overcome writer’s block, you’ll be able to bulldoze your way through and make the blog posts you know you can create. All you have to do is start.
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