The 10 Usual Suspects to Spark Blog Inspiration
We’ve all been there before, you're looking to spark blog inspiration.
Whether it’s the dreaded Monday or your Thursday night carried into Friday morning, every writer has blankly stared at their computer screen half-thinking about content topics and half-looking at the time wondering why it isn’t 5 o’clock yet. Writer’s block is an understatement; this is more like a writers barricade.
But guess what? Your readers don't care. Neither does your boss. You are still expected to publish content that is both fresh and up to par with your normal writing.
You’re no rookie to the game, and by now you know all of the tips and tricks to help you out; you have already turned off your cell phone, cleaned your desk, and have even switched Microsoft Word to “Focus View”, but you just can’t find that spark of blog inspiration.
You’ve already covered every subject there is to write about in your industry, approached every single angle the human mind could possibly muster up. There are no exciting stories to newsjack and your social life has recently been as inspiring as a brick wall.
Here are some sources you can use to switch your light bulb on.
10 Sources of Blog Inspiration
When in doubt, your first step should be to peruse the internet and see what is going on.
It is always good to stay current in your industry. It will show your readers that you are a valuable source of news and insight.
You probably don't have the time to check several websites every morning, so set up an RSS Feed and skim through the headlines. Make sure to not only give your readers the facts, but your opinion on the story as well.
This is a great place for blog inspiration.
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even YouTube are all great to see what stories are trending around the world and what your peers are talking about.
On Twitter (and now even Facebook), this is as easy as performing a hashtag search. Whether you’re in #Gardening, #RealEstate, or #Construction, there are stories out there for you to find.
Consider checking relevant YouTube videos and scan through the comments. Maybe your next article lies in an unanswered question.
Sometimes you already know what your next article should be about, you just don’t know that you know it. Still with me?
Look back at some of your more popular blog posts from the past couple of months and read the comments. Did any of your readers ask questions or make a comment that you wish you could elaborate more on? This is the perfect opportunity to do it.
Previous Blog Content
The best kind of content is “evergreen” content, or subjects that are always relevant. Maybe you wrote a successful blog article a year or two ago, and it is still a hot topic in your industry. It's perfectly fine to recycle your old ideas, especially if they worked; just make sure to keep it fresh.
Similar to looking at industry news, you can also look at blogs written by other companies in your industry. This does not mean to blatantly plagiarize their work, but this is a potential goldmine of ideas waiting to be explored.
Maybe a company took a stance on a new issue that you don’t agree with, or maybe you could have taken another angle on one of their older stories. You can also check out their comment section to look for your blog inspiration, just like you did with your own articles.
Did your company host a webinar recently? If so, this is the perfect opportunity to create a blog that people will want to read with minimal effort.
Simply play back the recording of your webinar as many times as needed and take careful notes that highlight the main points. With these notes you can do a “Webinar Review” write up and give your new readers a recap of what they missed.
Just don't give them all the key points. Use your blog post to drive more traffic to the recording of your webinar.
Emails and Phone Calls
Read through your old support emails or check your call logs and try to determine if there is a recurring problem or question. If there is, you can make the best of a bad situation by creating a quick “how to” blog article that provides your customers with a step-by-step guide to solve the problem on their own. Now, not only did you create a new blog article with fresh content, but you have also (hopefully) solved this problem for future users.
Google alerts are emails that get sent to your inbox when new results are found for your desired search terms. By simply adding a couple of industry keywords such as “plumbing” or “computer repair”, Google will supply you with a seemingly endless supply of ideas, news, and trends.
StumbleUpon; also known as the double-edged sword. It can single-handedly be the best tool for getting work done or the best tool for procrastination. Make sure that you choose to “stumble” relevant topics or you may find yourself looking at funny cat memes for three hours. And who wants that to happen?
This source is great in particular because it shows you content that has already been successful in places that you may have never heard of.
Depending on your field and industry, this one might be a bit of a reach. However, some companies can get great use from this.
If you are in the health and wellness industry, for example, you can head over to the Bodybuilding.com forum which has over 6 million registered users and almost 100 million posts. Imagine the amount of quality ideas you can generate after just a few minutes of browsing the boards?