When many businesses first start a blog, it seems like the possibilities are endless. Finally! You’ve found a place to address all the other content that speaks to your target audience, but didn’t necessarily fit into your business’ website. But, although the topic ideas are plentiful at first, after writing new blog posts a few times a week for several months, you inevitably hit a wall. Or you want to hit your head against the wall. Either way, you’ve run out of ideas and now your head hurts, too. So how do you get past the writer’s block to generate new ideas? Follow these five steps to get the creative juices–and new blog post ideas–flowing freely again.
Read other blogs. Start with a competitor’s blog or a blog from a business in a similar industry. Then branch out to a few blogs that are outside of your industry, but that have great content. Sometimes taking a step back from a project you’re close to can be the breath of fresh air you needed to get creative again.
Utilize social media channels to see what your target audience is talking about. If your business’ blog is about women’s fitness, what better place to look for new ideas then the Facebook page for Women’s Health magazine or the New York Marathon? What types of questions are they posting on their Facebook page that people are “Liking” or commenting on? Follow other brands with complementary services to your own on Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms to see what people are buzzing about.
Set up a Google Alert. Choose five to ten words you feel are relevant to the types of content you want to cover within your blog. Then set up a Google Alert to receive emails in your inbox of news, blogs or other content that mentioned these keywords. This is not only a great way to come up with new blog post ideas, but also a way to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on elsewhere that could be relevant to your target audience.
Look back at what worked in the past. If you use any measurement tools to track blog post traffic (we recommend Google Analytics), look back over the last several months to see which posts received the most views on the blog or interaction through comments or social media shares. Then brainstorm three to five new posts you could cover that fall within the same category as the well-received post. For example, if you created a quiz titled, “How Creative Are You?” you could springboard off of that idea and write a post on “What Type of Creative Are You?” Sometimes, being creative isn’t about reinventing the wheel. It’s about finding different ways to use it.
Bounce ideas off of others. If your office is set up anything like ours (i.e. it has people who work within it), chances are, there’s someone nearby who would be happy to take a couple minutes out of their day to hear some of your ideas, and maybe even suggest a few of their own. Even if it’s someone in a completely different department or role, sometimes being creative is all about getting a fresh perspective. It’s much easier for someone who hasn’t worked on the same project day-in and day-out to look at it from the outside and say, “Hey, did you think about [insert grand idea here]?” A great idea is a great idea, and it can come from anywhere. You just have to ask.