Oh, man. How many times have you been confronted with that mysterious condition known as writer’s block? It’s what every writer dreads. Your muse has deserted you. You start having flashbacks to your school days, sitting in front of a blank sheet of paper on essay test day, with nothing to say. You try to write something – anything – but it’s like pulling teeth; the words just won’t come.
But you have to write something, and something good – you want to make sure your business blog is updated regularly with fresh, relevant content! So what the heck do you do?
Well, here are some sources you can mine for ideas when you’re absolutely stuck. In fact, it’s a good idea to keep these in mind all the time, even when you’re bursting with ideas – it never hurts to have a few back-up topics in mind, or to be thinking about your next post already.
1. Come up with a monthly theme. A theme can be a real lifesaver when you’re low on ideas. Instead of having to come up with a new topic completely out of the blue a few times a week, you have a starting point. A theme will also give your blog a sense of cohesiveness and continuity, which can be a draw for readers – they’ll know what to expect, and might keep checking in when a theme particularly interests them!
2. Try newsjacking! If you’re just plain out of ideas, turn on the news. A hot current event can easily be used as a blog topic – just be sure to give your company’s spin on the news, or demonstrate your expertise by commenting on an aspect of it that fits your business.
3. Keep up to date with your industry’s latest news. This is a no-brainer, and something you’re probably doing already. But if you’re stumped for ideas, take some extra time to browse through other websites devoted to your industry – you may just find a hidden gem to write about that hasn’t been widely reported.
4. Interview an expert. Just because you can’t come up with anything to write about doesn’t mean others won’t have ideas. Call or email an expert in your field, or even a customer or colleague. Ask them a few questions, and voila! All you have to do is add a few filler sentences around their quotes, and you’re all set. Bonus: You’ve added the credibility of a different viewpoint to your blog, as well.
5. Review a relevant book. You probably keep up with the latest books in your industry anyway – why not leverage the time you spend reading for your blog, too? Summarize the key points in a book you just read, or better yet, critique a book, explaining what you agree and disagree with, and why.
6. Transcribe a video or podcast. You may already have multimedia content on your site, but not everyone will both read your blog and watch your video, or listen to your podcast. Use that to your advantage by simply transcribing one of them! As an added benefit, reading the transcript may lead a potential client to discover your podcasts or video for the first time.
7. Invite a guest blogger! When all else fails, it’s okay to pass the baton, and ask someone else to write the post for you. In fact, this is actually a strategy you can use even when you’re not in the throes of writer’s block. Having a guest blogger write a post on your blog shows readers that you are well-positioned in your industry’s community of experts, and respected enough that others are willing to lend their name to your blog, as well. And who knows? That guest blogger may turn right around and ask you to write a guest post for his or her site! And after reading this guide, coming up with ideas to write about on that blog won’t even be an issue!