Okay – I admit it. This topic came to mind because I flat out couldn’t think of anything to write about today. I knew it had to be done – we need fresh content – but, I was stuck. It seems everything moves so quickly these days, it’s hard not to feel like anything you write about is ‘yesterday’s news’. Does this sound familiar?
Here are 5 tips I came up with for generating fresh content or overcoming writer’s block.
1.) Hit up your old friend Google. Take a look at Google Trends (or Yahoo! Buzz) and see if anything is trending that is relevant to your business or could provide great fodder for a post. Search for current news or visit news sites as well. Who knows, maybe you can use this as a catalyst to do some newsjacking?
2.) Check out your blog feeds or favorite blogs. Often what someone else says spurs you to go “Hmmm….” If you don’t have blog feeds, check out a news aggregator such as Zite, The Daily, or Flipboard or wander over to some social bookmarking sites like Digg and StumbleUpon. Don’t forget to give credit where credit is due if you quote somebody or borrow inspiration.
3.) Opine away. Feel free to be the contrarian. It can be hard thing to do, but often the right stance is the opposite stance. After reading through news sites, explain why a new regulation isn’t really that good for your industry. Is that new technology really just a victim of shiny object syndrome? Do you disagree with something that somebody important to your industry recently said? It’s important that even though you may be taking an opposite stance that you do it in a positive light – really explain your viewpoint; don’t just bash to sound tough. You’ll see: often these types of posts get the most comments and/or views!
4.) Tell your stories. People love to be “insiders” or get a little voyeuristic view into the workings of a company. Has your company recently participated in a great community service project? Are you planning to celebrate a corporate milestone? Interview your employees and do a profile piece. Look for the funny day-to-day things that made you and your team laugh out loud. By giving your readers a sense that they know you personally, you’ll find yourself with dedicated readers who follow you with fervor.
5.) If all else fails, use idea generators. People are clever and have coded some great idea generator sites that make for a fun place to play. Give your brain a break from trying to force a topic. Then, who knows, you might stumble upon something really compelling! Check out WordStream SEO, Idea Generator, and Generator Land.
One last piece of advice. Always ask your reader to comment on your post in the form of a question. This invites them to comment and could provide content ideas for a follow up piece.
Do you have any tried and true ways to generate blog topic ideas?