It could be performance anxiety. (No, not THAT performance anxiety!)
Writing on demand isn’t easy, even for professional writers. If you’re like me, it’s much easier to write about things you’re passionate about. Hopefully, your blog topic is something you’re passionate about.
So how do you come up with ideas to keep your blog content fresh and exciting? Here are 7 ways to come up with blog post content:
Tie in to a trending news story. This could be headline news, a popular TV show or movie, or a social media kerfuffle. Take a look at what’s trending on social media sites, cable news, talk shows, or even a new movie release. Sites like movieinsider.com have lists of new releases with their release dates. You can narrow that down to make it easier to find movies in your niche (ex/if you write a relationship blog, you can search on romance movies released in 2017). Too lazy to search? I hear you. Set up Google Alerts for your niche and have content fodder sent directly to your email. Click Here to set up Google Alerts.
‘Tis the season. There’s a holiday every month—even if it’s a made up holiday. And face it, everyone ties into the biggies. But what about little-known holidays, especially if the holiday is a perfect fit for your target market? For instance, February 4th is Stuffed Mushroom Day. If I did a food blog or a sustainability blog or hell, even a mushroom blog, you can bet I’d have a blog post on that subject. In fact, the lesser known and weirder holidays make for unique blog content. Find some new favorite holidays here: Weird Holidays
Take one aspect of what you do and dive deep. Most blog content is pretty shallow. Unless you are doing 3,000 word posts (did you groan out loud just reading that?), people don’t get the full nuts and bolts, how-to from a blog post. Every so often, do a deep dive into some aspect of your business. You will end up with a slightly longer blog post (unless your normal post runs to thousands of words), but it will give your readers valuable content and increase reader loyalty. SEO it right and you’ll gain new readers.
Interview people in a related field. For instance, I help people write their business books. I should be interviewing cover artists, interior layout designers, book promoters, publishers, etc. (Just realized how much of a slacker I am!) If you’re a small business consultant, you might want to interview people who specialize in setting up accounting systems, attorneys who specialize in employment law or corporate entities, or even employee leasing companies.
I’ll go one step further and say interview your competition. I’m friends with other book coaches, ghost writers, and editors. Some are competitors and some do what I do but specialize in other niches. (For instance, I don’t do memoirs. I have friends who do.) People tend to be overly protective of their space. I happen to believe there’s room enough for everyone. Don’t worry about who is getting a piece of your pie. Make a bigger pie.
Have an imaginary conversation with a naysayer. Come on. You do this in your head all the time. (What? Just me?) A variation of this is to take a contrarian viewpoint of an accepted belief. Or just do a reversal. My favorite: “It takes 21 days to form a new habit.” Well, it actually takes around 66 days. So, there’s a post right there. But the more fun angle is asking how long it takes to break that habit. My rejoinder to the 21 days comment is always, “And one chocolate cake to break it.” Yum.
Repurpose part of your book or training into a blog post (and/or video). If you already have a book or a talk, take a section and make it into a blog post. You’re not giving away the farm and you may, in fact, be whetting the appetites of people who will want to buy your book or hire you to speak. I know of one gentleman who posts his books on his blog chapter by chapter. His book sales are strong and steady. People like to have all the information in one place and they’d rather get it all sooner rather than later. They don’t mind paying for that convenience. It’s a ballsy marketing model. And it works.
Tell the story of someone who had success as a result of doing what you help others do. People love inspiring stories. More than that, they need to see that something can be done. It’s great when you have client case studies that you can point to. But it doesn’t always have to be someone you’ve worked with. I love to talk about how Michael Gerber, the late Jay Conrad Levinson, and Brene Brown all built industries out of their book(s). Remember: Every big star started out as a twinkle in someone’s eye. (Oooh. I just made that up! I’m keeping it.)
So there are seven easy ways to come up with blog post content. Save this list for the next time you get stuck. And if you have friends who blog, share it with them. Make a bigger pie.