One of the most difficult things about blogging is the requirement to come up with new ideas week after week, month after month. New bloggers are often full of ideas for the first six months or so, but maintaining that momentum over time can be hard.
Developing editorial content ideas for my clients is part of my job. I’m an ideas person, and so this is something I really enjoy. Though that’s not to say that it’s always easy! I often get asked how I come up with so many ideas. I’d like to claim it all works as if by magic(!), but in reality there are a few tricks I use to keep the inspiration flowing.
I wanted to share some of those tricks with you.
Introduce recurring post types
Here’s a bit of good news: you don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time you sit down to plan your blog content for the month. If you can introduce regular types of post, a good few calendar spots will already be filled and all you’ll need to do is write new content to fit in each format. For example, at the end of each month I share a ‘Round Up‘ post with highlights from my month and favourite links from the web. Other examples of recurring posts could include reviews, how to guides, photo diaries, interviews and inspiration pieces.
Look at your FAQs
Are there certain questions that your customers or blog readers ask over and over again? Here’s a clue: those are the things they really want to know about! Often the things that seem too obvious to mention to you will actually be of real interest to people who don’t have your expertise.
Keep track of seasonal events
Seasonal events can provide all sorts of blog content opportunities. Some of these are obvious: Christmas and the summer holidays tend to provide all sorts of inspiration. But you may also find that local or industry events can be just as fruitful. Keep track of relevant world awareness days, celebrations, exhibitions and festivals for plenty of new things to blog about.
Make yourself a resource
If you’re only blogging about things that happen in your home, shop, office or studio you’re going to run short on ideas pretty quickly! Instead, consider opening out your remit to cover your industry/main area of interest. If you can open up the focus of your blog to cover news and advice related to this, you’ll have a lot more to say (and it’ll all be much more valuable to your readers, too!).
Speak to your customers
Here’s another obvious suggestion that a lot of us forget about… why not ask your customers or readers want they want to know? This is particularly helpful when it comes to advice based posts. You could do this in face-to-face conversation, perhaps just by asking people what they think is most interesting/mind-boggling about what you do. Alternatively, you could ask blog readers to email you with ideas or even send out a simple questionnaire to your mailing list.
Share guest posts and interviews
You don’t have to write all of your blog content yourself! Guest posts and interviews can be a great way to provide valuable content while giving yourself a bit of time off from idea generation. There’ll still be plenty of work to do: you’ll need to approach relevant people, chase them up, then edit posts as necessary. But this can be a great way to bring fresh perspective to your blog.
Add related topics
It can be difficult to maintain an interesting and varied blog when you’re strictly blogging about only your main area of interest. You may want to open things up a bit by adding a few related topics. Here’s an example: I’m a writer, but I don’t just blog about writing. I also share posts about books, productivity and freelancing. These related topics help to bring in different types of readers, ensure that things don’t get repetitive around here, and keep me entertained and inspired.
Any questions? Feel free to share them in the comments below or to drop me an email.