Creativity 101: Developing New Blog Post Ideas

We all know how important fresh content is to keeping our readers, followers, customers, and clients engaged. That’s one of the reasons we blog. What we may not always know is where to go for creative ideas. Each blog post has to be current, lively and engaging in order to keep people interested and to come back for more.

Understandably, every blogger worries about falling into a cycle of repetition because that, coupled with a lack of originality, turns people off and, eventually, away. So, just where can you find ongoing sources to inspire you when you hit a creative slump? Check out these tips on developing new blog post ideas, and you’re sure never to be short on inspiration.

Ask Your Readers

Here’s the most straightforward way to come up with useful blog post ideas. Ask your readers what they want to know about. Are they interested in industry information? Do they want to know more about you and the history of your business? Would they be interested in a how-to blog? Reach out to them and use their ideas. When you open up lines of communication with your readers, and then use their ideas, they’re likely to become even more loyal.

Check Discussion Threads

As well as directly asking your readers for input, consider scouring your Facebook and LinkedIn discussion threads to get ideas for blogs. What are common conversation topics? What questions are readers asking? What kind of information are they seeking? 

Share a Personal Story

Of course, it has to be relevant to your product or service, but as many lives as you’ve lived it should be relatively easy to come up with a handful of personal stories that you can tie into your business. A bonus to using this approach with your blog is that your readers will feel more of a personal connection to you, and that can translate to loyalty.

The Expert Connection

If your blog is business-based, think about who your readers would like to hear from and reach out to those industry experts for an interview. Often, the experts (who are always looking for ways to increase their own exposure) are more than willing to answer a few questions. The interview can be over the phone, through Skype, or, for a no pressure approach, you could even e-mail them a few questions once you’re gotten the go ahead from them.

Keep a Notebook

Quaint and old time perhaps, but effective? Yes. Having a notebook (or tablet or phone app) on hand to capture ideas and observations can very quickly become your ‘go to’ gold mine for inspiration when you’re stumped for blog topics.

Utilise Pinterest

Pinterest is loaded with posts, photos and quotes, and it’s the perfect source to fuel your imagination; especially true for those who blog about cars, holidays and travel, fashion, and food. 

Google Alerts

Here is a never fail idea that will keep your blog topics fresh and current. Head to the Google alerts page and set yourself up to receive daily alerts on a handful of industry keywords. You certainly don’t have to read each story, but the headline and a quick scan (including quality of the source) should tell you whether or not it’s relevant to you. You can either use each alert as a standalone blog, or build a roundup piece around several stories.

FAQs

If you just can’t get inspired enough to be creative, draw up a list of frequently asked questions and then answer them one by one. Don’t forget to include illustrative examples, and, if it’s relevant, add some authority to your answer by including (or linking to) research or studies that have been done to back up your statements.

Step Outside

Sometimes the best inspiration can come from simply living a little bit. Have you recently seen a great (or horrible) movie, or taken in a concert or sporting event? Or, do you plan to anytime soon? Write about the experience, keying in on the human side of it. Pay attention to and then relay anecdotes about the event’s spectators or the movie’s characters or plotline. The more insight you offer your readers about your ‘take’ on life, the closer they’ll feel to you. This is an excellent approach to help stimulate your creativity and break you free from writer’s block.

Create a List

Readers love lists. We are more comfortable digesting our information in short bites, so writing a list is a perfect way to create a helpful and easily palatable blog post. Of course, you’ll need to keep the list relevant to your core message, but it’s also a chance to show a lighter side of yourself. For example, if you blog about fashion, you could write a list of “5 Fashionable Uses for Your Old Scarves.”

Gripe a Little

What are some aspects of your chosen industry that drive you crazy? Why not write about it? Of course, don’t be demeaning or whine about it, but let your readers know what’s on your mind by venting a bit. Then ask for their feedback, and you’re sure to get enough inspiration from them for the next few blog posts.

Review a Product

Have you recently purchased something that you want to rave about or, alternatively, warn people against buying themselves? Write a review and post it as a blog entry. It doesn’t have to be something specifically designed for your business. How about that new tablet or app? Let your readers know about your experience with it.

Maintaining a blog is about more than just filling space. It’s about inviting the reader in, building and strengthening loyalty, and educating the reader so that you become their go to source for industry information. It may not always be easy to come up with ideas, but we can draw inspiration from just about anywhere, as long as we know what to key in on, and are open and ready to receive it.