There are thousands of ways to find blog inspiration—but it’s one of the most common questions I’m asked. How do I find inspiration for blog posts? Since I write for a lot of different places every day, keeping inspiration high and time spent frustrated is important. I don’t have time to spend wishing a great idea will strike. I have to create them on demand.
Every week, I write anywhere between 8 and 12 posts. It’s a lot of writing! Where does all that content go? I write two blog posts here, two posts on my lifestyle blog, a bunch of posts for clients’ blogs, some for random for-hire blog posts and articles, and guest posts to build relationships and expand the reach of my brands and clients’ brands.
Writing is the bread and butter of content marketing. Even when I’m posting a vlog, it takes a good deal of writing behind the scenes to produce them. Without great ideas, you can’t produce great content. When you’re writing a blog post, you’re actually selling an idea to your audience.
So how do you keep coming up with great idea after great idea? Try these activities when you’re in a rut:
Read a book or extensive long form article that’s in your niche area
There’s nothing like insight from someone else you respect to get your creative juices flowing. Take some time alone, sit down with some great reading material, and take notes. Taking notes like you did in school can help you better understand new ideas and help you challenge those ideas to come up with a continuation on the topic or idea.
The best way to find great reading material is through Twitter. If you’re on a Mac with Twitter enabled, open up Safari and hit the book icon on the upper left and go to Shared Links. You’ll now get a huge list of all the links people you follow on Twitter to choose from.
Go for a long walk and think quietly about your passion
Lauren Bacon’s weekly emails are always a point of inspiration for me. They challenge me to think about how I think about work and my life. This week’s was no different—do you spend enough time alone? I’m a big believer in spending quiet time alone, without music, reading material, or a movie. Just sit and get to know your thoughts. They are worthwhile. Stop clogging them up!
Talk to experts and others in your field
Sometimes getting to know others can be a huge source of blog post material. In fact, that’s where most of my blog content for B&B comes from. Without connecting with others, I’d have no idea what kinds of problems other people were having, what kinds of new techniques are out there, and what other people are working on. It’s a fantastic way to build your blog, not just for content! Try sending out an email to someone you admire and start a real conversation.
Beat the Timer with Post Titles
I don’t have time to spend thinking about post topics when I’m working. When it’s time to write, it’s time to write. I give myself a huge selection of posts to choose from by brainstorming a massive amount as fast as a I can of post titles in a certain period of time. I shoot for 90 titles in one hour when I do this activity. Then, when it’s time to write, I choose one, cross it off the list, and pound it out. No sighing and staring at the keyboard. Plus, who doesn’t love a game?
Break it down to the ingredients of your niche
Whether you’re writing about fashion, blogging better, or even your favorite recipes, there are basic elements to everything people probably don’t know. Getting back to the basics can help you reassess your blog and find out how you can better help your readers. What are basic skills you readers need to have to do what you’re asking them to do? Provide it and you’ll be more welcome in their life.
Bust up big post series
Has there been a big topic you wanted to conquer but you just don’t know where to start? Similar to the basics style posts, you can turn a big problem into a big solution by starting a series of posts and breaking it down into more manageable parts. For big undertakings, this takes the sticker shock of a big time commitment out of the mix. Think about a series of posts that help your readers achieve a bigger goal you couldn’t do in a short post. (Pro tip: if it’s really successful, you can always flesh it out more and make it into a great ebook!)
Reassess and Correct
There’s nothing like reassessing your direction to give you inspiration. Every month, I take a look at the way my content has been going and whether or not it’s meeting my goals. What worked? What didn’t? What do I need to change to do better? Take a peek in your Google Analytics and dig deep into the Behaviors report section and see what people are spending the most time reading. Can you do something similar that expands on that topic more? Something that uses the same style?
Do a reader survey
You want to please your readers, right? Do you know exactly what they want? How about you ask them? While making a great reader survey is an art form in of itself, doing one this weekend can provide you with endless post ideas for the future. That’s really the added bonus of better understanding your audience!
Read or listen to interviews of others you admire
One of the things I like doing the most is hearing about how other people have made successes happen in their lives. As an entrepreneur, I’m always looking to improve and insight from others who have been there first is a fantastic way to avoid making stupid mistakes. No matter what you niche is, there’s likely to be people involved! So why not get to know the people who are tastemakers and how they got where they are now. Not only does this help you be able to approach them later to build a relationship, it can give you some serious inspiration for posts.
What’s your favorite interview series? Tell me in the comments below!
Stop thinking about your blog
Sometimes you just get burnt out. Sometimes you really do just need that break. While there’s a lot to be said about sticking to an editorial calendar and writing in advance, making your blog and business work around the life you want is the most important thing. If your blog’s goal is to help you make money and enjoy your work life, is stressing about writing a post for Monday really worth it to say on schedule? Nope. It sure isn’t. Take some time to get refreshed and come back with new eyes for your work. Sometimes, that’s worth more than hitting publish.