Do you struggle with fresh ideas for your blog? Do you feel frustrated that you don’t have enough ‘material’ to keep your blog alive?
Well, it’s a common problem. I have yet to meet one writer who doesn’t deal with this issue from time to time.
Nevertheless there are some things that you can do to better prepare for blogging success. Here are some places where I find content for my blog:
Your customers’ questions
We all know that our customers questions should never go unanswered. But do you realize that many other people might be asking the same question?
When a customer asks a question that is relevant to the rest of your audience, go ahead and write a blog post to answer that question just like I did here. And don’t forget to send them an email with a link to that article so that they may share it with their friends as well.
Readers Comments or Questions
I’m not just talking about the comments or questions on your own blog, but also those that appear on other blogs as well.
It’s important to read the questions that people are asking in industry blogs for two reasons: First, it keeps you focused on what people’s challenges are and secondly, it provides you with an opportunity to answer those questions and become a resource for them to go to in the future.
The easiest way to become that resource is to answer those questions in a blog article and share the link on your social networks.
Read and Review Books
I know, I know – you don’t have time to blog let alone read! Well too bad. If you’re writing, you should be reading as well – and I mean good old-fashioned books.
Keep in mind that a lot of people won’t have an opportunity to read some of these books themselves. Or they want to hear what other people think before they pay for a book that may (or may not) disappoint.
Why not take the time to read a relevant book (do it in the weekends!) and write a book review? Your audience will love you for it and may even come to rely on you for future reviews. Recently I started to write book reviews on my blog and as a result, was invited to join the writing team at socialmediaexaminer.com.
In-person events are a gold-mine for content!
Next time you go to a live conference or a summit, make sure you take notes, lots of pictures, record short video clips and talk to as many people as you possibly can. Then organize that information in a way that will give value to your audience.
If you dig up enough information at these events you will end up with a huge reservoir of content that can be distributed over time on your blog. I’m planning to do exactly that when I attend Content Marketing World next month. It should be a fun and easy way to find engaging content.
Social Media Search
Be very strategic when doing your social media search for content ideas or it might get to be overwhelming.
A good place to start is on LinkedIn Answers where you can look for the kind of questions that are relevant to your industry. If you know the answer, why not write a blog article about it and share it with the rest of the community in that space?
In the same way, you can poke around on Twitter, Quora, Facebook or Google+ and see what people are talking about. On Twitter for example you could follow specific conversations using relevant key words (in my case I use #content #marketing and #socialmedia). Then I listen to what people are saying within those streams, and often end up with solid ideas for content.
Industry and business blogs
In the same way that businesspeople start off their day reading the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times or another favorite publication, I like to start my day with socialmediaexaminer.com, contentmarketinginstitute.com and either MarketingProfs or Convince & Convert.
At some point during the day, I also make time to read blog articles on the Harvard Business Review (I use the iPhone app) and Entrepreneur.com.
By the time I’m finished with any one of these, I usually have enough content ideas for the next four blog posts (I blog twice a week). Find a couple of blogs that interest you and that are relevant to your field and follow them every day.
One more thing
Blogging every single day is hard and ideas for daily articles can be challenging.
Ask yourself whether it’s necessary to blog every day. Perhaps you’re in an industry that’s already inundated with tons of information. Perhaps blogging twice a week is all that’s needed to contribute your perspective on the subject.
Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Remember, you make the rules for your blog and as long as you’re consistent, there’s no rule that says you have to blog every day.
Over to you
What are your thoughts? Do you have any ‘secrets’ or tips for finding content for your blog? Please leave a comment in the box below.