No doubt, the biggest challenge when it comes to running a blog on your business website is coming up with fresh, engaging content on a regular basis.
It can be especially challenging once you’ve hit a blogging groove and have a few really good posts under your belt. You might feel like there is a finite amount of good topics, and you’ve blogged about all of them.
In blogging, as with the news, that’s never true. There are always new things to blog about, and the pool of “evergreen” (ie: topics that remain fresh regardless of news cycles) topics is a lot deeper than you might think.
If you’ve hit the wall, here are some tips to get moving again:
Stop Thinking About It and Unwind
Take a walk, read a book, spend time on your favorite frivolous website. Then start thinking about it again — how can you take those things and turn it into a blog post?
Even if what you do to relax seems completely unrelated to your business, your readers can probably relate.
That’s not to say that you should blog about your favorite TV show on your business blog, but something like “10 Ways to De-Stress Your Day” is universal enough to fit most blogs, while creating a wide appeal.
Put Yourself in Your Readers’ Shoes
What are you googling today? If you find yourself searching a topic related to your business in some way, consider using your findings as research for your own post.
Start every day by reading the news of the day — that includes scrolling through your social media feeds, industry news, and other industry blogs. It will set the mood of the day, and can give you good inspiration.
Expand on a Previous Post
Did you write “10 Ways to Work Your Widget”? Consider “10 More Ways to Work Your Widget.” See which of your previous posts did well, and choose those first.
Spend Time in Your Comment Sections
Comments to your blog are a great way to get ideas for new posts — you can take a question and devote a whole post to it, take shared advice and expand on it, or discuss a topic you’ve noticed is important to your readers.
When you do this, give a hat tip to the commenters. It makes it more interactive.
Spend Time Reading Comments on a Blog That’s Similar to Yours
Especially if your own comment sections are on the thin side, exploring a busy comment section can tell you a lot about what people are interested in.
Pay Attention to Trends on Twitter
Most of the time, they won’t be relevant to your blog, but you can spot trending tags that can inspire great posts and get you maximum exposure when you share the blog with the popular hashtag.
If you have a reaction to industry news, don’t just say it out loud to the person closest to you. Blog about it. Keeping it professional, of course.
Try an Experiment
If you sell products, do a video product test for durability, uncommon uses, or ease of maintenance. If you blog about design, try a new technique and show it off.
Have a Contest
Contests are simple to run with a contest plugin for your blog. You can even make all of your prizes digital — things like ebooks, free memberships, and Amazon gift cards.
Not only can contests increase interactivity on your blog, you can incorporate sharing your website for entries, increasing visitors, as well.
Write on an Old Topic in a New Way
This is another version of the previous one listed above, but instead of making a sequel, take on the topic from a different angle.
For example, if you blogged about the basics of using a new design program last month, write a post about tips and tricks for the program.
Lighten Things Up
If your blog is usually on the serious side, find some industry humor on websites like meme.com and make a list of a handful of favorites. Since humor content is constantly being created, you can create posts like this periodically.
Review a Book
If you write your own ebooks, this might be a conflict of interest, but otherwise, if you read relevant books, so a writeup on it.
If you’re feeling burnt out on giving advice, pick someone else in the industry and interview them for their views. It doesn’t have to be a big production involving extensive transcription — most people will be happy to answer questions by email.
Photos of your products are always blog worthy, as are photos from a business event you’ve attended, a lecture you’ve given, and pictures of store or office renovations.
Dive Into Your Bookmarks (or your Pocket)
Do you save a lot of links from a few go-to sites? Create a “Best Sites for XYZ” or other roundup-style post.
You can also create a roundup-style post based on your own posts. Have you blogged 15 tutorials? A dozen posts about a particular tool? Put them all in one place, linking each post and writing a few words about each.
Explore the Apps and Extensions You Use Regularly
If you haven’t blogged about an app you use all the time for your business, you should.
If you’ve blogged about different products or tools, pick two that are similar and do a compare and contrast post — think along the lines of “Hootsuite vs. Tweetdeck: Which Blog Manager is Right for You?”
Make a Quiz
Unlike contests, quizzes are really just for fun, to challenge your readers’ knowledge of a certain subject. Making a quiz can be nice break from writing long posts, and are easy to create with a plugin like Quiz Me.
Have Someone Write a Guest Post
Guest posting, when done organically, can breathe some new life into your blog, while giving both you and your guest blogger some extra promotion. Look for someone in your industry who has a different take or blogging style.
You don’t have to wait until the next day to cover an event or lecture — with your smartphone you can create a post and add to it in real time.
Another liveblogging option: Tweet updates throughout the day, then later screencap them and put them together in a blog post.
Post a FAQ
Whether it’s based on questions you get from customers by email, phone, or in the comment section, there are always things that you can clarify with a list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Ask your readers if they have any questions. More dynamic than a FAQ, and Q&A generates blog content and fosters interaction.
Set a specific timeframe for questions (say, a 12-hour span people can ask questions via a form or as comments) and put the post together within 24-48 hours of the cutoff.
Brainstorm With Your Team
Get your team together and have a good old brainstorming session. Talking about it will help generate ideas — sometimes great ones. Be sure to keep notes so nothing gets lost.
What Have You Been Thinking About Lately?
Just say what’s on your mind. Have you really been hit with a case of blogger’s block? That’s a blog topic right there. blog about it, and ask your readers for suggestions. Things like that can wind up being wildly popular posts.
Remember, the best way to avoid a blank page is to plan ahead with evergreen posts that you can schedule yourself to write ahead of time.
Try and keep a list of 5 to 10 upcoming topics at any given time, and post no fewer than two or three a week, with more timely posts in between. That should keep your blog from ever sitting stagnant.
What do you do when you have a blogging blank-out? Share your tips in the comment section!
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