It’s happened again, hasn’t it? You’re staring at another blank page – the cursor flashing menacingly at you.
“Write!” it screams. Only, you can’t write, because there’s absolutely nothing coming out of your brain. And this is a problem, because you need to write this week’s blog post for your content marketing plan.
Finding inspiration for your next blog post is challenging, no matter how proficient you are at writing the damn things. Sometimes, you feel like you’ve covered every possible angle and will only end up repeating what others have already written.
Worry no longer! Inspiration is all around us, and in this post, we’re going to list ten sources of inspiration for your next blog post that you may not have considered.
1. Watch a film
Why not have some fun while looking for your next blog post topic?
Films can be fantastic sources of inspiration. A certain character, story line or twist may be all that’s required to get your creative juices flowing – even if the movie has nothing to do with you industry.
2. Interview a colleague
People love behind-the-scenes glimpses at what goes on in business, and by interviewing one of your colleagues, you can provide just that.
There’s no right or wrong way to write a blog – it can take any form. That’s why a staff interview will fit in just nicely, and add the all important human touch to your content marketing effort.
3. Read competitor blogs
This isn’t cheating. We promise.
If you’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that the competition are rather more productive than you when it comes to blogging, there’s no harm in taking their lead.
Pick a topic from their blog that appears to have gained some nice engagement in terms of comments and social shares and write your own piece with a slightly different angle. Get involved!
4. Watch a TED Talk
If you’re yet to dive into the world of TED Talks, you’re missing out.
TED is all about authentic storytelling and features brilliant speakers covering a whole raft of subjects. There’s something for every interest and industry and, due to the high quality of the speakers on show, you’re bound to find something of interest for your blog.
Use this page to find videos that relate to your sector.
5. Talk to your customers
It’s easy to forget that your customers can be brilliant sources of inspiration for blog content.
Sure, to you, they’re those wonderful people who buy your stuff, but they can be so much more than that.
You can take the same approach with customers as colleagues (see tip 2). Give them a call, or pay them a visit, and have a chat. Explain that you want to tell their story on your blog and weave in a bit of how wonderful they found your experience.
6. Use Google Analytics!
Yeah, we know – you set up Google Analytics on your website from the start with the good intention of reviewing it regularly.
You haven’t bothered though, have you?
That’s fair enough – you’re busy, after all – but within those numbers, percentages and multitude of bar graphs is some very useful inspiration for your next blog post.
Google Analytics offers some fantastic insight into which of your previous blog posts are performing the best, and with that information to hand, you can better plan what to write next. The topics that appear to be drawing in this biggest crowds can be revisited for even more lovely hits and decreased bounce rates.
Take a look at those stats now!
7. Take a walk
Exercise is great for your brain, and a healthy, fit brain is a much more inspirational brain.
So, if you find your blogging effort floundering, try going for a walk or short jog. And forget the music – leave yourself alone with your thoughts.
It’s amazing what you can come up with while out and about, with nothing but the wind in your hair to soundtrack your movements. Somewhere in that brain of yours is an idea, and that brief bit of exercise might just eek it out.
8. Hunt social media for hot topics
Twitter and LinkedIn are great sources of inspiration for business blogging.
The reason is simple; at any given time, there’s probably several conversations taking place on topics that would be perfect fodder for your blog. You just need to find them.
You can do this by searching for relevant hashtags and looking for comment threads that seem to have a rocket propelled grenade up their backside (i.e. they’ve got loads of people contributing and ranting).
When you find threads like this, you’ve hit a goldmine, because you can grab a chunk of that engagement by writing a blog post on the topic. Imagine all those people on Twitter suddenly heading to your website – quite a tempting thought, eh?
9. Run a poll or survey
If there’s a burning topic in your industry, but you’re struggling to find relevant statistics to back up a blog post you want to write about it, why not create them yourself?
Running a poll or survey with your customers to gauge their opinion on a topic is a great way to get some stats together that will inform your next blog post.
Even if just ten of your three-hundred customers reply (no one needs to know), that’s enough of a basis to get writing, and just having a statistic to hand will probably get your creative juices flowing.
10. Dump your entire brain
If none of the above work (although, to be honest, we’re pretty sure at least one will), you can try the nuclear option – a brain dump.
Don’t worry – there’s no messy surgical procedure involved here, either. It’s simply a case of unloading all of the ideas you have nestled in your brain.
Grab a piece of paper and let it flow out – even if it’s complete gobbledegook. Somewhere in there will be the inspiration you need for your next blog post.
Still staring at a blank screen with a flashing cursor? Thought not – enjoy writing that next blog post, and pop back here whenever you need more inspiration!