Relying solely on your own ideas to write engaging articles for your blog can be exhausting. This is especially true if you are fully committed to content marketing and you have to write a boatload of content every single month.
I am certain everyone has their own ways of generating new topics. When I get stumped on something, I turn to industry related forums, Q&A sites like Quora and Reddit, and Google News feeds to see what is trending and could be used for my blog.
Even with these strategies, it is not uncommon to run out of ideas for your blog and content marketing campaign. This content marketing blog offers an alternative process you can follow to guarantee that you never run out of blogging ideas.
1. Content Sourcing Tools
When I am out of ideas, I turn to content sourcing websites/tools for help. Two such tools are Crate and Buzzsumo. They allow me to type in a subject area I want to explore. The tool then returns a list of most shard articles on the internet about that subject. It runs independently of search engines, so the suggestions are not always the top ranked articles. Once you spend enough time using this tool, you start to get a feel for which subject areas get more shares than others and the ideas start flowing naturally.
2. Track & Write About Your Success
Are you doing better than last year or worse? Are you fired up about a world-changing idea, or have you finally decided to stop working on a not-so-world-changing idea? Speaking about your successes and failures is part of teachable moments that you could share with your readers on your blog. Stories of trying and failing and trying again connect with audiences and make your stories and blogs more authentic and realistic.
Don’t be shy! Making mistakes is part of life. If you do not make mistakes, you will never know what success really is. Mistakes allow for learning and great ideas to evolve.
3. Using Name Recognition
This option involves selecting two unrelated topics and combining them into one blog post. What I mean is mashing something that your readers and customers want to learn about (industry specific) with something they are familiar with (I.e. celebrities, music, breaking news, actors etc.). Be creative and think metaphorically. Examples: What Seinfeld Can Teach Us About Productivity? What dogs can teach us about innovation?
4. Communicate with Industry Peers
Whenever stuck on ideas, ask a colleague, friend, industry influencer, and/or customer for ideas. Ask them about their biggest challenges in life (preferably something related to your industry). Prepare questions for them ahead of time and conduct your conversation in an interview style. Creating in depth articles using the results of your interviews will make up the foundation of your article. What will make it more in-depth and juicy are case studies, commentaries, analysis, and rebuttals about those interviews.
Some people are more comfortable creating a short video than writing a blog post. Start with the articles you have on your website already and see how you can create a script from the content. YouTube makes it easy to embed your videos in blog post (click “share” then “embed” to get the code). Add a headline, the embed code, and a couple of quick lines of text to your post and you are good to go.
6. Remix Old Content
I am a big fan of hip hop! I recently had the chance to hear Shaun Boothe speak to students at a school where I teach as part of Black History Month and his Unauthorized Biography series tour. A big part of what makes hip hop unique, especially Shaun’s work, is the remixing and sampling other artists’ work. Take A$AP Rocky as another example which uses a hook from Rod Stewart’s music and takes it to another level in their work.
Content is no different! If you’re a content creator, you may have already created hundreds or even thousands of articles or posts. Sometimes what you need to create has already been written. By moving your own words around and putting them in the right format, you can hit the right audience and create a hit.
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