Overcoming Writer’s Block: 10 Tips for Getting Blog Topic Ideas
If you’ve been tasked with blog writing, you have probably experienced writers block. That’s why I’m writing this blog…to help you give a deathblow to writer’s block and gain resources and ideas for your business blog posts.
I’ll be sharing with you not only tips for coming up with blog ideas, but also a handful of tools to use when your feel like your creativity has gone out the door.
Tip 1: Answer Questions. Address Problems.
This first tip is so simple but can give you a plethora of ideas for content you can write. When you are able to answer questions and address the problems people are having, your content will be valuable.
- Answer common questions about your industry
- Answer questions your customers/clients leave in your comment section.
- Show how your product or service is an answer to a problem.
Tip 2: Check out forums and Q&A sites.
Though you may not find questions in forums directly from your own customers, you’ll be able to find questions people are asking about your industry (and very likely, your customers have had similar questions).
For forums directly related to your niche, simply start by entering [your industry/niche] + forum in the search bar. For example, if you are an HVAC company, you’ll simply search for ‘HVAC forums.’ Once you find a forum or discussion site for your niche, you should be able to find plenty of ideas on what people want to know about your industry.
You can also check out general forums like Quora or Yahoo Answers and find lots of questions that you can turn into content when you search for a specific keyword.
Tip 3: Debunk common misconceptions about your industry.
You’ve probably heard those laughable things people believe about your niche. Why not take those myths and run with them, creating a series of articles where you attack the myths with what’s actually true? You’ll have something interesting to write about as well as the opportunity to help people get a more accurate understanding of your business.
Tip 4: Brainstorm with a group of people within your business.
Okay. This one can be difficult, but it really does help. When brainstorming there’s only one rule: don’t overthink it!
During the brainstorm, all ideas are good. Once you’ve written an idea down, move on to another. You may find yourself wanting to critique and analyze the ideas — fight this urge. As soon as you allow nitpicking to enter your brainstorm, you’ll kill (or at least dull) the creativity. Remember, it’s writer’s block we’re trying to get rid of here.
Once you have that substantial list, you can invite your analytic side back into the brainstorm. At this time, you can begin crossing out the ideas you wouldn’t dare post on your website. For every great idea, you’ll probably have at least 5-10 ideas that get scrapped. By allowing your creative side to have complete freedom, you may be surprised how many gems you actually find within your list.
Tip 5: Get ideas from your competitors.
So you probably won’t be able to walk up to a competitor and ask them for great blog ideas for your industry; however, you can check out what they’re talking about and what’s working for them on the web.
- What are they blogging about?
- What are they posting on social media?
- How are people interacting with their content?
- What questions are people asking them in comments?
You can get plenty of ideas and then post similar content from a fresh angle. Can you expound on a topic they’ve written about? Answer questions they didn’t answer.
Helpful Tool: Buzzsumo. Use this tool to find out what is the most shared content on any subject and also to analyze the content that works best for a competitor.
Tip 6: Keep a list.
Isn’t it funny how when you’re sitting in front of your computer with a blank word document, all content ideas just manage to escape your brain? That’s why keeping a list on your phone, in Dropbox, Evernote, or somewhere you can always access it, makes so much sense.
Anytime you think of something (2 a.m. bright ideas, or a fun idea that comes up while you’re at the coffee shop), make a note. The next time you sit down to write something, you’ll already have content ideas waiting for you. Don’t forget to bookmark interesting finds that inspire ideas when you’re browsing the web.
Helpful Tool: Check out the Evernote Web Clipper to capture ideas while surfing the web. You can even add a reminder to review the article at a more convenient time.
Tip 7: Repurpose and/or update old content on your site.
I’ll let you in on a secret: Your posts don’t have to be completely new ideas every time.
Find an old blog post that is still relevant but needs a facelift. Update it with new information, expound on the topic, etc. Recycling an old post is just one great way to put new content out there.
Tip 8: Use the Google search box.
Have you ever noticed that Google will offer suggestions when you type in a word? Typing in a keyword can bring up common things people search for in relation to that word… and though not every suggestion is great, you may find an idea for your next post.
In addition to the search bar, be sure to check out the “people also ask” snippets. People Also Ask (PAA) is a search feature Google started adding in early 2017. PAA questions are variations of search snippets that often appear in toggle boxes. Because many of these snippers are in list formats, this can be a great resource in coming up with main topics for blogs.
Tip 9: Get ideas from someone who doesn’t know much or anything about your niche.
Sometimes getting an outside opinion can provide fresh insights. Talk to a friend or acquaintance and ask what kind of questions they would have in regards to your industry or what they would like to know about it. They’re likely to have questions you wouldn’t think about since you’re already well-informed about your business.
Tip 10: Use a content topic generator.
Still stuck? There are tools for this. Check out these content topic generators that can do some of the work for you. The first one is probably my favorite! You can get a whole list of questions and topic ideas when you search for your keyword.