Writing a regular blog post can be hard.
Coming up with content, even about topics you love, can be difficult at times. After you’ve written about your topic more than 50 times, what’s left to say? Even when they’re topic ideas you love, sometimes you can feel like you’re bored of that topic, and you have nothing more to say about it. And sometimes it can feel like everyone else is talking about your topic, and you can’t compete anymore.
So what’s a blogger to do?
Here are some tips on how to come up with a blog post idea, when you’re all tapped out.
1. Check out your Competition
So yeah, they might be writing on your topics. And you might feel intimidated. They’re doing a good job! But blogging isn’t about competition, it’s about collaboration. Community. Connections. Instead of reading your blog niche neighbours’ posts and feeling stuck, look at them as inspiration.
If, for example, a blogger in your niche wrote a how-to post, you can take that post and write a response to it. Show them how you followed their steps, what your results were, and anything that didn’t work for you. You can even link to their post, then tag or mention them in your promotion. Your post, since it’s related to theirs without copying, will get exposed to their audience, and they’ll pay attention. And so will that blogger. They might even contact you, so you can collaborate further! After all, everyone loves great feedback!
2. Scroll through your Facebook groups and Twitter lists.
What’s trending? Can you write something on that topic? What’s a common question you haven’t answered yet? Or maybe there’s a challenging problem that you can support.
Trending and popular topics make great posts, because they can go viral in a heartbeat. And that gains you traffic. Yes, you don’t want to duplicate content. But you definitely want to capitalize on topics that everyone is currently talking about! Put your perspective or unique spin on that popular topic, and watch your traffic grow.
3. Scan your Pinterest Feed.
Search your own keywords or niche topic and see what comes up. You don’t have to read the posts, but just write down the headlines that catch your attention. The top 20 or so are the pins that are popular right now, so pay attention to those the most. And make sure you look for patterns. What kinds of things are repeating?
Now take those headlines — especially the ones that are repetitive — and create your own post about that. If there’s a bunch of pins that are talking about housecleaning, and your niche is time management and organization, then you need to talk about kitchen cleanup. They’ve got titles like 5 secrets to a clean kitchen every night, or 3 things to do in your kitchen before bed, so what are your 4 best tips for a clean kitchen?
4. Take a Reader Survey
Obviously we all want to write about what our readers want to read about. We want to attract and keep our audience growing! One of the best ways to figure out what our readers want to see is to ask them. Send out a reader survey!
You can do it a few ways. Email your list and ask for feedback. Or post a poll in a few Facebook groups. You can even create a survey link and share it on all your platforms. Maybe even add a giveaway draw as incentive to getting responses?
Depending on how you structure your survey, you can get both general topic ideas and specific questions. If you get specific questions, turn each one of them into a separate blog post — as if you were writing to just that person, to answer their question. And the general topic suggestions will help you concentrate your posts on things that are meaningful to your audience right now. Both will motivate you to write more.
5. Expand a popular post.
Go back through your stats and find your most popular posts. These make great jumping off points for new posts. You can update the old posts (and republish them!), and then you can expand on them in separate posts.
To expand on an old post, take a point from one of those posts and turn it into it’s own post. For example, if you have a post on the 3 top alternatives for dairy products, grab one of those alternatives and write about it. Go into the uses, benefits and where to find the top brands of almond milk, for instance. And then you can do a new post on soy products, and a third on coconut milk or goat cheese. Don’t forget to link back to the original post, and to the other posts you do on that topic.
Even better, is there a way to create a content upgrade to go with either the old or new posts? Write a post about that, as an introduction. Then link to your content upgrade — either as an email opt-in or as a product for sale — in all your posts related to that original one, and in the original one too!
When you get stuck, look around.
There’s inspiration everywhere. Check out the virtual neighbourhood, and take a survey of your audience. Compare your stats and offer more tips on the same topics. What’s popular? Look for opportunity to expand, respond and rewrite.
What is your favorite topic to read and/or write about? What kind of content do you like to read?
For more blogging tips, read 9 Surprising Blogging Tips You May Not Have Known.