Don’t worry, it can happen to anyone. It’s a totally normal and natural occurrence, and much more common than you think.
When you run out of blog post ideas it can often seem like you’re the only one it ever happens to. You read fantastic content every day and assume that great ideas just spring out of thin air for those writers.
But it doesn’t (always) happen that way. Whether they’re writing for clients or for their own blogs, even the best of writers tend to get stuck for blog post ideas at one stage or another.
Here’s what to do when it happens to you…
How to generate blog post ideas:
1. Go keyword crazy
Think about what phrases you’d search for if you wanted to find out something to do with the topic area of your blog. Either paste them into a Word doc. and just start brainstorming a post around these keywords, or else insert them into Google’s keyword tool and play around with them for a while. You might be surprised at what this throws up.
2. Get on social media sites
You’ve got a blog post to write so this is not – I repeat, not – an excuse to lose a few hours in a mindless social media frenzy. Instead hone in on what people are talking about – LinkedIn and Google+ are particular good for this. Joining relevant groups on LinkedIn and participating in discussions is an awesome way of finding out what people are interested in or need help with. Same goes for the Google+ Communities.
3. Read the news
People love to read topical news stories. Pick up a newspaper or scan the news online for something you could build a blog post around. There’s nearly always something relevant to your topic happening, and if you search under Google News you’ll likely to find it. Even if there’s no dramatic breaking news in your particular niche, you can always find inspiration for a comparison type post, e.g. ‘How Pitching for Writing Clients is Like Virgin Galactic’s Supersonic Flight Test’. (Bit out there but you get the gist.)
4. Use your epic blog posts from the past
You’ve come up with useful, insightful, witty and downright brilliant blog post ideas before, right? Well go back and see what worked. Look at blog stats and comments on your past posts and see which ones got everybody talking. Really get to the heart of why these posts worked and make a note of this for future blog post ideas. If inspiration doesn’t immediately hit, then simply write an updated follow-up article to one of your most popular previous posts.
5. Do something else
You may have heard of this idea before. Why? Because it really works. When you’re frantically trying to come up with inspiration for something brilliant sometimes the best thing you can do is to focus on something else entirely. Go for a run, read some fiction, indulge in a hobby – whatever does it for you – just switch off and focus on something other than generating blog post ideas. Personally, I’d say this one works for me 98% of the time.
So bookmark this page and next time you run out of blog post ideas don’t just aimlessly surf the web for hours on end only to come up with nothing. Play around with keywords, get focused on social media, pick apart the news and see what’s worked before – or do something else entirely.
If you’re serious about earning a living from writing online, find out how I quit my day job and built a freelance writing career in The Complete Freelance Writing Online Course.
Image courtesy of Brent Danley via Flickr.