Here at QLP, we recently published our 1000th blog post. Exciting stuff! But the ideas for all those articles didn’t always come easily — and even after a thousand posts, we still stare at a lot of blank pages.
As any blogger knows, producing interesting, fresh material on a regular basis can be daunting. We all suffer from writer’s block now and then; but luckily, there are ways to overcome this. The next time you don’t know what to write about, try a few of these idea-generating strategies:
1. Read the News
What’s happening in the world — locally, nationally, and internationally? News items, business-related or otherwise, can spark many ideas. Get started by reading a newspaper daily and subscribing to online news aggregators.
Stay on top of the news specific to your industry, too. Follow blogs, websites, and other sources of industry chatter. As QLPer Mandy says, “Having a good idea of the current stuff being published can kick-start my own ideas. Sometimes people write things and I feel like I could flesh out a certain point, so I do!”
2. Examine Your Personal Spending Habits
QLPer Jenna asks herself, “Why do I love the brands that I am loyal to?” On the contrary, are there brands you refuse to buy? Brands that have disappointed you recently? Have you had any memorable customer service experiences, good or bad?
Look closely at the ways companies try to attract your business, and write about what they’re doing right and wrong. Case studies and personal examples can make for informative and compelling content.
3. Draw on Hobbies and Interests
What do you like to do in your free time? Maybe you’re a sports fan. Perhaps you’re preparing for or just experienced a big event, such as a wedding or vacation. Whatever interests you, get creative and transform what you already love into an article that relates to your industry.
QLPer Jen says, “I also learn quite a bit while researching topics, so I think that’s what really motivates me to write.” What topic do you want to learn more about? Develop it into engaging material for your readers.
4. Watch TV and Movies
Television and film are great sources for blog ideas. Analyze the characters and storylines in your favorite shows and movies and apply your conclusions to your industry. QLPer Jill says, “I love picking out specific portions or quotes from things I watch and then trying to turn them into an attention-grabbing topic!”
5. Interview Someone
Do you know anyone who has a story to tell? Are there business owners in your personal or professional life who could offer insight? Perhaps your customers are willing to share their experiences. Don’t be afraid to approach people outside of your network, too — the worst they can do is say no. As long as you ask the right questions, you can provide some stellar content to your readers.
6. Revisit Old Content
Also, read through the comments from your old writings. Are there issues your readers want to know more about? Did they ask questions you could answer in a new post? Can you expand a well-received article into a series?
7. Carry a Notebook
Ever had an idea strike you randomly during the day, but you lost it because you didn’t write it down? Don’t rely on remembering stray thoughts; instead, keep a small journal and pen with you at all times. QLPer Amy says, “My family makes fun of me for keeping a mini notebook on our coffee table, but it’s saved me so many times!”
It’s easy to lose hope when you’re idea-less and on a deadline. But with some research and creativity, you’re bound to discover something out there (or in your head) that you can turn into first-rate content. Then, once you latch onto an idea, get inspired and write!
Which of these strategies is most helpful to you? Where else do you find ideas for articles? Let us know in the comments!