Writing a blog requires commitment. New content has to be posted regularly – at least once a week. But producing a minimum of 52 new blog post ideas every year isn’t easy. There will always be times when you’re searching for topics and hunting for an interesting topic to keep your readers and the search engines happy. Here’s a bunch of suggestions that should make the brainstorming easier while keeping your blog content at the highest level.
1. Report the News
News happens every day providing regular opportunities to take a topical event and explain the effect it might have on your industry. These are topics that professional editors have already decided the public will find interesting, so trust their judgment and adapt those topics to your blog.
2. Pore Over Press Releases
If the headlines yield little, turn to businesses that want to be in the headlines. Sites like PRNewswire.com contain long lists of story ideas that companies are trying to push into the news. Not all of them are newsworthy – or blog-worthy – but occasionally you can dig up a good release and even contact the sender for more information.
3. Read Your Blog Comments
Your readers are knowledgeable about your industry and have ideas of their own. Often, they leave their ideas at the bottom of your posts. Encourage them to leave more and pick them up on their suggestions.
4. Take a Poll
Another way to ask your readers what they think is to present a number of options and ask them to click the answers of their choice. You could either publish the results or write a blog post explaining why they’re wrong, right or should know better.
5. Share Stats
Polls can yield one kind of statistics but you don’t have to rely on your own audience sample. Companies like Gallup release poll data all the time. Make them the centerpiece of a new blog post or just publish the figures as a graph with a short comment.
6. Trawl Social Media
Facebook and Twitter are filled with industry insiders discussing topics, asking questions and reposting links. Follow your niche’s biggest insiders and use their comments to inspire your own. You can hunt on the walls, browse business pages or just ask your followers what they’d like to read. They might just tell you.
7. Hunt on Quora
Quora is a question and answer site but one in which the people answering are often leading professionals in the field. Look at the questions for topic ideas, but read the answers from former CEOs, engineers and experts for new information that you can include in your posts. Quora can be a great source for top quality intelligence.
8. Read the Real Media
You only get to think about story ideas when you come to update your blog. Mainstream media outlets have to do it all the time. Pick up a newspaper or a magazine, see what they’re writing about – and no less importantly, how they’re writing about it – and copy their ideas. It’s where their own ideas came from.
9. Join Forums
Online forums are buzzing with information, questions, answers and expert knowledge. Browse the posts for detail and use the threads to inspire new topics.
10. Express Your Frustration
No industry is ever perfect, and there will always be tasks you struggle to complete and goals you have difficulty meeting. So tell the world. Explain what doesn’t work and describe the work-arounds you use to solve the problem.
11. Update Older Posts
Once you’ve been blogging for a while you’ll quickly build up a stock of old posts on great topics that are now slightly out of date. Dig them back up, discover what’s changed and give an old story a new lease of life.
12. Write a List Post
List posts, like this one, take time to research and write, but they make for good link bait and even if the research is tricky, the format is friendly. You don’t want to do them too often but a long list can make a good stand-by every two or three months.
13. Teach How-To
The easiest way to help your readers is to take them by the hand and guide them one step at a time through a solution. Show them how to do something they couldn’t do before and you’ll have given them some valuable knowledge.
14. Go Green
Green issues affect every industry, from giant corporations to home-based businesses. If you’re struggling for an idea, explaining how to lower carbon emissions or use less electricity in your niche is always a good stand-by.
15. Write a Review
Reviews are the mainstay of many blogs. They make for great keyword SEO and they’re useful for readers. Either write a real review of a product you own and use or produce a “write-up” and opinion piece about a new product hitting the market.
16. Conduct an Interview
Interviews provide original content and yield new information. Either arrange a phone call with a leader in your industry or send a short list of questions by email. Write it up as a blog post or edit the answers into a Q-and-A.
17. Profile Influencers
Interviews have to be planned so when time is short, just write a profile. Pick a leader in your field and explain why he or she is important. An interview will be unique but a profile is fast and should still give you a valuable return link.
18. Describe a Trend
In the media, three events are a trend. You can find three examples to identify any trend whether it’s a new marketing technique, an original use of a product or the end of an idea. Tell people what’s happening so they’re not left out.
19. Take a Stand
Controversy always attracts readers and generates blog comments. Take a position on an issue, defend it to the hilt, attack the other side, then step back and watch the fur fly.
20. Write a Case Study
When you’re recommending a course of action, find someone whose work illustrates your techniques and describe how they’re doing it. It’s an easy way to show not tell.
21. Conduct Original Research
Getting to the bottom of a complex story will take time and plenty of planning but the result might well be the kind of readership and respect that can catapult a blog into the A-list.
22. Write Someone Else’s Blog Post Better
You won’t be the only one writing a blog about your topic. Reading other blogs in your field should be a regular part of your day but if you see a post with an interesting title but dull content, pick it up and do it better.
23. Pick a Calendar Event
Every month is punctuated with a special occasion whether it’s a holiday, an anniversary or a special day like Mother’s Day, Presidents’ Day or Tax Day. Open your calendar, find your month’s occasion and work it into your blog.
24. Expose a Myth
Every industry has myths and misconceptions about its products, its companies and the way that it works. Pick one and pick it apart.
25. Fight the Law
And every industry has laws, regulations and guidelines that make it harder for professionals to do their job. Describe the rules that get in your way and explain why they should be removed.
26. Mark an Industry Milestone
The release of the first iPod, the day Etsy was launched, Facebook’s 500 million mark… pick an important moment in the history of your industry and mark the anniversary.
27. Draw on Your Personal Experience
Blogs are supposed to be about personal experience so when you’re stuck for an idea, look for something that happened to you recently, something that you’ve done or a goal you’ve achieved. It’s your blog; write a post about you.
28. Shoot a Video Post
Creating a video post should be easier than writing one. Just turn on your webcam and talk. Of course, you’ll still need something to talk about but for some people just speaking can trigger ideas in a way that a blank page can’t.
29. Round up Your Tech Tools
You have a host of tools, apps and gadgets that you use every day in your professional life. New entrants to the industry won’t know how valuable they are. So lay them out and tell them.
30. Pick an Outrageous Example
A good idea isn’t always enough. Some people will come up with outrageous ideas whether they’re baking giant pizzas, proposing creatively or giving away samples. Find someone breaking boundaries in your industry.
31. Get Others Started
Some of your readers will be old hands but others will be curious newbies wondering how to take their first steps. Get them moving and you’ll win their gratitude – and a new audience.