While most business owners know the value of consistently posting content on their blogs, many struggle with deciding on what topics to write about. In fact, not knowing what to write about is one of the top challenges most businesses face with blogging.
I understand that predicament completely. I, too, have struggled to brainstorm blog post topics. Fortunately, I’ve discovered ways to find inspiration and ideas when my brain isn’t forthcoming with viable subjects on its own.
It’s my pleasure to share these ways with you in hopes they’ll help you get past instances of writer’s block:
1. Keep an open mind—always!
Rather than force the brainstorming process into a structured think session, I find it more effective to consciously stay open to ideas 24/7. Whether I’m talking with a client, picking up a few essentials at the grocery store, sitting on a plane headed to a conference, or working out, without fail an idea will pop into my head unexpectedly. If you keep your mind open to this kind of unanticipated creativity, you’ll discover that it will happen for you, too.
My advice: Carry a notebook or use an app on your phone to capture your ideas immediately. I can’t stress the word immediately enough! As a busy business owner, you have a gazillion things on your mind. If you don’t write down your thoughts as they happen, you risk forgetting them.
2. Tap insight from your team
Who said you have to go it alone? Your employees have firsthand knowledge of what your customers’ interests and concerns are. They have a pulse on what topics will resonate with your overall (or specific segments of) your audience.
I’ve always found that when I consult my team members, I’m able to generate fresh ideas for content that will address customer needs I wasn’t yet aware of.
3. Use tools
Just typing in a word or phrase into Google’s search bar can birth topic ideas. Enter a term and then look at the suggestions Google displays directly underneath it.
For example, here’s what I see when I enter “brainstorm blog topics”:
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4. Get customer input
Who better to tell you what your customers want to read than the very people who are doing business with you? Although you might be thinking it’s difficult to solicit ideas from customers, I’ve found it takes minimal effort. Two simple ways to collect their thoughts are:
- After you or one of your team members speaks to a customer via email, on the phone, or in person, ask them if there are any particular topics they would like to learn more about.
- Ask the question in a social media post and invite followers to either leave a comment or send a message with their requests.
5. Connect the dots
Keep your eyes and ears open for connections between your industry and persons, places, and things that are trending or part of pop culture. Some creative elements that might spark topic ideas include:
- Movie and TV sitcom quotes (Who doesn’t love a reference to The Office?)
- Movie and TV characters
- Song lyrics
- Celebrity faux pas
- TV commercials
By bringing something personally familiar to readers into your blog posts, you can spark their interest and keep them engaged with your content.
6. Flesh out ideas from your FAQs
If you have a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” on your website, it can be a virtual treasure trove from which to mine relevant blog topic ideas. By doing a deep dive into the subjects covered in your FAQs, you can give your audience valuable knowledge and also potentially improve your SEO results from the focus keywords you use in your content.
Don’t sweat it . . .
The next time you experience a mental block when trying to formulate topics for your blog posts, I encourage you to relax and not overthink the challenge. The more frustrated you allow yourself to become, the harder it will be to brainstorm effectively.
Besides, with the tips and tools I’ve shared in this post, you can see you have no reason to sweat the ideation process. You have plenty of places from which to draw ideas and inspiration as you embark on developing topics that will appeal to your readers.