I am certainly not immune from this constant challenge of finding inspiration and it continues to be a never ending battle every day.
I recently was directly tweeted by Aaron Lee a cyberspace buddy whose opinion I value.
The Ultimate Guide to Blogging for Small Business
He made a very kind compliment about my blog content after I had thanked him for retweeting my latest post and he then proceeded to make the suggestion ‘”How Do You Focus On Creating Blog Content?”
So what do I do to clamber over the writers block so I can have a quiver full of tools to help me write the daily post.
1. Always be alert to conversations and situations with clients, friends and colleagues that you can turn into a post.
An example of this was a conversation with a client where he mentioned that his use of social media such as a blog, Twitter and Facebook had together increased his search engine rankings from page eight to page one. It is important to develop the awareness for finding topics to write about. Another example was a conversation with my young nephew which inspired ‘Choose a Dream For 2010‘
2. Read the Latest News In Your Industry
This is really important as it will provide you with topical ideas that are relevant to your industry and people are interested in reading about. A recent one was “11 iPad Facts and Figures To Make The Amazon Kindle Cringe”
3. Create A Google Alert
If you are struggling for an idea I found that having a ready list of topics in your industry in my email inbox that are constantly updated by Google a great way to become inspired. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic that can be fed to your inbox either daily or as it happens.
I use phrases such as ‘Social Media Case Study’ or ‘iPhone Apps’. I would recommend that you create a dedicated email account that receives these updates or else your important daily email will be lost in the crowd of inbound alerts.
4. Subscribe to the Top and Favourite Blogs in your areas of interest
This doesn’t have to be just your industry there are times when I have taken a topic from another niche and put a social media twist to it. I scan and read my Google Reader every day.
5. Create A Poll
I have found that there are questions in your niche that are topical and you can quickly create an introduction and then create the poll using something like the ‘Poll Daddy’ widget. A recent poll I ran was titled ‘Why Do You Blog?‘
6. Take The Results from a Poll and Turn it into a Post.
This will be of interest to readers as a lot of them will have participated and will want see the results summarized and commented on. An example for this suggestion is a follow up to the ‘Why do you Blog Post and was ‘11 Reasons Why People Blog‘.
7. Comments as a Source of Inspiration
I have found that insightful comments by readers on your posts can be a valuable resource for a post. Don’t forget to mention their name and highlight their contribution and link to their blog. Example for this was ‘50 Ways To Optimize Your Blog‘
8. Make another blogger a star on your blog
There are a lot of bloggers in your industry that have great ideas that you can help them spread. An example of this was when I wrote a post after attending an industry forum and was inspired by a blogger who talked on a topic that I found of interest… a post that illustrates this is a post titled ‘How To Reduce Business Costs By 90%‘
9. Read Books Offline
Reading is an essential element in finding topics and ideas for blog content. When reading a thought provoking book I often come with ideas for content that swell up from the points that the writer is making. Grab a pen and take some notes and add it to your library of topics either in your draft or your diary.
10. Switch On your Multimedia Mind
As part of your development of becoming fine tuned to coming up with content ideas you need to ask your questions like ‘Are there text posts I can turn into a two to five minute video blog’ or ”could I turn this post into a powerpoint presentation that I could then post on slideshare and then embed it on my blog. The other benefit for this is that a text blog can be turned into multiple types of media rich content that are 3 different social media platforms and with optimisation can increase your blogs SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
What are some other ways to come up with topics for your blog and how do ‘You’ become inspired to develop and write posts and content?