You know you should be blogging. You’ve read all about the benefits. All of your competitors are doing it. You want to blog. You were born for this! There’s only one problem: you have no idea what to blog about.
We’ve all been there. We all want to craft amazing content that people love to read. But when it comes time to plan out your posts, you just draw a blank. Or maybe you’re full of ideas, but none of them seem “good enough.”
Good news: I have a solution to your woes. A tried-and-true method that all the pros use to deliver endless streams of content. Are you ready?
The secret to endless ideas is to steal them. Follow along and I’ll explain.
1. Steal ideas from your competition
Now, I don’t mean for you to go copy and paste someone else’s content. Plagiarism is never ok. What I mean is, if you can’t come up with any topic ideas, look around and see what others are writing about.
Start with your competitors. What are they blogging about? Maybe you have a different view on the subject that you could share, or maybe you can frame it in a different way. It doesn’t matter that they’ve already written about it. People read your posts to get your unique view on a topic; it doesn’t matter if every single person on earth has already written about it. And trust me, with the insane amount of content being published every day, there’s a good chance they have.
2. Steal ideas from your old posts
Go through your older content and look for opportunities to expand on an idea. Take my post about business blogging: I give an overview of 3 big reasons why every business should be doing it. I could also take each of the 3 reasons and dedicate a post to it, going into detail about why it’s important and how you can benefit.
The advantage of this sort of approach is it allows you to dive deeper into the topic than a broad overview piece does, while also building upon your other content. You can link back and forth to the posts, or mention the overview at the start of your deep dive. There are lots of possibilities for cross-promotion, so play around with it.
Both the overview and the deep dives have value, so it isn’t like you’re writing fluff; never write fluff. Always try to provide some sort of value to your readers. But there’s nothing wrong with recycling some of that value, either.
3. Steal ideas from your clients
If you work regularly with people who aren’t writers, they probably ask you a lot of questions about writing. Maybe you get asked a lot about your process and why you do things the way you do. Take those questions and write out a nice piece answering them. This not only provides a good topic for a post, but you can direct future clients to that post to get them up to speed. This saves you from having to repeat yourself endlessly, and it introduces them to your blog. Can’t beat a twofer!
On the flip side, maybe you work regularly with other writers. They probably talk about certain topics a lot. Or they may have questions of their own. The same thing applies. Save time; point people to your blog; profit.
4. Steal ideas from your brain
So far, we’ve been looking externally for ideas. Don’t sell yourself short, though! Chances are, there are tons of ideas floating around in that skull of yours. You just need to coax them out. There are a number of activities and exercises you can use to help with this.
Marketing guru Neil Patel outlines a great exercise in this article for Entrepreneur. The exercise consists of three timed phases. In the first, you ask yourself some predefined questions and use the answers to generate topics; in the second, you use a predefined search term to comb the internet for another group of topics; and in the final phase you let anything left in your brain drip out and hit the page. The end result is 50+ topics, with a total time investment of about 30 minutes. Not bad.
The aim of these exercises is to generate as many ideas as possible in as short a time as possible. It’s important to remember that they won’t all be good ideas! However, if you come up with 60 topics, at least a few are going to be workable, and many of the others can become something workable, now that you’ve identified them. Give it a shot!
There you go. 4 nice, actionable ways to generate blog topics. What are you waiting for? Get writing!
What are your favorite ways to generate blog ideas? Share them with me on Twitter!