Are you having trouble coming up with content ideas for your website? New blog post ideas always seem to strike me at the most inopportune times. They’ll hit me when I’m driving, in the middle of the night, or when I’m in the shower. And what happens once I get to my destination, wake up, or hop out of the shower? The idea is forgotten. Does this sound familiar? Here are a few ideas that work for me to combat forgetting my best ideas.
If you wake up in the middle of the night with a good blog topic, turn on the light and write it down. Chances are you will not remember it otherwise. Keep a notebook and writing utensil by your bedside for this. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; a simple pocket-size steno pad will do the trick.
If you’re driving, safely use your phone recorder. On iPhones, you’ll want to launch “Voice Memos.” I can’t even count how many blog ideas have come to me while driving and this little trick has saved me. This blog post is one example of that. With the assistance of Siri, you won’t even need to take your eyes off of the road.
Regarding the shower, I don’t have very much advice for you. A dry erase board could help. Or just try really hard to remember your ideas. I’ve found that if I repeat something to myself seven times, I’m more likely to retain it. For those times when the ideas don’t just come to you out of the blue, check out these eight ways to generate new content ideas for your business.
8 Ways to Coax the Muse
You know you need a blog for your business but if your content muse takes a little more encouragement than having a clear mind, consider a brain dump of possible blog posts. Quickly write everything down that comes to your mind, even if you think it’s not the best idea. Seeing it written out can trigger your brain to generate another topic. Once you’ve got a page full of ideas in front of you, go through them at a slower pace and select the best ones to add to your editorial calendar.
Another way to come up with new post ideas is to look for inspiration around the web. Search hashtags on social media channels to see what other people are covering. You don’t have to stick to your industry either. In fact, looking at others may be better. You’ll discover new ideas that aren’t being applied yet in your field. Another source of inspiration is your competitors. What are they doing that your brand could do better? Take some time to familiarize yourself with their content topics.
What are people asking? The frequently asked questions that your industry receives can lead you to some really helpful blog posts. These can be questions posed verbally or through searches on your website. If one person has the question, there are likely others out there wondering about the same thing. Create a blog post to be a source for their answers.
Interviews add a human element and are a great source of information in any industry. You could interview employees about specific aspects of their jobs, executives about their life before starting the brand, or customers about a problem that your product/service addresses. These are just a few ideas. Your interviews can be about anything industry related that will be interesting for your prospective buyers or current customers.
Conduct a search on Google Trends. You can find related topics to your industry and go deeper into your search to find more specific ideas. Be cautious, though; Google Trends can quickly become a time sucker. There’s just so much that you can do with the tool so limit your time there.
Look to old content that has performed well and repurpose it. Take your most popular blog post and turn it into an infographic or expand on it further and create a white paper. The idea obviously resonated with your audience, so don’t reinvent the wheel.
If you’re still stuck check out HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator. You simply enter three nouns, and it generates five blog topics. You’ll get a few oddball ideas, but you’re bound to find at least one that will work for you.
My last piece of advice would be to take a walk, step away from the computer, and maybe exercise a bit. When you stop dwelling on something the answer often shows itself.
This article was originally published to rabidofficemonkey.com in March 2017.