Blogging isn’t easy, when you get started you can think of hundreds of ideas for great new articles, but as time goes by it can be difficut to find your posting rhythm, and to come up with unique ideas for posts that actually benefit the blogosphere and add value. I’ve decided to have a think about new and interesting ways of generating the fresh content that your blog so desperately needs. Hopefully these ten ways to generate fresh content for your blog will help you in generating new ideas.
1. Frequent Forums
Some of the best ideas for new and fresh content I’ve had come from questions asked on some of the forums I frequent. If you keep an eye on a few forums within your niche, there will be questions popping up that you know the answer to, but haven’t realised that there is a knowledge gap within your readership.
Sometimes it’s difficult to take a step back and think “Well I may know how to do X / Y but do my visitors?” Yahoo Answers and LinkedIn Answers are great question resources. They also are beneficial in generating increased traffic if you reference an article you’ve put together that solves someones problem.
2. Keep the old moleskin handy
Sad as it sounds I keep a notepad beside my bed. I always seem to get the best ideas late at night, or early in the morning. I get amazing ideas whilst giving the old pits a scrub in the shower. Must be the aroma of the shower gel or something. Or maybe its because of this.
3. Do post titles first
Write down post titles as they come to you, and then work on fleshing out the content later. I keep a working draft of about twenty posts in WordPress, then decide which ones I can really write passionately about. Those things will come to you at the most random of times, so it’s important to get them stuck into your drafts as soon as they come to you.
4. Read outside your niche.
It’s very easy to get locked into reading only tech blogs if you are a techie, or reading exclusively the things that relate to your chosen industry. Think outside the box, and read some of the thought leaders outside of your comfort zone. You’ll find that by doing so, new content ideas will come to you as a result of your eyes being a bit more open.
5. Scour your comments.
If there is a significant feedback generated on your blog, and you have built up a good rapport with visitors, then you will be getting comments. Comments can be as simple as someone saying “Thanks for the article” (cynical Paul recons these are link hunters /spammers most of the time), or they can be much deeper than that. If you find yourself adding a large response to a commenter, that may be a sign of a content gap that you can fill. If you don’t know the answer to someone’s question – link to someone who does.
6. Fill content gaps
I frequently find myself whilst writing a blog post, that concepts crop up which I could explain further in another blog post. Always worthwhile re-reading the bits and bobs you’ve written before and finding how you can expand and improve. The benefit of this will be twofold, firstly your articles will feel more rounded, and secondly your internal linking will be much richer, which leads to deeper site interaction.
7. Newspapers / Magazines / Newsletter
Newspapers and magazines are always a good source of content ideas. If you are writing a blog on a certain topic – e.g. gardening – then flowers monthly is going to highlight some new ideas which would be of interest to your visitors. If you blog about architecture, get a subscription to Architects Journal. You get the picture. Copyblogger has a great article on cosmo headlines.
8. Buzz Monitoring
I’ve pimped the benefits of buzz monitoring enough in the past, but it still serves a purpose in generating content ideas. With news breaking faster than ever before, its important to get in on buzz monitoring to find out that snippet of information that could turn into a great new post. Tools like twitter can help with this, as mentioned below.
9. Twitter Search
Twitter is a live stream of conversation. Therefore it is a snapshot of what is hot and what is not in the blogosphere. I keep an eye on Twitter Trends to let me see if there are breaking #hashtags which I should be keeping up with, and writing about.
10. Brainstorming – Spider Diagraming
A bit of an old fashioned one here, but if you write down all the tags you currently have within your blog, and connect the lines with related terms, you should be able to see patterns that will connect the tags. Flesh out new connected tags, and then write one article concerning that new tag – Bingo! New content.