No matter what topic you blog on, all bloggers have the same problem, “What do I blog about?” Often, that question is what prevents people from actually starting a blog or contributing to anybody else’s blog. As a defense, they’ll often say, “I wouldn’t know what to write about.”
If you’ve got a strong opinion about anything, then you probably have the makings of a good blog post. Don’t sell yourself short. The site Problogger already has a fantastic post answering the question, “What should I write about?” Definitely refer to this list if you ever have writer’s block.
While Problogger claims it’s the definitive list on the topic, I definitely have some additional opinions on my own. Here’s my advice for ways you can come up with blog post ideas. I invite you to bookmark Problogger’s list, and this one.
Review sent emails
You write great blog posts all the time and you don’t even realize it. Those fantastic essays, tips, and advice are usually sitting in your Sent folder. Just peruse, copy, and paste into a folder, and start editing.
Check your calendar
What did you do this past week? Did you have any specific challenges? Do any unique projects? Have an interesting meeting? Listen to a fantastic speaker? Meet someone cool at a party? Across all, what conversations did you have? What you did and those conversations could possibly make great stories. One way to remember them is to simply look at your calendar.
What questions are others asking?
If you want to write something timely that other people care about, all you need to do is see what’s hot in the news and trending.
Here’s a list of resources that will help you see what’s trending right now:
- What the Trend? – Not only is it a list of Twitter trends, but it also explains why a specific topic is trending.
- Google Trends – Can use this tool to compare any trends, plus they have an explanation for the hottest search trends.
- Facebook search and trend services – Mashable article recommending five different search and trend services.
- Ebay Pulse – What are people buying?
- Large list of trending and real-time search tools – If that’s not enough, here are even more.
Trends are great, but if they have nothing to do with your industry, you’re sunk. You need to find stories that are hot in your industry. I’m a fan of using a feed reader like Google Reader to hold feeds of popular industry blogs and just scan headlines. Or use blog search tool Technorati to create specific feeds on a search topic. Problogger also has a great tool which is actually a Google document you use to scan hot news stories on any search topic you choose.
What are you repeating?
What are areas people don’t think about with regard to your business? You probably have stories or explanations for your business you repeat over and over again. Save yourself some breath and put it down on paper. Next time someone asks you that question, give them the headline and send them to the blog post.
Look at competitors
What are they writing about and can you do it better? For example, I was interested in video conferencing etiquette so I did a search to see what other people were writing. I thought the advice was horrible so I decided to write my own piece and challenge the other articles with the title “Your ‘No BS’ Guide to Video Conferencing Etiquette.”
Interview your expert friends
You will always get a good blog post with this technique. Your smart friends always have something interesting to say. Just remember to ask really good questions. Here’s some starter advice: “5 Interview Questions that Always Return Great Answers.”
No time to blog?
This is a super common excuse. If you feel you don’t have the time to blog, please read “Blogging Advice for People Who ‘Have No Time to Blog.’”
What’s your writer’s unblock technique?
I’m always looking for tips. So please put your advice in the comments below. Thanks.