We’ve all been there. You’re staring at a blank page willing an idea to hit you, but one isn’t coming. Unfortunately, it’s time to update your blog, so just sitting and waiting isn’t an option.
Fortunately, there are many places you can turn to for ideas in a pinch.
Ask your Twitter following. Or your Facebook friends. Why not go directly to the audience to see what they want? You may find there is a topic they’ve been dying for you to write about, and if you tackle it, you’ll even see a nice boost in your traffic!
Check your comments. Another way to consult your readers. Was there a question you replied to that might allow for a longer, more detailed response in a blog entry? Or maybe there’s an idea that a visitor shared that you can expand upon. Even better, if someone disagreed with something you wrote previously, you may be able to revisit the subject again and address those comments.
Keep an idea folder or document. Sometimes the ideas come to you when you least expect it… and then you forget them when you actually need them! Figure out a system that works for you to record the ideas when you get them, whether it’s carrying around a small notebook or maintaining a Word document on your desktop.
Look at old blog posts. You may be able to write a “sequel” of sorts, particularly if you know a post was popular the first time around. You can explain how things have changed or further elaborate on the points you made in the original post.
Set up a Google Alert. This is a great way to stay on top of what’s happening in your field, something that your readers will appreciate. The articles that come up can serve as a starting off point for a blog, allowing you to share or weigh in on current news and controversy.
Visit a forum. Another way to keep abreast of what’s being talked about in your field is to visit the conversations happening in online forums and groups. You don’t even necessarily have to participate in the discussions there. (Although it’s a great way to encourage people to check out your blog!) You can simply sit back and listen – and then respond to the ideas and concerns that are brought up through a blog post!
Ask friends, family, and co-workers. Share your frustration over writer’s block with others, and you just might be surprised what ideas they come up with! Often, since they’re more removed from the subject matter, they’ll have questions that you didn’t even think about.
Give a review. Have you read a book, watched a movie, or used a product related to your field? Share your opinion in a blog. Even if it doesn’t seem directly related to your blog, you still may be able to use it as inspiration for a list. For example, your blog might not be about Harry Potter, magic, or movies, but maybe you can find ways that the themes or characters in the series apply to your field.
Interview someone. Feeling like you’re running low on new expertise to share? Go to an outside source. All you have to do is find someone with a half hour or so to spare and generate a question list. Alternately, you can ask them if they’d like to contribute a guest post.
Ask your readers a question. Make your visitors generate the content! Detail a particular problem or issue, and then ask them to share their solutions or opinions on the matter in the comments. Get a discussion going, and you may find you have ideas for future posts.