Every blogger experiences a period in their career when they simply run out of ideas on what to write about. It happens even to the best of us. So, what should you do? Or more specifically, which tactics should you embrace?
Here are some content writing tips that will help you find interesting ideas for topics to write about within minutes.
1. Use social media
A good place to get inspiration is from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Most of the items on social media sites don’t end up in conventional blogs or news sites, but they could still be of interest to your readership. Some of these posts can spark an idea for a new blog entry.
Over time, you will come to understand what interests people the most. When writing, you want to stir up your reader’s imagination. A surefire way to do this is by taking a trending social media topic, and turning it into a story or article worth reading.
2. Use your reader’s comments and views
Whether you are running a business site or simple blog, your readers’ comments and views matter. These statistics give you an indication of how interesting the topic is to your end users. While viewership just shows basic interest, comments - both good and bad - can help you come up with new and better ideas for your articles going forward.
You may have visited blogs where the writer provided a detailed response which was quite long, enough to be a post by itself. Instead of following this trend, you can simply write new content based on your viewers’ comments, and link them to the original article. This provides you with a near-limitless supply of new topics to write on.
3. Research on new ideas - offline
Nowadays, all research is done online thanks to the presence of information gathering sites such as Wikipedia. However, if you want to find fresh content writing ideas with deeper insights, then it’s time you started reading books as well.
Most of the content found online is usually truncated, and doesn’t provide as much detail as you might find in a book. Taking yourself away from the screen will also help you to avoid the many distractions available on the internet, leading to more imaginative thinking. You will also find interesting books and journals that haven’t been published which will offer some great insight.
4. Get fresh perspectives from new people
One way that many content milling sites stay afloat is by getting fresh perspectives, especially from new people - more so the younger generation. If you happen to be an individual blogger, then make use of your acquaintances. Chances are you have probably heard everything from your current circle of friends and colleagues. You’ll therefore benefit a lot by getting fresh perspectives from people you hardly know.
You can also feature guest blogs, and share articles which you deem relevant for your niche by making use of freelancers. Not only does it bring more users to your site, it also provides much-needed diversity.
5. Stay updated on trending industry news
To get new content ideas, you have to stay updated with current trends in your industry or niche. You can make use of online analytics such as Google’s Insights tool. You can also set up Google Alerts for topics in your niche to keep a close check on what is being said or commented.
It’s also important that you make use of Google trends in order to learn what sort of information is trending based on the demographics of your readers. This will help you target your content far more effectively.
6. Analyze all news content critically
Many people read through at least the first few paragraphs on a news piece. However, if you went through the whole article you might find some useful information you can use in your own writing. Please note that the aim here is not to replicate the news story, but to find more insightful content that didn’t make it to the headline or first few paragraphs.
Analyzing news sources will also help you find authority sites and commentators. You can follow them on social media, find out what they are reading and sharing on their platforms. This will help you anticipate their thought processes, which will be instrumental in coming up with new content before they publish it.
7. Check out various Q&A sites/blogs and be inspired
This is the age of Q&A sites with Quora, LinkedIn and Yahoo Answers leading the pack. Today, many folks prefer asking questions on Q&A sites rather than going directly to a company site. This means they get a number of comments on their posts, helping you to understand what people are interested in (especially by following their demographics).
You will also gain a lot by looking through these Q&A sites. You can provide answers to some of the questions, and then write out a full blog post on the current issue by taking all the answers into consideration. Furthermore, you can link your page in your answer in order for more people to visit your site. Link building is an important factor in search engine optimization (SEO). There are many freelancers who can help you with this.
8. Research your competitor’s content
Not knowing who your competition is could be a recipe for disaster, even if you are just running a small blog. Research your competitors and find out what content they are putting out there. Your main aim shouldn’t be to copy their content but rather to get inspiration for your own.
9. Interview an expert
Interviewing an expert in your field is an excellent way of getting new content. These interviews can help you publish a series of articles based on just one conversation. However, you need to ensure that you get the attention of a renowned industry expert in your particular niche.
Most of these professionals don’t mind giving out an interview especially if your blog is quite popular, or if you’re in a niche that has little content on the internet.
10. Reshuffle the categories of your site
Sometimes you might find that your initial niche is too narrow and there’s not much information available. Don’t worry, this isn’t the end of your blogging days. You can simply re-categorize your content. You should aim at broadening your content scope in order for you to take advantage of more article writing opportunities.
11. Keep your focus intact and self-reflect
Many writers like to multitask. While this is a great skill, it might hurt your creative potential. Keeping your focus on the task at hand can be what you need to get new content for your site. You don’t even need to be online researching for new ideas. Some of the best pieces are simply borne from the mind. They materialize internally even before you set out on the process of content writing. Try relaxing in a cozy environment and take the opportunity to reflect on your own thoughts. Chances are, you’ll get a lot of great ideas rushing to your mind.
12. Share information
Rather than just waiting for your creative spree to come, you can also resort to sharing industry information with your audience. While doing so, try to engage your readers to suggest new content or ideas they would love to read about. This will help you get a direct view of what you should concentrate on writing about from the people that matter the most - your audience.
Content writing is more of a creative skill than an ability. You should learn how to spin your content in a creative way that guarantees your blog or site more readers. At the end of the day, people are more interested in exciting and informative content.
Do you have any suggestions or additions to this article? Share them with other freelancers in the comments section below!