By Rachel Anderson
Get headaches brainstorming for your next blog post? It can be stressful and frustrating trying to pull ideas from thin air, but it doesn’t have to be like that. When you know where to look and learn a few better ways to approach the task it can become something you actually enjoy.
Here are some great ways to stay organized, spark inspiration, and start creating content stress-free.
Ever had a fantastic idea but can’t seem to remember where or if you jotted it down? There are few things more maddening than losing a great idea. One way to avoid this is to decide on one central location for ideas. Whether it’s a notebook close by, a section of sticky-notes on your desk or your iPhone’s voice memo, keep your ideas together.
Once you have a system in place that works, start moving ideas into a calendar. Outline what days you need to post content, when you will start and finish posts, and what topics the blogs will be on. Having a written outline of your blogging plan will make it easy to meet your content goals and relieve the stress of trying to remember deadlines and come up with content on the fly.
There are many ways to brainstorm topic ideas but not every style will work for you. It could be that the heart of your blog posting struggle boils down to needing a better brainstorm method. Here are a few to try out.
1. Frequently Asked Questions
There are questions in every business and industry that seem to repeat over and over again. What are they for yours? Develop a list of questions customers commonly ask. There might also be questions your co-workers or industry colleagues discuss frequently. After you have a good list, read it with a fresh eye. Are there multiple angles of a question you should break into several posts?
Blogs answering FAQs hold a lot of promise since they address issues of high interest to customers and prospective customers alike. Your time spent developing the lists and topic ideas will pay off.
2. Social Media
Social media is becoming increasingly main-stream SEO; hopefully your company is involved and engaged with customers this way. In addition to interacting and sharing content through social channels, social media is a great blog topic resource. You can brainstorm a number of ways:
3. Transform Industry Publications
It’s likely that your company, or at least industry, publish material on a somewhat frequent basis. This content is probably addressing professionals rather than customers but why not turn it around and make it customer-friendly? Maybe you’re in the shoe business and there’s a new procedure for manufacturing plastic soles that’s more environmentally conscience. Ditch the technical lingo and relate it to the customer and fan base in an exciting post. Chances are they will love getting the inside scoop and feel more loyal to your brand.
4. Use Your Keywords
Link up your SEO strategy with your content strategy. They’re connected already since one goal of content is help you rank for particular keywords. But take it a step further and start with your core keywords. Create an expanded list of related terms. Brainstorm for topics based on the list and use good SEO practices to use keywords appropriately. The Google Autosuggest tool, suggestions that appear beneath a Google search box when you begin typing a search, is a great way to find terms related to your keywords. Lots of times there are questions and phrases suggested there you may not have thought of but that can spur a new blog topic or help with direction for one you’re working on.
Although sitting down to write a blog can be overwhelming, when you’re organized, have a pool of ideas, a schedule to keep you going, and a few more brainstorming methods to choose from you’ll find it much easier to take on the job and maybe even have fun doing it!
Rachel Anderson is a Pay Per Click Advertising Strategist at Netmark.com. Off the job she enjoys photography, good food, being outside, and spending time with her husband. Share your thoughts with Rachel on Twitter @gladygirl, Google+ or Facebook- she’d love to hear from you!