So there you are, tapping a pen against your keyboard struggling to come up with the next great blog. It's been weeks, maybe even months since your last post; your audience is waiting to hear from you, and your SEO isn't going to improve itself. What are you going to do?
Well not to worry, you've landed in the "write" place (haha get it? "write" place? Come on, you have to admit, that's punny) here are six sure-fire ways to bust through writer's block and develop outstanding blog ideas.
Looking for inspiration
Deciding what you want to write about can be tough, and the more you think about it, the harder it seems to get. Do you want to know the secret of inspiration? Stop trying to do it all yourself, look to the outside world for ideas. Here are six great sources of blogging inspiration:
- Talk to your salespeople. I know, I don't like talking to them either, but they do have great insight into what clients and prospects are asking.
- Take a client out for lunch or coffee. You'll be amazed how much insight you can get from them when you talk the conversation out of the boardroom and into a Starbucks
- What are your competitors blogging about? You're smarter than they are, you can provide more insight on a topic than the drivel they pump out.
- Do a Q&A session with a client, vendor or staff member (see The Role of Storytelling In Sales & Marketing for a perfect example).
- Look at RFP's and RFI's that your clients have put out. Most of the time these documents explicitly layout the challenges and impact they are facing (hint: they are probably not the only ones).
- Head on over to Quora and search for topics related to your industry.
Whiteboard your ideas
I'm an extremely visual person, and if I don't draw out my thoughts on a whiteboard, my writing and presentations come out disjointed and confusing to follow. So start throwing ideas down on a whiteboard and start visually connecting them to other ideas, sub-topics and sources.
Ignore the title
Just because it's the first thing on the page doesn't mean it has to be the first thing you write. We all want to write charismatic titles that draw readers in but writing a great title isn't easy, and I've heard of people hung up for hours on a title alone. Write your story first; you'll be surprised how naturally the title comes afterwards.
Breakdown bigger content pieces
You know all those eBooks, white papers and how-to guides you've produced? Guess what? You can break all those down into smaller bits and write a standalone blog about them. Bonus tip: Doing this allows you to promote that lead generation content with a call to action in the article, helping generate more leads.
The Ernest Hemingway Approach
The man was a genius, but he was also drunk more than he was sober. This isn't a green light to get hammered at the office but having a small drink might help get the creative juices flowing.
Know when to ask for help
If you're not a natural writer, or if you struggle with understanding the complexities of writing blogs that will generate leads, then seek out the help of a professional. Outsourcing your blog writing can be a great way to stay on top of your content goals, and it lets you focus on what you're best at.