If you’re on top of your SEO game, then you are well aware that fresh, engaging content is one of today’s most important marketing elements. It keeps people coming back to your site and establishes you as an authority in your industry. But it can be hard to come up with topics that will be of interest to your audience, especially when you put yourself under the pressure of waiting until the day your blog is due to think about what you should write about. The secret to avoiding a topic-oriented writer’s block is to set aside time specifically for idea creation and go about it with purpose. With just 30 minutes of dedicated time, you can stockpile ideas, which can generate even more ideas in the future! Here’s the way to do it:
Set aside the time.
Dedicating yourself to the process of brainstorming for 30 minutes to an hour can save you tremendous amounts of time and stress in the future, so take it seriously. Make an appointment with yourself every week or month, and keep it. During your brainstorming, don’t allow yourself to be distracted by emails, phone calls, or other interruptions. What you’re doing has real value.
Don’t be critical.
Remember that you’re just coming up with ideas – you don’t have to use all of them. Your goal is to come up with as many as possible from which you can choose at a later time. Even if something sounds silly in the moment, it might generate a more cogent idea later on – so write it down!
Write it down.
Don’t rely on your ability to remember the ideas that you come up with. Write down all of the words, questions, and comments that you brainstorm so that you can review your notes later and pull out the gems. There’s nothing as frustrating as knowing that you came up with something great but not being able to remember what it was.
Play the reporter.
Remember when you were in school and learned about the six questions whose answers should be included in every story? Start your list of content ideas by asking yourself a bunch of questions rooted in the “Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How.” Who inspired you? Where do you find inspiration? When do you feel successful? Not only will these give you a ton of topics to address, but the answers will likely branch off into other topics.
Analyze what other people are doing.
You know your industry, and you know who is blogging, so check out what they’re doing and what the trending topics are. There’s nothing wrong with borrowing ideas, especially if you can take a different position or add something of interest to the conversation. If you take these tips as a starting point and truly dedicate time to the task, you should end up with dozens of ideas. If you want to expand further, take another day, look at what you’ve jotted down for each topic, and create three subtopics. Now you’ve quadrupled your list. Remember that your content should always answer the questions of your readers or address topics that are of interest to them. Use your platform to expand their knowledge. One last tip: As often as not, you’ll find that when you’re writing a blog (or food shopping, walking the dog, or taking a shower), some other topic will pop into your mind. Don’t count on yourself to remember it; add it to the list!