Maybe you’re trying to publish a certain number of posts per week, and you’re out of ideas. Or maybe you’re new to this whole blogging thing and don’t feel like you’re up to the task of brainstorming new topics on a consistent basis. Guess what? You are! Today we’re going to give you some hints on “blogspiration.” We think you already have plenty of great ideas and just need a little help turning them into topics. Check out some of our helpful tips, and we’re sure you’ll surprise yourself!
Don’t Be Old News
One of the most important parts of being a blogger is staying current on what’s going on in your niche and in the world at large. Dropping names and references to old news makes you look out of touch and, depending on your industry, even a little goofy—like the clueless person in the room who doesn’t understand what everyone else is discussing and chimes in with a remark that reveals his or her lack of understanding. Most of us have made that mistake at one point or another, but when it comes to your blog, you’re representing your business and your brand. You want to be sure that the material you publish is timely, relevant, and engaging. After all, if everyone’s gathered around the water cooler today chatting about the Sox clinching the World Series last night, you’d probably feel pretty funny piping up with an excited comment about the reversed umpire call from Game 1 as if it were breaking news—and if a colleague did it, you’d probably smile and say “He’s a little behind the times.” The rule applies for your blog and anything else you publish about your business.
Here is a list of questions to ask yourself (and maybe your colleagues, if you’re brainstorming as a group) that will generate some relevant, useful, and interesting topics.
What’s Going on at Your Business?
Your blogspiration can—and oftentimes should—start at home. Are you releasing a hot new product or handy service that your users should know about? Is there a new member of your team who is about to change the face of the company and enhance customers’ experience in a major way? Do you have tips for using one of your top-selling products that will appeal to your fans? Take a good look at what’s new and exciting in your store or office and on your web site, and tell your readers why you’re so pumped about it.
What’s Going on in Your Niche?
When you’re writing about what you do, it’s crucial to stay on top of what’s going on in your industry. For example, if you’re an online clothing retailer, you absolutely need to be on-trend with what’s on the runways and in fashion magazines. If pencil skirts are all the rage and you have them in stock, you can highlight them in a post about what to wear to work this season. If you haven’t already, set up some Google Alerts using search terms that relate to your niche, and be sure to read the stories. What do they mean for your brand and customer base?
What’s Going on in the World?
Thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever to stay in-the-know about what everyone’s talking about. Check out what’s in your Facbeook and Twitter feeds and on the front page of your favorite news site, and ask yourself how the items relate to your brand. Is everyone starting to stress about holiday shopping? You might blog about how to avoid packed parking lots and long lines in department stores by shopping online, adding links to some of your predicted best-sellers for November and December. If your local news site indicates that a snowstorm is about to hit, and you’re offering a promotion on shovels or outerwear, write about how glad customers will be to have purchased your merchandise in advance. Essentially, if you want to be on people’s minds, try to determine what they’re already thinking about, and look for ways to tie into those themes.
Dare to Share!
Remember, nobody thinks about your business—and the world—exactly the way you do. If you’re afraid your topics seem dull, run them by your colleagues and ask for some feedback. What seems obvious and ordinary to you might actually be intriguing to everyone else. You might think about pairing up with a couple blogspiration buddies and tossing out ideas on a regular basis. Sometimes hearing someone else’s thoughts can inspire you in new ways. Grab some coffees, get together, and see what develops when you talk it out.
Are you inspired? Fantastic! Next week, we’ll touch on how to flesh out posts based on your chosen topics. Stay tuned!