“Thinking is the hardest work there is” – How do I create new blog post ideas?

Every blogger fears that empty white screen on the computer. You have Word open but no letters, no words, no sentences. What am I meant to write about?

The Idea

In the words of Henry Ford, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.” This is a good example of why people often churn out the same topics over and over. I search for SEO blogs because that’s what I am interested in and I get hundreds appear in the SERPS but a lot of them are saying the same thing. Where’s the value? If your blog idea is one that’s been written about a million times before, try finding that unique angle.

I love this post on the White.net blog from 2008 because it cleverly combines creativity with entertainment.

This post will take you through some quick tips to help you come up with blog ideas from creating posts to serve all your audiences to narrowing the scope of your topic.

Topic Scope

So you have your idea, great!

The next step should be changing the topic that is broad and making it narrow. For example, if we said your post was “10 social media tips for beginners” – you can make it more niche by changing it to “10 LinkedIn tips for beginners”. You can also take it one step further, “10 LinkedIn company profile tips for beginners”. Bingo! You have just created a bunch of post ideas from one idea and changed the scope of your topic.

The Time Frame

Let’s start with a topic that is broad. Let’s say, “The Art of SEO”. It would take a long time to create a post on this. But if you wanted to find that needle in the haystack, you can change-up the time frame. For example, “The biggest changes in SEO during 2013”. Or if you want a smaller timeframe “What you missed in SEO last month”.

Serve ALL your audiences

Chances are, you have more than one audience you are targeting and the likelihood is that they aren’t all interested in reading the same post. For example, a post for an entry-level individual and a specialist might both be about LinkedIn but one of the posts will be strategic and the other will be more tactical. Sounds hard? It’s not. It’s actually fairly simple. The easiest thing to do to begin with is change the title. For example, “What an entry-level marketer should know about LinkedIn” and “What every marketing specialist should know about LinkedIn”. Obviously the difference will be the posts, but the topic is the same; LinkedIn tips.

Negative vs Positive?

When the majority of people think of creating ideas for their blog, they mainly think with a positive mindset – I know I do “5 LinkedIn rules you should always follow”. It does make a lot of sense because you’re creating content that you want people to consider is helpful. But it’s OK to embrace the ‘dark side’. Let’s take the example I used above and turn it negative, “5 LinkedIn rules you should never follow”. It’s OK to push the boundaries, besides, sometimes these are the posts that are more enjoyable to write anyway!

Not fit for purpose

Not every topic is going to be a great choice. Some of the ideas you generate may not fit in with your brand guidelines or you may feel you’re generating ideas that have been used so many times they’re wearing thin. Ideas don’t have to be set in stone, your marketing strategy may change or you might want to blog about some breaking news within your industry that you have to post ASAP otherwise you might die!

It’s time to be ruthless and honest with yourself – what just doesn’t cut the mustard?

If you have a list of ideas but not the patience to sit down and actually write a post, check out Bobby’s blog post on writing tools for those who are easily distracted. He shares some writing tools with you to help you stop procrastinating and get back to writing.

There we have it! Some tips on creating new ideas for your blog. What techniques do you use to drum up new and interesting topics to blog about? Let me know in the comments!

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