Why You’re Stuck for Blog Ideas – And What to Do About It

December 8, 2014

blog ideas

It’s been a week already. Where did the days go? You know you need to update your blog regularly – it’s what all of the experts say – but you’ve just plain run out of ideas. No matter how hard you try to think of something to write about, you just come up blank. And the curser flashing on the screen mocks you.

You think about skipping it this week, but then you think about your readers. You’ve built up a healthy following and you don’t want to let them down. As your heart quickens, you think about your favorite reader and picture him heading to his favorite search engine to look for other inspiration. And then he finds a blog he likes better than yours.

He’s gone.

Panic builds as you think of your whole business crumbling because you can’t think of what to blog about this week.

It’s too much pressure. The more you try to think of one, the more a good blog post idea alludes you.

It’s Not Just You

It’s a common problem. I’ve been there, too. Many, if not most, writers – including bloggers – have. They stare at their computer screens waiting for something to pop into their heads.

The problem is probably not a lack of ideas or of any defect on your part – it could be that you’re just trying to be too original. The fact is that most things that could be created have already been created – and written about. The solution isn’t to come up with something completely original, it’s to put your own original perspective on something that’s already been done.

You’re Trying Too Hard

Stop trying to be unique. Stop trying to reinvent what’s already been invented. All you need is a technique or a system to get the ideas flowing again. Try one of these “questionable” techniques to borrow ideas from other people or revisit an old topic that’s on people’s minds right now.

Read What You Admire

Chances are that there are other blogs you read or bloggers you admire. If not, search some keywords related to your business in a program like Google’s Adwords to get ideas of additional keywords and phrases searched frequently. Use the words and phrases from your list with “blog” to search for additional interesting blogs.

Read some of the posts. Are there any questions you had while reading that weren’t answered in the post? Read the comments to see if any contain questions others had that weren’t answered. Then, go write a blog post or series of posts answering those questions.

Reminisce and Revive

Think about your day-to-day business life. Have you received any questions recently? Are there any questions that come up again and again? What questions have you had about your industry? Look back through comments made on your past blog posts. Pick some questions, find the answers, and blog about them.

Challenge Yourself

What are some commonly held beliefs, views, or processes held or followed in your industry? Have you ever questioned any of them? Are there are any you suspect are not true? Or is there a different way of looking at any of them? Do some research to back up your positions and blog about your views.

Hit the Pavement

Who are some of the other players working in your industry? If they’ve been doing it longer than you, interview them to ask how they did it and what challenges they’re facing now that they didn’t previously. If they’re new, talk to them about how they’re getting started and find out how it might be different than when you got into the business.

Interview someone in a business selling a related or complementary product or service. How do your businesses intertwine? What are the similarities and differences? Interview someone above or below you in your supply chain. How does their business impact yours and vice-versa?

So There You Have It …

Stop stressing and get that blog post done. Cut out some of this work in the future by keeping a list going in a notebook, on your computer, or in your phone. Keep your ears and eyes open to questions and identities of interesting people and write them down so you never have to be at a loss for a blog idea again.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment and tell me about your techniques for getting the ideas flowing.

Photo via Flickr user photosteve101
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is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.