Are you one of those who are expected to come up with ideas/proposals for marketing or for the blog (alone)? Are you a chief content officer at your organization, no matter how small or big it is? Are you your organisation’s blog editor? If yes, this post is for you.
We should constantly think well ahead. There's no way to fight against this notion. That’s why there’s a lot of talk about editorial calendars. We believe in them as well. Very much. They really make your life and work so much easier.
But we’re only human, aren’t we? So the time may come when you feel you’re out of ideas, topics. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it happens to all of us. Yes, there will be those who say, you simply can’t allow for that to happen, giving you all kinds of advice how to avoid it. But it can still happen. Sometimes the time just catches up with you. And one of those moments is the transition, such as a new year.
So, I’m not going to preach how to avoid such situations. Rather, I think especially today is the perfect day to remind myself and all of you where you can find ideas for your next posts and white papers and schedule them in your editorial calendars.
Here are 8 sources of future blog post ideas:
1. Anybody working at your organization You’ll discover most blog ideas among the people you work with, especially among those who have direct contact with customers. Therefore, it's your job to talk to them regularly, if you prefer have regular informal meetings. How you approach this, depends on how big your company is. In today’s global village there’s no excuse for no communication. If you can’t meet in person, you can talk via vox.io or Skype or email or any other app and social media. Listen carefully what they have to say about customers, their questions, about developments within the company… Everything is a great potential for the next blog post.
2. Read your organization’s documents Any document that is not top secret is a fair game, whether it’s an annual report, marketing strategy, CEO’s letters to employees, etc. Scan them for potential great blog post ideas.
3. Read comments on your blog All comments, including those what-a-great-post types, can be great source for your next blog post. Maybe there’s a topic that gets more comments than it’s usual for your blog. It means this topic stroke a chord with your audience. Do a follow-up of some sort. Also, write posts to address the concerns your readers leave in their comments.
4. Read comments on other blogs Don’t pay attention only to comments on your blog. Read carefully comments on blogs in your niche. Take part in discussions and you’ll get additional ideas for your future posts.
5. Be active on social media Social media are a tremendous source of ideas for potential blog posts; not only Twitter, or Facebook or even LinkedIn. Don’t ignore online social networks like Quora and Storify, even crazy videos on YouTube can spark ideas for your future posts.
6. Attend conferences I learned this last year. Not all conferences are great, some are quite expensive. But, oh boy, are they a terrific source for your future posts. Just when you think you may have really run out of ideas, attending a conference gives you an unbelievable boost. It’s like all 5 sources above in one!
7. Be open-minded Whatever the topic of your blog is, don’t focus on it too narrowly. Anything can inspire you. Think of analogies; how a problem from a different field that isn’t even closely related to yours can nevertheless be similar to what you’re writing about. For example, my post on sustainable blogging was inspired by articles I read on sustainable economy.
8. Subscribe To E-Mail Newsletters Subscribe to as many email newsletters in your niche as you can digest. You can get a great deal of valuable information, inspiration and quotes from these.
The rule, however, is to write down whatever you hear, observe, read... Write down immediately. An observation or a customer question/complaint, a fact may not evolve into a blog post idea or even into a blog post right away, but one day it may. And you’ll be ready.