Blogging to me can bring great joy when I have a great topic to write about. The ideas are just bursting from my head, the energy flowing into my fingers, and the tapping of the keyboard turns into a rhythmic melody that is just music to my ears. The screen starts filling up with words, and I feel like I’m contributing something great to the world at large.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case all the time. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve stared blankly into the monitor in front of me, racking my brain to come up with an exciting new blog post. On the flip-side, dealing with writer’s block has resulted in my coming up with nine surefire ways to squeeze out a topic that can get people reading and talking.
Tips for Great Blog Topics
1. Don’t assume.
Most of us blog to provide information to our readers, but sometimes we end up thinking some of the knowledge we have isn’t worth sharing, simply because we assume everybody else knows about it already.
Don’t be afraid to write about a topic that might seem “common knowledge” to you, as it is probably not the same case for everyone. Of course, you would need to have the expertise to explain it in a way that’s easily digestible for newbies, as they are exactly who you are writing that particular topic for.
2. Mine the comments.
The comments section isn’t just there to puff our own ego. It can be a great source of discussion and inspiration for creating blog topics. The questions your readers might ask just cannot be fully addressed in a simple comment, so you can spin that off into a whole new topic.
Also read the comments on other related blogs you might be following, whether it’s a colleague or a competitor’s. By giving them the answers they seek, you will even build up your audience and your own authority in the industry.
3. Read up.
We all like to think that we can be 100% original all the time, but reality is that some of the best blog topics are inspired by ideas from other resources. So don’t be ashamed to use articles from all sorts of information channels as a collective springboard for a fresh new take on the subject. Just be sure to properly cite your sources when you’re directly lifting parts from their pieces.
4. Be updated.
News is something that just about everyone is interested in reading. Even if you’re not the first to break the news, you can provide your own views on the trending blog topics and people will still be looking forward to it to get your opinion on the subject. Use tools such as Google Trends and TweetMeme to see the most popular searches on Google and the hottest links on Twitter so you’re always on the know on what’s trending online.
5. Ask the experts.
Who better to get valuable insights from than the leaders in your field? Not only will you be able to come up with a new topic, you will also learn more about the industry you’re in. You can even use the interview itself as a blog post and let the expert’s name bring in a whole new audience to your work. Of course, getting an expert to interview in the first place requires effort. Just be polite to make a good impression. Plan your questions ahead so you don’t waste their precious time.
6. Clear your mind.
Sometimes we bloggers just need to take a break. Whether it’s a whole day off or just a half-hour break, just walk away from the computer to refresh yourself. Go to a nice and quiet place where you can relax and let your mind wander without worrying too much about what you have to write next. It can help remove all the clutter you’ve collected in your head after focusing hard on one approach, giving you a much-needed fresh perspective.
7. Write headlines.
A catchy clever title can be the spark to the proverbial kindling in your head. Spitball catchy headlines like “How to Write Killer Content” or “5 Guaranteed Methods to Break Free from Writer’s Block”. From there, work your way from top to bottom delivering exactly what you promised.
8. Follow up.
Perhaps you’ve written a post that stirred up a lot of interest. Create a “sequel post” for that first topic that generated hit after hit if you think you can bring something new to the table.
Compare how things were when you made that article to present times, and point out whatever changes and similarities there are. Have they been for the better or the worse? Look for the reasons and explain as thoroughly as possible. Just be sure you have enough updated content to justify post #2 so that it actually lives up to the expectations set by the quality of the original article.
9. Forge ahead.
Sometimes, the best way to stand out is to step forward. In the world of blogging, this means either coming up with a topic that has never been written about before or tackling an issue in a way that’s never been done before. It might be easier to do the latter than the former but either way, you should have the guts to voice your thoughts even if it goes against conventional wisdom and opens you up to the possibility of criticism. Make a bold prediction, but remember to back it up with facts to lend it credibility.
Sometimes, we just seem to run out of blog topics to write about. All of us bloggers have to deal with this problem no matter how good or experienced we are. We might as well help each other out so we can focus on what we do best, and that’s publish awesome content.