If you’ve worked in content for a while, you may have days where you feel like you’ve run out of topics. Producing a steady stream of fresh content is essential for your success, but how in the world are you supposed to keep coming up with new ideas? Luckily, there are few strategies that can help you jump-start your imagination when the well runs dry. Here are a few tactics that can turn you into a content idea producing machine:
1. Keep a Running File
Inspiration tends to strike at the most random times, so you need to be ready for those flashes of genius when they arrive. Whenever you think of an interesting idea for a blog post or newsletter, write it down. If you keep this up for a while, you’ll have a solid inventory of ideas – perfect for those days when you’re not feeling creative at all.
2. Check Out the Competition
You can learn a lot from the success of others. Look at some of your competitors’ blogs and see what topics they’re covering and which ones are getting the most traction on social media. You don’t want to copy their exact ideas, but you might be inspired to approach one of their topics from a fresh angle.
3. Give Your Audience What They Want
This strategy is simple, but not enough content creators employ it when they’re low on ideas. Take the time to read the comments on your blog posts, read the forums you’re customer are on, see what kind of replies you might be getting on Twitter and stay on top of your Facebook presence. You’ll quickly learn what questions are on your readers’ minds and what issues are important to them.
4. Expand on Your Top-Performing Content
Comb through your web analytics and locate your most popular posts – the ones that still bring in a substantial flow of new traffic months or years after they were published. Is there any way you can expand on this superstar content? Maybe you can re-visit an old topic with some new, timely insights. Or perhaps you can break down a post into a series of deeper dives. No matter what method you choose, be sure to edit your original post to include a link to the updated version.
5. Watch Trends
One of the best ways to develop engaging content is to know what’s currently top-of-mind for potential customers, including what’s not directly related to your business. To do this, see what’s trending on Twitter, Google and Reddit and you’ll spot popular topics right away. Then, figure out how you can develop these ideas to work for your brand.
6. Step away from the computer
It might sound counter-intuitive, but taking a break can help you get past a stubborn case of staring-at-the-blank-screen syndrome. Take a brisk walk, go grab a cup of coffee or do any activity that you find relaxing. You might be surprised what ideas you come up with when you’re not even trying.
Never Get Discouraged
Writer’s block is an occupational hazard when you’re a content creator and the well of ideas is bound to run dry from time to time. But no need to despair: A fresh inspiration can be right around the corner.