Real Sources for Blogging Inspiration

by Christina Hooper on March 4, 2020
in General

Don't let writer's block derail your publishing schedule.

If you're serious about using your blog as a vehicle to attract and engage your audience then you don't have time to be mentally blocked and starved for ideas.  

On top of everything else you have going on, you're trying to write high quality content that entertains.  You're trying to plan out what their next step will be after they land on your painstakingly constructed article.

You are doing all the right things to fill your funnel with prospects when your brain sabotages you.  Now you're going to miss your deadline... grrrr.

Don't let it happen again!

Learn these simple tricks and break the cycle forever.

Plan Ahead & Make a List

Creativity is like a roller coaster.  Sometimes you're riding it high, hurling through ideas faster than you can keep up with them.  Then, before you know it, the ride is over.

Next time you're on that high pull out your favorite note-taking device and jot down everything you can.  Stay on that coaster and write out all the ideas you can.

As the ride is ending and your ideas are slowing down, use that time for research.  Vet those ideas and give them some more details.  

Try to cover what you want the next step to be for the reader.  What information do you want to make sure they learn?  What is the next step you want them to take?

Ninja Tip

Don't get too caught up trying to find the perfect tool for tracking your ideas.  The important thing is choose something that is convenient to access wherever and whenever inspiration strikes you.

Try to organize it as much as possible without going off track.  You don't want to get derailed into details during your creative ride.

Take your list and group your ideas by which service or upsell it connects it with.  

Then, later, when you're trying to figure out what to do next, you can look at which service you want to promote above the others.  That will let you grab your idea list and quickly find the next post that will help boost your numbers.

Focus on the Format

Sometimes just changing up the type of post that you write can be enough to inspire you.  You can browse some of your favorite sites and draw inspiration, or you can just use this list of blog formats that I built for you 🙂

  • Story of Success or Failure - Tell a story about something in your past that succeed or that failed.  Be careful not to make this all about you though.  Think about how it benefits your potential and current customers.
  • Video Breakdown - Find a video that you think your customer's will appreciate and find value in.  Write your own breakdown of that video and how you think it will help them.
  • Top [Blank] - Look at people, places, tools, events, influential people, books, movies, etc. that your customers would find helpful or relevant.  Make a Top 10 List of those and write an article.
  • Go Behind the Scenes - There are always things that people don't know about your industry.  Things that would help them be more informed and make more educated decisions when purchases products or services from you (or your competitors).  Take them on a journey behind the scenes and help educate them into making good choices.
  • Answer a Question with a Video - If you're like me, you get questions every day from customers and people interested in what you do.  Take those questions and record a video with quick and to-the-point answers.  Then write up an article giving more details to go with the video.
  • Voice your Opinion - Write an article where you share your opinion on a topic.  Again, make sure it's relevant to your audience and your business.  Share your insights and reasoning for your strong feelings for or against something in your industry.
  • Write a Series of Posts - Take a topic idea that you have and spread it out over several articles.  Make sure that it's something that you have enough material on to write at least 600 words in each article.  Also - consider adding other media elements like video or infographics to keep it engaging.
  • Comparison Guide - In every industry you have options to your products or services.  You can compare multiple things that you offer, or you can write a comparison of your offerings versus those of your competitor. 
  • Cheat Sheet or Checklist - Walk something through something.  This list is a perfect example.  What can you provide to your audience that will help them accomplish something that need to get done.
  • Challenge - This one kind of expands on the Cheat Sheet or Checklist above but with a bigger call-to-action for the reader.  Challenge them to accomplish their task and provide materials to help them.
  • Guest Posts - If you know people in your industry that have deeper insights that your readers would find value in, then ask them to write a guest post for you.  This is a great opportunity for a fresh voice on your blog plus they will likely share it with their followers too and bring you more traffic.
  • The Great Roundup - This is a great tool for SEO and can even be converted into more authoritative pillar posts later.  You review your existing content and write a roundup post that ties them all together.  They could be grouped around a common theme, or around a common metric - like most read posts of 2018.

Copy Your Competitors [not exactly]

Everyone has a learning curve when they are doing content marketing.  Some topics are hot while others are... not. 

The good news is that you can shorten this learning curve for yourself by checking out what your competitors are doing.

Just to be clear, I am not suggesting that you take their topics and blog posts and steal them for yourself.  What I am suggesting is that you check out their social pages and website and look at what topics and blog formats are working for them.

Ninja Tip

Performing Well = Engagement
You aren't just looking for topics that they write about a lot or what they've published recently. You are looking for indications that their audience is enjoying the content.

  • Likes or other reactions on social media posts
  • Comments on blog articles
  • Comments and share on social media posts

These things indicate that someone was paying attention and enjoyed the content.  Those are the ideas that you want to take and improve on.

Window-Shop Online Classes

Online classes can be a fantastic source for inspiration.  If your industry depends on your customers being able to learn enough to see value in your services then this strategy would work even better for you.

Sites like Udemy, Corsera, and edX are great places to do research.  

Look for classes related to topics that you have blogged about in the past.  Then, check out sections like "What will I learn" or "Course Curriculum" to get a better idea of what materials are being covered.  

Some of them will even tell you how many students are taking the course so you can use that to gauge interest in the class.  You can also look at the ratings on the course to get a feel for how interested people were.

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