Blog Posts: Where to Find Ideas When the Well Runs Dry
If you’re lucky enough to have a gig as a blog ghostwriter, you know the fun of having absolute freedom in picking your weekly blog topics. As long as you keep to the subject of the blog and use any necessary keywords, you’re pretty much on your own when it comes to choosing titles from day to day. But no matter how much you love your subject matter, you’ll have times when the idea well starts to run dry and you need some inspiration when coming up with next weeks’ work. Instead of resorting to recycling old subject matter, search some unusual places to come up with fresh and new titles to keep your readers coming back.
It doesn’t matter what topic you write about; every subject is in the news once in a while. Set yourself up for success by creating a Google search for each of about five keywords, all relating to your blog. You’ll get fresh news delivered to your email any time someone is writing about it. Whether you’re blogging about pet hamsters or conspiracy theories, someone is discussing it somewhere. If a lot of people are talking about it, it’s news. There’s your blog topic for the day. Be willing to scrap previous plans with this method, as news won’t wait.
Get into the habit of checking with an event and holiday calendar on a regular basis. The one here, set up by the U.S. government, includes holidays, the Congressional calendar, upcoming Supreme Court discussions, today in history and a host of other ties to each day of the year. Look for ties to your blog subject for creative post topics.
Varied Post Styles
Wring a fun or informative post each week can entertain your readers for a while, but after a time they’ll get bored with the repetition. Online readers have notoriously short attention spans and they crave nothing more than variety. Change up the flavor of your posts once in a while to give them something new to think about. Write a top 10 or top 13 list about some aspect of your subject matter. Do a post that’s completely filled with links to other interesting posts. Make up a slideshow with amusing or surprising pictures related to your blog subject, complete with short paragraphs for each photo. Change it up, make it different and give your readers something more than same old, same old.
Ask the Readers
If you’re not sure what your readers want to hear about, find out in the simplest way possible. Ask them! Read the comments at the end of each post to find out where their minds are trending. Put a paragraph at the end of a post asking for suggestions or questions. Get involved with your readers and ask them to get involved right back. If they’re engaged and involved in the conversation, your readers are more likely to keep coming back and more likely to pass on your blog on social media sites.
Victoria B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.