Did you know that most bloggers post anywhere from several times a month to 6 times a week? That means there is a lot of content being created, and a lot of content ideas being generated every single week. But how do you avoid burn out, writer’s block, or any of the other hurdles that consistent, quality writers sometimes face?
Well, as JSL Marketing & Web Design blog for both us, our clients, as well as write copy for web pages, eBooks, infographics, case studies, and more every single day, we know a thing or two about flexing your creative muscles.
Here are 11 of our top tips for creating content (even when you feel tapped out).
1. Ask Questions
This is a great blog topic area – questions. Of course, we love our lists formats too (like this blog post, for example) and Google loves lists too, but sometimes simply answering a question is relevant, simple, and helpful.
Think of your industry and the questions you get from others when you tell them what you do. Can’t think up any questions? Check out our next tip:
2. Check Forums in Your Industry
If you are so tapped out you can’t think up any questions on your own, then give a cheeky look to what others are asking in industry-specific forums.
These questions might be more technical, but you don’t have to shy away from them. Just make sure your answers are appropriate for the level of your readers’ understanding and comfort when it comes to your industry.
3. Look at the Competition
No, this isn’t cheating. Looking at what your competitors are posting is a great way to understand what is relevant, what is gaining traction, or simply leach off their creative efforts when you don’t have it flowing.
And don’t worry, your creativity will come back, your content-generating prowess comes in waves, and that’s perfectly natural. But since your editorial calendar doesn’t always listen to your creative waves, creeping in on the competition doesn’t hurt either.
4. Read the Comments
Whether you are reading the comments on your own blog, other blogs, forum comments, or even social media posts – understanding what the general audience thinks, wonders, likes, and doesn’t like is a great way to better understand what content does well and, more importantly, why. So, instead of searching for topics, let the people (and their topics) come to you.
Sometimes it’s okay to work smarter, not harder.
5. See What People Are Posting/Reposting/Reblogging
Simple, yeah? But many people don’t bother to see what is doing well, and so they flounder to find topics that they think will do well instead of simply seeing what topics are doing well.
Make it easier on yourself and let others do the testing, then take what they’ve learned and improved upon it. This could even look like using a tool like Buzzsumo.
6. Look Up YouTube Industry Videos
I don’t know about you, but JSL Marketing & Web Design knows the big players and thought leaders in our industry (Neil Patel, Backlinko, Hubspot, etc) and we follow their social media in many avenues and on many platforms.
And this is great because we don’t just get emails or new blog posts from them, but we also get notified of their new videos. Sometimes videos are repurposed content, but sometimes its new and able to give us a whole slew of new ideas, questions to answer, or areas we want to dive deeper into with our posts.
Plus, you better believe these thought leaders put thought into what content to put out and what is trending/doing well. It’s two birds with one stone, plus, you get to learn as you watch their videos too!
7. Google Search Suggestions
Have you ever begun searching for something on Google – maybe ‘Best Café in ____’ and then Google starts auto-populating similar searches in the drop-down menu? Have you ever read those suggestions? If not, you’re missing out on absolute free gold.
Google uses its own history to populate these ideas, which means people searching the term you’re searching for might also look for suggestions or click on links that deal with those suggested terms too.
It is essentially giving you free help and free data and understanding about what your ideal clients might be looking for or wanting to read about.
8. Share Stories & Snapshots
Sometimes writing about only technical fixes, products, services, or other ‘obvious’ business subjects can get old for both you and your readers – and that is where the ‘share’ comes in.
You can share stories from your job, business, even the history of how your company got to where they are now. Sometimes, being more approachable and less ‘industry’ can be helpful in your posts or content creation ideas.
Make sure you stay true to your voice (I.E. if you are a highly technical company with a high-held professional image, then maybe talk about the history of your company more than ‘a day in the life’) but have some flexibility as well.
9. Sign Up for Newsletters
Newsletters are great ways to learn, see what others think is relevant, and gain ideas for future content posts. Don’t understand something in a newsletter or email update? Learn it and then make a post explaining what you learned.
Having a full inbox isn’t bad. Instead of thinking of it as being full of clutter, think of it as being full of ideas for better content.
10 Data, Data, Data – Let the Numbers Speak
Studies, or reviews of studies, explaining changes, projections, or statistics can be a great way to show your knowledge and help your client base.
Of course, one of the best and simplest ‘data’ styles can be a list of trends, a list of findings, even a list of tips if you add in the correct valuable links.
Adjacent to ‘data’, making lists of tips (like this post) is a great way to get multiple chunks of helpful, actionable content out to your crowd as well.
11. Get a Professional’s Help
When all else fails, you can always hand off the baton to a professional. We love writing, no really, we do. And we are happy to write for you, complete with an editorial calendar that spans the entire quarter, so you know what we’ll be talking about and you can have the final say in all posts, content, topics, and voice choices.