Content is at the heart of any blog. It’s what makes people read your blog in the first place – and it’s what keeps people coming back to your blog time and time again.
If you’re just starting a blog, you’re probably full of exciting ideas for posts that you can’t wait to write (if you’re not, make sure that you’ve chosen a subject you’re passionate about). Somewhere down the line, whether it’s after 20 posts or 200, you’re probably going to be struggling to come up with new ideas.
It’s a problem that every writer faces. Sometimes you just hit a rut in creativity.
When you find yourself in these moments, try the following tips to come up with ideas for new blog posts.
Good grammar and a strong command of language will make your blog posts easy to read, but the trick to drawing readers in is to make them engaging.
An engaging blog post is one that your reader connects with and wants to keep reading. Really engaging writing makes readers come back to your blog and share your content.
This can make the difference between a small blog with a handful of readers to an immensely successful blog that’s continually attracting more followers. Writing engaging posts, therefore, should be one of your top goals.
1. Keep a Running List
One of the best ways to make sure that you don’t run out of ideas is to keep a list going. Often, you may think of an idea while reading something else, in the middle of a conversation, or while you’re out on a walk.
Don’t let that idea get away! Write it down, and regularly record all your ideas in one place (a journal, a Google Doc, a spreadsheet, whatever works for you). That way, you’ll have a go-to source of ideas. If you ever need to come up with a blog post quickly, you’ll be prepared.
2. Read, Read, Read
Reading other content is one of the best ways to come up with your own ideas. That doesn’t mean to simply copy someone else’s topic (although you might want to write on the same topic if you have your own information to add to it).
Reading an article might inspire you with an idea about a related topic, or you might come up with an intriguing question that leads to a blog post. The more you read, the more informed you’ll be, and the more information you’re processing, the more likely you are to come up with interesting and knowledgeable blog posts.
3. Look for Questions
Often, lingering questions produce some of the best ideas for posts. Are friends and family asking you similar questions about your industry in conversation?
Write a blog post to answer them. Has someone left a question in the comments on one of your posts? It’s probably a great idea for a new post. Is there something you’ve always wondered about your subject?
You guessed it – write a blog post about it. You can find questions in a lot of places. Try searching through FAQ pages related to your area of interest. Read other blogs and see if people in the comments have questions, or if other bloggers are leaving anything unanswered.
Questions mean that there’s a need for information, and you can fill that need.
4. Update an Old Post
Look back through your blog. Do you have any popular posts that you could add to? Maybe you posted about a news item, and there have been more recent developments.
Maybe you made a post offering advice and strategies, and you have some new ideas to add in. It’s perfectly acceptable to add an update as a new post. If you think you’ll continue to have updates, you can even make it a series.
A series is also a great way to add some consistency to your blog.
5. When in Doubt, Ask
Sometimes you can let ideas come to you. This is particularly true if you have a decent amount of readers or followers on social media. If you’re stuck for ideas, try reaching out to your followers with a tweet or Facebook post asking what they want to know about.
You might come up with some great ideas, and you’re guaranteed to have at least one interested reader.
6. Add Some Soul
When you’re writing a lot of blog posts, it can be all too easy to slip into writing bland, emotionless content. But why are you going to waste your time writing posts that you don’t care about, and that your writers inevitably won’t care about either?
A great blog post has some soul.
When you can, write about something that you really care about, and work in your own unique voice, even if you fear it makes you sound less professional.
You want your blog to sound like it’s coming from a real flesh-and-blood person, not a computer.
When you have something to say, don’t shy away from expressing your opinion. If you’re arguing something controversial, you may get some negative responses, but sparking a reaction is proof that you’ve written something engaging.
Put yourself into your blog posts, and you can expect your readers to give something of themselves in return.
7. Use Emotions
Writing engaging posts has a lot to do with engaging readers’ emotions.
Emotions, more than facts and statistics, will help a reader to remember a post. When you’re writing, think about what emotions you might play on in relation to your topic: excitement, happiness, hope, ambition, fear? Connect to these emotions and use emotion words to help your content engage with your readers.
8. Be a Storyteller
When you think about all the things you’ve read, which are the ones you remember? They’re probably stories. One of the easier ways to include emotions and engage with the reader is to tell stories in your blog posts. Everyone loves a good narrative.
Stories make your content easy to follow and help your readers to picture themselves in a particular situation. You can tell a story about your own personal experience, relate someone else’s story, or ask your readers to imagine themselves in a particular situation.
If you find you have a dry paragraph, adding in a short story is a great way to quickly make it more engaging. Try working your facts and statistics into stories to make them relatable. Think about it: you’ve probably been more moved by the story of a single cancer victim than you have by the many statistics about cancer.
9. Keep Things Short
Writing a blog isn’t the same as writing a Pulitzer Prize winning novel. Your goal should be to make it as easy to read as possible. This means keeping things short and simple.
Your sentences should be short and avoid any overly complex vocabulary.
If you have a sentence that goes over two lines, that’s a good sign it’s too long. Short sentences are easier to absorb and are likely to keep your audience reading.
The same principle holds true for your paragraphs. Long, chunky paragraphs look intimidating on the page and can turn a visitor away from reading your blog post.
Instead, break your writing up into short, easily digestible paragraphs. You can use headings and sub-headings to help break things up.
These tricks will make your content easy to read and help to keep readers engaged.