You’ve likely heard me harp on the importance of content for your online business; whether your selling information products, providing a service or shipping physical products.
But most bloggers are in a constant fight to consistently come up blog post ideas.
Well, instead of racking your brain every week (or day) trying to figure out what you’re going to write about, use these tips to ensure you always have fresh ideas for relevant content that will impact your audience.
1. Create an Editorial Calendar
This is likely a piece of advice you’ve heard 100 times, know you need to do but never actually do. That was me anyway. And, the result is my content creation was incredibly inconsistent.
Then, I got the opportunity to build Michael Hyatt’s Platform University membership site and get a behind-the-scenes look at how a professional did it.
And, there was no debate about the editorial calendar. It’s just what they did… for both they’re public-facing blog and the membership content.
It was a real eye-opener.
If you want to be a pro blogger (and get paid like one) you have to act like one.
I’m, of course, still notoriously scatter-brained but my editorial calendar makes sure I’m producing content consistently instead of in bursts every few months.
Here’s the simple way to do it:
- Decide on your content “silos” and schedule. I do a Periscope Q&A every Tuesday, a written article every Wednesday and video tutorial every Thursday.
- Decide on your topics a year out. Sit down one weekend and decide on the titles of each “silo” of content for each week for one year out. This alleviates the stress of having to come up with ideas on the fly.
- Give yourself a 3-month lag. Create 3 months worth of content in advance so you have some lag time. You can even schedule the posts in WordPress in advance so they go out right on schedule.
It’s hard to describe how much a relief this is once you get it accomplished. Immediately all the stress of trying to figure out what to write fades and you can actually enjoy blogging again.
2. Leverage Idea Starters
Speaking of deciding on topics… this is probably the hardest part for most bloggers. I know I struggled with it quite a bit. My big thing was getting too cute with titles and then not really knowing what I wanted to write about when it came time to crank it out.
Proven idea starters help with this.
And, I’ve seen the best of the best in blogging do this. In fact, I used one for this blog post. See if you can spot it in this list:
- Essential _____ For _____. E.g. Essential Ingredients For The Perfect Casserole.
- The Future Of _____. E.g. The Future of Blogging.
- How I Went From _____ To _____. E.g. How I Went From Extremely Shy To A Popular YouTub-er
- Top 10. E.g. Top 10 Mistakes New Bloggers Make.
- Checklists. E.g. My Blog Post Essentials Checklist.
- What to Do When _____. E.g. What To Do When Your Car Breaks Down.
- 7 Steps To _____. E.g. 7 Steps to Consistently Writing Engaging Blog Posts.
- 5 Skills Every _____ Should Know. E.g. 5 Skills Every Web Developer Should Know.
- Tools For _____. E.g. Tools For Eliminating Distraction For At-Home Workers.
- Find Time For _____. E.g. How to Find Time For Writing Blog Posts.
Of course, this is just a small sample. The way to gather these is to pay attention to the titles that grab YOUR attention, write them down and then see how you can turn them into a formula like this.
Not only will you continually build a list of blog post idea starters, but you’ll know they get people’s attention because they got yours.
3. Read… A LOT
Most of my ideas for blog posts are sparked by something else I read or watched online. As I read it, it sparks some sort of idea that I think is important for my audience.
It could be that I completely agree and want to share the wisdom…
Or, it could be that I vehemently disagree and I want to “set the record straight”…
It could be that I see a way to improve or advance the idea or skill being discussed…
Regardless, I firmly believe that in order to be a good writer/content creator you need to be an avid reader/consumer.
The best bloggers I know consume a ton of content themselves.
There are exceptions (like Gary Vaynerchuk) but they’re rare… and generally speaking it’s the exceptions that make the rule.
So, make sure you’re consuming plenty of content related to your niche. It will give you the fuel to formulate your own thoughts and ideas that can then serve your audience.
Getting Over the Hump
Of course, for most bloggers the idea of coming up with a year’s worth of blog post titles seems overwhelming.
That’s okay… start small.
Decide on your content “silos” and brainstorm your 3-month lag first. You’ll likely find that once you get going it’s easy to keep going and that whole year may just find its way into your editorial calendar.
Besides, if you don’t… you’re going to be faced with that same dread the next time you know you need to write a blog post but have no idea what you want to write about.
Also published on Medium.