When it comes to blogging, many people are concerned about the amount of time they have to invest in the project, but I’ve also heard the question: “What am I supposed to blog about?”
At BLASTmedia we create a lot of content, but that doesn’t mean we are without our share of writer’s block. Brainstorming new content ideas is just part of the job. It’s not that there isn’t a recipe for success; it’s just that when you’ve made the dish so many times, you don’t always think to double-check the measurements.
That’s why I found the content marketing portion of Matt Heinz’s recent “How to Find, Influence & Convert More Prospects Into Customers” webinar so compelling. In addition to his recommendations about repurposing and content curation, Heniz also provided a list of sources for content inspiration.
Here are a few of my favorites (along with my commentary), as well as a few of my own suggestions for where to find fresh ideas for your blog.
Everyday Sources of Content Inspiration
- Customer Questions
If you’re a B2C company, chances are your website includes a section of frequently asked questions and answers. However, for B2B companies, the questions your customers have might not be about the product directly. They might be questions about something related to your product or service. Sharing your expertise helps your customers and positions you as an authority on that topic.
- Questions You Have
Chances are you don’t know everything (unless you are my father – hi Dad!). If you have a question about something going on in your industry, someone else probably has the same question. Spend some time looking into that new YouTube video algorithm, the ROI of Pinterest or whatever else professionals in your industry find interesting. Share what you’ve learned and pose questions to others to help further the discussion.
- The News
Tying your business to current news topics is a great way to provide an up-to-date resource for your readers. Plus, if it’s a big enough news topic, chances are people will already be searching for it, which can lead to more traffic for your blog!
- People You Disagree With
Sometimes people share their thoughts on a topic in a way that you don’t agree with, and that’s okay. If you’re ready for some friendly fire, it’s also okay to write a blog explaining why you disagree. Controversy spurs discussion, just make sure you’re prepared to continue the conversation.
- Trade Press
Staying up-to-date with trends in your industry is important. Demonstrating this knowledge can also make you stand apart from your competitors. Not an expert (yet)? Consider curating some of the posts you’ve found most interesting into a list.
- Stuff You Read
Assuming you read something other than the news and trade press, stuff you read can actually be a great source of inspiration—even if it’s not related to your product or industry. Metaphors are a classic literary device and drawing parallels between two unlike things is a fresh way to illustrate a point.
- Conferences, Panels and Webinars
This is one of the recommendations Heinz made in his webinar. Looking for an example of this strategy put into practice? Look no further than this post.
- Twitter Hashtags
From the bizarre to the literal, Twitter hashtags are a snapshot of what people are talking about at a given time. Have more than 140 characters to say on the topic and you have the makings of tweet-worthy blog post.
It’s a poorly kept secret that journalists use Reddit for inspiration, so why not borrow their strategy for your own blog? This social network is less mainstream than Twitter and Facebook, but still very popular and can provide some great insights on upcoming trends.
- LinkedIn Answers
If your customers aren’t asking questions, chances are someone else’s customers are. The LinkedIn Answers section is full of people looking for help with business-specific problems, some of which, you might be able to help with.
- Things you see that are dumb
There are a lot of stupid things on the Internet. Don’t let all those Nyan and LOL Cats go to waste.
Where do you find inspiration for your blogs and other content marketing? Have you used any of these sources as inspiration for your blog? If you need help finding the right ideas for your company blog, give us a call. We have a team of blogging pros who can help.
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