Feeding the beast: 5 ways to come up with blog post ideas

Feeding the beast Catzilla (courtesy guccibear2005 on Flickr CC)For me, content is either preplanned or is triggered by something that bothers me and I simply HAVE to blast out a post.

I often ask myself, “What is driving me nuts right now, or what makes me happy just thinking about it?” and that becomes fresh content.

Several ways to keep feeding the beast….

1)  Use a monthly or weekly editorial calendar, particularly to help you write seasonal, holiday-related or event-specific blog/Facebook posts or tweets.

Why do you think that “get organized” articles come up every January, and “get ready for bikini season” stuff arrives in women’s magazines like clockwork in April or May? Soup recipes in November, fruit tart recipes in July and August….all of it is evergreen content, re-done every year. Same with those “how to get the most out of XYZ Conference” posts you see before events, followed by link-heavy “Here’s what I learned at XYZ Conference” afterward.

In our very first Tourism Currents newsletter, we talked about editorial calendars for content planning, because it’s that important to have a strategy for what you publish.

2)  Have some way to track the random insights that pop into your head; they often become popular posts if you move fast to articulate your unique point of view on a topical issue. Some people use electronic services like Evernote to record them; I use a notepad and pen (which always boot up.)

Also keep some notetaking device near your bed, because it’s amazing how many ideas will occur to you as you’re falling asleep.  No, you will not remember them in the morning. Trust me.

3)  Which key words and phrases are people using to discover answers in your industry? What are they asking about on LinkedIn Answers, on Quora, on Twitter, in person at conferences, etc? Your answers to those questions are all potential blog posts. Include the keywords in your headline; that’s great SEO because you are using exactly the same “How do I….?” words that people are typing into search engine boxes, and bots like to bring back results that exactly match queries.

That’s what I did for this post – I did a quick analysis of the phrases people use when they do a search about how to blog, then wrote my title.

4)  Sometimes the best posts are images or video, with just a little text.

Always have a camera with you, and periodically scroll your archives for photos or videos that were buried and never edited. I wrote a post about a simple integrated marketing communication example based on a photo that I’d forgotten I’d taken till I did an archive review.

5)  Never waste content. I took my answer to a blogging question on Quora and it became this blog post.

There’s one more piece of content in the can for me, my thoughts kill two birds, and the gaping maw is pacified for one more day.  🙂

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5 Responses to Feeding the beast: 5 ways to come up with blog post ideas

  1. Gaping maw indeed. 🙂

    Personally, this year I’ve stepped back from an editorial calendar slightly. Now I’m writing when I have something to say. Which is, pretty regularly anyway. 🙂
    Andy Hayes | Travel Online Partners´s last [post] ..You don’t want the Social Media Sale Bad Enough

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  3. barb g says:

    I use Microsoft old standby notepad to jot down any ideas & important info every
    day. I called it Keep Open Daily and it’s always open & ready for any little tips,
    tricks or whatever comes along. This one notepad has saved me a lot of time since you can just hit find & search for whatever term you’re looking for.
    barb g´s last [post] ..Book Review An Unlikely Blessing By Judy Baer

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