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HOW TO COME UP WITH IDEAS FOR BLOG CONTENT

by Mark Sarsuelo

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.

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.

Read, Read, Read:

Reading other content is one of the best ways to come up with your
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
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.

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.

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.

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.

HOW TO WRITE ENGAGING 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.

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.

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.

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. Use the same principle in your
writing: use stories to move your readers.
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.

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