All great blogs survive from great content. However ideas and themes can become stale after some time and creating new ideas to save repetition can become tiresome. The longer a blog goes on for the more content it will need, there is no question about it. But how do you keep the momentum and interest required to keep posting when you’re out of content ideas?
Take topic inspiration from others
The best way to do this is to look up topics in your industry and read them, see what you do and don’t agree with, did this blog or article miss something out? Is some part of it incorrect? Take what your find and use your own opinions, ideas, facts and even images to portray a different view of the topic in a piece of writing that ends up nothing like the original you read through. If necessary read through multiple posts on the same topic to generate even more ideas. It pays to be careful of how this is done as if your content appears too similar to the source you got the idea from they will complain and google will identify as duplicate content, punishing you and your website accordingly.
Finding other articles or blog posts that you like and don’t want to change does happen, if an article or other piece of content is perfectly suited to an aspect of your business there is no harm in sharing it. This is as long as the original content is appropriately linked back to wherever you share it. Doing this will give exposure to the source so it is wise not to do this with too many of your competitors, rather just companies who discuss similar topics but do not associate with the same kind of business you do.
Split longer posts
Not every reader is looking for a multiple page long in depth study of the topic they are reading about. In fact a blog full of unnecessarily large posts can actually put a reader off. So mix it up, post long and short posts continuously, but be sure not to water down the content involved. Do this by taking already long topics and splitting it into sections, turn each section into a different blog post, creating a series if you wish which will keep the readers intrigue and attention focused on your blog whilst they wait for the next instalment. If you already are out of long, detailed topics take smaller ones and branch off from them, think about closely related topics and spawn ideas from your old ones.
Ask people within your business to help
There’s no harm in asking others for help, as long as the person you ask is given guidelines of how to talk in line with company identity. Maintaining a solid brand identity is easier when outsourcing writing work within a company rather than outside of it. Utilise the experiences and different outlooks your colleagues have on your industry and let them write something from their point of view. Chances are they will come up with something you never even thought of as a topic let alone a fully written post. Doing this can even give readers a look inside every aspect of your business, rather than the side that simply writes and looks into the industry as a whole.
Outsource to your audience
Your readers are there because they are interested in the topics you are talking about. If they didn’t already have knowledge on them, they more than likely will have by now. Consider utilising this vague or extensive knowledge by holding writing competitions or even occasional open posting. Giving your readers a chance to be involved with your blog and creating a stir of excitement within your audience. Monitor all content before posting to ensure all of it is appropriate and engage with the posts once they are up. If a competition offer some kind of prize, such as the best content gets posted, or if multiple pieces will be posted an additional prize for the most informational or imaginative, this will drive more people to get involved and will give a large range of content if done properly.
Start a discussion
If developed topic ideas have really dried up try leaving it to your readers to create discussion on the topic instead, this will keep them engaged and if productive also give you some more ideas for blogs from their questions or statements. This can be done by selecting a topic, it is better if it is controversial or will create a stir large enough to entice a reader to comment. Once a topic has been selected write a little about it, briefly touch of its controversial or contradicting points and make it clear that you are trying to engage your readers and lead them to continue the discussion you started in the comment box.
People like to hear things from multiple perspectives, depending on the status on your business this technique may be simple or daunting. Finding well known or even less well known people who have a strong grasp of your industry to interview can provide useful and engaging content. Use the interview to ask questions that many of your users ask or that are simply appropriate and lead to exploration. Let the interviewee take on the questions and elaborate them in their own way, probe further to draw out more detail and create an interview filled with more information. These can be as short or as long as needed, but too long interviews can drag. Whatever the length however they can usually be turned around pretty quickly depending on who you are interviewing and how fast you can come up with the questions you want to be asking.
Reuse old content
Using old posts can be tricky and is not usually advised. If old content is reused regularly it can give the impression of being lazy and the duplicate content can result in harsh punishments from google. Instead use this technique sparingly, if a post is going to be reused delete the old one, or rewrite it completely with more up to date data and facts, even taking the same topic from a different angle or viewpoint can create fresh new content based off an old idea. Just be sure not to make the content feel or be obviously reused as this will do more damage than it will good.
Look closer to home
If you are really struggling to find broad, industry based content try looking a bit closer to home. Use your blog to update your readers on changes or news within your company. Keep them updated on new projects, products or developments using brief or detailed blog posts. Doing this too often however can lose reader interest as the likelihood is that your reader are there because they like the products of your industry and you are a good vessel of information for it, not because they specifically have a large amount of interest in your company alone.
Set up Google alerts
Setting up google alerts is a great way to come up with relevant topics related to what is happening in the real world. Depending on your settings you can receive links to posts and news articles straight to your inbox hourly, daily or even weekly relating to the subject you require. This provides insight to current events in the world and stops you from getting to news after everybody else, providing you’re not asking for alerts on a weekly or monthly basis. It can even give you more relatable content to share straight from other websites, which may have even more blogs or information that you can utilise to your advantage.
People love to talk and discuss topics that matter to them. Take some time to research and find the most popular forums for audiences within your industry and see what they are talking about. The most commonly spoken about topics can usually be found at the top of most forums, but more controversial ones can be found with more searching. Use these forums to write blogs that answer questions that have been asked within them, even better if the question has not been answered as you will be providing an answer to a previously asked question, which suggests that people will be searching for that same answer again in future and will now find you, the only blog that answers their much asked question.
Monitor social media
The same goes for social media as it does for forums, take note of what your followers and even your competitors followers are talking about. See what they are most focused on and what they like to read, you can even use tools to research trending topics that relate to your company or industry and play upon these. Remember with this technique it is important to refresh this research regularly to keep up with current trends, as if you post multiple blogs on popular topics chances are that sooner or later all their questions will be answers or their interest will wander off. After that you are over posting useless content on a topic that is no longer so avidly read.
Find what no one else talks about
Of course offering information on what people want to know and discuss frequently is great, but remember that what people already know isn’t all they want to read. This does not mean dragging up dead and uninteresting topics and writing about them simply because no one else does. It means going on popular blogs and checking comment sections for comments the run along the lines of ‘that’s great but, what about this?’ Take note of the information that always seems to be missing, go in depth in areas that many people don’t and give readers the extra information they are struggling to find elsewhere.