Blogging can be very difficult, especially if you have been blogging for a while. Need some inspiration? Today's post is all about places to look for blog post ideas. We all run low on ideas every blue moon, so I am hopeful that this post will help you get your creative juices flowing.
Pinterest is one of my favorite places for new blog inspiration. You can search for just about anything, and chances are the posts that are getting the most traction will be the first posts you see. You can read those posts, figure out what they are missing and how you can add to their perspective. Or you could just look at your own content. If you are using a Pinterest for Business account, which I highly recommend you do, you can go to your Pinterest Analytics to see what posts are being the most shared and clicked on posts for your site. After you figure this out, you can read those posts and see what sections of the article you can expand upon.
2. Facebook Groups
If you know of a great Facebook group that is active and is surrounding your exact topic, check around the group. What questions do they have about a topic you write about? How can you provide great content that will answer all of their questions? Once you craft perfect content, depending on the group, you may even be able to share your blog post with the group. Finding great Facebook groups, answering questions, and sharing your content about the questions will help you radically expand your reach and expertise.
Forums still exist, y'all. There are plenty of very active forums out there, and this a great place to do research for blog post ideas. Do a quick Google search for forums about your blog topic and see what you can find from them. Forums are great because they are filled with people creating threads just to ask questions. Somethings that are talked about on forums are quite specific to that one person, but obviously without naming names you can expand upon their story and give some general advice that may be of help to your readers (or even people on the forum.) Depending on the forum rules, this may also be a great place to advertise your blog, but be careful that you are always following the rules of the forums you post in.
4. Books About Your Subject
Authors put a lot of work into their writings so you don't want to rip anything they say completely off, but since they do so much research they have really put work in to creating great content that matters to their audience. If you have a similar audience, look through their books and see if you can expand upon something they write about in their book. Flip through the table of contents and index. Skim the chapters. Get a good understanding of the content they have and see where you can add to it. Use that content to write your blog post.
Books that I love:
U Chic: College Girls' Real Advice For Your First Year (And Beyond!) *Side note: I am actually a contributor for this awesome book from my U Chic contributor days.
The Freshman Project *Side note: I got to meet and see Erin Fischer speak during my sororities convention this summer and she is v. inspiring.
I love listening to podcasts and I think they can be great for inspiration. Podcasting takes a long time, so if someone feels the need to set everything up and share a podcast about a subject, they must have done some great in depth searching about the subject. If you can find some podcasts in your niche, then definitely follow them and listen to them for ideas.
6. News Sites
If your blog really focuses on current events and news, you can get a lot of ideas for posts by looking at news sites. I have linked below some of my favorite ones for my college lifestyle blog, Going through these sites and keeping up to date with new information about college and college students has helped me keep my life and blog fresh over the years.
7. Looking Through Old Posts
Old posts are a treasure trove of information and ideas. If you have been blogging for multiple years like me, chances are you have grown an awful lot since you started your blog. Being able to go back and read old posts will help you create amazing content on your blog. Recently I wrote an in depth post about how to get over presentation jitters. I had written a post a few years back about surviving speech classes, but I really adore this new post a lot more. I have learned so much through my time as a graduate student about public speaking, and I feel much better about my advice during this last blog post. If you can find a clever way to update or re-work your old content, you will be pleased with how many new blog post ideas you have.
8. Your Audience
One of the easiest ways you can get new ideas is to poll your audience or ask your audience what they are having trouble with lately. So, take sometime to create some useful questions that are in depth and easy to answer. You don't want your questions to be so vague that your audience doesn't know what to tell you. Make sure your answers are specific about the kind of topics you want to answer. So don't just ask a general question about the blog posts that your readers are interested in reading, ask about a specific topic.
So if you like talking about sororities, ask a question like "I am thinking of creating content about sorority recruitment. Do you have any questions about the recruitment process?" Send this out to your email list using a survey, sometimes you even want to directly send your readers a question a few days after they sign up for your email list. Asking them about what they directly want to have blogs about is really helpful.
One thing I have also been doing lately is using Twitter's polling feature to ask what my audience wants to see next. I will usually do this if I am writing 3 or so topics at once. I will poll my audience for a few hours to see which of the three topics they are most interested in seeing and then I will share that topic. See an example of this here.
The last place to look for content inspiration is webinars and presentations that are given by people in your niche. Especially during the summer, I make a point to attend as many informational webinars and presentations as possible. You never know when inspiration might strike. My biggest piece of advice is to write your own thoughts in a separate color from the notes you are taking at a webinar or presentation. You never want to take someone else's idea and pass it off as your own. You never want to rip someone's entire webinar off. If you can take one thing that they said and expand it into your own blog post with your own thoughts, that is one thing, and I think that can be very beneficial for you.
I hope this list was extremely helpful for you. Writing content (especially when you are doing so for years) can be really difficult. It is important to stay up to date and be constantly learning so that you can find new content to write about. Which method will you be using?