9 Places to Source Fresh Ideas For Your Blog
Neo Caught In The Matrix – AKA Writer's Block
Even if you're the Neo of the blogging world, occasionally you probably find yourself paralyzed by the matrix of your own ideas and thoughts – or possibly lack of thoughts… yup, the dreaded _writer's block_.
Since you know how important it is to connect to your users effectively with content marketing, delivering great content on your blog or your company's blog on a regular basis is a must. And you know you have loads of information lurking inside you but are at a loss as to how, when and what to represent to your audience for some fresh and exciting content. You've been there? Since we've all had these caught-in-the-matrix moments, let's explore 10 different ways to overcome it by sourcing fresh ideas from smart places.
But wait, why do we need fresh content again?
Fresh content is good for many reasons:
1.) To maintain consistent growth in reader-base.
2.) To grow your social fan following.
3.) To provide enhanced brand exposure.
4.) For SEO according to Google.
Without further adieu…
1. Check User Questions On Forums and Q&A Sites:
Maybe you find a question that isn't answered sufficiently, or one you would answer differently. Write a post on this topic for your blog, then drop a link to the post on the forum or Q&A site. The best part about hunting for content ideas from these sites is you can hit two targets in one:
1.) Getting fresh ideas for your blog from the creative questions posed by your potential customer base.
2.) Engaging with your online niche community to build an authority among your peers.
2. Customer Care and FAQs:
Is there something that you often hear your customers raving about or complaining about? Is there a frequently asked question from your customers that would make good content if you addressed it thoroughly?
What better source is there for content about your service or product than your own customers? Addressing these issues and providing further tips that may not even be directly concerned with your product is a great way to source plenty of fresh content.
For instance, if you sell electric grills you could give tips on how to cook low-fat recipes on them, or tips on what to look for when you buy a grill online. You can even go ahead and ask your customers to send photos of where they place their grills on their lawn, patio or deck and then post content on Top 10 Grilling Station Design Ideas.
You may have answered common questions briefly on your FAQ page. When you create a longer, more in-depth article on a question you can link these FAQs to your full length blogs for 'further reading.' You could even include interesting graphics and videos to make them more appealing. This is a great internal linking tactic for your site as well.
Shown below is an FAQ section from a sample site. The questions with red arrows pointing at them might make great candidates for producing fresh and exciting content.
![FAQs as a Resource for Exciting Blog Post Topics]
FAQs as a Resource for Exciting Blog Post Topics
3. Statistics, Case Studies and Infographics:
Factual content dressed in colorful graphics is the perfect recipe for exciting content. Infographics will likely improve social shares on your site and direct a large amount of reader traffic to your blog. Although it takes a lot of work to collect information for this type of content, it is well worth it. Start small if you need to – even posting infographics with interesting statistics from your niche once in three months can be a good way to start.
You can create original content by conducting your own surveys, especially if you are a local business. You can also curate content that exists on the web for your niche. But the performance of the former will outdo the latter any day.
If you are an online business you can conduct online surveys or produce case studies via your Google analytics or another analytical tool.
Look at the fantastic manner in which Neil Patel has created this content revealing ways in which his various blog sites saw an increase in traffic. The content probably took a lot of time and effort to research but it will obviously win a lot of shares and fan followers as it displays exciting information that is unique to their business.
4. Guest Blogging:
Sometimes your blogging style might get monotonous. To bring in variety you might want to invite guests to write for your blog. If you do this, make sure you proof read the content before publishing it to ensure it is of the highest quality, and relevant for your readers. Here again you strike two targets in one. You create fresh and exciting content as well as reaping the SEO benefits of guest blogging.
5. Subscribe to Other Blogs:
You can subscribe to your favorite blog RSS feeds or subscribe to blog networks, such as [Networked Blogs], to give you a regular supply of popular blog post feeds in your feed reader or in your inbox. This is a great resource to know what topics are hot, and what's already been covered. Use this for ideas for your own content, but make sure your content is original – find a new angle, new research or provide an opposing opinion with great supporting points.
6. Browse Social Bookmarking Sites:
Social bookmarking sites aggregate blog topics from around the world. Sometimes it helps to just browse through these topics; eventually you'll have a 'eureka' moment for a blog post topic of your own.
7. Blog Comments:
Blog comments, either on your own blog or on other blogs, can be a great source of ideas for fresh and exciting content.
Take a look at a few examples of comments on our WooRank blog where users have written questions asking for more information. These questions can form great ideas for new content in your niche. Plus it's content that is spurred on by readers for readers, and it is exciting for them when you pay attention to their requests.
8. Join Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn Groups in Your Niche:
Join an interesting and relevant group on these sites or create one on your social media brand pages. The idea is to stay in touch with (other) industry experts and share your thoughts and ideas with them. In return you are sure to gain new ideas for creating content on your own site. These groups also often have discussion threads which is a great resource for fresh content ideas.
9. Create Topic Branches From Your Popular Content:
Ok, let me explain what I mean by 'topic branches.'
Look at the screenshot below, which I took from WooRank's latest Google Webmaster Tools report on 'Most Linked Content', from the last quarter of 2013.
Most Linked Content On Google WebMaster Tools
These were the top seven linked pieces of content from our blog, according to Google Webmaster Tools. From there I chose a blog that has a lot of potential for narrowing down the topic to source more content from it. For this I chose the third blog post, which is a 15 Point Conversion Checklist. I could distill this blog to potentially write up to 15 individual blogs based on each point in the checklist, branching it out from the popular parent content. (Though I obviously wouldn't recommend publishing 15 blogs in a row with such similar content.) This not only gives me fresh ideas for content creation, but also the possibility to gain great visibility on these blogs because the parent blog is so popular. Not to mention that the link juice that will spread across the internal links is great for my blog's SEO.
Here's another example below. This screenshot was taken of the older parent content, and you will see that one of its sections is linked to a newer post titled 5 Ways to Improve Your Client Support and Increase Efficiency.
Link Branching From Popular Content On Your Blog
There you have it – 10 ways to overcome writer's block and come up with fresh and exciting content ideas for your blog. I hope your grey matter has gotten a jump start from these ideas, and if you've been cooking up any other ideas for places to gain inspiration for fresh content then we would love to hear them. Please do share your ideas in the comments!