If all of a sudden, your blog seems like a dog pulling your heels demanding attention that you’re unable to give. All your research zeal is exhausted and the topics you want to write on have no juice anymore. You have no juice anymore. They know that you’re suffering from writer’s block.
All bloggers come across writer’s blog many times during their career. After blogging for some time, ideas just seem to vanish into thin air. All the great topics on your ideas list have either been covered in another blog or you simply have the title, but no content to write on.
When this happens, do not think of anything drastic. You can make a few changes in your work pattern, but hanging the gloves is not an option. Below are some ways that will bring the juice flowing and help you come up with some workable topics for your blog.
1. Review a book by a foreign writer
Have you read any book by a French author or maybe an Arab writer? If yes, then you can surprise your readers by posting its review. This is an especially helpful tip for ones who blog in English but their native language is different. People would like to read a foreign language book’s review by its native speaker. You just need to know where to look to draw inspiration from.
2. Review a product/service
Every day, new products and services are launched across the Internet; from coaching programs to physical products. All you need to do is post your honest experience regarding a product or service. You may think that it won’t be significant but there is always someone looking for an honest review before making their purchase.
You can also follow up on a product that was launched a few years ago and review its performance. How has it changed? Are the initial business goals still the driving force behind it?
3. Get inspiration from a different industry and adapt it to your industry
Your niche may have its unique propositions but the essence of business is the same across all industries. Find out how people are solving problems in different industries and see how it can be adapted to fit your industry. Your readers will thank you for that!
4. Watch a classic movie
You can watch the latest movie and review it, but then there are millions of blogs that are specifically doing just that. So head to the old movies archives and watch a nice one. You’ll be amazed at how classics like Joe Kidd or Dances With Wolves will get your creative writing juices flowing. Sometimes, you need to get back to the 1940s to find a topic to write about.
5. Is Joe writing that too?
Blogsdrop (coined from eavesdrop) often. Blogspdropping is not a sign of weakness, rather it is to keep up with the competition, a form of blog sport. In Hip Hop, rappers call it “keeping an ear to the street.” Find out what your industry experts are blogging about and bring a fresh twist to some topics they have covered.
6. Social media and Google Alerts are a must
Use social media and Google Alerts to find exciting topics to write about. Check trending news in Google Alerts and subscribe for alerts on various keywords. Check articles posted in niche groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. LinkedIn is especially useful as the majority of the users there are professionals.
7. Let your readers drive your agenda
Get ideas on topics to write about from your readers’ comments on your blog, email, Twitter or Facebook. Some bloggers have a “suggest a topic” button where readers can submit topic ideas. If you don’t have such a section on your blog, you can simply post a request to reader to suggest something they want you to write about.
8. Do you play soccer? Great, let’s go bungee jumping!
Take a break from blogging in your industry and write something completely different. Keeping up with the latest developments in your industry can quickly wear you down. For a break, blog about something completely different.
9. Answer questions
Check questions asked on Yahoo Answers and Answers.com that are related to your niche and create a post based on them. Join your niche groups on Google Groups and Yahoo Groups and check what people are asking. You can get great blog title ideas from these groups.
10. Table of contents
Check the table of contents of top selling books in your niche in Amazon or Barnes & Noble to get ideas on what to write. Books sell because of the table of contents, what makes you think you cannot get a winning title from them?
11. Opinions please
Create a poll about a topic and review the outcome. Ask your readers what they think of a particular subject. It can be about a topic in your niche or a recent news story. Start a poll and let readers share their thoughts and once the poll is finished, you can write a post about its results.
12. Take a break outdoors
Go outdoors to clear up your mind up. Do not forget to carry your notebook. A serene environment is powerful enough to clear your mind and bring ideas locked at the back of your brains. It is what nature was made for. Try something new or finish up projects you left half-way before. A short break from your writing table may be what you need to get a great blog topic.
13. Who made it in the Top 5?
Review top 5 of your favorites niche blogs. Your ‘favorite’ does not necessarily mean everyone’s favorite. There are many hidden blog gems that have a rock-solid following that you can review.
14. Best of the best posts
Write a “Best of Your Blog” list and highlight articles that were a favorite with your readers. Do this quarterly, semi-annually or annually. You will rekindle the interest of your readers and may get some fresh insight to add to the articles.
15. One on one with blogger X
Interview an expert in your field and share the interview with your readers. Upload the audio and transcript on your website and ask for comments from your readers.
16. Go visual
Make a picture or video blog post of a topic in your niche. 6 photos or slides are enough to make a photo post. Be creative and summarize your posts in the 6 photos or slides. Alternatively, post links to a series of videos that will provoke your readers in the particular topic you are addressing.
17. Previously on post-X
Write a sequel to one of your past blog posts. If you have a lengthy post, don’t give it out all at one serving. Spare some for next time. Just make sure the first post has the gusto to keep your readers yearning for the next installment.
18. Check your scribble pad for past topics
Every time you want to write something, you probably have a couple of ideas to start with but only the best end up on your blog. Some of the topics ultimately end up being shelved and forgotten as you struggle to keep up with your readers’ demand for exciting topics. Sometimes, the topics you shelved can be what you are looking for. A fresh insight or controversial view can be all they need to make it to your blog.
19. What I wish I knew before…
Write about what you have learned during your blogging months/years. Many successful bloggers make mistakes when they are starting out. Whether you enrolled in the most coveted blogging course or were coached by the Godfather of Blogging, you must have made some mistakes somewhere. Blog about the mistakes and how you overcame them.
A blog post about a personal experience is always a good read.
20. Same shirt, different place
Compare your niche with a different one and show what lessons can be learned from the other industry. There may be differences in the working model but positive lessons can always be drawn from any industry and adapted to another one.
21. Best of the month
Write a wrap up of your blog posts during the month. This can be a quick summary for readers who missed one of your previous posts.
22. Burst your guns (not for the faint-hearted)
Go on a critique rampage. Disagree with an expert in your field while providing insight on the stand you take. This step should however only be considered when you have a valid reason to disagree. Otherwise, when feedback starts rolling in, you may be on the receiving end.
There you go, folks. Next time your creative juices are drained, follow one of the above tips. You are guaranteed to have an abundance of topics to keep your hungry readers satisfied for a couple of months.
Editor’s note: This post is written by Kevin Harter for Hongkiat.com. Kevin is a graphic designer, regular blogger and the owner of Crystalint Media. When he is not cranking his brains with new graphic design technology, he can be found desperately trying to write a poem!