All bloggers can relate to a coming down with a dreaded case of writers block. It usually begins with a blank Word document, lack of inspiration and increasing frustration. Sitting at your computer and staring out your window, there just seems to be nothing worth writing about. To avoid these tedious moments, every blogger should take the time to acquaint themselves with the art of brainstorming. Here are a few lesser known routes for brainstorming that DON'T involve aimlessly staring out a window.
Take advantage of SEO and social media tools
Social media tools like Twitter and Facebook can offer a wide range of topics for engaging conversation. Twitter is always abuzz with information and dialogue on a number of different and relevant topics. Try searching hashtags and trending topics on Twitter to get an idea of what hot topics people are talking about. Facebook also doubles as a search engine, allowing users to search a wide range of topics that link users to relevant Facebook pages.
In addition, tools like Google Trends allow you to see what topics people are talking about and therefore brainstorm ideas for posts. Google Trends grants you a backstage pass to check out search traffic trends, giving you to the opportunity to discover new trends using your own SEO or industry keywords. You can also compare up to 5 keywords to see what words or synonyms are most often used (perfect for SEO purposes).
This one may seem a little obvious, however collaborating with other bloggers can help generate new and fresh ideas. Collaboration doesn't have to include a physical meeting, but can also consist of online chats and forums. Browsing and reviewing other blogs, as well as joining groups related to blogging on sites such as LinkedIn, can help you bring new ideas to the table. Collaboration can even consist of guests posts, or having a co-editor/publisher on board. For example, a blog entitled Spilled Milk is the product of 19 mothers from around the world coming together to share their everyday experiences.
Be a teacher
What do you know that others may want to know more about? If you blog on your free time, think about your personal experiences, interests or educational background. If you're blogging for a brand, give your take on new trends in the industry, new products launching soon, or an experience or obstacle you have encountered in the workplace. There's always at least one reader out there who wants to learn more about your area of expertise. Blogging is also great opportunity to research something you've always wanted to know more about. Once the research is complete, write about your findings!
Repurpose and respond to content
Look back at a previous blog posts that got a lot of attention and put a more up-to-date spin on it. For example, if you wrote an editorial on a newsworthy topic two years ago, take a look back and write a reflection on your thoughts two years later. Repurposing a blog post can also mean changing the medium in which you've approached it. For example, make a video or graphic from a blog that was once solely text based.
Repurposing can also come in the form of a review or response. Read up on fellow bloggers and what they have to say. If a particular post sparks your interest, consider responding or reviewing their blog through a post of your own.
Take feedback into consideration
Comments on your blog are always a good indicator of what people like and don't like. Look back on older blogs that got positive
feedback and create a similar conversation via a blog post. It's also good to pay attention to frequently asked questions. If you notice a constant recurring question on your blog, it's probably a good idea to write a blog post addressing the answer in detail.
So next time you're left staring out the window, remember to take some of these tips into consideration. What are some strategies you use when encountering writers block?