Does your blog feel tired or neglected? Are your ideas getting stale?
Blogging takes a ton of effort – and it’s a marathon rather than a sprint. After a while, it can start to feel like you’ve been in the race too long.
The problem? You know the content matters. Fresh content is good news for your SEO and your social shares.
What can you do to freshen up your blog? Let’s take a look at how to keep the ideas flowing so you’ll never be short of great content.
Keep a Close Eye on Your Metrics
There’s no point in creating content that fails to have any impact. Find a way to stop creating content that’s bound to be ignored, and you’ll have more time and energy to put into effective content.
How can you do this?
See what’s worked in the past. Which of your blog posts have had the most social shares? What pulls in the most traffic?
On the flip side, which of your content flopped? What gets ignored?
Set aside your own judgements here about what counts as good content. The important thing is to look at your metrics.
As you look at what’s worked in the past, you should see common themes emerging. Pay particular attention to:
- The headlines of the top performing posts. Are they written in a particular way? If so, emulate this for your future content.
- The types of blog post that perform well. Are they list posts, how-to guides, opinion pieces?
- The topics of your best posts. What subjects do your readers like to read about and share?
By doing this, you’ll get a good idea of the types of post that are likely to perform well in the future. Of course, you can never be completely certain that one piece of content will do well. But you can give it the best possible chance by focusing on what works.
Check Out the Competition
Maybe you’ve got the best ideas you can from checking your own metrics. Or perhaps you’re just starting out with content marketing, and you don’t have enough data to draw firm conclusions.
What can you do if this is you?
Take a look at what your competitors are doing well.
- Read through their blog to get ideas for your own content. Of course, you should never copy others. But it’s a great idea to take inspiration from what you find.
- Look at the comments on their popular blog posts. What questions do their readers ask? This shows you what people in your niche want help with. You can step in to provide an answer.
- Check out their most shared content. Most blogs record their social shares these days. That’s really helpful data for you, as you can see the types of content that get the most shares among your target audience.
- Look up what they’re doing on social media. Especially look at their conversations with followers and fans. Again, this will give you ideas for what people want to know more about.
- Check the authority of articles. Use moz.com’s free Open Site Explorer Tool to check out how particular articles rank for authority. You can also use this tool to see which websites are sharing links to their articles – these are more sites you can check out to find ideas from.
Share the Load
Sometimes when you’re burned out of ideas, you just need input from other people. They can bring a fresh perspective to pull you out of your rut.
Where can you find people to help?
- Ask your employees or work colleagues. “Do you have any content ideas?” isn’t a great question when you’re looking for help. Not everyone has the instinct or experience to come up with engaging content ideas. Instead, ask specific questions. For example, if you’re writing a list post on “7 Ways to Sell Your Car (For the Best Possible Price)”, ask around for ideas you could include on the list.
- Ask your social fans and followers. These are the people who consume your content, so they’re the experts on what they want help with. For example, you could ask “What questions do you have about selling cars?”
- Invite guest bloggers. This is a really simple way to get input from others. Make sure you’re clear on what you want, otherwise you’ll get all kinds of pitches!
- Interview an expert. There are plenty of people who would love to be interviewed for your blog. All you have to do is come up with good questions.
- Hire a content creator. Coming up with new content is always going to take time. Bringing in help can free you up to focus on your business. Of course, you can still share content ideas. The person or agency you hire to help you will do the heavy lifting, and turn your ideas into reality.
Mix Things Up
Still stuck for ideas? Then branch out into something completely new.
Blogging is still incredibly popular. However, bloggers are increasingly turning to other formats, including podcasts and videos, as a way of sharing content. Infographics are another solid option. Branching out into a new format can help you see your blog in a different light, and can unblock your creativity.
If completely changing the format of your content doesn’t appeal to you, then consider trying new types of content. If you’ve always written opinion pieces, try writing a list post. Instead of writing a how-to guide, try the “agony aunt” format of responding to specific questions from your audience.
Alternatively, instead of writing out your blog posts, speak them into a dictaphone. If you’re a natural talker, this can be easier than sitting at a desk and writing.
Create a Title Treasure Chest
This is probably our favorite tip of all, because it’s so simple.
Ideas tend to come in fits and starts. Whenever you’re overwhelmed with a glut of ideas, write them down. Add them to a “title treasure chest”.
Then, when you’re short of inspiration, you can go to your treasure chest and just start writing.
Creating content week after week can be a tough gig. But don’t sweat it. There are plenty of places you can turn to keep the ideas flowing.
Any questions? Ask away in the comments section, below.
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