Sometimes you just run out of good ideas for your next blog post and need a little help.
Here are six strategies, 33 tips and an infographic that are sure to eliminate your writer’s block and give you new ideas for truly compelling blog posts that your readers will love.
1. Hijack Engaging Brands
A great way to get people’s attention is to leverage a brand that everyone knows and loves in your blog post. Some of the time the brand you choose will be related to the subject of your blog post, while other times that wont be the case. Don’t worry if the subject and brand are unrelated — this can make for the most engaging types of posts.One of our most popular articles on SMC, Facebook Timeline Design Ideas that Would Make Don Draper Proud is an example of this strategy for writing compelling blog posts. With the combination of Mad Men’s Don Draper and Facebook Timeline designs, you can’t help but read the article.
4 Types of Brands to Hijack
There are a lot of brands out there, but a few types are more effective than others. Here are four types of brands that we recommend you focus on when hijacking brands for compelling blog posts.
Movies provide a lot of ideas for themes and topics to play off of in your blog posts. Consider using a character from a popular movie — be it the hero, villain or supporting characters.
Finding a weekly television show that is popular among your demographic works for individual posts as well as for recurring series. If your audience has a few favorite shows, integrating the characters or themes into your posts each week is a great way to keep readers coming back.
Best-selling books are also great to incorporate into your blog posts. There are a couple different approaches you can take with this, including using the book title, names of characters in the book and even the author’s name.
One of the best brands to hijack is the comic book. Popular comic book characters often stand the test of time. Just look at Batman, Superman and the other major Marvel superheroes. This makes hijacking comics brands a great way to reach readers across generations.
2. Analyze Something
If you are an expert or know a lot about a topic, consider writing an analysis to share with your readers.
Quality analysis is great for demonstrating your expertise. It is also an effective way to test out an idea for a series and quickly gauge the interests of your readers.
Four Types of Analysis
Writing an analysis on someone in your industry or a specific company can be a great way to initiate conversation and build a relationship. Here are three types of analysis you can try for writing compelling blog posts.
You can analyze a case study with either a positive or negative outcome. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you make sure to highlight what went wrong or right, and what readers can learn from it.
Here is a great blog post on KISSMetrics by Kriti Hines of Kikolani.com giving 8 Tips for Creating a Great Case Study to help you get started.
Reviewing a product or service, especially in a highly contested market, can be a great source for compelling content. If you are not interested in doing a comparative analysis, take a look at the new and trending products and services in your industry.
Take a look at this Problogger.net post written by Ray Maker to learn more about How to Write Amazing Product Reviews.
Connect with your readers and share your own insights from personal experience. In order to ensure that this is compelling, use storytelling and avoid coming off as if you are bragging about your achievements. Make sure that whatever experience you share has a valuable lesson or insight that is relevant to the reader.
3. Trending Topics
Writing a blog post that makes a play on trending topics is very effective for expanding your audience and writing engaging content. Taking the time to find a trending topic that is just about ready to take off can really pay off.
Four Tips to Find Trending Topics
Here are a few tips to help you discovering trending topics without spending a lot of time on research.
- Use Topsy.com to see what people are sharing on a topic
- Check which hashtags are trending on Twitter
- Use Google Trends and Insights to check out historical trends
- See what experts in the industry are writing about
- Find juicy celebrity gossip
4. Reuse & Recycle Posts
Reusing and recycling older blog posts is a great way to put together compelling content.
Just take a few minutes to browse your blog’s archives and see if you can combine a series of posts on a specific topic into one big guide or share links to the articles with descriptions.
Repurposing existing blog posts is a lot faster and easier than writing something from scratch.
By looking at your blog’s analytics, it will be easy to find the posts that are most popular among your readers. Taking a few popular blog posts and making them into an “uber” blog post is a great formula for highly compelling and informative content.
Four Ideas for Reusing & Recycling Blog Posts
- Create a ‘best of’ list
- Build a FAQ-style blog post
- Design an infographic based on your posts
- Use a combination of posts to make an extensive guide or manual
For more ideas, take a look at Heidi Cohen’s 27 Ways to Reuse Blog Posts for Content Marketing.
5. Crowdsource Ideas
Tap the knowledge of the crowd to get ideas for your next blog post. Instead of guessing what people are interested in reading about, ask them and they will let you know.
Nowadays, all kinds of creative works are being crowdsourced to varying degrees — from writing books and pop songs to helping some of the largest global brands around the world, including Coca-Cola, IBM, Microsoft, Google and GE.
Six Tips for Crowdsourcing Ideas
- See what your friends are talking about
- Talk with colleges, co-workers or others
- Check what bloggers in another niche are writing about
- Ask your readers or invite suggestions on social media
- Interview someone who has something interesting to say
- Trade guest posts and let the other blogger choose the topics
6. Guest Blogging
Changing it up a little can be a great way to engage readers. Instead of trying to write everything yourself, consider inviting someone else to contribute a blog post or two each month.
Not only does this take the pressure off of you to write compelling content, it is will help you build relationships with other bloggers. Having a couple of bloggers as friends that you can collaborate with is extremely helpful.
Most bloggers will share their guest posts with their existing readers. This will introduce your blog to a whole new audience and lend credibility with the guest blogger’s readers. Don’t be afraid to write a guest blog post for others in return. It is a great way to increase your exposure.
Five Tips for Finding Guest Bloggers
- Monitor the comments of popular industry blogs
- Don’t be afraid to pitch leading bloggers
- Find up-and-coming bloggers
- Ask for guest bloggers on social media
- Give an incentive for people to write a guest blog post
Want more tips on finding guest bloggers? Take a look at ProBlogger founder Darren Rowse’s post, How to Find a Guest Blogger for Your Blog.
Six Tips for Writing Guest Posts
These tips will help make sure your time spent writing guest posts pays off with increased traffic and new readers to your blog.
- Focus on popular, high quality blogs
- Check out their guest posting guidelines
- Find out what blog posts are the most popular
- Email them with a couple of ideas for a guest post
- Sell yourself in the email
- Take the time to respond to comments from readers on guest posts
To learn more about writing guest blog posts check out this Guest Blogging Guide by Bamidele Onibalusi.
Now that you have a number of different ways to come up with compelling content for your blog, it’s time to get started. If you feel like you need a few more ideas, or if you are a visual learner, take a look at the infographic below to get even more ideas for compelling blog posts.
Infographic courtesy of CopyBlogger and BlueGlass.