Places to look for inspiration for your next blog post

By Posted in - Blogging & Content on November 28th, 2017 0 Comments

It all seems so straightforward. At first.

When we first commit to blogging, we convince ourselves we’ll be able to maintain a steady flow of beautiful, compelling content. But even with a rigid editorial calendar forcing us into action, there’s usually one big problem that bites us all in the butt at one time or another.

What the hell do I write about?

Well, there’s no easy answer to that. But here are a few places you might start.


Finding inspiration

Generally all you really need is a small spark of inspiration, and the rest flows from there. How about…

–   Something you’ve recently read in the news or an industry publication. Do you have your own views, perspectives and insights on it that you can share?

–   Other blog posts that you read. Did they share something insightful and interesting that you can build on? Or maybe they said something that you disagree with. Pick that up and build on it.

–   A question that someone has asked you. As a consultant, questions that a client asks can provide themes for blog posts. If one is thinking it, chances are that others in our sector might be as well. Take that question and build your answer into a blog post.

–   A common mistake that people make. Things that you see over and over. They may seem simple or get overlooked, but perhaps they irk you. The post doesn’t have to show your disdain, however. It can be productive and useful without feeling like you’re calling people out on something.

–   An event or activity. Have you attended or hosted an event recently? Are there some interesting insights that you can share? Three takeaways? Highlights?

–   Discussions on Twitter chats. For me, chats on Twitter using tags like #HESM and #contentchat can be a great source of inspiration. You’ll see themes emerge that people are interested in, and you may want to talk in greater depth about ideas you mentioned in the chat itself.

–   Questions or discussions from LinkedIn groups. Much like Twitter chats, take those questions and formulate an answer into a blog post. Then share the post with the original person asking the question and say how they inspired your post.

–   Conference programmes. You don’t even have to attend. Just see what others are talking about, spot themes and build those into post ideas. 

–   Upcoming policy changes or impact. GDPR is a great example. How many posts have we seen now on that topic? Or the impact of Brexit on your industry. Predictable perhaps, but provides scope for you to future-gaze and show expertise a little.

–   Things you regularly do or use. These can be super useful posts. Sharing the tools or approaches that you use to do something that might also be helpful to your audience.

Empathy mapping

I’ve written about empathy mapping a lot before on here and over on the Utterly Content blog too. It’s a technique that we use all the time when planning content approaches for our clients.

Mapping out the things (ideally informed by audience research) that your audience is thinking, feeling, seeing and doing, provides a strong basis for content inspiration that is truly aligned to what’s going on in their lives.

(Ask us for help with using empathy mapping in your content planning)

Varying your types of post

A lot of the posts that I write are of the thought-leadership style. Some share frameworks and approaches to help our readers do something better or different. Allowing yourself scope to vary your style of post also opens up possibilities. Today’s post is of a very different style to my usual post.

So, here are a few suggestions for different types of blog post that you can explore:

• Challenging the status quo
• Questioning something
• Musing/pondering about something
• Providing examples of best practice
• Providing something they can use
• Tips and advice
• Offering ways to do something better
• Offering ways to do something faster
• Offering ways to do something more effectively
• Tutorials
• Predictions
• Reflections
• Considerations (things you should be thinking about)
• Reviewing something
• Frameworks or models
• Interviews
• Guest posts or insights
• Sharing useful links and resources
• Showing an alternate way of doing something (what if)

If you combine my first list with my second list, suddenly you’ve opened up a matrix for writing all kinds of posts. You’ll no longer struggle with inspiration, but you might struggle with finding the time to get them all written!


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