Regardless of how hard many of us try, the creepy little spirit called “writer’s block” never stops creeping into our heads. I hate being the bearer of bad news, but a block is extremely dangerous if your business’s game plan hinges on a content marketing campaign. Extremely dangerous, I say.
I mean, you can’t afford to leave your prospects in the lurch, expecting some divine intervention to unleash you from a block. Business is – and has always been – about give and take. However, the rise of the internet, and thus a variety of options, makes the ‘give’ aspect a double-faced thing which doesn’t center only on providing products, but also free value. If your free value comes in form of content, you must provide it consistently and timely so that it hits the spot.
Therefore, you’ve to trample whatever blocks are in your way. And when it comes to writer’s block, the first step to freeing your mind is by coming up with a topic idea. Here are 7 things you should do.
Read your Blog’s Comment Section
Believe it or believe it (yeah, you’ve got one option), your comment section is prime real estate for getting unique topic ideas for your content.
The comment section is where your audience goes to either appreciate your work, complement your ideas, or even state their problems. Whichever it is, you can gain a lot.
Some time ago, I read one of Carol Tice’s blog posts which, as usual, centered on freelancing. Then I saw a comment which piqued my interest. The interesting part reads:
“I have always been an aspiring writer but never really got in it as much. Now I am at the point where I desire to start but don’t have samples (only a few articles I have written a couple years ago on travel, abroad, etc). Does anyone have any advice on how I can start off and get my feet wet?”
To just anyone, this is merely a comment by a newbie seeking some hand-holding. But to a smart content creator, it’s an opportunity. What I did: I went on to Google and searched for an article that taught how to make samples needed to attract clients as a freelancer. I saw none. And there it was: a unique content idea.
Have an Ear for Purposeful Conversations.
Not all conversations are great, but the great ones are all you need. Many content result from real-life conversations. This post from Derek Halpern is a great example. If you are doubting its uniqueness, search for related posts and see how many you’d get.
Keep Up With the News
This is a no-brainer. Not only does keeping up with the news empower you to make intelligent decisions in a volatile business clime, it also provides you ideas for relevant posts.
Topical, current issues are in fact of great interest to most audiences. They all want to be fed with relevant information, so you’d be taking a great leap by deriving ideas from the news.
Follow Online Forums and Q & A Sites
Sometimes people ask questions on forums and question & answer sites because they’d searched almost everywhere on the internet and couldn’t find relevant answers to them.
Unique content ideas could steal into your head by simply taking note of some clever questions asked by forum members. Plus, you can draw hefty traffic towards your site by answering these questions with a link to your post – it’s a case of killing two birds with a stone.
Quora, a leading Q&A site, is pretty useful in this regard. It hosts thousands of questions every day and has a ‘trends section’ which is great for deriving current issues that you can use in creating something awesome.
Since your aim is creating content for your readers’ consumption, requesting their suggestion could be a great idea. And sure, they’d be glad to help out. I mean, you’re doing this for their sake, right?
You can reach out to your prospects, leads and customers by shooting emails, asking for their thoughts. You may even choose to design a survey that lets them provide some information about what they’d like to read, hear, or watch.
Through this, you can understand the challenges they face and use the knowledge to develop a lucrative initiative. (Note: This strategy mostly works better when used by B2C enterprises).
Be Open to Questions
Develop a persona that portrays you and your business as open to questions. After writing a post, request questions from readers. Never hesitate to offer a helping hand, as people are watching and will only rely on you if you’re seen as welcoming. With this, there’s a great likelihood that you’ll be hit by a barrage of unique content ideas stemming from questions.
Use Online Tools.
Some online tools are designed to suggest new topic ideas for content writers. Although flawed in certain aspects, you can make the best of them by using the ideas they provide to form better, unique ones. A good example of this tool is Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator.
A writer’s block is as bad as rehashed content, having little or no new insights. Luckily, you can tackle both. The 7 strategies provided in this piece can help you to never run out of content ideas .