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There are thousands of tactics online of how to come up with new blog post ideas, but you only need a few to get the job done. I know that because I've managed many blogs during my career and tried many of them. Here is a list of three tactics (the 3Rs) that have sticked around.
1) Record Ideas & Insights
Don't wait last minute, after you've run out of content, to come up with new things to write about. I've done that and it sucks. Instead, always be on the look for new content ideas, then let them just come to you and write them down.
Here's the system I use:
I use Trello to record all new blog post ideas. Trello is an app that helps you organize projects into boards. In each board, you can create lists, and in each list, you can add cards. And within each card, you can add comments, links, and attachments.
So I have a board with different lists that I use as topic categories I want to cover on my blog. When I have a new blog post idea, I add a card under the corresponding category list.
Within the card, I include any comments, attachments, or links that may be helpful when getting to the writing part.
I use Evernote to record anything noteworthy I may reference to in future blog posts. Evernote is a note-taking app that helps you capture new information on notes and tags.
Sometimes I come across something that catches my attention but that I don't have a blog post idea for. So I save it on Evernote as a note with an intuitive tag for future reference. This may be new research data, an interesting quote or a screenshot of something I may include in a future blog post.
This tactic also enables me to later repurpose each of this categories into premium content. E.g. eBooks, guides, tutorials.
Remember, every time you see or experience something that:
- works or was effective
- was difficult to accomplish
- you wish you'd known before
- can add value to your readers
Write it down!
One time a client was looking to delete duplicate Company Google+ pages he didn't have access to. It turned out to be more difficult than I thought. So I wrote a blog post about it to help others facing this same challenge save some time. Then within a couple hours, I see this comment from one of my marketing peeps on Google+:
2) Respond to Questions
People use Q&A sites to get their questions answered. So search for questions about topics you want to write about. Then draft an answer in blog post form.
One topic I want to write about is "LinkedIn for Sales". So I went to Quora and searched for questions on this topic. These are the results I got:
I liked the question on "What are the ways I can use LinkedIn as a sales tool?". So I could write a blog post on "Best Ways to Use LinkedIn as a Sales Tool".
My favorite Q&A sites are Quora, Yahoo! Answers, and discussions-drive LinkedIn Groups. That's where I usually find great questions on topics I'm interested about.
3) Research New Topics
When I search for something on Google, I look at the search results to see what others have written already on the topic.
There is also a list of related searches at the bottom of the page. I use these to help me expand my search for new blog post ideas.
I searched for "LinkedIn for Sales" and these are the related searches I got for that phrase.
From the related searches, I clicked on "how to prospect with LinkedIn". Then from the search results I came up with this list of three things I'm interested in writing about.
- How to Prospect on LinkedIn
- When Should I Invite a Prospect to Connect on LinkedIn
- How to Prospect via LinkedIn Groups
Create three blog post ideas
- Write one thing you're struggling with and would like to overcome.
- Find one question on a Q&A site that you can address in a blog post.
- Use the Search Results or Popular Posts strategy to create a new blog post idea.