How to Generate Topic Ideas For Your Next Blog Post That Your Readers Will Love
writer's block /ˌrʌɪtəz ˈblɒk/
The condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.
It's the bane of every writer’s existence. How frustrating is it when you schedule time to sit and write, and end up staring at a blank screen for over an hour not knowing how or where to begin?
This doesn’t make you a bad writer, and it certainly doesn't mean you should give up on writing. It can happen to absolutely everyone whether you write as a hobby or do it professionally.
Rather than beat yourself up about it, the trick is to find ways that help get those creative juices flowing again. Today, I’m sharing with you some of my tips.
1. Conduct a brain dump
Sometimes, your lack of inspiration is the result of a messy brain! Conducting a brain dump, I’ve found, is a great way to address this and untangle your mind.
Grab one pen and a piece of paper, get rid of any sources of distractions (yes, this means your phone and laptop), and set a timer for three to five minutes. This is an opportunity to mindlessly let all your thoughts and ideas flow out of your head and onto the piece of paper in front of you. Be sure not to filter your thoughts when you’re doing this… the key is to do it mindlessly.
Once time’s up, stop dumping and start sorting. Sort through your dump of ideas and decide which ones could work as potential topics or search for any combinations that can be combined into one cohesive topic.
Whether or not you generate any during your dump, don’t be discouraged if you find nothing. Sometimes, I find that not a lot of ideas surface during the dumping phase, but in the sorting process, or even moments after I’ve completed the activity and all my disorganised thoughts have been released as a result of the brain dump.
2. Check out Quora
In case you’re unaware of Quora, it’s an online community of people providing answers to questions posted on the platform.
When creating content, It’s important to make sure that your time is being put into creating something that will value-add to readers’ lives. People click on content that they want to read about, so it only makes sense to figure out what information you can provide that people will actually want to learn more about.
This is why when I’m lost for ideas, another way I like to generate new ones is by searching and figuring out what it is that people want to know. This is where Quora works great. Whenever I find people asking questions that I have the knowledge, experience or expertise to share my two cents on, it becomes a potential blog article topic.
3. Explore different communities where your target audience hang out
Quora isn’t the only place that you can explore to figure out what people want to know.
Online platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn groups, the comments section of industry blogs and publications, as well as Forums and other online platforms relevant to your industry are great places to spend some time on.
When exploring, I’d suggest looking for recurring questions and conversation topics that you can address through your writing.
4. Make it a habit to consistently consume content
While this isn’t the most immediate solution to your writer’s block, making it a habit to consistently read and write content will definitely help you not only avoid writer’s block in the long run, but also improve your writing skills over time.
Don’t limit yourself to reading content that’s only relevant to your industry or preferred style of writing. Allow yourself to explore all kinds of writing whether that be non-fiction, poetry, essays, thought pieces or articles. Just be sure to keep a pen and notebook handy whenever you’re doing so, because I’ve found that reading can also be an avenue for generating content ideas.
5. Ask your existing audience, friends, family or colleagues
My final tip is to ask your existing audience or client base what they’d like to know about. If there’s something in particular that they’d like to know about, chances are that other non-experts like themselves are curious about the same thing. Interview clients or set up a poll on social media! With platforms like Instagram, gathering information from followers has never been easier.
I understand that not everyone reading this will have an existing audience or client base. Perhaps you’re new to the business or have just recently started a fresh new blog. For people like you, I’d advise you to turn to friends, family members or even colleagues and ask them if they have any ideas to share. You’d be surprised how productive a short discussion with others can be in giving you ideas for writing your next piece.
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