Obviously, setting up a world-class blog infrastructure is doable with the guide of experts. Once you have that in the bag, you’re pretty much on king’s road, right?
You have to keep it updated every week, with content that interests your audience and keeps them coming back for more. And, to top all that, you need to find the motivation, creativity, and inspiration to update it with quality content.
Whether you’re currently in the throes of writer’s block, or you want to make sure you never run out of content in the future, the following tips are for anyone who blogs. So without further ado, here are 10 ways to keep your blog fresh and valuable to your readers.
1. Carry a Notebook or Use Notetaking Apps
Brilliant blogging ideas never hit you when it’s convenient. Instead, ideas seem to always visit while we’re at the carwash, the dentist’s office, or halfway through a family dinner at Applebee’s.
An excellent way to be prepared for unexpected “eureka!” moments is to carry a notebook with you at all times. Some bloggers prefer a traditional pen-and-paper notebook, while others enjoy the capabilities of notebook apps.
As you can imagine, there are many note-taking apps on the market. Here are just a couple well-known ones, along with their descriptions:
Evernote: “Create a project to-do list. Jot down a reminder. Or snap a picture of a sketch. A note can be anything you want it to be. And once you make a note, it’s accessible wherever you go, forever.”
Microsoft OneNote: “Do you scribble great ideas on napkins and sticky notes? Is precise filing more your style? OneNote’s got you covered whatever way you shape your thoughts. Type, write or draw with the free form feel of pen to paper. Search and clip from the web to picture ideas.”
Google Keep: “Quickly capture what’s on your mind and share those thoughts with friends and family. Speak a voice memo on the go and have it automatically transcribed. Grab a photo of a poster, receipt or document and easily organize or find it later in the search.”
2. Turn Today’s News into a Blog Post
If you can find creative ways to incorporate news items into your blog, then you have an endless stream of content possibilities. There are a few different ways a blogger can do this.
Consider dedicating a day of the week to writing a short summary of a news story that would be meaningful to your readers. Also, add your commentary about this news item.
If you have a business or you’re a freelancer, relate a recent news item to your product or service. An example might be a graphic designer who posts news of a disastrous Photoshop fiasco, like this one. The designer can then add his or her personal comments.
3. Curate Content
Blog readers find value in curated content – which is the gathering of other people’s articles or posts and presenting them all in a single “roundup” blog post. Some bloggers create a curated post once a week or once a month, interwoven with the rest of their regular content.
For example, if you run a photography blog, you could create a post called “Top Photography Articles of the Week,” or, “My Favorite Nature Photos of the Month.”
This blogging method will not only help you generate more blog posts, but it could also help you build relationships with others in your industry. Simply give credit to the people who originally created the content, and message them to let them know you’re sharing their content in your blog.
4. Scan Industry Forums
You’re probably already a member of one (or several) industry forums and discussion groups. Most professionals get involved with industry groups to keep up to date, create networking opportunities and spotlight their products or services.
But a less-known advantage of getting involved in industry forums is the blogging ideas you can gain. As you read the content and discussions within your favorite forums, keep an eye out for the kinds of questions that are being asked.
Create blog posts that answer the questions, then circle back to the forum and share your post with the community. This strategy will help you become known as a resource in your field, while also bringing traffic to your blog.
5. Get Ideas from Google Autocomplete
Google autocomplete predicts search terms, which are generated by an algorithm. According to Google, the algorithm is “based on objective factors, including how often others have searched for a word.”
This tool can be a quick and easy way for you to uncover questions and curiosities people have about your industry. You may uncover a question that isn’t answered well or a question with outdated answers. That’s your chance to create a helpful blog post on the topic.
6. Take a Look at Your Competitor’s Posts
It’s always smart to keep track of your competitors’ activities, and reading their blogs is no exception. As you read competitors’ blogs, ask yourself questions such as,
- Are any of your competitors creating content you haven’t thought of before? Can you glean some blogging ideas from their content?
- Is their content valuable to their readers, or does it seem to be nothing more than a hurried attempt at keeping their blog updated?
- Can you make improvements to what they’re trying to accomplish with their blog posts?
- Are they receiving any comments to their blog posts? Can you get any blogging ideas from these comments?
7. Think of Seasonal Content You Can Post
When you’re out of content ideas, you’ll often find that a glance at the National Day Calendar will spark some creative inspiration. For example, besides the big holidays that take place in the month of December, you’ll also find:
- December 1 is Rosa Parks Day
- December 15 is Bill of Rights Day
- December 21 is Crossword Puzzle Day, as well as National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day
- December 23 is the humorous holiday “Festivus”
There are also weekly observances you can glean ideas from. For example, November 21-27, 2016, is National Global Entrepreneurship Week.
The list of national and international observances is almost endless! What kinds of creative content can you come up with based on such calendar observations? What kinds of contests might you be able to run?
8. Expand and Update a Post from Last Year
Did you write a blog post last year that was well received and shared? A lot can change in a year! What can you do to update that content? How can you expand it to include trends and newer technology that’s been developed since the original post? Your audience is sure to appreciate a “Part 2” with the updated info.
9. Create a Three, Four, or Even Five-Part Series
If you can come up with a blog post that’s particularly lengthy or detailed, you have a potential series on your hands! A series of several “parts” that roll out once a week not only gives you more posts to write, but it also encourages your readers to return to your blog for more.
10. Find a Guest Blogger
Guest blogging is great for the guest who wants to get his or her name out there in front of new audiences. It’s also great for you because it diversifies your blog and feeds it more content! Seek other professionals on your favorite industry forums who might be interested in writing a post on your blog.
You Can Do This
Successful blogging is notoriously hard. Don’t worry – you’re in good company. Even the most popular bloggers in the world find it challenging to keep their blogs fresh.
The key is to remember that blog ideas don’t “just happen” the moment you open your laptop. So be prepared! Ideas come at strange times and in unexpected ways. Sometimes they happen on purpose after hours of seeking inspiration. But sometimes ideas hit you when you least expect them.
It’s up to you to look for valuable blogging ideas every day. It’s also up to you to capture unplanned “ah-ha” moments when they strike you out of the blue. The more you hunt for blogging inspiration, the more of a lifestyle it will become.
So grab a notebook, scan some forums, and look for curation possibilities. Today’s hard work and creativity might just translate to next week’s viral content.