The struggle is all too real.
If you suffer from writer’s block when attempting to generate topic ideas or produce content for your business blog, know that you’re not alone. In fact, you’re in some pretty elite company.
Renowned creative minds throughout modern history – including author F. Scott Fitzgerald and cartoonist Charles M. Schulz – have endured documented problems with enduring periodic creative slowdowns. And really, no content creator is completely immune from this frustrating condition.
Small business blog ideas don’t necessarily come easy. When you’re expected to produce new content regarding a particularly niche topic on a daily or weekly basis, you’re bound to draw a blank every now and then. There’s only so much you can write about behavioral habits among tricolor male basset hound puppies, after all.
Yet the next time you suffer from the dreaded “blank page syndrome” when generating blog topics, don’t despair. You don’t need to invent the second coming of Jay Gatsby or Charlie Brown in order to break free from the bondage that is excessive writer’s block.
Believe it or not, sources of topic inspiration abound. Here are 11 tips for brainstorming small business blog ideas successfully:
1. Make the Internet Your Friend.
As a business blogger, the Internet has the potential to be your loyal friend or your sworn enemy. When used properly, the Web can serve as your most effective source of small business blog ideas (more on this later). Many writer’s block sufferers, however, turn to the Internet as a convenient coping mechanism, seeking its infinite distractions during periods of creative darkness. You decide which role the Internet plays in your content creation livelihood.
2. Talk to Customers.
The blog content you create should strive to solve a problem for your customers, so why not hear what pains them straight from the horse’s mouth? Old-fashioned though it may seem in this age of digital interaction, it’s still entirely acceptable to pick up the phone and call a valued customer. Or for a broader perspective, conduct a quick customer survey seeking to pick their brains regarding their needs.
3. Study Fellow Bloggers
You’re readily aware of the best blogs your industry has to offer – now commit to reading them on a regular basis. To be clear, you’re not looking to “steal” content from fellow bloggers. Rather, read other blogs to stay on the cusp of industry trends and get your own creative juices flowing.
4. Conduct Social Listening
Yes, the Internet can be distracting, but sometimes you need to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook offer a wealth of opportunities to generate small business blog ideas. See what’s trending within your industry and engage members of your audience on their social platform of choice. You can even utilize a social media listening tool to monitor conversations related to industry-specific topics.
5. Strike Up Conversations with Strangers
If you enjoy taking public transportation as much as I do, then you have ample opportunities to talk to complete strangers. Sometimes speaking with someone who’s not overly familiar with your industry can help you step outside your bubble and obtain a fresh perspective. Provided you can smile and be polite, don’t be afraid to ask questions to a stranger as a means of topic generation.
6. Research Keyword Search Volume
What keywords and phrases are used most frequently when online searches are conducted within your industry? While you may be able to speculate on your own, there are free tools available to assist, most notably Google Keyword Planner. Small business blog ideas are more readily obtainable when you have a strong indication of the keyword phrases your audience regularly types into Google.
7. Create Your Own Topic Database
Throughout the year many of us occasionally encounter perfect gift ideas for family members…yet when the time comes to actually shop for birthday and holiday presents, we routinely struggle because we haven’t committed these ideas to memory. The same is true for small business blog ideas. Develop an electronic means of storing future topics ideas, thereby preventing your best blog concepts from escaping your mind ever again.
8. Read More Books
While you’re likely already told to read more books from various sources, it’s important from a blog topic generation standpoint as well. Numerous studies over the years have demonstrated that reading sparks creativity. Even if time constraints prevent you from reading as many books as you’d like to, locate industry-specific books and flip to the table of contents section. This portion of a book tends to summarize industry subjects nicely, offering useful blog topic insight.
9. Examine the FAQs
This is not to be confused with examining the facts – which, of course, should also be done. Many professional websites offer a “Frequently Asked Questions” section, which can serve as a goldmine for generating small business blog ideas. For a more sophisticated approach, though, consider visiting Quora, a popular question-and-answer site that can help you determine the questions to which your blog audience is seeking helpful answers.
10. Recruit a Guest Blogger
This might sound like a cop-out technique for curing writer’s block, yet this strategy has merits. When you succeed at recruiting a guest blogger with industry expertise, not only do you bring a fresh take to your blog, but you also have the opportunity to open your blog to a new audience. Invite a guest blogger to contribute to your content, then use the freed-up time to replenish your collection of small business blog ideas.
11. Change Your Surroundings
When all else fails with blog topic generation, seek a change of scenery. Office desks tend to do little to promote creativity, so step outdoors for a bit or at least change rooms. For whatever reason, busy coffee shops also can work wonders. If you can change your scenery in a manner that offers you newfound inspiration and the potential for fresh air, then your writer’s block doesn’t stand a chance.