We’ve all been there. You wake up one morning and sit at your computer, coffee in hand while your audience beckons from behind the glow of luminescent screens. They are eagerly awaiting your blog.
Your cursor blinks in the corner of the text editor, ready to receive your wisdom, but the words do not come. Your audience has become accustomed to good, regular content from you but today you have nothing. What do you write when afflicted with writer’s block? Here are some creative ideas on what to write when you are out of ideas and need some inspiration:
- Monitor your niche’s interests via Amazon book lists and similar topic listing tools.
People like to read about topics they are interested in. So use these lists as brainstorming platforms.
These topics might have been covered before, but they may not have! This sort of writing gives less consideration to Google, and more consideration to your audience. But at the end of the day, you’re writing a post for people. Plus, if you write a post people love to read, they are more apt to tell their friends or share on social media.
Additional places for topic hunting can be specialty niche forums, applicable sub-Reddits and any other specialty groups on social media.
- Blow your audience away with well-written content about a core topic.
As a blogger, you can secure your place in infamy if you can “write the book” on one of your core topics. Pick something you know a lot about, organize your thoughts and edit them down to a cohesive and concise analysis of the topic.
Try to write an article that enthralls your reader so much they literally cannot put them down. Make sure the article has plenty of “WOW Factor.” Make your piece seem important — make it the end-all-be-all when it comes to your niche topic.
- Write about a case study.
You can select a well-known case study, and this method will do well for your SEO. Readers tend to obsess about publicly known cases and will read any article on the subject.
You can also choose to use a personal case study, a study from a friend, a personal experience or you can even use an experience from a client. Be sure to use good ethics standards and judgement, but a being the first to report on a case study can really pay off if the case goes viral.
- See what topics your competitors are writing about.
Obviously this option has a few ethics guidelines that need to be observed, but reading content from your competitors can be a great way to brainstorm topic ideas. Check the keyword tags at the bottom of their content and you can build off of that.
This method can be especially effective if you have an opposing viewpoint or new perspective on the topic.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were some tool for you to just search the trending topics in your field? Oh wait…..there are plenty!
BuzzSumo and Ahrefs are handy little topic and keyword tools that analyze your realm of the internet and let you know what your readers care about, ranked. Take advantage.
- Find the questions that are plaguing your audience and answer them.
People have questions. Your audience has questions. Why not give them an answer? Find the latest questions plaguing your readership and then write a well written response.
The best place to look for what questions your readers are asking is to go on the niche forums, sub-Reddits and Facebook/social media groups. Don’t be afraid to use your own social media platforms to encourage your readers to ask you questions directly. To make a more interpersonal connection, be sure and tag the original questioner when you post the content.
- Find the problems that your audience cares about and create a tutorial.
Since the inception of Google, tutorials have been one of the most popular content styles on the internet. “How to bake a chocolate cake,” “How to tie a necktie,” and “life hacks” litter the walls of social media and rise to the top of many Google rankings. Wikihow.com has built an entire empire on this.
Targeting a problem faced by your readership and fixing that problem in a concise, easy-to -follow way is the best way to get in their good graces. Tutorials also have a longevity of relevance. If properly SEO’d, the tutorial could show up and be viewed anytime someone faces this specific problem; ensuring your tutorial will bring in traffic to your site in perpetuity.
- Hero worship never fails.
Pick a well-respected leader in your field and interview them. If you can’t get a hold of them for an interview or they are no longer living, then write about their work or their legacy. It is ideal if you can provide some sort of insight or new viewpoint into their work.
Be sure to pick someone accredited and revered; and be sure the content is flattering. You don’t want to get on your reader’s or the expert’s bad side.
- Make yourself a guinea pig.
Reverting back to section seven, you can always test one of these problems facing your readership on yourself and document your findings. An extremely popular example of this is Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me.”
It is pertinent to talk about yourself and highlight your humanity. Your readers will relate better to you if they see that you suffer from the same problems as they do, even though you are an expert.
- Dive headfirst into a little controversy.
This is tricky. You WILL ALWAYS gather attention with an unpopular opinion. Sometimes this can be good and sometimes this can be very, very bad. The trick is to gather attention without alienating half or more of your readership.
It is easiest to pick an argument that most everyone agrees on and then tackle it in a tactful way. Be sure your argument is based in fact and remains ethical, but don’t be afraid if you step on one or two toes.
- Look to the big leagues.
Even if you live in the blogosphere, don’t forget to check on the “traditional media”. News sources like CNN, Huffington Post, Fox News, MSNBC, etc all have blog sections. If you can write similar content while utilizing similar links and keywords, then SEO magic will put in the same searches as the big names. You might be able to even land a spot in their “suggested” section.
- Speaking of coattails, why not ride your own?
Every blogger has those articles that captured a certain magic that can not be rekindled. If you are having an “off” writing day, why not revisit your previous success? Maybe provide updates on the topic or create a new subtopic that relates to the main article.
Creating a “sequel article” can generate some buzz while adding depth and value to the original content. If Hollywood can rehash past successes with yet another 1980s franchise remake, why can’t you?
- Start a series.
Nothing generates return readership more than a series. People tune in week after week to get the full story. There are a couple of ways to do this.
Reverting to section three in this post, if you have a case study that is rich with details or too much to cover in one post, turn it into a series. Breaking up the post can help keep your readers’ attention, while also ensuring return readership. Try to create a sense of suspense. Never be afraid to leave off on a cliffhanger.
You can also do a series of related posts and give it one overarching name. For example, if you were travel blogger, you could run a series called “Places to go before you die.” Then each post in the series could be “Places to see before you dies: Rome, Italy.” and so on.
Series can last for a few days to a few years. You can add new installments as frequently or as scarcely as you want.
Writer’s block is a centuries-old problem that has no easy solution, but hopefully this short guide will help get the wheels turning and the words flowing.