Blogging isn’t exactly easy.
Content marketers know, it’s extremely challenging to continually come up with new topics, angles, and stories that relate to their industry or field. Really, journalists have it easy—the news is made for them. But as a corporate reporter, or content marketer, your beat is fairly narrow.
People always ask me, how do you keep coming up with blog post ideas?
So I decided to answer them in—you guessed it—a blog.
Step 1. Brainstorm.
Remember that word? Brainstorming is key to getting the creative juices flowing.
Schedule brainstorming time into your work schedule so that you make sure that you do it. Close your computer screen. Get out some markers or your favorite pens, and literally write ideas down. You can draw, sketch, write, or doodle. The idea is to let loose and think. Spend at least 20 minutes brainstorming.
Step 2. Ask a friend.
One of my favorite ways of getting a story idea is by literally asking a friend what would interest them on a specific topic. For instance, today I went to coffee with my friend Steve and asked him, “Hey Steve, if you were to read an article on content marketing, what would you want to know?”
“How do you make money doing content marketing,” he said, without hesitation.
And #boom, I decided to write a few articles that illustrate how companies can make money by investing in content.
Step 3. Fill out a “word association cloud.”
One of the main issues we see with our enterprise-level clients using Kapost, is that they can’t seem to break away from the product. They need to create buyer-centric content, but they can’t stop talking about product differentiators, key features, and the various products that a company sells.
You’ve got to break away from that old-school marketing technique!
Do a word-association exercise (feel free to save and print the image above to bring this exercise to you team!). Write your product features in a bubble and then ask yourself:
- What would the New York Times write about this subject?
- What kind of story would I share about this topic if I saw it in my Newsfeed?
- How would American Apparel make an ad around this topic?
- How would this topic be an episode of a reality TV show?
Put answers to these questions into a bubble adjoining the first bubble. Then—and here’s the kicker—do that AGAIN. Get two steps away from the product to truly put yourself in your buyer’s shoes and to create content that resonates with them.
Optional Step 4: Vet the idea.
Then, if you really want your post to do well, vet the idea with the crowd. Post a topic on Twitter and see if people engage with the idea or thread. Start a LinkedIn discussion. Post something on Facebook. Figure out how to gauge the temperature on how much interest exists.
Voila. You’ve just become an idea-creating blog master.