How Do I Generate Blog Content?

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lightbulbWriting a single blog entry: simple. Writing a monthly blog post: easy. Writing a weekly blog article: challenging. Writing more frequently than once-a-week: tedious.

If you’ve had the opportunity to write blogs—or anything that requires frequent, discrete, original content—you understand that generating content ideas can be challenging. You figure that you, or someone else out there in the webosphere, has written just about all there is to write on any given topic related to your industry. So how do you keep it fresh? Follow a few of the tips below to develop a system for generating content ideas for your blog.

Often, you can use the hints you gather from visitors to your website. You can use website analytics to determine the topics that visitors frequent. You can add more content related to these topics. And, when users search on your site, they’re essentially telling you what they want to know—so blog about it. Or, if they contact you with questions, use your answers to form blog posts. After all, if one viewer wants to know, chances are several do.

You can also use personal experiences. Make lists of such things as

  • What are the biggest mistakes I’ve made along my way? If you’ve learned lessons from them, share your insight.
  • What do I know now that I wish I’d known when I started? Blog about how your experience has changed your perception or expectations about your job, career, or industry.
  • What are some successes that could provide lessons to others? Consider sharing anecdotes of yourself or other lesser known people who may be flying under the radar.

Finally, read blogs in your industry. Don’t copy their work, but comment on the subjects. Explain your take on the subject—why you agree or disagree and why.

Read other popular blogs related to yours. The most popular ones often get hundreds of comments and questions—far too many for the writers to keep up with. When you find comments or questions that interest you, comment. Then, take that comment or question to fuel your next blog topic.

You can also use web-based tools to help you generate blog ideas. You can use any of the following recommended tools:

  • Bottlenose provides live social intelligence for you by analyzing activity in all the major social networks. Essentially, it allows you to surf the stream of content and discover what’s trending in social media—real-time.
  • TweetChats are regularly scheduled events where people from all over have a Twitter conversation about a certain topic. Similar to chat rooms, TweetChats are great for finding blog content because they involve questions, answers, facts, and opinions.
  • Topsy is another social search tool that allows you to search across several social channels. It provides a sleek interface and allows you to filter your results. Many of the world’s largest brands also use Topsy as their day-to-day social dashboard to discover and track the impact of trending topics and predict future events.
  • Quora is a Q&A social media website where you can connect with others and ask questions and give answers/opinions. So, you can use Quora to generate blog content in two ways: asking questions about topics that interest you to get feedback from others, and searching the topics you’re interested in to see what discussions have already occurred on them.