If you’ve just started writing a blog, then you’re probably brimming with more ideas than you can possibly write in a week, a month, or even several months. But if you’ve been at this blogging thing for awhile, odds are good you’ve discovered that at some point, the creative well starts to run dry.
When that happens, it’s essential to have strategies on hand that can inspire new ideas. Without these tools, you risk developing uninspired content that fails to resonate with or provide value to your readers (at best) or quitting your blog and losing out on all the benefits of readership (at worst). Rather than letting either of these outcomes transpire, turn to these foolproof strategies for stimulating your creativity instead.
Do a keyword search.
This is one of the simplest ways to come up with new blog posts: Simply run a keyword search to identify the kinds of things people are searching for within your niche, and then write to those topics in a way that makes sense for your audience. (Google’s Keyword Planner is a good place to start.) Providing high-value, relevant content on a topic people have already demonstrated themselves to be curious about is a surefire way to sustain traffic to your blog.
Expose yourself to new ideas.
If you’re constantly producing creative outputs (e.g. blog posts), then it’s essential to supply yourself with plenty of inputs so that you have a steady supply of new ideas. Doing so could take several forms, such as:
·Reading reports, research, forums, and other bloggers in your niche
·Reading content that’s totally unrelated to your niche
·Connecting with new people in person and online
·Challenging yourself to try new things either in your niche or outside of it (e.g. taking a cooking class, learning how to swing on a trapeze, and so on)
You’ll notice that many of these ideas don’t have anything to do with your industry, and that’s kind of the point: Exposing yourself to different ideas, people, and activities is a great way to improve your cognitive flexibility—which is another way of saying that you’re more likely to generate creative ideas.
Connect with your readers.
There is no one more qualified to speak to the kinds of posts that should appear on your blog than the people who actually read it. Therefore, if you want those people to continue reading your blog, it’s important to solicit their feedback around the content they’d like you to produce. To that end, consider:
·Using a comments section and reading all comments
·Paying attention to what your readers are saying about your blog/brand on social media
·Sending out a survey to your readers regarding the topics they’d like to see covered on your blog
·Asking some of your most loyal readers if they’d be willing to briefly chat over the phone
Taking the time to learn about your readers’ interests, challenges, lifestyles, and so on is a great way to hone in on blog post ideas that are all but guaranteed to generate traffic.
Get more sleep.
You probably know that quality sleep makes you more creative, even if you’ve never taken the time to articulate that idea in that way. Just consider the days you sit down at your desk after having gotten only a few hours of sleep: Odds are good you spend more time daydreaming about how much you want to crawl back into bed than you do generating stellar blog posts. In contrast, when you’re feeling well-rested, your brain has the energy it needs to fire on all cylinders and come up with new ideas. Thus, consistently getting plenty of sleep is an important part of a sustainable content generation plan.
You can increase your chances of sleeping well by:
- Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day
- Creating a comfortable bedroom environment that is quiet, dark, and relatively cool (i.e. less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Investing in a mattress that’s tailored to your sleeping style so that you’re able to stay comfortable all night long (instead of tossing and turning)
- Developing strategies to cope with stress during the day so it doesn’t keep you up at night
This might sound totally out of the blue, but there’s real science behind it. Research has found that spending time in nature can improve cognitive functioning, especially when it comes to creative thinking and problem solving. The benefits are greatest when you spend time in environments that feature both green foliage (i.e. trees and plants) and natural bodies of water. Bottom line? Your next blog post idea might be as close as a short stroll past the local pond.
By seeking out new ideas and experiences, connecting with your readers, sleeping well, and spending time spent in nature, you’ll help ensure that you’re able to generate creative blog post ideas over the long-term.