When I can’t figure out what to write about, sometimes I get real fidgety. One time at home (thank goodness not at the office), I had a brain-block and couldn’t stop violently rocking back and forth in my computer chair.
Of course, the fun ended when I rocked too hard, fell backwards onto my laptop, cracked its case and tore a hole in my chair. Good times.
That incident taught me I needed a better process for defeating writer’s block. So, in order to keep yourself from breaking expensive electronics around your house, here are 14 content ideas for your next 14 posts.
Our old friend: the how-to post. These are used a lot, but only because people love them. People are on the Internet to find answers. They want to learn how to do something.
I say give ‘em what they want.
2. Product/Company Review
Is there a helpful product you use on a daily basis?
Did a new company show up in your industry that’s doing great work?
If you’ve noticed other content we create at NetHosting, we frequently post in-depth company reviews, such as for Woot.com. These are often our highest trafficked articles. Even though Woot isn’t part of our specific industry, we find ways to write about their hosting because that relates to us.
3. Answer a Common Question
You should know and understand your industry better than just about anyone else. Recognizing your potential market’s fears, concerns, and questions is basic to business success (always has been, always will be).
Pick an oft-asked question, and answer it in-depth with your post!
4. Make an Announcement
If you have a new product, upcoming webinar, or event you’re hosting on or attending, announce it to your readers in a blog post!
5. Create a Long List
Use topics such as these:
24 ways to improve your writing
17 strategies for closing a sale,
38 ways to keep weeds out of your garden
6. Interview Someone
If you work in an office, interview someone important you work with. If you’re a one-man show running a business blog, find someone in your niche who’s doing well and interview them! It doesn’t hurt to ask if they’re available, right?
7. Share Your Toolkit
With tens of thousands of useful tools available on the web, people want to know what other successful people or businesses are using!
What do you use to track your keywords? What about autoresponder software? Or organizational tools? From past experience, your readers will love this, and they’ll share and comment as well.
8. Audit Yourself
I’d hold off on this one if you’re a bigger business with reason to keep info private. For a small business blogger, transparency endears yourself to your site’s visitors.
As a whole, people love to spy on others, and secretly measure their progress to others. Show some of your numbers (traffic, leads, maybe sales) and you’ll draw some attention.
9. Shoot a Video
It’s a fact that different types of people respond to different types of media. Videos will draw in different crowds than your normal text-based articles will.
One easy way to shoot a video is to create a quick PowerPoint presentation and do a screen capture while you explain the information.
10. Share a Story and Relate to Your Topic
Sharing a story helps create an identity and gives your brand a more interesting voice. Others can relate and your writing will stand out more than the typical mechanical junk posts many businesses post.
However, many people tend to overestimate how interesting their stories are. Unless you’re explaining how you got lost on Everest and had to beat up a pack (a herd? A swarm?) of Yetis for survival, keep the stories short.
You’ll notice I started off this post with an on-topic, quick anecdote from my life. It was relevant and short, and, if you found it horrible to endure, only lasted like 3 sentences.
11. Share Your Biggest Success
By sharing something you did that worked, you’re providing great value to others. Of course, many companies are tight-lipped about stuff that’s working for them, but hopefully you can find something small. It could be something like a Firefox plugin that you discovered, or an email headline that pulled well!
12. Share Your Biggest Failure
Another thing many companies are tight-lipped about, but admitting faults or an embarrassing episode can make you seem more real. Please, don’t share how your company is going bankrupt or getting sued. You can share something funny about miscommunication between departments or an office prank.
13. Share Your Reading List
Almost everyone has a list of go-to blogs or websites for information. Writing a post about your favorite information hubs would take, what, like 10 minutes? That’s an awesome way to provide valuable content super-fast.
14. Point Out Common Mistakes
Something like “Do You Make These 7 Common (Industry) Mistakes?”
What a great way to grab attention! The word “common” makes readers want to click or they’ll feel like they’re missing out. Plus, as an authority in your industry, this shouldn’t be a hard post to write.
When I need some content, I generally scroll through these formats in my brain until I come to one that works for that day.
Once you’ve used all of these 14 ideas, go through them again! You’ll never have to struggle for content ideas again.
Do you have any other content formats that you use? Tell us about ‘em!