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  • How to find blogging inspiration & 20 blogging ideas

    Even if you have the best intentions in the world, coming up with a constant stream of new ideas for blog posts can be pretty intimidating. All too soon, the corporate blog lies empty because the company has run out of ideas. Don’t let that happen to you! From company brainstorms to new ways of planning copy, we are going to provide you with some great tips on how to generate ideas for blog content.

    WARNING: This is a long post, but we think it’s worth the read (and hopefully you’ll agree). If you really don’t have time then there’s a list of our top tips at the end!

    Use your colleagues

    Brainstorms can be a brilliant way to come up with interesting blog ideas. Don’t limit yourself to asking only the PR or SEO teams though, invite people from across your business to contribute to a brainstorming session. They might not have the skills needed to write good content, but they may have insights and opinions that will help you generate great ideas.

    Speak to your partners, colleagues, and employees, and listen to them to decide what would best suit the needs of your company. Then, come up with something you can write about which takes this on board.

    You might even want to talk to some of your regular and trusted customers, to find out what they’re interested in, as there’s a good chance other potential customers will share those same interests.

    Remember why you’re blogging. In the case of a corporate blog it’s usually to generate business – so put your audience first and write for them, not for your own interests. You might be delighted to finally have a platform to rave about your travels, but your corporate clients won’t care.

    One key consideration is to make sure everything you write is both useful and interesting. That’s the best way to maintain a high standard for your blog.

    Become a Serial Killer

    Serialising your blog posts can be a great way of producing killer copy over the medium term, rather than putting all of your eggs in one basket. By producing a series of posts on the same topic, you increase the apparent relevance of your site for that subject – and give your readers some other pages to click onto.

    Serial articles can help keep people interested in your blog and encourage them to return for more useful content on a relevant subject. You could consider writing a series of how-to articles, or reviews of products, industry publications, or even Twitter accounts from within your sector.

    At its best, this approach can encourage readers to come back for the next instalment, creating a steady flow of visits. So, if you’re relying on serial posts to get people back to your site, you might want to stick to a regular schedule for maximum effect.

    One caveat – don’t flog a subject to death. There is nothing worse than reading a series of posts which do nothing but re-iterate the same ideas over and over again. If you have nothing new to say on a topic then it’s time to find something new to write about.

    Read

    Simple enough to be summed up in a single word, ‘read’ is one of the best pieces of advice that can be given to any writer. The more you read other people’s blogs – even if they’re not relevant to your industry – the more you’ll understand what makes for engaging content.

    You also need to read people’s blog comments and take on board what they’re saying, both on your blog and other people’s. This will help you to understand which sort of posts are good and which aren’t.

    Once you’ve gained this understanding, as well as gathering some new ideas, the trick is to turn them into something that is not only engaging and entertaining, but which also meets your marketing or lead-generation needs.

    Remember, it’s not just new ideas that you can pick up by reading other blogs – you might also improve your grammar and style along the way.

    Invite guest bloggers

    Consider asking an industry influencer if they’d like to contribute to your corporate blog. They are likely to be flattered, so it could be good for networking, and they will publicise it to all their Twitter followers and online circle, which can lead to some new traffic for your blog.

    Just one word of warning: agree how you’ll edit their copy in advance. People can be very protective of their work and may not be happy if you’ve gone through it with a red pen. Edit their work lightly and send it back to them for approval before publishing.

    Break the Rules

    Finally, a fallback option is to go out and break all the known rules about corporate blogging. But, if you take this option, on your own head be it! Every so often you will find a corporate blog that has almost nothing to do with the company that publishes it, but focuses on something like environmental sustainability or charity work instead.

    You might also see ‘corporate’ blogs that are purely for entertainment purposes, filled with jokes, or comic strips, or pictures of cats. When you’re this far outside of the box, there are very few hard and fast rules left to break, but get it right and you could give your brand a huge boost in positive perception as a result.

    The only caveat to this is that it’s always wise to have plenty of plain text along with any images, infographics, videos, and so on. If you can get some relevant language into it then so much the better, even if it’s just ‘After a hard day working on our new landlords’ insurance document, we’ve been relaxing with some lolcats. Enjoy!’

    That way, even if you’re giving your visitors something fun to look at, you’re still delivering the search-visible text content that will help to get you into the search engine results.

    However, I wouldn’t recommend this as a good way to write a corporate blog. Nine times out of 10 it’s not a clever quirky marketing strategy, it’s down to ego, and it brings little benefit to the business.

    Five golden rules

    Ultimately, there are just five things you need to consider when writing corporate blogs.

    Your posts need to be:

    • Relevant
    • Timely
    • Frequent
    • Personable
    • Useful

    These are the golden rules for great blog content so never publish anything without considering those first.

    Top 20 Tips

    If you’re still struggling for blog ideas, try some of these top tips:

    1. Look at current trends, extrapolate them, and make a prediction for the future of your industry.
    2. Do an introduction to 10 of the best up-and-coming bloggers in your field.
    3. Find a current topic of debate and express your own, new, different view on the issue.
    4.  Make a list of common myths and misconceptions about your industry and then debunk them.
    5.  Satirise a well-known personality – it can be someone inside or outside your industry.
    6.  Look at a big brand, and analyse both their good and bad points – show where they’re using best practise techniques and where they’re making mistakes.
    7.  Find a recent piece from a high-level personality in your industry, disagree with it, and prove them and their opinions wrong.
    8.  Do a case study of something that went wrong in your business. Analyse the mistakes and explain how you fixed them.
    9.  Break some news about your company, e.g. revealing a new product.
    10.  Write a list of the vital web tools and software people in your industry can’t do without.
    11.   Compare the old and new ways of conducting your business.
    12.  Write an allegory about your idol doing your business e.g. “How Steve Jobs Would’ve Done SEO” or “The Bruce Lee Approach to Marketing”.
    13.  Go to a trade fair or industry event and report on it.
    14.  Do a comparison of your national market to markets abroad.
    15.  Review a book which deals with your industry – particularly if it contains some interesting outside the box thinking.
    16.  Find out about something new for your industry – a tool, a website, a method etc. – and write about it.
    17.  Identify industry leaders in your area and ask them to do a guest post.
    18.  Write a code of business ethics for your industry.
    19.  Conduct an interview with a prominent or rising industry figure and write it up.
    20.  Check Digg, StumbleUpon, Technorati, and Quora to find out what’s most popular right now, and what questions people are seeking answers to. Then provide the information they want on your blog.

    (These tips come from a previous blog post of ours written by Tad. He had 50 ideas, but here we’ve just picked our favourite 20).

    Image credit: owenwbrown

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Samantha is a Content Specialist at White, and spends her time working on high-quality content strategies and correcting everyone's grammar. Yorkshire born and bred, she moved down south for her BA in English Language & Literature at Oxford University, and hasn’t managed to leave. In her spare time you can find her either lost in a good book or whirling round a dance class. She enjoys a good glass of wine, all forms of chocolate, and her favourite animal is the honey badger. Get in touch with Sam on Twitter @SamanthaKHall

    18 Responses to “How to find blogging inspiration & 20 blogging ideas”

    1. Kent says:

      Reading is my main source of blogging idea. Read blog post, books, articles, etc. Another great source is Linkedin. Build genuine relationship with top authors, get them interview, you will get a lot of ideas.

    2. Dave says:

      Brainstorming with colleagues outside your immediate circle is definitely a great way of generating ideas. I’ve had really good results from bringing in a few heads from departments other than marketing/SEO – everyone has their own perspective, after all, and the best blogs are those that don’t seem overly commercial or ‘gamed’.

    3. How to find blogging inspiration & 20 blogging ideas | SmallBusinessNewz says:

      [...] Comments Related Items Blogging marketing There are 3 Comments. Add Yours. [...]

    4. Very Informative Tips. Begineers for blogging always have no plan with their blog what they can do from they have started. This is a great resource for bloggers to how frequently they should update with their informative content. Thanks for sharing!!

    5. I totally agree that reading other blogs is the best way to get ideas for your own topics. @Kent: I think I may have to give that LinkedIn strategy a try!

      Thanks for the post!

    6. One of the best blogs I have read on finding blogging inspiration and ideas. Very informative and up to date. Thanks for the inspiration! Definitely a must read!

    7. K.Singh says:

      Social news and bookmarking sites like Digg and Delicious are also excellent source of information for new topics to write about. Ultimately, Google readers is the best way to get ideas.

    8. It was very refreshing to come across this list of original suggestions, many that I’d never considered before. Thank so much for the inspiration Sam and Tad!

    9. Fedobe says:

      Thanks for sharing these valuable information. Really, these tips are very informative and useful for new bloggers.

    10. Rahul Katrak says:

      Samantha, thank you for this detailed article and great tips which got me thinking about my social media strategy as well as planning our blog campaigns. I must admit that I’ve often found myself scratching my head when it comes to social media and blog updates and your advice has set me on the path. Thank you!

    11. Andrea says:

      I think the tip about reading other people’s blogs is very true. I read a lot of blogs whether or not they are related to what I write about. I’ve found that this gives me an idea of what I enjoy reading and what I quickly close out of and go to the next site. I’ve found that people don’t like to read something that takes forever, so it’s best to keep it short, simple, to the point, and whenever possible, make it entertaining! If they enjoyed it, they will talk about it to other people and that will bring more people to your site.

    12. [...] an awesome deal of patience but believe it or not, the patience you put in truly can pay off. Search Engine Optimisation; the three most commonly utilised letters inside the business world that …te structure, content matter and pictures with lucrative keyword phrases to attain a desirable [...]

    13. elena says:

      The five golden rules are wonderful…Thanks for the useful tips

    14. Futura says:

      Samantha, thank you for this detailed article and great tips which certainly gave me a lot of clarity and food for thought. A lot of our web design clients ask us for tips on keeping their content fresh and I must admit that I’ve often found myself scratching my head when it comes to social media and blog updates, that continue to add value to target audiences as well as having a positive SEO benefit! I must say your advice will prove invaluable for enhancing the content of our client’s websites. Thank you!

    15. James Watson says:

      Social Media tools like Socialmention.com , Topsy.com helps to find the trending social media updates on a particular topic for your reference. Also look if some other blogger has blogged about the same topic already and take some inspiration from his or her post. Don’t forget make note of Darren Rowse’s Problogger.net for more tips on blogging.

    16. Anton says:

      I have a blog over a year and also had a situation when I haven’t enough ideas for new articles, but one moment I write a new one, there are thoughts to 3 new ones in my head. What do I think? Our ideas – it’s actually a measure of erudition and the more extensive and diversified our inner world – the better. Crisis of ideas never comes. Even if your blog has just one area about SEO or cooking, or even SpongeBob tales :) Our life, our observations, experiences, thoughts – it is an endless source of ideas and unique content at the same time. Reading a variety of literature will always help.

    17. [...] what others are blogging about.  Inspiration can come from a multitude of sources.  You don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time you write a blog.  Take a few minutes to [...]

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