Today you’ll learn about an effective process to brainstorm blog post ideas for your blog.
Many writers reach a point in time when they lack ideas and topics to write about.
So they sit on their desks for hours wondering and aimlessly searching on the internet to come up with ideas. If they’re lucky they resolve to write content that serves no purpose to their blogs.
I believe in systems. Even when engaging creativity, systems can help us think of the right things.
When we fall into this blank state, it would be great to have a working system to generate content ideas that support your blog’s end goal.
Funny enough, before writing this blog post, I too was blank. So I harnessed some cool tips I had learned earlier to come up with this blog post idea.
And that system is what I want to talk about here. It is based on two things.
- A blog growth system used by one of the best content marketing platforms on the internet.
- A learning method which enables acquisition of data in a more effective manner.
So, let’s begin.
HubSpot, a leading content marketing company teaches the importance of consideration of topical relevance when generating content ideas that ensure growth of blogs.
They implemented this strategy on their site when they were starting, when they had no readers to their blogs.
Topical relevance essentially means is that the creation of content around a single topic rather than based on keywords
For ages, bloggers have been focusing on keywords for content generation.
Yet search engines have been advanced as they strive to offer the most relevant content to internet users.
In the process, they have learned to rank topical articles rather than keyword focused articles.
Search engines are smart enough to recognize connections across different search queries.
This means websites which focus on topics and generate related content in the process proving their mastery in their specific niches rank high.
Therefore, it’s high time to start building content across related topics, not keywords.
And how do you do this?
It starts with thinking about your end customer.
Every blogger needs to have an ideal customer persona in mind, who they think their products or services will be most useful to.
Then ask yourself what this customer needs.
For instance your blog targets sports shoes customers who are most likely athletes. Your main topic is sports shoes.
At the bottom of the funnel, you have a long distance runner looking for the best shoes for her next Marathon.
What kind of questions does she have? Put yourself in her shoes.
Some of them could be
- How to buy sports shoes online?
- Which sport shoes are best for long distance running?
- Which sport shoes are light and comfortable?
Brainstorm and write them down without leaving any of them out.
By empathizing with your ideal customer and putting yourself in their situation, you can generate tens of content ideas that you might want to write about.
As you do this, use this approach popularized by Tony Buzan which not only enhances learning but also improves creativity.
Mind map is a graphical way of representing ideas and concepts.
It mimics how the brain works by representing information in a structured manner, where the most general idea is placed at the middle of a blank page and then divides into sub topics which branch further into smaller ideas.
It’s like the upper part of a tree.
It produces a Visual Thinking tool which helps in analyzing and organizing information in our mind.
So while brainstorming the questions your customers might have, do it through a mind map.
Start by taking an empty blank page and placing it in landscape orientation. This give you room to comfortably branch your ideas
At the middle of this blank page, write your main topic.
Then branch your main idea into subtopics from the center using different colors for each item.
Then break your subtopics further into smaller ideas to form something that looks like this.
Make sure you keep your topics labels as short as possible to avoid cluttering your page.
Also make sure that you alter your text sizes, color and alignment to emphasize on the important point.
From your mind map, take note of the ideas you have well expanded on because they will form the basis of content you are most knowledgeable about.
Using the mind mind mapping technique you can come up with more ideas than you expected because it harnesses on the working formula of the brain to tap into the knowledge you have acquired on your niche and bring into light ideas, creative ideas that you might be having or you might have in store.
Read, Read, Read A Lot
The funny thing about this strategy is that your creativity depends on your knowledge. And your knowledge depends on how much you read
If you haven’t been reading much, it’s definitely one of the reasons why you lack content ideas.
Make it a routine to widely, not just on your niche topic, but also on other related and non related content, fiction included.
This will broaden your ideas in help you create analogies and examples for your content based on real life and fictional examples from the content that you read.
The more you expose yourself to high quality content, the higher the quality of ideas you can generate.
Make sure you pick up ideas and jot them down where you can easily access them.
Use a swipe file, defined by Henneke from Enchanting Marketing as a collection of writing examples that inspire high quality writing.
Also, bookmark content that proves inspirational to you and challenges you or makes you want to write better.
Through this system of knowledge acquisition, you can broaden your creativity and increase the number of ideas that you can generate from the mind mapping process.
Get out for Inspiration
Most writers spend hours and day on their work desks writing like slaves.
You go days and even weeks without breaking from work thinking it’s the only way to be highly productive.
Yet this is one of the reasons why your brain goes blank.
Your mind is like a muscle, it needs a break. You cannot subject it to endless monotonous work and expect it to be creative .
It gets clogged and you need to take a break. Go out and indulge in other activities.
Go to the gym and or for a walk. Meet new people and socialise. Take your dog for a walk
These activities help you grow holistically, rejuvenate your mind setting the ground for creative ideation.
If you cannot come up with an idea at this very moment, the best thing to do right now is just go out of the house and get adventurous
When you come back to your desk you will have a better approach to the issue at hand and cool ideas will pop from nowhere.
Using this relevant and clever process, you can brainstorm content ideas whenever you like.
But remember it’s not a one time activity. It involves actions which require daily practice to become a master in blog posts ideation.
Always have topical relevance in mind because you want to focus on the end goal, which is getting the ideal customer to take action.