woman keyboard friedThere comes a time in every online marketer’s life when they run out of things to write about. For me the last month has been a real desert.  So I decided to break my writers block by writing about writing.  My thought being that this was a constructive way to try to work my way out of the mental rut I was in. I started by jotting down a quick list of what I felt I needed help with to move forward and then what I wanted to accomplish with my writing. I guess all I needed was a little inspiration.  My next few blog posts are going to be based off that list. 

Today I am starting off with 5 ways to find great topics to write about.  Over the next week or two I will also be covering stuff like:

  • rules for great content
  • how to re-purpose your writing
  • tips for planning content (a real a-hah writing session for me)
  • how to encourage reader interaction
  • and probably a few more

Here are my 5 secrets to finding great content…..
#1 Grab a magazine from your coffee table. It doesn’t even have to be a magazine in your niche industry. Just about any magazine will do. Now take a look at the cover. Write down the headlines as they appear. Chances are they’ll look something like this:

  •  The __ secrets to ____ (I used this one for this article)
  •  Learn how to _____ today
  •  ___ tips to ____

Once you’ve written down the headlines, replace the keywords with your own. Fill in the blanks. If there are ten headlines on the cover of your magazine, you now have ten articles or blog posts you can write.

#2 Jump on a social networking site of choice and read posts in your niche. Visit the pages of your industry guru and read their latest posts and information. Chances are you’re going to find many content ideas.

You may take issue or disagree with something someone said. That’s a perfect blog post. You may think that a topic needs to be expanded upon. You may read a comment to a social networking post that is the foundation of an article. Social networking sites are packed with content ideas. You just have to look for them.

#3 Read your own blog and review the comments. Skim past the ones that say “Thanks for the information.” Those don’t offer any value to you right now. Instead, look for the questions or the meaty comments. Those are ideal for inspiring content ideas.

#4 Read your forum and blog comments on other sites. Often these comments are enough to be an article or blog post all by themselves. Just polish it up and format it for the web and you’re good to go. If the comment or forum post is short, expand on it. Use your feedback to create article and blog content on your website.

#5 Make a list. Lists are easy to make and they’re well received online. If you’re struggling to find content ideas, write down three to five list ideas and tackle them one by one.  (In part that was how this very article came about.)

Article and blog post ideas are out there just waiting for you to find them. With a little creativity and inspiration you can turn an unmotivated writing session into a productive afternoon.  Do you have clever ways you use to come up with topics to write about?  I would love to hear how your creative process works.