Blogs provide a low-cost platform for demonstrating to your audience that you’re an industry thought leader, building your brand, driving qualified traffic to your web site and engaging your prospects in meaningful dialogue. All these are true, however, only when blogs are active and dynamic. Translation: they don’t write themselves. Someone—and that might possibly be you—must be tasked with maintaining, feeding and nurturing it.
Though that might sound easy, maintaining an active blog requires careful thought, execution, planning and, yes, work. Often inspiration comes easily at first, but after a while the creative well runs dry, leaving you scrambling for content ideas.
Here are a few go-to sources for inspiration when the inevitable blog writer’s block strikes.
- Google Alerts. Sign up for Google Alerts and get a head’s up anytime a new topic pops up about your particular niche. By helping you keep an eye out for what’s going on in your industry, Google Alerts can become a wealth of inspiration.
- CommentLuv. Nothing inspires like the inspiration of others. This plug-in allows a commenter to share his or her most recent post, which may intrigue you enough to come up with an idea of your own, either because you disagree with the comment or because it inspired you to add to the original thought.
- Delicious. This social bookmarking site allows you to simply type your topic into the Delicious search bar and up pops lots of results from people who have saved articles or blog posts on that particular topic.
- Blog Engage. Similar to other social bookmarks, like BizSugar and Digg, Blog Engage is an online community of bloggers and, as such, focuses a lot on just bloggers, so it’s a great source of inspiration for future blog topic ideas.
- Scribnia. This blog community is a great spot to find authors and bloggers based on specific niches, which can really help you zero in on topics pertinent to your own audience.
- Alltop. This site features a huge selection of blogs on myriad of topics. Headlines of the latest stories from the best sites and blogs that cover a topic are collected then grouped together into individual web pages.
- Technorati. Often referred to as the “blogger’s Bible,” this site has more than 133 million blogs registered with them and enables visitors to search for topics using either categories or top topics.
- Ezinearticles. This is a platform for experts in more than 600 niche markets who share their expertise in the form of short articles. You can easily search for ideas based on your specific niche.
- Get LinkedIn. More than just a networking site, LinkedIn Groups are perfect places to find topic ideas within your niche. Pay close attention to questions posed by members and write your blog around a possible answer.
- Slideshare. This site receives more than 60 million visits and 120 million page views every month, so don’t discount it as just a collection of presentations, but rather think of it as a well of ideas from which to pluck ideas to inspire future blog posts.
- Bottlenose. This site provides social intelligence by analyzing activity across all of the major social networks. Users can “surf the stream” and find out what’s trending in social media in real time.
- TweetChats. These regularly scheduled events draw people from all over the world to get together and have a virtual chat over Twitter about a certain topic. They make excellent fodder for blog ideas because they always involve questions, answers, facts and opinions.
Regularly checking out these sites can help you keep your brain stocked with fresh content ideas that will keep your subscribers tuned in and keep troubling writer’s block at bay.
Where do you search for inspiration when writing blogs? Share your favorite sources in the comment section!
Photo Credit: Leach84
Barb Schmitz is professional writer with over 20 years of experience writing for B2B and B2C publications and web sites. She served as an editor on Computer-Aided Engineering magazine for over 10 years before starting her own PR/freelance writing business in 2000. Her expertise includes interviewing, researching and writing whitepapers, blogs, e-books, case studies, and feature articles.