content creation ideasAny blogger who actively publishes content to his site has most likely experienced the dreaded “stuck for ideas” moment. I know I have. I prefer to be told what to write about because I can focus on the request at hand rather than having to come up with an idea. Trying to think of something to write about always throws up the next question: “What if it isn’t what the readers want?”

The information age is a curse in disguise

The first problem we all face is the fact that the information we publish is rarely unique in the sense of having never been published before. Unless of course you invent something new. Just about anything you publish online has in some form been published elsewhere – of course you are trying to spin it with your own unique voice, therefore avoiding any duplicate content issues.

But the core information we write about and record on video has mostly been featured elsewhere. This throws up the next question “why bother at all?” It’s a good question. Here is the thing as I see it; if we stopped publishing, this thing called Internet would fizzle out into nothingness. Since the Net is a pulsating, living medium, it needs new content on a consistent basis.

Imagine what would happen to the search engines if we’d stop writing about the “same” stuff. They’d die because they rely on fresh content being added. In fact, I would go as far as saying that we wouldn’t need them any more. We could simply build online databases of websites that fit a specific topic and leave it at that… or could we?

Never be stuck gain

Picking a topic to blog about isn’t hard when you take the following suggestions into account:

  1. Write a news post about your niche; what is hot, what is not
  2. Write a tutorial style post; showing readers how to do something is a great way to gain a steady following
  3. Write a show off post; have you done something worth mentioning? If so, show off but be careful as this can quickly be seen as self-centered chest bashing which isn’t appreciated by most readers
  4. Get controversial; controversy sells! The more controversial you are, the more traffic your post will attract. Having said this, you should avoid getting too personal
  5. Hold a competition; this is one of the best ways to attract a ton of traffic, especially if your prizes rock
  6. Write a humorous piece; funny (always) wins readers
  7. Be opinionated; this can actually lead into controversy
  8. Write a hack style post; hack a system, software or program and then show the world how it’s done

Still stuck? Reduce distractions!

Distractions are a surefire way to kill your creativity. If you are exposed to noise, other people or kids it is very hard to concentrate. In that case you might want to go somewhere quiet to write your post in draft. If that doesn’t help, walk away from your computer. A short break can work wonders for a creative mind.

The above ideas are really just the start to get you thinking about blog posts. You might even find that any of them will lead to something bigger and better. Anything goes. Personal stories also work well on most blogs because they show the reader the real person behind the message. It’s a great way to attract a following and build trust.

I’m not sure what you do when you are stuck for ideas to write about; I tend to get frustrated and usually walk away from the task at hand until I find some inspiration to continue. I also found that by picking up a book or collection of poems inspiration can strike unexpectedly. Other ideas are; scanning newspaper headlines (great copywriting trick); watching a movie (get inspired by a single quote); listening to music (you’d be surprised what an old song can tell you).

Feel free to share your “recipes” for content creation. What do you do when you get stuck for ideas?

Monika