No matter how long you’ve been running your blog, sometimes it happens: you end up at a loss for what to write about. I call it the “Blog Doldrums,” where any good topic you come up with is one you’ve already done, and any other topic seems not worth writing about. The Blog Doldrums kill off many good blogs before they really get started, and can cause a great blogger to suddenly go silent.
So, how do we as content creators combat this? First, by not letting these doldrums get hold of us for too long, and second, by getting a little creative with our blog topic ideas.
Approach #1: Search for Similar Books and Websites, and Present Them to Your Audience as Resources
Whatever you’ve made a blog about, likely there’s been a book (or several) written about it, and likely there are other websites which cover similar ground. Check out books at your local library (or through an e-library), and do fairly involved searches for websites (i.e., not just the first page of Google results).
Once you find books and websites that are on your particular topic, browse through them, making notes of which ones are most useful and relevant to your blog’s audience. Compile a short list of the best of the best, and write a short description of each book or website, along with relevant links (website link, place to buy the book, official book website, etc.) and any appropriate pictures (screenshots and book covers).
Example: For my Monday web design and development posts, I could do a post about some great webdesign guidebooks as well as helpful development websites, linking to each and showing my readers resources they’ve potentially never heard of.
The resulting blog post will be basically an online report about what other people are doing in your content area. Visitors will still be enriched by this post, and you can start to build a little community with other website owners and bloggers who are interested in your same topic, too!
Approach #2: Just Write Your Perspective on an Issue
Rather than trying to do a really in-depth post with TONS of information and LOTS of “expert advice,” how about just doing a blog post about your own perspective? Write about what this topic means to you, or how you interact with it on a daily basis, or even what you think about particular trends going on in your chosen topic right now.
Why bother doing this? Because you, as a blogger, have a very interesting point of view that others would like to read about, so why NOT share your opinions? This gets you writing from the most primal level–your own mindset. You can explore your own thoughts and reasoning as you choose, and can then tie it all together in an understandable way.
Example: For my Saturday creativity posts, I could write about what music has meant to me over the course of my life. Or, for my Thursday gaming posts, I could write about the current HeroClix team trends appearing in local gaming stores versus team trends at conventions.
This blog post will be virtually guaranteed to be original, new content–it came out of your head, after all! Plus, visitors will likely be intrigued by your words, and may be inspired to think differently about your topic because of your post.
Approach #3: Research Your Topic and Bring Something Obscure to Light
No matter what your topic, there are likely several unexplored corners within it, several small things most people gloss over, assuming everyone knows about it. Take time to research your chosen topic in depth, and research anything that surprises you about your topic or anything you personally have never known much about before.
Once you’ve done that, take time in a blog post to expand on one or more of these hidden gems, really digging into it and exploring it. (Don’t forget to do a lot of linking in this post to show where you found this information, and where people can go to find out more!)
Example: For my Wednesday Bible posts, I could take a Bible verse that is either not often talked about or very often misunderstood, and really delve into it, comparing and contrasting the meaning most folks take from it and the Biblical scholars’ interpretation(s).
When you publish this post, you will be bringing something very new and interesting to your audience’s attention, and your post will likely spur readers to learn even more. You might even draw attention from other bloggers and website owners who write about your same topic!
When you find yourself in the Blog Doldrums, don’t despair–there are plenty of ways to get yourself out of them AND produce a useful, worthwhile blog post at the same time!