Are you struggling to think of an interesting topic for next blog post? You want to create something that will captivate your audience’s attention and make them come back for more. But your mind is simply blank.

I know how you feel. With so much content on the web, thinking of original ideas is tough. In fact, thinking of great ideas is one of the most difficult blogging tasks.

But generating great topic ideas is also key to your success as a blogger. Without ideas, you have no content. Without content, you have no audience. And without an audience, you have no business (or at least, no one to market it to).

In this article, I will show you how to create great content ideas that will provide a continuous stream of amazing content for your blog. Read on to learn 14 inspirational sources for content and get are ready to start creating more interesting, truly original content.

1. Be observant. Ideas are everywhere. Be attuned to all your senses. Take careful note of what you see and what you hear whilst carrying out the mundane tasks of everyday life. Spend time people watching in your local town. Reflect on conversations you had with people you know and brief interactions with those that you don’t know.

2. Consider your past experiences. Consider real events in your own life, and the lives of your family and friends. This can often add a source of personality and humor to your blog posts. Personal stories can make an interesting introduction in a blog post, but don’t get too carried away in story-telling and stay focused on your audience and their needs.

3. Read your previous blog posts. Pay special attention to the most popular articles you have written, whether on your own blog or as a guest post. Why did they do so well? Check the comments to find out the reasons why. Can you create a new angle on the topic?

4. Read a diversity of texts. You should read both within and beyond your niche. Publications and news sites within your niche are a direct source of ideas. Reading beyond your niche may inspire a unique angle on a popular topic. Consider the sources you don’t usually look for ideas, including publications and news sites from other industries and countries. Take notice of the more unusual topics for truly original content.

5. But don’t be constrained by what you read. You need to provide something different. So, find a way to put a new spin on an interesting article to avoid producing boring me-too content. Take time think about what you have read and consider how you can find a connection between this and the focus for your blog. Developing a unique voice and a strong opinion is another way to set yourself apart. Or why not be the first to project trends in your industry before anyone else covers it.

6. Read the comments section in your blog posts. Especially focus on those comments that stir a debate or generate a lot of interest. Take time to reply with helpful feedback and dig deeper in necessary.

7. Invite guest posts. Invite relevant people in your niche to contribute content to your blog. You could also interview a leading expert in your industry and feature the content in a blog post. The content will certainly be interesting and will provide an alternative perspective, which could also be a great source of inspiration for your own writing.

8. Use Google’s instant results feature. Type keywords that are related to your industry, and then see what Google fills in for you.

9. Consider problems you encounter yourself and those encountered by others in your niche. Write about how to overcome them. Focus on answering questions that keep arising and those questions no one else has answered. Search forums, social media and other sources to find out what challenges people are having in your niche.

10. Allow yourself some time off to think of ideas. It’s often during these semi-conscious states that our best ideas arise rather than when we are staring at a computer. Both the natural environment and social environment can be great sources of inspiration. Good activities include swimming, riding a bike, and going for a walk.

11. Blog more frequently. The more you blog, the more ideas you will have. New questions will arise as you write.

12. Use well-known formulas. If you are really stuck, you can always create a list post such as “5 Secrets to…” or the “Top 10 Ways…” It is easier to think of ideas for a list and these types of posts are usually popular with readers.

13. Consider what you have not yet done, and do it. For example, you may not have created a ‘how to’ post, an opinion post or an interview-style post. Using a different format will probably drive new readers to your blog and provide a new perspective for loyal readers.

Finally, remember this very important rule…

14. If you think of a good idea, record it. Keep a databank of your ideas in a notebook or on your phone. Next time, when you are stuck what to write about you will have a wealth of inspiration to draw upon. If you don’t write it down, you will forget about it. You’ll regret it later when you are stuck what to write about.

So remember to carry your chosen recording mechanism everywhere with you, whether it be a notepad and pen, camera, or phone. That way, you can always record your thoughts whenever and wherever that amazing idea strikes.

How do you generate original ideas for your blog posts? Share your tips in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter @laucocos for more marketing tips and tricks.

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