This post is the 5th in the [intlink id="2458" type="page" target="_blank"]Common Sense Blogging[/intlink] series.
Last time I checked, “stale” was not a positive attribute. Stale cereal, stale bread, stale popcorn, stale wine – yuck. No one wants to consume those things, and they end up in the garbage disposal or becoming food for the ducks (well, not the wine).
So… how do you keep your blog from becoming stale and getting tossed by your readers? Fresh food. Try very hard to write about something new in a new way and from a new perspective. Remember to take risks in your blogging.
5 Ways to Find New Blog Content (BizChickBlogs Guide)
1. Ask Your Readers What They Want to Know
I have a handful of questions in my inbox right now waiting to be addressed. It did not take much – just a post about the new Ask Me form in the sidebar. People who are reading your blog are interested in what you have to say. So by asking them what they want to know, you are setting yourself up for a slew of new content ideas for your blog. See an article by @problogger about solving your reader’s problems. This is key.
2. Answer Comments Left on Other Blogs
Every day, I read between 15 and 20 different blog posts, and there are typically a lot of comments left on each of them. Instead of just adding yours to the mix, read each of those comments and find the gems. If someone asked a question, turn that question into a new blog post and answer it. Be sure to promote your blog post after you do.
3. Respond to the News
Not to be confused with my point about [intlink id="2601" type="post" target="_blank"]spreading the news[/intlink], reading the news is essential and responding to it makes good sense. You can read your local newspaper or try some online journals like Search Engine Journal, Social Media Today, Examiner, Free SEO News or even The Wall Street Journal. Read the news that corresponds to your niche. What’s going on out there? When you figure out what is newsworthy, write a post from your own perspective about that very subject. Make it timely, because if it isn’t timely, it’s not newsworthy (in this case).
Another blogging ninja secret: subscribe to the feeds from Webwire.com or PRNewsWire.com. This is where news sources get their news – from press releases. So, stay on top of the news that way. There are hundreds upon hundreds of other press release wires but those two have plenty of content to start with.
4. React to the Outrageous
Create a series where you post your own thoughts about something particularly outrageous. In high school (and yes, this is taking it back 12-15 years) we had a weekly column in our newspaper called, What the…?? and it was hysterical and well-read by our school’s population (and I’m proof to the fact that it was also memorable). Calling out the bizarre, stupid, risky, crazy, or outrageous is fun, interesting, and usually draws a crowd. And don’t think it’s just for teenagers. Adults are drawn to the strange and ridiculous, too (any other Family Guy addicts out there?).
5. Review Products, Plugins, or Blogs that You Use/Read
You have opinions about what works, what sucks, what’s worth the money, and what needs to go back to the drawing board – so share those opinions. If a plugin you installed or a product you used didn’t work well, maybe it’s worth sharing that with your readers so they can see what’s up. Discuss the pros and cons in a respectful way – blogging karma.
If something really rocks, you should absolutely talk about that, too! I was so surprised when Andy Bailey (@commentluv) from CommentLuv stopped by to leave a note on What to do When No One is Commenting. And that post wasn’t even a CommentLuv review, really; it just had a mention about it. So, you never know. The point is to discuss - that’s the whole point of a blog.
Open Forum – Help a Blogger Out
I love my reader’s blogs – most of your blogs are on my ever-growing Google Reader list, which is something I check out every single day, including weekends. I look to you for inspiration. So, where do you get your content ideas? Share your tips for us here so we can all benefit.
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