4 ways to come up with ideas when you’re stuck

In the age when content is king, it’s vital to keep coming up with new ideas for your company’s blog, social media posts and other marketing material. But, there are times when you are just completely stuck and can’t think of a new topic or idea to save your life. Writer’s block happens to everyone from time to time, and it can strike more frequently as your content needs increase.

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While brainstorming ideas when facing writer’s block can feel like trying to get blood from a stone, it’s not completely impossible. Taking a look at what’s going on around you and learning to look at seemingly tired ideas in a new way can help you generate new posts and content before your deadline is up.

Read More

Reading a lot can help you stay up to date on what’s going on in your field, learn new techniques and strategies, and give you plenty of new ideas for blog posts and other forms of content. The more you read, the more exposure you have to what people are in doing in your industry and  what’s new or different in your market.

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There are several ways you can turn what you read into a content idea. For example, you might own a company that provides continuing education courses to medical professionals. If you read an op-ed in a national newspaper arguing that medical professionals should no longer be required to take certain continuing education courses, you could write an article or blog post offering a counterargument.  Or you could interview medical professionals to get their opinions on the subject, then turn those interviews into a post or article.

Try a Different Angle

Another way to generate new ideas when you’re up against a wall is to try to look at topics you’ve covered in the past from a new angle. Perhaps you once wrote a blog post on “The 6 Reasons Why Restaurants Should Switch to Compostable Products.” You can approach that topic from a new angle by creating a post on the advantages to the planet of using compostable, versus traditionally disposable products. Or you can create an article that weighs the pros and cons of a restaurant offering compostable products versus using reusable cups, dishes and utensils.

You can also swim against the current when it comes to trendy or popular topics. If every other company in your field seems to be blogging about the benefits of disposable, you can create a blog post highlighting the distinct benefits of reusable items.

Look at Your Audience

Sometimes, you can find the topic for a new blog post or article in an email or comment left by a customer or member of your audience. One of the best ways to come up with ideas is to find out what readers of your blog or newsletter want to learn about; you can also ask your audience and customers for topics that are of interest to them.

It might be that your company recently launched a new product, designed to save business owners time and money. The only problem is, you’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to use the product or complaints that the included instructions are a bit confusing.  One solution is to create a video tutorial or step-by-step blog post showing people how to use it.

Reformat

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Everything old eventually becomes new again. That can definitely be the case when it comes to brainstorming ideas. Perhaps you created a blog post that explains what your company does and who it is. It’s perfectly acceptable to use that concept across several formats. For example, you can also shoot a video that introduces your company, employees, and products to potential customers. Or, you could design a slideshow that lists 10 ways your company is different from its competitors.  Another approach might be to feature a different employee on each slide, introducing what he or she does and how that helps the company and its customers.

Lastly, it helps to take a break from trying to come up with new ideas. Go take a walk or work on another project before returning to your content brainstorming session. When you get back, try taking a new angle or using a new format for an old idea and see where that leads you.

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