Finding blog ideas can be a challenge for even the best, most seasoned writers.

No matter how passionate you are, writing about the same subject on a regular basis can present a challenge. Sometimes you can find yourself staring into the abyss of a blank Word document with a blinking cursor, and not know what to do. Finding blog ideas doesn’t have to be the psychological stumbling block it can be for most people.

This is why it is important to keep an idea log. Sometimes inspiration strikes when you least expect. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, those ideas just aren’t flowing. What do you do in the dry times? How do you train your brain to find those blog ideas? They are there, I promise. You just need to learn how to tease them out on a regular basis. It takes creativity.

Six strategies to find blog ideas where you may not have been looking:

Connect The Unrelated

When you are not running your business or writing your blog, what are you doing? What are your hobbies? What kind of books, movies, music or television are you taking in? Tell us how running your gym business is similar to Sons of Anarchy. I have no idea how they are related, it’s up to you to tell us. As someone with an interest in both fitness and SOA, that’s a connection I’d sure love to find out more about. And you would have an unconventional blog idea connecting your interests. That is how you grow your audience and distinguish your business.

Think of Your Network

Who is in your professional network? Who do you talk with about your business? Who do you share your ideas with? Hopefully you have had an interesting conversation about your business or industry with someone over the last few weeks or months. (If not, find someone!) Chances are there’s a topic that came up in one of these conversations that could easily be written about. In addition to your professional colleagues, think about your customer base. What are some of the common questions you’ve had to answer? What are the aspects of your business they are most interested in? These topics offer a built in audience.

Where are Your Strongest Opinions?

Consider the biggest news stories in your industry. What do you agree with? Better yet, what do you disagree with? Now think about how you can relate these stories back to your audience, who may not have the same level of expertise within your industry. Conveying your opinions on the important news within your industry is important if you want to be seen as an industry expert. Offer the type of information that can help your audience make informed consumer decisions.

Adopt a Stance as a Life Learner

Technology changes and industries develop. When you are willing to learn the most recent developments on any given issue, you can help convey that knowledge to your audience base. Simply taking this posture can keep you in blog ideas. Don’t be afraid to dive into more complex subjects if you think that you and your audience will benefit from the knowledge.

What Are Your Product Benefits?

There is a lot made in the marketing industry of stressing the benefits of a product over its features. A benefit is how it helps the customer. A feature is the technical aspect. For example, the ability to have several programs or apps open on a computer without slowing it down is a benefit. The increased RAM that makes it possible is a feature. The feature matters to a select few faithful, who understand (think computer nerds, in the example above). The benefits matter to nearly everyone who will want to use the computer.

So think about the benefits that your product offers for your customers. How does your product or service help solve their problems, or ease their pain? If you haven’t yet written about the answer to that question, you have yourself an important blog post.

Read Books About Headlines

Headlines make up such a small proportion of your post, yet they are incredibly important. Why? Because they are the first thing a potential reader will see. You need a captivating headline in order to draw your reader in. When you understand how to write headlines that captivate your readers, your blog and your business will greatly benefit. Check out David Garfinkel’s Advertising Headlines that Make You Rich and Jon Morrow’s Headline Hacks. Their headline writing techniques will spark blog ideas you will be surprised you haven’t written before.

In Conclusion…

Keeping in a steady flow of blog ideas is crucial for writing a successful blog that will last over time. You will need to push your creativity to the limits in order stay at the forefront of your industry and differentiate your business from the competition.

What sort of things are you doing to find new blog ideas? How do you make sure there is enough in your arsenal (or on your editorial calendar) to write about? If you stall or have trouble answering that question, it might be time to employ some of the above practices, or hire a marketing writer.