(This is Part 6 in a blog series on understanding – and curing – “Blogophobia: the Fear of Content Marketing”)Illustration of a man's head with thought bubble filled with colors and gears

In the previous post, Blogophobia Recovery Step #1: Making the Commitment to Content Marketing, I talked about committing to a Content Marketing strategy and establishing your goals, guidelines and budget.

For many, the most difficult part of Content Marketing is “Concepting” – figuring out what to write about in the first place.  A “blank mind” or writer’s block can affect even the most prolific of creators.

Here are some ideas for finding ideas:

  • Research 

Read news and industry publications, books and magazines that relate to your business.  Follow people of interest to you and your community on various social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, YouTube, Twitter), subscribe to blogs with topics that interest you or that others in your industry publish.  Use Google or Yahoo Readers to follow the RSS feeds of these blogs – they provide an easy way to skim by title and read those blogs of particular interest.  Set up Google Alerts for those topics you want to follow. Talk to your clients and find out what’s of interest to them; what troubles or excites them.

  • Archives

Some great content may be right under your nose!  Look through files of previous articles, brochures, catalogs, ads, case studies or press releases you may have already created.  If the issues covered are still relevant, with some reworking and updating, this material could form the basis for new content.

  • Get Inspired

Use quotes, sayings, images, verbal analogies and metaphors (a goalpost, target, gears, money), even song lyrics as “take off” points for your thoughts.

  • Record Your Ideas

Keep a notebook handy, use your phone or other recording/dictation device, send yourself an email.  Don’t let a good idea get away.  I bought an MP3 player with a recording option so that when I’m out for a run (and my mind is freer to think of blog topics), I can record what I come up with and not worry about trying to remember “the big idea” later.

You ultimately want to create a “Pipeline” of blog posts, written and ready to publish (have 5-6 ready to go).  Compiling a list of potential blog post ideas (15-20) is a good way to start to building that pipeline. Consider creating an Editorial Calendar – a schedule of blog posts for the next 3 – 12 months.  Having a plan for what you’ll need to create will help ensure consistency in your posting. 

  • Determine the Type of Blog Post You Want to Create

So you think you don’t have anything to write about?

Tell a story about your business and why you love what you do, review a book, offer industry news, solve a problem, pose a question, include a case study, talk about a new project, blog about your interpretation of a quote, conduct an interview, create a “How To” video – hey, you can talk about your dog if your client will find your blog:

  • Relevant
  • Remarkable
  • Personal
  • Valuable

I created a list called “101 Blog Ideas.” Subscribe to my Marketing Musings blog here and I’ll send you the list for FREE.  

Tip:  Focus each blog post on one main idea.  Consider writing multiple posts if your concept is more involved. 

The next post, “Are You Blogophobic? Recovery Step #3” will discuss creating marketing content.