Have you ever had the best intention to write an interesting and engaging piece of content, be it a blog post, a newsletter or just a quick email, only to find yourself staring at a blank page not knowing what to write about? Well, I certainly have, and to be honest it doesn’t feel good. So if you have encountered the same feeling of desperation, keep on reading because this is where I will reveal how to master the skill of always having something interesting to say.
Know the subject
As much as I would like to, I have absolutely nothing to say on the topic of engineering. It is just not my area of expertise. What I do know about however is Marketing, Small business issues, social media. These topics I can talk on and on about.
I assume being in a certain industry, you already know something about the trade. Are you in the restaurant business? You probably know quite a lot about food, different recipes, and customer service. The point here is be knowledgeable about the subject. Read industry specific magazines, look up information online, and look for trending topics on blogs and forums.
Given you work in a certain business sphere, you probably are quite interested in the issues concerned with it. Update your knowledge base and share your opinions with your audience. Additionally, ask your readers to contribute to the discussion, ask them question, and be interested in their thoughts.
As we mentioned above, stay informed about trends in your industry. Are there any specific topics that are really in right now? Scout blogs and forums and see what people are predominantly talking about. Listen to what questions your clients are asking. This is the type of information they are interested in.
A friend of mine who works in the medical industry asked me what kind of topics to cover in his blog. I gave him the same advice, listen for questions people ask. He started compiling a list of all questions his patients asked and then covered these topics in his blog. Vitamin-rich foods, do supplements work, information on vaccines, these were the things his readers wanted to know about and all he had to do was listen carefully.
Take a sneak peek at what your competitors are writing about
You need inspiration? Have a look at what others are writing about. Of course, I don’t mean to say you should go and copy other people’s work. What you could do however is read what they are writing about and note what you like and don’t like about the article.
Hopefully something in their text has made the light bulb go off in your head? Look at the posts that are proving the most popular and emulate these aspects into your own marketing.
Learn from your mistakes and successes
Whenever you send out an email or you write a blog post, always look at the stats. Have people clicked on the links, have they read the article, have they shared, have they left a comment?
If a newsletter gets many positive reviews, well congratulations, you have done something right! But what exactly? Was it shorter? Did it have a picture? How was it different?
Similarly, if a piece of content you have produced doesn’t get many hits, look at what went wrong. Was it too bland? Too generic?
Learn from your mistakes (so you can avoid repeating them) and learn from your successes (so you know what you are doing right). Either way, simply producing content is by no means the end of it. Always go back and see how you have performed.
So here you go, these are the 4 little tricks that help me evoke the writing mood. I hope they help you too next time when you need to find your writing muse.
But please tell me, what do you do when you can’t think of what to write about? What are your secrets to producing great topics for discussion?