Are you feeling uninspired about your blog content? Maybe you've been blogging for years and feel a little burned out, or maybe you're new to blogging and struggle to come up with posts that will attract your ideal readers.
One of my most frequently asked questions regarding the Elle & Company blog is how I come up with relevant content for readers on a consistent basis. And my answer is simple: brainstorm sessions with Jake. After months of partnering together to come up with solid blog post ideas, we've gotten our method down to a science. Jake asks me a list of questions, I scribble down answers in my sketchbook as fast as I can, and within 30 minutes I've come up with at least a couple months' worth of high quality content.
So what are those questions and how can you benefit from this tried-and-true system? I'm sharing it all on the blog today, along with some Elle & Company blog post examples (and a free printable!). I want to help you get out of that run-of-the-mill, bland content rut and into a blog post schedule that's exciting for both you and your readers.
How this brainstorm session works
Set aside half an hour with a pen and the Elle & Company printable guide (available for download and print at the bottom of this post). Set a timer for 30 minutes and come up with at least 3 responses to each of the 20 questions. A sense of urgency not only encourages you to write ideas down quickly, but it also keeps you from overthinking and analyzing your answers too much. You may not come up with 60 high-quality post ideas at first, but you can expand upon ideas afterward or combine a couple ideas after the exercise is over; this is purely just to get you thinking and take you out of your current brainstorming rut. If you're still on a roll when the 30 minutes is over, set the timer again and or keep going until you're out of ideas. Once you're done jotting things down, go back through, highlight possible ideas, and record them in your blog calendar.
The questions are set up from very broad to a little more specific. There's a reason and a flow to the way I ordered these, so it might be helpful to push yourself to go in order instead of jumping around. It also might be helpful to not look over the questions too much before that 30 minute timeframe, again to keep you from overthinking or analyzing each of the questions too much. I included Elle & Company blog post examples underneath each one to give you an idea of how the answers to these questions can translate into blog posts.
1. Why is your industry important? Why is your unique trade important?
Why Branding Matters
2. What are some tools of your trade?
10 Things I Can't Design Without
3. What are some step-by-step practices that you follow with your industry?
My Process for Creating and Publishing Blog Posts
4. What is being overdone in your industry? What are others doing wrong in your industry?
The Do's and Don'ts of Logo Design
5. What are some common misconceptions about your industry?
Share Your Secrets
6. What are some topics in your industry that aren't often talked about?
Why I Don't Accept Blog Sponsors
7. What are some recent changes to your industry? What is your take on them?
Get with the Facts: How Google May Turn Your Blog's SEO Upside Down
8. What are the interests of your audience?
10 Practical Steps for a Streamlined Brand
9. What are the needs of your audience?
5 Ways to Boost Your Productivity
10. What do you possess that your readers are looking for?
4 Secrets for Exponential Blog Growth
11. What sparked your interest in your industry?
6 Reasons Why I Blog
12. What are some positive experiences that have helped you get to where you are?
How I Got Featured on Glitter Guide
13. What are some negative experiences that have helped you get to where you are?
How Almost Getting Sued Helped My Business
14. What do you do differently in your industry? Why?
Unexpected and Exciting Changes to My 2015 Branding Process
15. What are some of the most important lessons you've learned since you entered your industry?
What I Learned from Gaining 3,000 Instagram Followers in One Day
16. What gives you an upperhand in your industry? What are your greatest strengths?
The Best Times to Post on Social Media (infographic)
17. What do people often ask you about your industry? What are some common questions you receive?
How to Create a Clean and Cohesive Inspiration Board
18. What was the best advice you ever received within your industry? What are some things you wish you would have known about your industry from the start?
50 Motivating Quotes for Blogging and Business
19. What are the biggest lessons you've learned within your industry?
12 Lessons I Learned from My First Year of Business
20. What are some things that others in your industry need to know?
Competition is for Sissies
While it can be helpful to team up with someone for this exercise like Jake and I do, I tried to make it easier on you by providing you with a free printable guide! It contains all of the questions along with space for your answers. Click the button allow to download and print the file:
While there are numerous ways to come up with original blog post ideas, this tried-and-true method continually helps me come up with new material for the Elle & Company blog. Sometimes Jake and I switch up the questions or add to them, but it always pushes us and inspires us to think creatively and write about things we hadn't considered before. I hope this practice is helpful for you, too!
How do you come up with original blog post ideas? Are you going to give this exercise a try?