Having trouble producing the regularly updated content that readers and search engines demand? Here are 3 brainstorming methods for keeping your blog engaging and relevant.
While content creation has become part of the cost of entry for joining the digital marketplace, your familiarity with your products and services can become your own worst enemy, driving you towards repetitive blog posts that ceaselessly cover the same subjects.
However, a few simple brainstorming methods can help you look at your business from a new angle and fuel content that attracts searchers and converts readers.
- Free writing
The key to brainstorming is to find a way to turn off your inner editor. You have to let as many ideas come to the surface as possible if you are going to find the best ones, and free writing is simply the best way to turn creation and judgment into two separate steps.
Take the time to write for 15 minutes straight, without stopping and without hitting the backspace key. If you do not have anything to write about, then write “I have nothing to write about” until you do. When you stumble onto an idea, keep following it for a few sentences before moving to the next. Once you are done, you will likely have more than one lead for an article idea. Even if you have only one, however, that is more than you would have produced by staring blankly at your screen for 15 minutes.
- Mind mapping
Mind mapping exercises help take the focus away from writing so that you can concentrate on basic concepts. Start with an overused, easy topic and use it as the center of a spider diagram. Draw eight or so “legs” that branch from the center and begin branching out to new concepts and concepts as they come to you. By the time you are done, you should easily be able to find a path in the diagram that leads to a much more specific, unique article topic than the one you started with. You can use mind mapping in conjunction with free writing, either by basing your writing exercise on the diagram or diagramming based on what you’ve written.
- Question answering
Another simple way for discovering new topics is to visit answer sites related to your industry, or to review questions in your blog comments for answers that could span an entire article. Such an answer, if combined with the methods above, could even turn into an entire article series.
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