Running out of article ideas? Here are 3 sources of inspiration

Michael Gabrian

by Michael Gabrian on 06/26/2017

What do you do when the tap on fresh, original blog ideas runs dry?

I think every writer and marketer has gone through writers block. Sometimes I'll have several awesome ideas to write about at a time, but sometimes I've got nothing. For a lot of marketers, the aim is to publish about 3 blogs a week. With writing, researching, reflecting, and so on, the process can take a while. So I'm writing this article to provide you with some ideas on where to find blog ideas and some quick inspiration.

So the question is: where can you find new ideas for articles?

"Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers."

- Isaac Asimov

Using old leads for article inspiration

Our articles are meant to educate our audience on topics, issues, and questions all related to our industry. So the best source is ultimately the leads that reach out to you. Typically during calls with new leads, I'll be taking notes of major interests, questions, and concerns. There are a lot of commonalities like "simple design" or "unsure if rebranding is the right step". So the next move is to mash up these notes with another element like industry, website type, or company size.

So then you have article ideas like: 

  • Creating simple designs for an e-commerce website
  • The small businesses guide to rebranding
  • Instagram marketing for a boutique restaurant

Go through some of your old notes and reflect on the conversations you've had. Getting a feel for their fears and ideas could give you some cool topics to consider as well.

Think about:

  • What was the most important part of their project? 
  • What were the main goals of the project? 
  • What were some of the challenges and setbacks? 
  • Did they have any questions?

If they ended up working with you, think about the process. Did any issues come up? If they didn't work with you, was there a particular reason why? Digging into the specifics is a great way to craft some really great articles. 

Using personas you come up with blog topics

Take a second to think about who your personas are. Reminding yourself of what they're looking for could help spark some ideas. Does you aim at small businesses or larger businesses? How about specific job titles? Is your content crafted for marketing directors, business owners, designers, or sales people? 

So let's imagine that you write for a local real estate company. One persona could be a young twenty something moving from another area for work. Some of their interests might include local restaurant and cafes, nightlife, and things to do on weekends.

So what kind of articles could you write on a persona like this?

  • The 5 highest rated restaurants in the area
  • 10 ways to spend your weekends in this city

What kind or articles could a freelance graphic designer write if they target small businesses in their city? They could go through some of their older work and draft of some case studies. They could also write helpful content for small businesses.

  • What might change in logo design in the next year
  • 3 things a small business owner has to know about using animations

Social listening

Another great place to look is where your personas are hanging out. Regardless of what you write about, there are a bunch of sites, people, and sources talking about issues in the industry. So if you're running low on ideas, you could try looking into some of your older blog posts, social media, other sites, etc.

Some ideas include:

  • What are industry leaders and influencers talking about?
  • Type in a relevant hashtag to twitter and see what comes up
  • See what's trending in social. How can it apply to your industry or product/service?
  • Check some of the comments of your current posts. What is everyone saying?
  • Try writing responses to other articles

There are a lot of ways to create your own spin on relevant ideas by adding personal experiences and insights. 

To conclude:

Sometimes it's hard to come up with ideas for your blog, but it's something everyone goes through more often than you think. When you run out of ideas, try looking for inspiration in old leads, through social media, or industry leaders and influencers. There are endless ideas out there, you just gotta find them.

Need a bit more help, click the image below.

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