Writing a blog | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book

Struggling for blog ideas? Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom // CC0 1.0Blogging consistently for days and years takes its toll. The mind struggles to generate ideas strong enough to keep the blog fresh. Over time, even a well-intentioned blogger who makes a fair effort to achieve success will fall prey to this strain.

Call it laziness, call it writer’s block, call it the demise of the artist or whatever you want really. The outcome is the same… A blog in severe decline.

There’s nothing more drabby than an unloved blog. If an audience ever arrives at such a display of neglect, which they probably won’t, they’ll immediately get the impression that the individual behind the blog will be equally inattentive to their needs.

If the blog is well maintained and full of original, fresh, and inspiring content, then you will benefit from increased traffic, revenue, and sales, if that is indeed your goal. Aside from the writing itself being excellent, how can you keep your blog content flowing?

SEO Driven Approaches

Okay, so it’s nothing new, but this article couldn’t be complete without mentioning the SEO approach. This is all about seeing what your audience is looking for and responding to it. It’s the supply and demand of the content world. Essentially, you are creating blog posts that answer search queries.

There are several ways to do this. You can use a keyword research tool to show industry-relevant words and phrases, along with their search volumes and levels of competition. You can also type a few keywords into Google and see what suggestions come up. The suggestions can bring inspiration and even hints about what is being searched for.

Develop Interesting Themes For Regular Posts

Inspiration doesn’t always happen in a flash, but you still need to post regularly. This means that you will, on occasions, have to force yourself to write a post. One way to make sure you post regularly is to develop themes.

For example, if your blog is music-themed, then cover a different album or artist each week. If it’s the tech industry, write regular posts about case uses of exciting new technologies. If it’s art you’re into, post case studies or interviews from aspiring artists.

It can help to announce the frequency of these posts to your audience. Tell them that they can expect an interview every week on a Wednesday. This makes it easier for your readers to follow the full series, and also adds pressure on you to write the posts.

Writing a blog | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book

It’s great when new ideas pop into your mind, but often you have to make an effort and develop ideas. Photo by Free Images // CC BY 2.0

Keep Up With Industry Affairs

If your blog covers a specific industry, it makes a lot of sense to keep up with relevant news and events. These stories are constantly changing and evolving, so they make for excellent, continuous content. Put your spin on stories or write opinion pieces to keep it fresh.

You can read articles, look into research and statistics, and use them to create content, and read around forums to see what people are discussing. As a bonus, you can even read in forums and then post your blog post answer back on the same thread.

It also helps to keep up with current affairs and trends. You can use these in combination with your ideas to increase exposure and interest. For example, ‘21 Ways To Go Green On Earth Day’.

As well as covering industry and current affairs, you can also branch out to other topics that interest your audience. For example, PokerStars recently freshened up their blog, and have added categories on Twitch and UFC as well as content on live and online poker. This has all to do with the growing needs and interest of the audience.

Reach Out To Your Audience

If you already have a small audience, they can be your greatest asset when it comes to keeping your blog fresh and exciting. Draw on them for knowledge and inspiration.

You can look at the comments section of popular blog posts. See what people talk about, what they enjoyed about the post and identify sticking points for debate that you can use to create a new article. You can also check out competitor blogs and do the same.

Encourage your readers to contact you, give feedback, rant about your posts, or ask them directly what they want to see more of. Better still, encourage user-generated content. Go Pro is an example of a company who does UGC well. They have users sending in clips of them using the product in all sorts of exciting ways. Ask readers their thoughts on subjects and turn them into a post.

Recycle The Old

The final tip for today is to recycle old content. This might not seem like a very ‘fresh’ idea, but actually, it can work very well.

Take an idea and modernize it. For example, if you wrote a post on minimalism years ago, write a new post titled ‘Minimalism in the age of the smartphone,’ and make it more specific to digital usage. You could write a ‘Part 2’ or even make a series about a subject. All of these ideas will help you keep your content fresh and your audience engaged.