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21 Ways to Develop Fresh Content Ideas for Your Blog

21 Ways to Develop Fresh Content Ideas for Your Blog

Writer’s block can strike without warning, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned blogger, and when you’re confronting a blank page and a fast-approaching deadline it’s easy to get disheartened.

But don’t panic—here are 20 ways to rekindle your mojo and start wowing readers with your awesome content.

1. Survey your readers.

There are a few easy ways to do this: you can use a tool like Survey Monkey, or ask a question on Facebook or Twitter. Alternatively, if you have an auto-responder system set up, invite new subscribers to reply and tell you what they’re struggling with or what questions they’d like to ask. The more you engage with your readers, the easier it will be to create content they want to read and share.

2. Create a challenge.

Are you a health coach? Challenge your readers to run 20km a week or quit sugar for a month. A financial advisor? How about 3 months to a healthier bank balance? Each week, provide your readers with tips and inspiration to help them achieve their goals.

3. Get yourself on Pinterest.

This site is full of photos, posts, and inspirational quotes that are bound to get your creativity flowing again. It’s a fantastic hunting ground for ideas, especially if you’re a food, lifestyle, travel, or fashion blogger. Check out the kinds of content people are re-pinning and commenting on, but make sure you give yourself a time limit; this site can be addictive!

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4. Whom do you admire?

Write a post about them and the reasons you find them so inspiring. You don’t have to make it about one person, either—you can create a whole list of people whom you find inspirational. A great example of this is Nicole Antoinette’s 100 Lunches Project; her quest to have lunch with 100 people she admires before her 30th birthday.

5. Watch movies, attend concerts, live a little.

I’ve read some great blog posts inspired by movies like Moneyball or performers like Lady Gaga and Adele. Inspiration is everywhere if you take the time to look, and time away from the office will stimulate your mind and reboot your creativity, especially if you feel burned out (which let’s face it, is when blogger’s block tends to strike).

6. Write a love letter to your readers (seriously!)

You don’t have to go overboard, but tell them how much you value their loyalty and feedback. Offer them a freebie. This could be something simple like an eBook you’ve written or a free consultation. Make them feel appreciated and inspired to engage with you.

7. Make a list of frequently asked questions.

Which questions are you asked repeatedly by clients, readers, or potential customers? Make a list and answer them one by one on your blog, providing examples to illustrate your point, or write up a couple of case studies.

8. Who are your readers, and what are they most concerned about?

If you’re not sure who your readers are yet, think about who you want them to be, and create content that’s very specific to that audience. For example, say you’re a careers coach and you want to attract people who have recently been retrenched; you could write a post entitled “7 tips for getting back into the workforce after redundancy”.

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9. Interview experts and bloggers in your industry.

Who would your readers be interested in hearing from? If you’re a fashion retailer, you could interview a stylist. Or how about your favorite author, online entrepreneur, or blogger? You can record your interviews, turn them into podcasts and publish them on iTunes, which is another great way to drive traffic to your blog!

10. Write a personal story.

Make it relevant and honest. Are you a relationship coach? Write about how you dealt with a relationship drama in the past. An online entrepreneur? Maybe you’ve made mistakes others could learn from. Turn your past struggles into inspirational blog posts that resonate with your audience.

11. Visit your Linked in or Facebook groups.

Check discussion threads. What are people talking about? What questions do they have? What could they use more information on?

12. Create a tutorial that’s mind-blowingly useful.

What do others struggle with that you find easy? What have you learned through trial and error that your readers would find valuable? Highlight your expertise. Pat Flynn’s Podcast Tutorial is a great example of this. Make your tutorial simple to follow and offer actionable tips.

13. Write a list post that offers solutions to a common problem.

Like this one. Other examples include: 11 Actions You Can Take Today That Will Drastically Improve Your Health and 5 Tips to Stay Ultra Productive at Work.

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14. Pay attention to your blog comments.

Be sure to check the comments on other popular blogs in your industry in addition to your own, and take note of the kinds of problems and concerns people are sharing. This is a great way to take the pulse of your audience and find out what’s really bugging them.

15. Hone your observational skills.

Once you start paying attention, you’ll find great blog ideas everywhere. Maybe it’s the way online orders from your favorite boutique are always packaged so beautifully, or the amazing service you received at that new restaurant on Friday night. Real life stories are blogging gold.

16. What do people always ask for your help with?

What advice do you find yourself repeating? It may be something you take for granted, but sharing your wisdom could mean a lot to your readers.

17. Read magazines and newspapers.

Check what’s trending and look out for stories that tie in with your topic. Maybe there’s a new angle you can develop on a current news event? Magazine headlines also come in handy when you need inspiration to come up with a catchy blog post title.

18. What bugs you about your topic or industry?

What are you itching to do something about? Get it off your chest, have a rant (just don’t get too whiney) and put your opinions out there.

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19. Revisit your archives.

If your audience has grown since you first started your blog, it might be time to introduce them to some of your old content. Don’t let your archives languish unread (they’re too good for that, right?). You could put a new spin on an old post or simply republish a piece your readers enjoyed first time around.

20. Write a review.

I don’t know about you, but I always Google a product before I buy, so why not review a product or book for your readers? It could be anything from the latest marketing book everyone’s talking about to a cool new gadget or productivity tool.

21. Become an expert content curator.

Search for interesting content around the web to share with your readers. Who has time to trawl the internet for articles every day? Become a go-to resource, and try to include posts that your readers haven’t seen a million times already.

I hope these tips help to get your ideas flowing again.

Do you have any tips to add to the list?

If you’re still stuck you can read more about How to Work Through Blog Burnout.

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Published on September 18, 2018

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?

Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.

Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.

After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?

Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:

1. Show your appreciation

In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.

The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.

Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.

2. Communicate effectively

Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.

Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.

3. Be open to dialogue

Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.

New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.

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In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.

For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.

4. Provide constructive criticism

Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.

So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.

Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.

Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.

Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.

5. Conduct one-on-ones

Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?

While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.

Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.

More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.

6. Build training programs

In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.

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From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.

While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.

7. Offer growth opportunities

Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.

Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.

Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.

8. Reward them

Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.

If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.

Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.

9. Encourage team outings

Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.

From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!

10. Involve them

Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.

Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.

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11. Set meaningful goals

In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.

Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

12. Empower them

You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.

Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.

Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.

13. Deal with conflict

A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.

How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.

As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.

14. Implement a flexible work culture

Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.

Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.

It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.

15. Host engaging activities

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?

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From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.

16. Maintain a positive work space

Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.

Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.

These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.

17. Avoid discrimination

Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.

In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.

The bottom line

Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.

It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.

This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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