How to Generate a Year’s Worth of Blog Post Ideas

The biggest problem facing many business and corporate bloggers is figuring out what to write about. When you’re trying to put together an editorial calendar for a year’s worth of weekly newsletters, or generate 365 topics for a daily business blog, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

The good news is that if you know where to look, it’s easy to generate a variety of content topics. Here’s a quick overview of some of the approaches that I use in my own content generation, as well as when I’m working with clients on their content marketing strategies. We’ll take a closer look at strategies to stay organized, and then dive into different ideas for generating content inspiration.

Get organized: centralize all your post ideas

There’s nothing more frustrating that losing fantastic ideas that could be filling critical slots in your content calendar. One way to avoid that is to start your process by centralizing your ideas. Whether it’s a spreadsheet on your computer, a file on your Google Drive or DropBox account, or another tab in your project management software, commit to this early.

Figure out a system that will really work with your workflow and then set up a schedule for updating it. Daily, weekly or even monthly check-ins are enough, depending on your actual content volume. But what’s most important is to avoid the frustration and sense of wasted effort that can happen when you’re running low on ideas and can’t find or recall the inspiration you had from a book you read, a client conversation, or while you were out for a job. Personally, I love to use my iPhone’s voice memo app to record ideas whenever they come to mind. Each idea is like a gold nugget, and gets me excited about my next topic to write about.

Transition this to a content calendar

Another key strategy for making your content marketing efforts successful is to ensure that you’re maintaining a content calendar. This can be an easy transition from the idea storage list above. Your editorial calendar’s objective is simple: to outline the pieces of content that you’re on the hook for, the dates that they’re run, and what you intend to talk about. Having this ensures that you’ll be able to meet your content goals, easily fit this deliverable into your schedule, and delegate responsibilities when necessary.

Take the time to sketch out what your content calendar should look like. Whether your goals are ambitious or you simply want to let your customers know that your business still has a pulse, this approach will work. Choose a chunk of time – anywhere from a month to a year – and start to fill out the blanks. What kind of content are you going to be creating? What’s your schedule for doing so? With these mapped out, you’ll know that you need, for example, 52 newsletter issues and 52 blog posts created for your business. You’ve then got a target for the number of topics you need to come up with.

Ways to brainstorm topic ideas

Jayson DeMers
Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.
Jayson DeMers

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8 thoughts on “How to Generate a Year’s Worth of Blog Post Ideas

  1. I read your blog all that factors are best but i very much like that one is social media factors and that is the best point in that your blog. Thanks for sharing this information.

  2. It can get tricky to come up with content ideas month after month! Especially with the goals of making it SEO friendly and worth something to your business and market. Thanks for the suggestions on how to generate meaningful content and keep it coming!

  3. These are great ideas! I still struggle with ideas sometimes but I have found that organizing my ideas into Evernote and/or my editorial calendar really help me blog consistently. When I don’t stop to make a note of a thought is when I start to fall behind or struggle with a topic. I am also starting to read more information in my industry online and this has really helped generate ideas. Thanks for sharing this!

  4. Well-written piece on a foolproof content creation strategy. Thanks for showing the importance of content calendar in generating “a year’s worth of blog post ideas”.

  5. These are awesome ways to come up with content ideas! It seems that most of my ideas for developing blog content always happen when I’m out and about having adventures. I’ve been using my cell phone to centralize all of my ideas since they seem to pop in my head when I least expect it. I love the content calendar idea. One of my biggest issues is actually sitting down and banging out a post. I feel that a calendar will give me more motivation to start pumping out some solid content regularly.

  6. I have tried organizing several ideas that I come up with. The problem I have with this is, the list of ideas change three times a week. This is why I never follow through with some of my ideas.
    Great post.

  7. Great ideas Jayson. You know, some of my better content ideas came unexpectedly when I wasn’t in front of my computer trying to pound out a content calendar. Having said that, tools like the ones you pointed out are invaluable when trying to meet a deadline or need something to get the creative juices flowing. I just think us content creators should save a little room for spontaneity!