Have you ever had one of those days where you’ve hit a creative roadblock and can’t write a thing? Do you find yourself saying “what the heck am I going to blog about today” or wondering where you can go for new link bait ideas?
I have. When I find myself hitting a creative roadblock, I head to a couple of my favorite on and offline places for content inspiration and link bait ideas.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Magazine Rack
You hear a lot of people say brilliant ideas come to them while they shower; for me they come as I stand in front of the magazine rack at Barnes and Noble.
A magazine’s front cover is prime real estate; only the most provocative titles and pictures are placed there. If you’re looking for content ideas, check out the titles and headings on the front cover of your industry publications.
For example, if you’re working in the automotive sector, search the racks for magazines such as Car and Driver, Motor Trends and Road and Track. Once you’re found them, look at the headlines and feature titles on the front page of each. Make note of the headlines and look for topic commonality between the publications. If you find any, there’s a trend worth writing about.
If the magazines didn’t do the trick and you’re still looking for something to blog about, spend a little time looking through the “most emailed” and “most blogged” links found on industry journals and associations in your niche. Do a general search for your keywords plus the phrase “most emailed” to find them.
All the major newspaper and news portals have the “most ” elements as well but I think it’s best to start your search on publications written specifically for your niche. Not only will you find industry trends to write about but you’ll also identify key publications and who’s writing them. Good information to have when you’re ready to submit content to sites other than your own.
If you’re still drawing a blank, spend some time sifting through Digg, Mixx, Fetch and the other social news sites. You’re bound to find an article or two you can study for ideas. Don’t copy someone else’s work; just draw creative inspiration from it!
We all hit creative roadblocks once in a while. When that happens, look to both on and offline sources for inspiration and a new angle. And if all else fails, take a shower!
Debra Mastaler is President of Alliance-Link Interactive, an integrated search marketing firm in Williamsburg Virginia.