I can’t help think that these monthly blog updates come up rather quickly. It’s hard to believe that I have been blogging for eight months! After the struggles I faced in month seven, I’m happy to report a happier update and topic this month. This article is about finding new content ideas after eight months of blogging.
Blogging has really been a journey for me with many ups and downs. It’s been very challenging and rewarding. I don’t know if I would have it any other way because I’ve learned so much.
There are different aspects to blogging but, in the beginning, it really boils down to creating worthy content and writing. If you don’t have the resources to outsource content, then you will find yourself writing A LOT.
We have all faced writer’s block from time to time, and it can be really difficult and unmotivating. There are also times when I’ve felt that I have absolutely nothing to write about.
Luckily, with just eight months of blogging under my belt and lots of practice, I have a few methods to churn out content ideas that work well for me. That’s what I will be sharing with you today.
Since this monthly update is part of a year-long blog series to document my first year of blogging, I’ve linked prior monthly updates below for your reading pleasure.
- Weathering a storm after seven months of blogging
- Trying new tools after six months of blogging
- Blogging for five months, update on the journey
- How to avoid writing burnout early on in blogging
- How to stay motivated after blogging for three months
- Newbie blogger mistakes I made after two months of blogging
- Ups and downs in the first month of blogging
Recent personal events
Lifestyle blogs are kind of their own beast. They can be niche-specific, meaning you can hone in on two or three main topics. But for the most part, you can write about almost anything that is happening in your life.
I tend to choose content ideas as I’m living and experiencing them for a couple of reasons. First, it’s way easier to write about something you did one week ago versus something that happened two years ago.
Second, information on recent personal events tends to be more relevant, up-to-date, and trending than anything you might have done three years ago. Trust me, things change pretty quickly.
Within my eight months of blogging, I tried to write a few ‘infant parenting’ articles when my daughter was almost two years old. It was tough because I couldn’t recall specific details and I ended up doing a lot of research.
Those articles were more difficult to write for me and the passion wasn’t there because I wasn’t experiencing it at the moment. It wasn’t my best writing and, in fact, those few articles have barely ranked on Google. So, I highly recommend writing about recent personal events.
This leads me to my next suggestion for creating ideas for content.
Live life and try new things
The interesting side of blogging is that everything I do or anything I try is potentially a new article. So, if I’m presented with an opportunity to do something new, I usually seize the moment.
This engagement with life is a positive aspect of blogging for me. I know that even if I try something and fail miserably, I can still write about why I failed miserably. There are no rules or limitations but your own.
Here are some things you can do to spark content ideas:
- Plan a weekend trip to a nearby town
- Go camping
- Say ‘yes’ to an invitation
- Read a new book
- Sign up for a class
- Make new friends
- Go to a Farmer’s Market and create a recipe
- Learn how to ride a motorcycle
After eight months of blogging, I realized a lot of my content ideas come from being part of online discussion forums. Question and answer, or discussion, forums are a great way to get involved and discuss certain topics and issues related to your niche. The internet is vast and there are so many forums to join.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I joined a What to Expect forum with other moms who were due in the same month as me. We all tracked our pregnancies and the growth of our children online. It’s a great way to stay involved with parents whose children have the same birth month.
When topics come up on these forums and I realize that I went through that experience with my daughter or I’m able to describe it in detail, then it usually becomes a new blog post.
I’m also part of several discussion groups on Reddit, which have been a great avenue for content creation. When I have a question myself, I almost always find an answer or an opinion on Reddit.
In a nutshell, topic clusters are a group of related content that interlink to one another and may have a pillar post. A pillar post is a long, in-depth, authoritative article on a particular subject related to your niche. If your average blog post is 1,000 words, for example, your pillar post might be 2,500 to 3,000 words.
When I started blogging, I would unknowingly write blog posts that covered several different topics. Later on, I would go back and edit these posts so that one post actually became 3 posts with interlinks to one another. When I separated the posts, I was able to write more detailed information on each subject, which is always great for search engines and readers.
As my daughter was potty training, I knew I wanted to write about the experience because we used a specific potty training method. As I was writing my main pillar post, I realized there were many secondary topics related to potty training, such as potty training gear, readiness, daycare, regression, etc. After I finished the main article, I started writing topic cluster articles for each subject.
This method is pretty cool because you can produce a ton of content related to the same subject. When you do this, Google starts to look at your site as an authority on the subject.
Google Search Console
Once your blog is set up on Google Search Console and linked to Analytics, you can measure your performance in a number of ways, including Google web search data.
I generally look at queries results if I’m trying to find new blog topics. Queries are what people type into Google Search, which can then yield an impression if they happen to scroll over your website URL in organic search results. (Source) If someone actually opens your URL, that’s considered a click.
Any given article can yield multiple search queries related to your topic. Some queries are spot on and will match your keyword exactly. Other queries may open doors to new topics or ideas for topic clusters. So, definitely check out your queries report.
The great thing about all of the information on Google Search Console is that it’s free. Since I’m not making much income after eight months of blogging, free is good.
If you’re really struggling to create content, think about starting a blog series like this article. I thought it would be kind of fun and cool to track my progress in the first year of blogging. After eight months of blogging, I can definitely say that I enjoy writing these updates.
In each monthly article, I update readers on my progress, challenges, and wins as it relates to blogging. Sometimes I will choose a topic, such as Pinterest, and write solely on that. It just depends. Every month is different.
I recently read some blog articles on various challenges, including drinking a gallon of water a day for a month and intermittent fasting for a month. So, if you’re up to do any type of challenge, whether it’s weight loss, meditation, exercise, low buy groceries, or no buy months, it can definitely spark new ideas for content.
Write about popular topics
Occasionally, I will listen to the Authority Hacker podcast, which is about actionable online marketing, and some of their advice changed my outlook on content creation.
So, my niche of parenting is hugely and widely popular. I knew this from the start. But it’s a topic that I feel passionate about and I want to write about parenting on a regular basis.
In the beginning, I was steering clear of very popular keywords and subjects. I was trying to rank for long-tail keywords and choosing very narrow parenting subjects that no one really reads about. It was kind of miserable until I listened to this podcast.
Gael Breton, the co-founder of Authority Hacker, recommends tackling those keywords that we think we will not rank for. Why? So that you can establish your website as a comprehensive, content-filled, authority site.
If all of your competitors have an article on ‘how to get a toddler to wear a mask,’ then Google will see you having that article as being an authority in that same niche. In the end, even if you’re writing about insanely popular topics like ‘how to potty train a toddler,’ your perspective as a unique individual is going to be different than anyone out there.
So, take on those popular keywords and write the articles that you want to write. Don’t hesitate because you think that you’ll never rank for a particular keyword. Also, by interlinking it to articles that are consistently getting clicks, your new article will start to gain traction.
Final thoughts after eight months of blogging
I really hope this article helped you in generating some content ideas for your blog. When I’m creating content, I find that it’s pretty easy to create blog posts in batches.
When I’m looking for ideas, I will do the keyword research all at once and come up with five to six posts at a time. Then I will come up with the titles of all the posts, or at least a draft of them. After that, I will start writing each post. For me, it’s easier to focus on writing when you have your blog posts laid out in advance.
After a while, you’ll find yourself in a nice rhythm of content creation and publishing. If you have other ideas for content creation, drop them in a comment below!