Even those of us who identify as writers will occasionally come up with writer's block. But when blogging is one of your main marketing methods, it's essential to have ideas at the ready for those times when you're just not feeling inspired. Of course, you might be tempted to just wait until you happen on a great idea at the right time, but doing that is much too easy to be self-sabotaging.
Postponing Blogging is the Worst Option
Blogging works best when you:
build up a readership
establish yourself as a reliable source
publish on a consistent schedule
address your readers' interests and concerns
These four points contribute a lot towards making you likable and trustworthy, and someone that new clients want to hire.
In addition, not blogging on a regular schedule has a negative impact on your SEO because Google prefers websites with constantly new content. If your blog languishes for months without new posts, it risks slipping in its indexed position. Consequently, your site fails to appear in the first page or two of search results, and reduces your chances of attracting new clients.
So smart solopreneurs who use blogging to attract clients and keep good "cred" with Google keep a supply of "evergreen" ideas to fill the gap between need and inspiration.
I find two structuring schemes to be particular helpful in generating ideas for blogging. The first is to use something aligned with the associations of the month or season. The second is to use the classic who, what, when, where, why, and how words as the title starter.
Idea 1: Why New _______ isn't Always Better
Januarys are stereotypically the time we think we want new solutions, new habits, new ideas, new this or that. A blog that offers some counter-programming can be intriguing, and relieve the guilt of new year's resolutions that so few of us actually fulfill anyway. So ask yourself what is the new that your clients are getting persuaded to want, and what can you offer instead. For example:
why new jobs aren't always better
why new homes aren't always better
why new anxiety techniques aren't always successful
why new relationships won't necessarily bring happiness
why new sounding methods are just ancient practices in new vocabulary
why new crystals might not work as well as cleansing old ones
Idea 2: How to Deal with Painful Relationships
Februarys in the US make it hard to escape the connection to love and romance, but at the same time relationships of all kinds are a potent source of problems for many people who seek counseling, coaching, esoteric readings, self-help books, and even legal remedies. And fortunately, there are no end of ways to deal with the pain created by relationships, so its rich blogging material. A few ideas for clinicians and others include:
how to fight fair with a spouse
how to use the broken record technique with a child
how to hear between the lines of your clients' wounds
how to gain trust through authentic self-disclosure
how to lower acrimony in divorce proceedings
Idea 3: Where to Find This Key to ______________
March is often associated with the luck of the Irish (due to St Patrick's day and four leaf clovers) and with healthful balance due to the Vernal Equinox. The "device" of blogging around the idea of "where to find....." invites a lot of creative answers. A stem sentence like this can be taken in a multitude of directions, and be used over and over again (hopefully with some creative editing so it doesn't sound repetitive). For example:
where to find balance when life is in chaos
where to find luck in personal risk-taking
where to find the key to mother-daughter harmony
where to find the key to feeling permanently empowered
Idea 4: Who to Trust for ____________
Thanks to the US version of conspicuous capitalism, April is frequently a month associated with Easter eggs and bunnies. For the religious culture, the comparative theme is forgiveness, miracles and resurrection.
Probably the easiest Who to Call blog is one that gives your personal recommendations for various services. If that kind of blog is limited to one narrow topic at a time -- say, handyman services -- you can use this idea several times throughout a year by changing the type of service.
A blog on the theme of forgiveness (instead of trust) could be generated by inviting readers to think about all the ways we inadvertently take offense, harbor resentment, or carry a grudge over the smallest things in everyday interactions. And a blog on the theme of resurrection could be done on what habit, attitude, vision, etc once held and long forgotten might be worth re-invigorating.
Who to trust with your nest egg
Who to trust with your deepest secrets
Who to forgive when you feel out of sorts
Who to trust with providing honest, clear, objective feedback
Idea 5: When to Walk Away from ____________
May has a strong association with endings, due to the traditional school year calendar coming to a close, college graduations, and Memorial Day. Symbolically, it's a month when we bring things to completion, or grieve about what is passing from our lives due to their own life cycle.
Blogs on how to end something gracefully can apply to many practices, such as:
walk away from a job
walk away from a friend
walk away from a commitment
walk away from the old you
walk away from your harmful beliefs or attitudes
Idea 6: What If This Changed Your Life?
June contains the Summer Solstice and the idea of vacation, fun, and carefree-ness. It's a time when we look forward to having less responsibility if only for a week, or going on an adventure and trying out new things. Verbally, we invite readers to imagine taking a chance by asking what if questions. In titles, using the word "this" instead of being specific creates curiosity and encourages reading further.
The what if question is a good one for prompting counter-thinking and providing new perspectives. You can take an expected topic and turn it upside down, such as:
what if anxiety was good for you?
what if you could get divorced without going to court?
what if your worst enemy was your best soul teacher?
Whether you are a veteran blogger, or a beginner, I'd like to challenge you to try blogging with 3 of these 6 ideas between today, December 26 and January 2. Make this a productive week for your writing habit, your blogging skills, and your client attraction efforts.