It’s a Wondering Wednesday today, and our video looks at some of the sources I look to for content inspiration for blog posts and articles. 

//www.youtube.com/embed/twPDtpgaeIw

For me, it all starts with an editorial calendar.

Tip One: Have an editorial calendar

Before putting together the editorial calendar, first look at what you regularly write about now, and identify what you’d like to continue writing about. This is also a good opportunity to identify what you’d like to write more about. 

Then, input these things into an editorial calendar. Make them broad enough that you can still write about timely topics of interest, while staying within your guidelines. The idea is that these items will help offer inspiration when you’re struggling to identify what you’d like to write about, and will keep you on track and deadline to meet your writing goals. 

I review my editorial calendar quarterly, to see what works and what no longer serves me, and I’m constantly refining it.  It’s also a fluid document, so I can discard some topics when something better comes along – it’s not written in stone.

Tip Two: Use an RSS reader

I use an RSS reader on my mobile device, which I’ve set up with blogs in my industry, as well as relevant keyword searches and news outlets.  I go here first for inspiration when I want to find something to write about on a certain subject. 

When something strikes me, I’ll reference the original piece in my post, usually with a quote and a link, and that’s also an opportunity for networking. Once I’ve published the piece, I can reach out to the original author to let them know they inspired me, and hopefully build a relationship from there. 

Tip Three: Leverage industry groups

We all belong to industry groups, both online and offline, and these can be great fodder for writing.  During networking functions, you may have conversations that are thought-provoking, and you find you have a passion for the subject. That’s a great opportunity for a blog post or article.

Similarly, you may belong to a number of online groups. There is one in particular that I participate in on Facebook, and there is a great deal of substantive discussion that happens there. It lets me know what the hot-button issues are, so that I can use those for inspiration in my writing to stay on the cutting edge. There are times when I want to quote someone, so I’ll ask their permission, and that’s also a networking and relationship-building opportunity.  I then share my article or post with the group once it’s published to continue the discussion.

Tip Four: Use your clients

Clients are one of the best sources of inspiration.  Look at what general questions are coming in frequently, which you can answer in a blog post or article without divulging any specific client information.  If it’s of interest to one of your clients, the chances are that it will be of interest to all of them in that area, and potential clients as well.

Similarly, when there is a new piece of legislation or a new ruling, and it’s something that you might ordinarily send an email about to a top client, use that as the subject of your next post or article.

These are just a few tips for finding inspiration for content. Please add your own in the comments below, or let us know what you’re "wondering" about!