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Sometimes the greatest obstacle to writing a great blog post is coming up with the right idea. Even organizations that are committed to blogging can face production lulls when busy employees struggle to find the energy and inspiration to create new topics. One creative solution to this challenge is to establish a location on your company intranet that acts as a shared resource for blog ideas.

Blog IdeaEncourage your employees to contribute blog titles, brief descriptions and research links to this blogging ideation laboratory. That way, even employees who are skittish about writing themselves have a way to contribute to the collective blogging effort.

Create this resource to be as flexible as possible so that employees can supplement others’ ideas, write posts from their own ideas or write posts from the shared pool of available blogging opportunities. Prolific bloggers are always going to use multiple avenues for ideation, but establishing an internal resource will have undeniable benefits – especially when you’re in a pinch for bulking up your content calendar.

Ready, aim, fire

When you’re working with clients, encourage them to adopt a similar approach to blog ideation. Your client’s community manager (or whoever is in charge of their blog) can act as a sort of gatekeeper who approves ideas and keeps track of available blogging opportunities. This will enable that person to have a good sense of what blog posts are in the funnel as they create a blog calendar and work with you to coordinate content production that’s perfect for the needs of their audience.

Knowing what’s percolating in the blogging pipeline will also allow your client’s community manager to devote time to tactics such as reaching out to thought leaders who can spice up your client’s blog with awesome guest posts.

The Lennon/McCartney effect

Creative employees are often just as competitive as they are collaborative, so opening up the idea jar for all your employees to see can get those competitive juices flowing as you challenge each other to up the ante in creating the best material.

As you ignite the idea engine of your employees, consider creating a game around employees’ blog posts, allowing employees to score points for frequent posts, high levels of social shares or page views, or other desired metrics.

Whether your company is publishing posts twice a week or twice a day, always keep the needs of your audience at the forefront. Ensure that you are truly helping your audience and that you are properly balancing risk and reward.

We’d love to hear about your process for encouraging employees to contribute to your blog. Leave us a comment in the field below.

For more content creation tips, check out our free guide: The 5 Ws of Content Creation.

Derek Smith

Derek Smith

Inbound Marketing Consultant at digitalrelevance
Derek Smith is an Inbound Marketing Consultant at digitalrelevance.
Derek Smith
Derek Smith
Buffer


Blogging Tips | 4 Comments

4 thoughts on “Finding Your Blog Fuel: Ignite the Idea Engine

  1. Excellent advice, Derek. Recently, I published a really hideous (but apparently really helpful) deck titled, “Twitter for Salespeople”, and someone on my team took it and wrote an article about it. The writer shared the draft with me this morning and I gave some feedback. She thanked me and also mentioned that if I had more ideas for blog posts, she’s always looking for some. That’s perfect because I rarely have time to take all of my ideas and make them worthy of being published.

    • Glad you like the advice, Peter. I’ve been concentrating lately on explaining how we can apply a lot of the inbound concepts that we’ve been so excited about here at Slingshot in recent months. It’s amazing how often we can spark each other’s muses when we pool our ideas together and challenge each other to come up with the most helpful ideas for our audience. Few things would feel more fulfilling to me than to have a peer take one of my ideas and run with it – put a creative new twist on it or take it in a new direction. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and to reach out to me on Twitter.

      • @Derek. You probably got the connection between your article and my story. But for your readers, I was responding to this idea, “Encourage your employees to contribute blog titles, brief descriptions and research links to this blogging ideation laboratory.” I think that’s brilliant! I would love a scale-able way to do that. For fun, I manage a group of 10 agencies who collaboratively create and share content. It would be cool if there was a scale-able way to manage that.

        • Pete:

          The very scale challenge you discuss is being worked in our labs. My team is beta testing and tweaking a system that does precisely what you’re describing. We have awhile to go, but we’ll get there. I’ll let you know when it’s there. . . :)

          @CPollittIU

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