9 Places to Find Ideas for Your Newsletter or Blog

Never Run Out of Email Newsletter Ideas Again

Unlock your content marketing writer's block with these ideas.

Do you have an email newsletter? or a blog? Send it out pretty often? Like twice a month? Or every week? Ever get into *overwhelm* mode with trying to come up with content week after week?

Then this post is for you – to help you generate awesome content ideas for your newsletter that your subscribers will actually thank you for writing. Have a blog? This will help you with that too.

First things first

You’ve got to plan it out – nothing sparks idea-paralysis like week after week of oh-my-god-I’ve-written-everything-I-could-possibly-write-what-do-I-do-now moments. So what do you do?

Get yourself an editorial calendar. Doesn’t have to be fancy – I use Google Calendar for mine. Others prefer a physical one like the system Monica Crowe describes here. Identify each date that you have to publish a newsletter (or blog) – we’ll fill these in with the ideas you’ll unlock after reading the rest of this post.

Now, about those ideas

You already have an amazing wealth of ideas just waiting to be uncovered – I promise. Start writing down every topic that comes to mind from this checklist:

1 – Check your inbox. What questions come in from customers, prospects, subscribers or blog readers? If one person asks it, even more would love to hear the answer. When these come in, copy and paste the Qs to your topic list.

2 – Have site search enabled for your site in Google Analytics? Check your GA account for what customers are searching for on your site. Any phrases or topics that don’t match up well with your current content? Add them to your list.

3 – While you’re in your Analytics account, check to see what keywords are landing visitors on your site. Or, if you have Google Webmaster Tools set up, check your Search Engine Optimization report to see what terms your site is showing up for in the search results. Any topics you haven’t covered? Add them to your list.

4 – Don’t stray from Analytics just yet. Check out your content report. This is especially helpful if you have a blog – what content has been the most popular?

5 – Are you on social media? Twitter or Facebook? Check out which of your posts have been most popular in Facebook Insights or what Tweeted links have been clicked the most in a tool like bit.ly.

6 – If you have an existing email marketing campaign, log in to your account and see what emails have gotten the most opens. Take note of the popular topics – additional content in these topics is likely to be well received.

7 – Check out the Google Keyword Tool. Type in some of your more popular topics and see what keyword phrases turn up. Writing the perfect answer to a highly searched term is not only going to be a hit among your current audience but is also a smart SEO move.

8 – Read 52 Headline Hacks. These blueprint headlines are not only a great format for your email newsletter headlines or blog titles but they never fail to get the content brainstorm juices flowing.

9. Get someone else to provide the content with guest posts or interviews. Laura at CreateAsFolk just did a lovely one with Brigitte of Unfettered Ink to answer a PR question from one of her readers.

Now take all of those content ideas you just came up with and plug them into your editorial calendar. Poof! Content Idea Paralysis cured. Now you’ll just need help writing all that content faster.

How about you? Have any tips on generating content ideas when you’re feeling a little blocked? Did you find this helpful? Let me know in the comments!

Looking for more on email marketing? Check out 17 Ways to Get More Subscribers for Your List or 3 Things You Should NOT Let Your Email Marketing Service Provider Do for You.

photo credit: faith goble via photo pin cc

7 Responses so far.

  1. Hi Liz. Great article today! I really like your writing style – and you’ve given some really useful tips. Thank you!

  2. Marcy says:

    Hey Liz. Great article. I will have to remember to use seo tactics more when generating content. One of our most common methods, is to look at what I’m having trouble with and perhaps ways my friends seem to be struggling, then we use it as a topic.
    Checking my email open rate is also a great idea. I’ve noticed the emails that tend to get the most opens are when we write about things that are date specific and happening right now.

  3. Sarita Li says:

    Love this! Editorial calendar, here I come!

    Thanks for tweeting to me about this btw Liz! Great article!

    (Wow, that’s a lot of exclamation points.)

  4. Aneta says:

    Hi Liz,

    Your tips are very useful.

    I have a content website, and my in-person clients are often those who inspire me. When they ask me: “Don´t you know a good book or an article about XY issue?”, I try to find something for them + add the topic on my list.

    Another resource of my ideas are the questions I am asked by new people I get to know through professional networking or even at private parties. When I tell them what my job is, they often react by sharing their current challenges, dreams and worries. I try to write something useful about the topics and send it to them asap. Knowing it might be useful for someone particular is a great driver.

    Thanks for your helpful work!

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