In our information-dense world, I know how hard it is to come up with consistent, compelling and original content. Sometimes you just get stuck.
Many folks think they need to have all the answers to write a great, original blog post, but most of the time the opposite is true. You don't need to have the right answer; you need to find the right question.
People often create the most relevant, interesting and timely blog posts in response to relevant, interesting and timely questions. If you can find a great question—and answer it—you are likely on your way to a dynamite blog post!
How do you find the right question? Here are four ideas:
1. Look to your peer groups. There are so many great places on the Web to find questions. My favorite place is a LinkedIn forum. Did you know there are 800,000 groups on LinkedIn? There is bound to be one that fits your interests. Look in the community forums for an interesting question and answer it. Voila! You have a blog post. Other possible sources are Quora, Focus and Yahoo chat groups.
2. Look in your comments. I would say 25 percent of my posts come from my readers' comments. If something is relevant to them, it will probably be relevant to other readers too, right? Ironically, a comment about writer's block from my friend Jon Buscall inspired this post.
3. Look in your keywords. Many people post questions as their search terms. Go to Google Analytics and see which questions people use to find your blog. Recently, someone used "How do I start blogging?" to find my blog. I thought it was probably time to write about some blogging basics.
4. Use Google. If you are really stuck, go to Google and type "What do I write about?" You'll be amazed at what you find. There are a lot of ideas and prompts out there.
Where do you find the best questions to blog about?
Mark Schaefer is the author of "Return On Influence" and blogs at grow, where a version of this article originally appeared.