Help! I’ve Run Out of Ideas! Now What?

Do you ever get stuck?

You know, staring at the empty status update box, or the blank “Add new blog post” screen, and have absolutely no idea what to write about?  It happens to everyone.  There are some days when we’ve got a fire in the belly, and know exactly what we want to share.  And there are other days when we feel like we’ve said it all already, and how could we possibly come up with something interesting that our target market would care about?

Successful social media marketing for a direct selling business involves sharing content that your target market can use right now without spending a dime.  You need to be consistently relevant, useful, and/or interesting in order to get people to relate to you, and to build relationships with them.

So what do you do when you feel like you’ve run out of things to say?

  • Go read the status updates of your target market. What are they discussing?  What questions are they asking?  That may give you some direction as to things you can write yourself, or content you can look for, and link to.
  • Go read the status updates of thought leaders in your market. Often they will share links or ideas that spark new ideas for you.
  • Ask a question. Interested in what questions your target market has about your topic?  Ask them!  You can either do this through a status update, or as a blog post.
  • Read blog posts in your niche. What are other people writing about?  Which topics seem to interest people the most?  What could you put your own spin to?
  • Read blog posts outside your niche. Sometimes there are things going on in the wider world that you can customize for your niche.  How can you open their minds?
  • Just start writing (this works for blog posts.) Don’t worry about topic yet.  Just start putting your thoughts down, and find out what direction you go.  You can always clean it up and make it focused later.

Everybody runs out of things to say sometimes.  But that doesn’t give you a pass from participating daily with your target market online.  You must may need to get a little more creative, and FIND some new ideas.

What do you think?  How do you come up with new ideas?  And what would YOU like to know more about when you read this blog?  Looking forward to reading your comments below!

10 Responses to Help! I’ve Run Out of Ideas! Now What?
  1. Brett Duncan
    May 27, 2010 | 1:28 pm

    Just supports the idea that you gotta read to write. Eventually, the well dries up. Nothing inspires blog post ideas like reading other blog posts. As a matter of fact, I think this one inspired a post for me!

    bd
    @bdunc1

    • Jennifer Fong
      May 27, 2010 | 1:46 pm

      Can’t wait to read it Brett! 🙂

  2. Diane Aksten
    May 27, 2010 | 11:38 am

    Jennifer: Great post; the moral of the story is we don’t need to recreate the wheel; inspiration is all around us!!!

  3. Diane Aksten
    May 27, 2010 | 11:32 am

    Jennifer: Great post; I’m sure this has happened from time to time to everyone who does any amount of writing at all…

    I love your ideas because it doesn’t involve recreating the wheel; sometimes we can gain inspiration through someone else’s work and put our own spin on it to make it sound like an entirely new piece.

  4. Leora Wenger
    May 27, 2010 | 11:32 am

    Great ideas! Reading your post might fall into the category of Read Blog Posts Outside Your Niche, as I don’t do Direct Sales; on the other hand, all of us who write blogs get writer’s block.

    I’m often conflicted on whether to write on technical topics or not (or how to do so) – my focus is a non-technical audience, but my expertise tends to be technical.

    I will be working on “Just start writing (this works for blog posts.) Don’t worry about topic yet. Just start putting your thoughts down, and find out what direction you go. You can always clean it up and make it focused later.” – excellent!

  5. Jill Shea
    May 27, 2010 | 10:50 am

    Thanks Jennifer another GREAT post! Julie Anne I also love your idea about using the voice recorder on our phones. I too always seem to have ideas when I’m driving or walking the dogs. I’m going to get better at using that voice recorder.
    Thanks everyone and enjoy your weekend!
    Jill Shea

  6. Julie Ann Jones
    May 27, 2010 | 10:11 am

    These are some great ideas, Jen. I’m using some of them already. One tool I’ve discovered that I absolutely love is the voice memo option on my phone (mine’s an I-phone, but my Palm Treo had it as well and I’m fairly sure most cell phones do). I get some of my best ideas when I’m driving and I never used to remember them when I sat down to write. Now, when I get an idea behind the wheel, I grab my phone and “speak” it into a voice memo. Three of the nine blog posts I wrote last month came out of my phone!

    • Jennifer Fong
      May 27, 2010 | 1:46 pm

      Great idea Julie!

  7. Kyle Lacy
    May 27, 2010 | 9:59 am

    The writers “block” happens to everyone! This post offers some good suggestions. When I’ve run out of things to write about I look around for what’s current and new and then offer my own thoughts. It’s important to find some consistency in what your writing about but its okay to explore new areas of interest.

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