Ideas are everywhere, it’s a lazy reporter who doesn’t find them.
This mantra, which I have shared with students and journalists for more than 10 years, applies to bloggers as well.
Blog ideas are everywhere. It’s a lazy blogger who doesn’t find them.
If it’s time to write and you lack inspiration, try some of these tips for finding blog ideas:
- Brainstorm every topic. Each idea should lead you to another. You may want to try one of these brainstorming or mindmapping apps.
- Keep an idea file. Organize your ideas by writing them down, clipping them out, etc., and storing them in one location. You may also want to try an app like Evernote to organize your ideas.
- Observe what’s happening around you. Your regular life generates a ton of blog ideas. You just have to be aware enough to recognize them.
- Eavesdrop. What are people around you talking about? This is also what they’re interested in reading about. If it applies to your audience, blog about it. If you can give them information to help them solve a problem, even better!
- Embrace your creative place. Know when you’re going to get your good ideas and be ready for them (Check out my post on Embracing Creativity). Never assume that you will remember a great blog idea. Check out this post from blogging pro.com about where blog post ideas are born.
- Read everything. I tell my students that I don’t care if it’s Playboy or The New York Times, everything they read will give them ideas. It also will teach them traits of good and bad writing. I never pick up a magazine or newspaper that I don’t find a topic to blog about. As a blogger, it also is good for you to read in your particular niche. There are a couple of tools that help me do this—my RSS Feed, Instapaper and Twitter.
- Ask your audience. Want to know what people want to read about? Ask them. It’s the best way to understand how to fulfill their needs.
- Respond to something you’ve read. This is a quick and easy way to generate a blog post. Write a lead-in graph or two about something you read online and then link to that item. Ask your readers for their opinions about the post.
- Ask for advice. Maybe you have a problem that relates to your blog and, therefore, its audience. Blog about the problem and ask your readers for help.
- Interview people. People like to read about other people, even online. Interview people with information that interests your audience. Share that information through them.
- Blog an event. Attend an event you have access to that others in your audience might not. Tell them about what you learned at the event. Knowledge is shared and expanded.
- Write a review of a product, service, book, etc. that might help your readers.
- Write a list. People love to read online lists. I have a Mommy blogger friend who did nothing but lists for a while. It was really fun and fast to read and gave me some great ideas. Think about it, we love these snippets in magazines because they are quick and entertaining. Why would they be any different on our blogs?
- Write a how-to. Is there something you know how to do well that could help your readers? Share this knowledge!
- Think about questions. What are common questions that you receive as blog responses or that people ask you in person? Blog the answers.
- Recycle. Can you add something to an old post? If so, perhaps you should update it and post it again.
- Network. Talking to others in your niche through conferences and educational opportunities is a great way to gain new blog topics.
- Take a photo. If you don’t have much to say, you could take a photo of something and then expound on it.
- Use sites that generate random ideas. I like StumbleUpon for finding bits of random information.
If all else fails, step away from the computer. Your best ideas usually come when you aren’t trying to think about them.
How do you generate great ideas for your writing?
Here are other sources for more on this topic:
- 24 Things to Do When Stuck for a Topic to Blog About
- 7 Blog Formulas to Use When You Have Run Out of Ideas