When you start out on the adventure of writing a blog, the first few weeks can be a lot of fun, and the ideas for great post topics will flow from you with relative ease. New ideas just spring to mind out of nowhere. After you’ve been doing it for a short while, however, I’ve found that ideas start getting tougher to come up with, and you’ll often need to be a bit more creative in finding things to write about. You may need to find some creative inspiration.
I’ve been writing 5-7 regular weekly blog entries for 3 years now, and as such I’ve had plenty of time to run out of ideas, and I’ve had to be creative in finding things to write about. Here are some hints and tricks that I’ve used in order to come up with ideas for content for my blogs when the well is running dry.
Ideas For Coming Up With Blog Content
There are a lot of places to look to for inspiration when trying to come up with ideas for blog content. Here are a few that I refer to.
- What are others writing about?: While you never want to steal other people’s content, it’s definitely OK to be inspired by what they’re writing on their site. Perhaps you’ve seen a couple of popular sites writing about a certain topic in the news. You might consider writing about it as well, but putting your own spin on it. I always have a ton of other sites in my RSS reader to look to for inspiration.
- Keep an idea file: Keep an idea file handy with ideas for future posts. Whenever you think of a possible topic, write it down in your idea file for future reference. Personally I keep my idea file on my Ipod Touch for future reference.
- Look to books on the topic for inspiration: Go to Amazon.com and search for books in your subject matter. Look to popular books in that niche, and see what they are about. Consider writing about those topics. Also look to the comment areas to see what people still are looking for information about – or what certain books were lacking. Amazon can be an invaluable resource for this type of information.
- Mind mapping: Come up with a general topic to write about, and then do a mind map as suggested in this post on how to write an ebook. (see a screenshot of one of my mind maps above) This can help you to come up with many post ideas at once – even a whole series!
- Do keyword research on a general topic: Figure out a general topic that you might want to write about, and then do some keyword research to narrow down the topic a good subject for a post.
- Ask yourself what information you would find useful: One thing that I find always brings about some of my best posts are the ones where I just think about what information I have searched for on Google for answers in the past. If I was looking for information on how to start a blog, what topics have I searched for in the past?
- Free writing: Just start writing about whatever comes to mind. Usually one idea will lead to another and before long you’ve got a post!
So those are a few of the main ideas I use to get the creative juices flowing again. It usually just comes down to searching for ideas in new and different places, free associating off of those ideas and coming up with new ideas for content – or putting my own spin on an old idea.
Do you have your own ways that you get the creative flow going? Tell us what you do to come up with content in the comments!