Help! I'm Out Of Blog Post Ideas
This list stands on two assumptions. That you know whom you are writing for. And that you have a determined niche. None of these suggestions are useful if you're still grasping about for direction or theme.
1. Read the News
You might not be a socio-political blogger, but reading the news would still benefit you. Most newspapers cover a vast range of topics, many of which could be related to your blogging niche. Read, determine which articles are relevant to you, and decide whether to discuss, reference, or rebuke the content. You could even do double posts, as in by discussing the same piece of news from opposing viewpoints. Executed properly, such double posts could be very engrossing reads.
2. Read a Short Story or Novel
This works extremely well for me. A well-written story reminds you of incidences long forgotten, or piques your interest in a myriad of topics. The process of which could be the source of inspiration for your next blog post.
3. Read Other Blogs
This is often mentioned and really requires little explanation. Surfing other blogs in your niche is like reading a never-ending list of blog post ideas suggestions. Just be careful not to end up accused of plagiarism.
4. Watch an Hour or Two of Television or YouTube
This works very much the same way as (1) and (2). In fact, this method is arguably better, given YouTube has all sorts of discussions on topics that newspapers seldom cover. It's like a constantly growing trove of ideas for you to harvest from.
5. Look Around Your House
This might feel to work only for DIY blogs, but there is actually so much around the house that could be the topic of your next post. To give examples, how about the leaky tap you never managed to fix? Or the cabinet you never got down to tidying? From these, you could create a humorous post, a grouch post about service quality, some sort of life reflection, or even a metaphor for the industrial trends you usually write about. Take a slow look around your house, then get imaginative.
6. Look Through Your Drawers
I find all sorts of things in my drawers. Bills from over a decade ago. Notes I've scribbled about something. Vouchers long expired ... And so on. Like (1) to (5), this is a hunt for that "spark." Something to remind, to inspire, or to point you in the direction of what to blog about next. It is also, at the same time, a great excuse for some housekeeping.
7. Check Your Social Media Feeds
If you have been milking social media properly, the bulk of your followers and those you follow would have the same interests as you. In other words, they are whom you're writing for. Take a look at what's currently on their minds. Use professional tools to identify the topics and keywords they are searching. Determine which of these you have sufficient knowledge and information to write about. Then blog away.
8. Take a Walk Downtown
It's established that walking helps writing. There are also so many things displayed in shops and on the streets that you are bound to find inspiration on what to blog about next.
Particularly, such downtown strolling is highly beneficial for those blogging about specific products or services. Don't simply draw your information from written coverage by others, take a look at what's actually happening at the sales front line. You might actually gain insight your competitors lack.
9. Go to the Library
The problem with news, bookstores, and to an extent, the Net, is that they tend to focus on the new and popular. This is not so for libraries. Properly managed libraries have a wealth of dated periodicals and publications, all of these being treasure troves of blog post ideas. How about a comparison piece on the past and present? A commentary piece on the development in your niche over the last ten years? Hey, you might even uncover some forgotten secret, and be the first to blog about it.
10. Chat With Friends
Most people have a lot to say, if you rub them the right way. So if your friends know you're blogging, ask them what you should write about next. I bet you would be flooded with suggestions.
11. Check Your Local Calendar of Events
Unless you're living in a really remote hamlet, chances are there would be some coming event related to your niche. It could be something as grand as a yearly exhibition or trade fair, or just the opening of a new shop. Attend the event and blog about it. Before that, blog about what you expect to see or experience. One or two months later, do an alternate commentary of the event. There, that's three posts already. Attend three such events and you have nearly ten new posts to work on.
12. Join an Online Forum, or Revisit the Ones You've Been Absent From
Quite similar to (10), except you broaden the resource pool. A popular forum can have tens, if not hundreds of threads of intense, highly opinionated discussions. With a little work, you could work out an entire blogging schedule for a year just by scanning these threads. Just refrain from being too distracted by the juicy debates. Also, never be drawn into an online war of words with forum trolls.
13. Review Something
The word "review" implies food, games, movie,s or places, but those are hardly the only things we review, right? How about a business process? A social media strategy? A weight-loss plan? Hey, you could even embark on a process relevant to your niche then regularly update about your progress. This would provide for an extended series of posts. During which you are sure to discover other related topics to write about.
14. Comment on Someone Else's Post
This ought to be right on top, but I'm putting it low on the list because you could really trip yourself if you're not careful. Most people wouldn't take kindly to a negative critique of their posts. They might not be pleased even if you're all praises; some might feel that you're leeching their SEO standing. If you wish to try this suggestion, do be as factual and as objectively as possible. A blog war could draw in traffic. But you could also be on the losing end of it.
15. Be Blunt. Confess You Are Out of Blog Post Ideas
This takes guts. It also requires some finesse in presentation in order for you not to come across as clueless.
Invite your readers to suggest topics. Or list down some very generic areas for them to pick from. Naturally, you need to have a certain readership on hand for this to work. When there's an indication of what your next topic could be, discuss finer details in your comments section. Done properly, I dare say this is the best way to generate blog post ideas. You're going directly to the source i.e. your readers, by asking them what they wish to read. To put it in another way, you're securing future readership before you even start to write.
Still Uninspired After Trying These Tips? Maybe It's Time to Do Something Else!
- OMG! I'm Still Drained Of Blog Post Ideas
Still bereft of new blog post ideas, after trying all recommended methods to come up with some? No worries. There are plenty of other things for you to work on.
© 2016 Kuan Leong Yong