- Internet & the Web
Help! I'm Out Of Blog Post Ideas
15 Tips to Generate New Blog Post Ideas
Note: Unlike some other articles on this subject, this list stands on two assumptions. That you know whom you are writing for. And that you have a determined niche. The suggestions wouldn't be helpful if you're still grasping about for direction or theme.
And of course, these suggestions work very well for hubs too, if you're wondering.
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, 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 needs little explanation. Surfing other blogs in your niche is like reading a never-ending list of blog post ideas suggestions. Just be careful you don't end up guilty of plagiarism.
4. Watch an hour or two of TV, or Youtube
Works very much the same way as (1) and (2). In fact, this could be a better way, since 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 much around the house that could be the topic for a blog post. For example, the leaky tap you never managed to fix. It could be a humorous post, a grouch post about service quality, some sort of life reflection, or even a metaphor for the industrial trends you write about. Take a slow look around your house, and 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 ... Like (1) to (5), this is a hunt for that "spark." Something to remind, to inspire, and 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 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.
Such strolling downtown would particularly be useful 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 other bloggers 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. Not so for libraries. Properly managed libraries have a wealth of dated periodicals and publications, and these are 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 an 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, movies 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 actually embark on a process relevant to your niche and 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. Commentary of somebody else's post
This ought to be right on top, but I'm putting it so low in the list because you could really trip yourself, if you're not careful. Most people wouldn't take very kindly to a negative critique of their posts. They might not be pleased even if you're all praises. (Some would feel that you're leeching) If you wish to try this, I can only say you need to 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.
Alternatively, just comment sensibly on another blogger's post. Who knows? A discussion could provide many suggestions on what your next blog post should be.
15. Be blunt. Confess you are out of blog post ideas
This takes guts. And some finesse in presentation so that you wouldn't 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 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'd dare say this is the best way to generate blog post ideas. You're going directly to the source i.e. your readers, and asking them what they wish to read. To put it in another way, you're securing future readership before you even start to write.
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