Blogging requires a continual stream of ideas. Yet, bloggers often feel as if the idea stream has dried up. They worry that they’ve run out of good ideas. Don’t fear! You can create fresh ideas consistently. In today’s post, freelance writer Beth Bauer (@JourneyofBethB), offers you several ways to get blog post ideas flowing again…and keep them flowing.
We’ve all been there. You have a schedule to keep, and it’s time once again to write and publish a blog post. You open up your laptop, fully prepared to start writing, but no ideas come. Your cursor continues to blink, and blink, and blink. You stare at your blank screen and wonder what to write about. And you start to feel nervous…
Don’t panic. You can come up with fresh blog post topics. Here are a few ways to get the ideas and words flowing.
When a group brainstorms, they generally feed off of each other, and one person’s ideas will prompt another person’s idea.
If you have a close group of friends that often get together for dinner or drinks, ask them if you can do a quick brainstorming session to get ideas for what to write about next on your blog.
Try to keep the session short and light, and resist the urge to give feedback. Just write fast and furiously and nod your head in agreement.
If your friends don’t understand your topic, gather a few people who do—maybe members of a Facebook group—and ask them to help you brainstorm.
Poll Your Audience
People love to give their opinion. If you have a few ideas you’re toying with for blog post topics, ask your audience by providing a poll. Facebook is excellent for polls, and of course, you can always use Survey Monkey.
You could even turn your poll into a contest. Ask your followers or readers, “What should I write about next?” Announce that the person with the best idea will get a free something or other, and then watch the ideas pour in.
Hubspot has a great blog idea generator you can use for free. Enter a keyword (noun) into the generator, hit enter, and see what post topics it recommends. You may have already written about some of the subjects, but one of their ideas might get your creative powers moving again.
Try to be as specific as possible. For example, instead of entering the word “travel,” enter a particular place, like “Toronto.”
Look at your Competitor’s Site
When was the last time you spent some time on your competitors’ websites? Visit them to see what topics they’re covering. Then go way back in time to see what they wrote about a year ago or longer. You’ll probably run across a few topics you’ve never considered.
A note of caution: Don’t use the same title they used. That would be unprofessional—possibly even plagiarism. Instead, look for a new spin on an old topic. For example, if you write a pet blog and everyone’s writing about doggie diapers, focus your post on organic doggie diapers.
Keep an Ideas File
It never fails. Ideas come to us at the strangest times and in the oddest places. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with a great post idea or were in the middle of watching a movie when you came up with a new hot post topic?
Find a method for keeping an idea file. It might be a voice recorder on your phone or a notes app. Maybe it’s a tiny notebook in your handbag or your car. Whatever you decide to use, make sure it’s almost always nearby so when you get your next brilliant idea you can jot it down quickly so you won’t forget it.
Expand on an Earlier Post
Another great way to generate new ideas for post topics is to expand on your previous posts. Did you briefly mention a cool restaurant you visited in Paris? How about writing a blog post all about that restaurant. Perhaps you mentioned some new hiking boots you bought. Do a post about the top things to look for when buying new hiking boots.
Also, make a note of your most popular posts. Your site’s analytics or Google Analytics can identify the topics that are of most interest to your readers. Once you know, you can expand on those post topics.
Ask Your Friends
Last but not least, ask your friends one-on-one. The next time your texting or chatting on the phone with a friend, tell him you’re running out of ideas and ask if he has any suggestions.
Don’t feel like you’re a burden. Your friends love you and will want to help. Your friends and family are the greatest sources of support. They probably read all of your posts anyway, so they may have lots of great ideas for you.
Whenever you’re stumped for a next post topic, don’t force it. The more you get down on yourself and try to make yourself come up with ideas, the harder it will get. Allow yourself to take a little break and get some fresh air. Go for a walk or run. You might find yourself feeling newly inspired and returning with your next blog post idea.
Do you have other ways to come up with new blog post topics? If so, share them with me in a comment below. And if you enjoyed this post, please share it on social media or with other writers or bloggers.
About the Author
Beth Bauer is a freelance writer, travel blogger, yoga instructor, and entrepreneur currently working on her third novel. She has traveled to over 20 countries in just the last two years and enjoys life as a digital nomad. She is originally from the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A., and when she’s home lives on the Long Beach Peninsula with her dog, Ozzie.
Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles