How to think of brilliant blog post ideas

I think I must be quite lucky.  In three years, I don’t think I’ve ever had blogger’s block and struggled to find something to write about.  If you’ve met me that’s probably not surprising, given I do talk a lot.  I think that’s reflected in my blogging too.

But I’ve heard a lot of bloggers say that they’ve lost their mojo, run out of things to say, or fallen out of love with blogging.

I probably have days where I can’t be bothered, but then I’ll just not blog (generally I blog daily), or I’ll just spend some time on social media instead, or join up with a linky to read some other blogs.  But mostly, I’m not stuck for ideas.

how to come up with brilliant blog post ideas - Bubbablue and me

I have a bank of post drafts written (nearly a month’s worth), and then I add in Living Arrows, My Sunday Photo and Project 365 which can only be written each week.

My blog posts are prompted by various different things.  Mostly what we get up to and conversations we have; my blog is mostly my way of journaling parenthood as it happens.  But I also get ideas from discussions or questions that friends or colleagues are asking or talking about, new places, things that bug me or that I love.  Generally just life.  When I have an idea, I use my phone to note it down, I can shift all my ideas up and down according to a vague schedule.  I add in any sponsored work or reviews, again moving about the order.  Then I gradually write up the post draft in OneNote adding to my bank of posts, if I don’t want to publish it immediately.

Not all of my ideas make it.  Many sit there for months, then I decide the idea’s gone or it’s too late, so I’ll delete or amend.

But if you’re stuck for blog posts, here’s some ways to create a prolific list of post ideas.

How to come up with blog post ideas

1. Use content/blog post lists

There’s tens or hundreds of blog posts that have been written with lists of blog post topics.  Some are based on monthly challenges like #BEDN with daily prompts for the whole of November, others are content marketing based blogs with blog post titles.  Search for 100 blog post titles, or 100 blog post ideas.  Even if you don’t use any of the posts, it’ll get you thinking about different post structures that work, and that you could try.

2. Mind mapping

I always think of mind mapping as a spider diagram in old school terminology.  Take a list of your most popular posts, write each one in the centre of a page, and then off that, think of other posts that could lead off from it.  You could end up with a new niche topic, series of posts, or just discover totally random linked ideas that you’re interested in or could write about.

mindmapping

3. Ask friends or readers

Asking your readers what they want to read about, or what they want answering can only be a good thing…if you get any responses of course.   You can ask via polls on twitter, facebook, through email newsletters or in person.

4, Trending topics

I always find I’m too late at finding out current affairs, but there’s lots of websites that curate the latest trends.  You can also find out the most searched for topics in Google (and set up Google alerts for topics which will be emailed to you), so they may prompt some ideas.

5, Read other blogs

Look for topics that excite you on other blogs.  Don’t copy exact ideas, but they can lead you off in thought in another direction, or more detail.  You could always write a post in answer to another blogger or from another angle.  It’s always polite to reference the original post you read too.

6, Pick a page in a magazine, book or dictionary

When I worked for a food company, we had an innovation day, to brainstorm ideas.  After we’d exhausted the usual ones, we then went deeper and broader.  The facilitator would throw out random words, and that would lead us onto totally blue sky ideas (for example she said cheese, and we ended up thinking about chocolate fondue, chocolate strings and more).  Why not try it for your blog.  Maybe an encyclopedia or reference book would be more visual than just words, but it’s worth a try.

7, Have a muse or a favourite theme

For most parenting bloggers their ‘muse’ is probably their children.  If you’ve a niche blog, then your theme will be already decided.  But if not, try thinking of different themes through the year and what you can write about during those times.

blogging ideas stationery
It’s a great excuse to have some nice stationery!

These are just a few ideas to get you started if you get stuck.  I find it’s always helpful having a notepad and something to write with easily accessible for when inspiration strikes.  I tend to use my phone notes, but whatever works for you.

How do you come up with blog post ideas?  How do you plan out what you’re going to write?

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29 thoughts on “How to think of brilliant blog post ideas

  1. I came here searching for your post ideas that you mentioned writing about ☺ I haven’t thought of doing mind mapping as a way to generate ideas, but I probably do end up doing a variation of it. I haven’t run out of ideas either, yet, but with these tips I don’t expect to run out either!

  2. Thanks for the tips! I’ve used mind mapping in the past with pretty good success. Thank you so much for linking up with us in the Best of the Blogosphere Link-Up last week! We
    hope you’ll join us again in this week’s party that started today!

  3. Some great tips there Emma, and I love that it’s a perfect excuse to have some pretty stationery! My trouble often is what to post next, not what to say – thanks for linking up to #PoCoLo

  4. Great post, thank you.
    I had a writers block recently that spanned about two whole months! its a bit of a nightmare when it happens that’s for sure.

    I think that sometimes life just gets in the way, and my head gets too full of other stuff, or, ‘lifes in-box’ as I like to call it. Its comforting to know its common though and this post is super handy to refer back to.

    1. Ha ha, Life’s inbox, I like that. It sounds quite common, and given this post has gone a bit mad, I guess there’s a lot of people interested in finding new post ideas.

  5. Wow I am most impressed at how organised you are! I have several draft posts but because I ran out of time to finish them and moved onto something else, not because they are awaiting being published;) Useful post, thanks for sharing your ideas

  6. I’ve been lucky in the fact that I haven’t yet run out of post ideas, but I do worry that one day I will. I do have some posts lightly drafted for just in case, but I prefer writing some posts soon after I have had an idea or lose the feeling. I do like the idea of mind mapping if I ever run out of inspiration.

    Post ideas can pop into my head at anytime, sometimes without warning.

    #PoCoLo

  7. Hey, this is a brilliant post on how to help other people unlock their potential! I usually write a title, or at least the heading of what I want to talk about and unless inspiration hits me there and then I let it sit for a few days then I’ll put up job to know tattoo, but usually by that point I know what I want to write And it sort of flows, or at least I hope it does haha xxx

    1. I agree. I think that quite often parenting and lifestyle bloggers have the advantage in that they can write about anything, and they’ve got kids who always come out with things that can be made into a blog post. There’s also lots of prompts around from reading other blogs or being on social media

  8. Brilliant post Emma. I’m in a bit of a ‘bloggers block’ at the moment and I tend to hit this patch every 9 months or so. When I’m tired and a bit run down, I find it hard to get inspired and in turn, write. I was taught to do number 2 on a journalism course. In fact they suggested we read an article then brainstorm more extensive ideas from it – how to take it that one step further. Interesting. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Hi Suzanne, I’m pleased it’s helpful. It’s always good to have a step back sometimes, maybe your bloggers block is your head’s way of doing that? The article thing and then brainstorming is a good way, especially if you’ve got one particular topic you want to write more of but aren’t sure where to take it. Good luck getting back to new ideas.

  9. I’m impressed you have so many posts in drafts / ready to go. It is something I’m working on, but currently have none. I’d love to know more about how you use OneNote, it is a programme I like the idea of but haven’t found a way of using it that means I keep using it.

    1. I mostly just use it to draft posts, make a record of any linkies or webpages I need to read/record, and then I’m adding sub notes for key words from my GA for post ideas, planning for my new blog or name (whichever I choose to do). I’ve got it linked to be able to use on my phone too, but haven’t bothered using it…I just use my phone notepad.

      The drafts thing only started because of having no internet for 3 weeks. That started me off with a month’s worth, I’m down on that now, but it’s handy to have posts ready to paste in, edit, add pics to when I get home rather than have to write and do all the rest.

  10. Great ideas for posts.

    I am terrible for doing drafts. I have over 100. Not posts but just an idea or a photo. I need to got a diary and write them down instead of just keeping a though on each page 🙂

    1. Wow, that’s a lot. I have a few titles, and about 15-20 drafted out ready to publish, just needing photos etc. I guess it depends how much time you have at the time. Sometimes a title or topic will just do to remember it later.

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