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.
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.
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.
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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