It’s time to blog and you don’t have an idea or outlined prepared.
That is the worst feeling in the world for a blogger. When I need new blog post topics, I’ve found brainstorming sessions where I try to create a bulk of ideas at once works best for me.
Regardless of how you do it, here are 11 tactics to generate new ideas for blog posts.
1. What did you just do?
You were just working on something and must have had a few interesting thoughts that other people could benefit from.
Think about any aggravations you faced, problems you overcame, tools you used, or discoveries you made and turn them into posts.
2. Zoom in/out of old content
Sometimes I look at a post I’ve written in the past and try to either:
- write a post about one particular aspect
- write a more general post
3. What are other people writing about?
Check out posts written by others in your niche. For starters, I like to browse:
- Google Plus Communities
You’re not looking for the most popular content, or even successful content. You may not understand what made a post successful, and frankly, it doesn’t matter. You just need a catalyst for an idea, so you can start writing.
4. List, How to, Curate
Look through all your published posts. Most of them will be a list, “how to”, or curated post. You can rewrite each post as one or both of the other available options. For instance:
Original post (List): 5 Tips for Optimizing Images in WordPress
This one shares a few useful snippets and tips.
How to post: How to Optimize Images in WordPress
This one is a step-by-step tutorial on optimizing images in WordPress.
Curate Post: 7 Plugins that Optimize Images in WordPress
This is a collection of work by other people.
An additional benefit is a tight cluster of content you can interlink leading to better rankings in Google.
5. Don’t try to be original
I got this tip from Jon Morrow. If you try to be totally original with every post, you’re going to put too much pressure on yourself and suffocate your blogging.
If you’ve got a penchant for writing original content that’s fantastic, but don’t force it. It’s okay to share a roundup of free themes or publish a list post like everyone else.
6. Just Write (Really)
After being stranded without an idea, once I finally have one and write, you know what happens?
I have new post ideas!
Even if the only thing on your mind are your plans for the weekend, just start writing about it. Don’t think about how it doesn’t make any sense.
Get positive, get writing, and new ideas will come.
7. Repurpose old content
Take an old post and convert it into a:
- slide deck/presentation
Then republish it and also submit it to relevant sites (like Slideshare for a slide deck) to build a few links.
8. Has anything agitated you recently?
Write about it.
Maybe other people are annoyed too. Maybe not, but if they aren’t it’s because they already found a solution. This means you get a blog post out of it and a solution for a problem you have.
9. Is there a product you’re enjoying right now?
Sometimes I get really excited about a new product and I just want to tell everyone.
Unfortunately, I need to chat with the right friends that are into web development, blogging, etc, or I just get a puzzled gaze in return. This is a good opportunity to blog about it instead.
10. Do you have any cool data, or is there some you could collect?
Do you have interesting data from your users that would benefit others? Compile and share it.
Is there something you wish you knew? Conduct a survey or use a web scraper to collect the data for yourself and share it.
Lastly, if you find another publication that published data in a way that isn’t very accessible (like a complicated academic study), you can republish their data in a more visual, user-friendly way (pretty charts and stuff).
11. What questions are people asking?
I don’t remember where I read this, but answering questions people ask online is the foundation of WP Beginner’s content strategy.
Do you know how much they’ve published?
You can find people asking questions and sharing agitations on:
- g+ communities
Never Run out of Post Ideas
If your idea isn’t great, write the post anyway. It will be another post you can probably publish, and you’ll get new, better ideas as you write.
You’ll become your own blog post idea generator, and you’ll always have a finished post ready when it’s time to click ‘Publish.’