I have lots of ideas for writing blog posts. I don’t usually have any trouble coming up with ideas. Sometimes, I may have trouble figuring out how to turn my ideas into something that’s useful for you, but I’ve got ideas, baby!
I always want to be sure that what I share here on the blog is information that you need, stuff that helps you out. I sent out a message to my email community, and asked them to reply with their biggest roadblocks to creating a successful blog. And I got a lot of great answers!
One of the most common questions I got was about finding content. I know some of you like to write a post every day, and it can be challenging to come up with enough topics to keep it fresh. So I came up with a list of 21 ways to brainstorm for new content.
1) Keep a Notebook Handy
I’m talking about an actual notebook that you carry with you all the time. I bet when you’re out running around, you see things and think “Oh, that’s a great idea for a blog post!” and then forget about it later. Write that stuff down! If you don’t have a notebook, record it on your phone – whatever it takes to keep you from losing that idea.
2) Blog About Your Failures
I’ve seen a couple of good examples of this in the last couple of days, both from food blogs, both with baked goods. My favorite was over on Project Pastry Love – A Sad Palmier is Still a Tasty Palmier, where she showed what went wrong AND described how she thought she could fix it. That’s a great way of turning your epic fail into an epic win.
3) Blog About Your Successes
This one’s a lot easier – it’s always fun to write about your wins! And any kind of win will do – have you lost weight? Tell people how you did it! Did you win a raffle? Tell people about the prize you got (and link up to it on Amazon!). Did you make an amazing casserole that the whole family loved? Share your recipe! Any little success is a great thing to share on your blog.
4) Create a “Best Of” Blog Post
This one works best if you’ve already been blogging for a little while. Go look at your statistics, and pick 5 or 10 of your most viewed posts. Write a “Best of” post that highlights each of them – it’s a GREAT way to introduce new readers to some of your top content.
5) Write About A Daily Experience
My friend Jackie Lee is the BEST at this – I really love her ability to find lessons in everything that happens around her. This is one of my favorite posts of hers, and it exemplifies this idea beautifully. >> Go To The Tree
6) Steal Some Name Recognition!
No matter what you blog about, there are famous people connected to that topic. Think about those people, and how you can incorporate them into a post. Do you blog about food or recipes? How about “What Gordon Ramsay Taught Me About Running a Kitchen”? On the other hand, the celebrity doesn’t have to have anything to do with your niche exactly – you could do something like “How Blogging is Like the Ellen Degeneres Show” (I don’t know, I just made that up LOL).
7) Get Physical!
The truth is that some of my best ideas come when I’m not at my computer. Sometimes if you’re stumped for ideas, all you need to do is walk away for a little while. Do something physical that gets your blood moving – walk around the block, play tag with your kid, vacuum the floor. Your brain needs oxygen, so get it moving! The act of getting up and moving will put you in a different frame of mind, and sometimes that’s all it takes to come up with a new idea.
8) Ask Your Readers
Hey – this is what I did! Crowdsourcing is an excellent way to come up with ideas for your blog. Ask your readers what they want to see more of. If you’re blogging about food, maybe you’ve been posting a lot of casseroles and you’re readers are really eager for more slow-cooker or freezer meals. The only way you’ll find out is by asking! (And hey – let me know in the comments here what YOU want to learn more about!)
9) Thank Your Readers
Everyone once in a while, you should do a post that lets your readers know how much they mean to you. People like to feel appreciated. Let your readers know how much their feedback and loyalty means. You can even do that in conjunction with something like a gift card giveaway, but that’s not always necessary. Just tell the people how you feel 😉
10) Compile a FAQ Post
FAQ = Frequently Asked Questions. In any niche, there are certain questions that come up over and over and over. List those questions and answer them. You may have written posts that answer some of those questions before – in that case, all you need to do is link to the full post.
11) Interview Experts and Bloggers in Your Niche
This isn’t necessarily one that will save you in a pinch, but it’s a great idea for a more thought out post – or even a series of posts. There are different ways of doing this one, too. You may have a single question – for example, if you blog about DIY, you may ask other DIY/craft bloggers “What is your favorite tool to use?” Then do one post, with all the answers. Or, you may do a more formal type of interview, with 5 or 6 questions (or more, depending on your the topic), and do a separate blog post for each expert, based on their answers.
In order to keep this post from getting too terribly long, I’m going to break it in half – Click Here for Part 2.