How to Think of Blog Post Ideas

Photo credit: Cayusa on Flickr
For roughly a year and a half now, I’ve written blog posts three times a week. I haven’t made any changes to the blogging schedule because I believe it’s important as a writer and a blogger to post consistently, and as of yet, I’ve never missed a day. I’ve also never run out of ideas.

Well.

That last part is a little misleading. Saying that I’ve never run out of ideas makes it sound like over the course of the last year and a half, I’ve never had a day where I wasn’t sure what I was going to post about, which is nowhere near the truth. I have, in fact, often had days where I stared at the screen, wondering how in the world I was going to come up with and write a post over the course of the next twenty-four hours.

But being the stubborn, stick-to-the-schedule person I am, I’ve always managed to wring a topic out of the air, one way or another.

The truth is, there’s nothing mystical about thinking up blog post ideas. While some days I’m lucky and the idea will just make itself known to me with little effort on my part, most days I have to go looking for ideas. Lucky for me, I have plenty of sources of inspiration all around me. Such as…

  • The blog archives. For those of you who run a blog, I highly recommend keeping a blog archive list. The funny thing about blog archives, is that while I originally created mine to make it easy for readers to dig through my old posts, I soon realized it was just as useful for me as it was for my readers.

    You see, when your posts start reaching triple digits (and even before that), it can start to become a little tricky to keep track of what you’ve written about and what you’ve missed. When I’m searching for blog post inspiration, I nearly always start by scrolling through my archives: not only does it keep me from unintentionally rewriting an old post, but it gives me a general idea as to what areas I could explore more in, and what areas are already well-saturated with posts.

  • The brainstorming list. I’ve written in the past about how helpful it is to keep a running list of ideas (both for writing and blogging), and this is a large part of the reason why. When I’m low on ideas and searching the archives isn’t helping, I often turn to my brainstorming list and either spend some time thinking up new ideas, or choose one that I’ve already thought of but haven’t written about yet.

  • Life. You’d be surprised how many ideas you can generate just from your everyday life. I’ll often turn to a problem I’ve recently encountered in my WIP, or a stage of writing I’m in, or a book I’ve recently read to try to think up of some blog post ideas. Another great life source is current events: whether in publishing or just a topic that’s trending online (that’s related to whatever you post about, of course), writing about current events or topics is a great way to tap into a collective discussion online. 

These are just a couple examples of places I find blog post inspiration from—now I want to hear from you. Where do you find blog post or writing inspiration?

9 comments:

Tina Barbour said...

Great tips. I have recently started going through my archives, too, and I've found it helpful in generating ideas for new ways of looking at old topics.


I've had times when I've stared at the screen, too, and wondered how I was going to come up with a blog post as scheduled. Something always seems to come up, though.

Melissa Breau said...

Love these! All too often "how to find blog post ideas" articles all have the same tips and there's some ideas here I've never seen anywhere else. Thanks for the share!

Ava Jae said...

Sometimes a little stubbornness is exactly what you need to push you to come up with another post before the scheduled day. And my archives have basically become my go-to place for post ideas. ^_^

Ava Jae said...

Thanks, Melissa! I'm glad you found the post helpful. :)

Iain Broome said...

I personally find it difficult to come up with ideas when I know that not just my own site, but the entire blogging community is saturated with very, very similar posts. How do you stand out from the crowd? It's really difficult. I think the consistent schedule you keep is fantastic and admirable!

Ava Jae said...

Thank you, Iain! I understand what you mean about everyone writing about similar topics. Personally, I tend not to worry myself with what everyone else is writing about--it's inevitable that there will be many others who cover the same topics, but your point of view is something that only you can share. Naturally there will be overlap, but I still think that everyone's thoughts and opinions on various topics are valuable, regardless of who has said them before. As long as you're not directly copying what someone else has already said, I see nothing wrong with overlap. :)

Iain Broome said...

I completely agree that overlap is natural and there isn't anything wrong with it, I just meant it makes it difficult to think of new stuff all the time. Not sure I explained my point very well!

Ava Jae said...

Ah, yes, I understand. I suppose the reason that doesn't bother me quite as much is because, quite frankly, it doesn't matter to me if fifty others have written about the same topic if it's one that I find interesting or have something to say about. But that's just me. :)

Anil kumar said...

nice computer tricks

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