With several of my own blogs and my freelance writing work, there are days that coming up with content is easy as can be and I sail right through my posts. But, then there are those days where my mind is completely blank and I haven’t a clue what to blog about. Below are some strategies that I use to come up with new content ideas. Some of them may seem old, but they still work…
Books & Magazines
I’m a book nerd and magazine junkie so naturally this is part of my process. I like looking for content offline because sometimes it’s not the same old stuff being talked about and it sparks a new idea. I like shopping for bargain books at Barnes & Noble. Also, BookCloseouts.com is another good site to get cheap books, if you haven’t already heard of this site, you can thank me later. For magazines some days I sit in the bookstore and sift through and take notes while consuming copious amounts of coffee. I buy the magazine if there is more than one article that catches my eye. The habit can be costly so if I just jot down an idea, there’s no need to buy it, although I usually do.
Websites, Blogs & Twitter
It goes without saying that you should have a reader that is filled with your favorite sites and blogs. They often spur new article ideas or continuation posts. If you find you have a “long” comment in response to a post, write the post on your site and link to the original post. Blogging is all about sharing, linking and giving credit.
Follow #hashtags on Twitter for new content ideas. This is particularly easy in TweetDeck. To take it a step further, I have my T-Mobile smartphone set up with a Gmail account which utilizes Google alerts so that I can stay on top of “news” in my industry. One of my blogs focuses on health topics and safety so this is particularly helpful. For instance, when there is a big Excedrin recall, it’s good to know about it right away and having the alerts sent to my phone makes it easy to keep up with the news.
Online keyword research tools are also helpful and will provide instant related phrases for your target keywords. Use sites such as Amazon, Google and Answers.com.
Lastly and most importantly, ask your readers what they want to read more about. If there is a community or forum that you frequent, ask there too. Get their input and before you know it, you will have a long list of posts in draft mode.
Your Blog Post Idea Generation
So what do you do to get those creative writing thoughts flowing? Does writing come naturally to you or do you have to work at it? Have you ever found yourself in a writing stump and what did you do to get out of it?
Related Article: Three Underused Blog Comment Generating Techniques