When I talk to people about blogging, invariably they ask me how to find things to blog about.
They’re concerned they won’t be able to keep coming up with interesting posts. They started blogging with enthusiasm, with a heap of great ideas and posts. They blog every day (or several times a day), then one day find they’ve nothing to say.
They’ve gone to well and it’s dry. They have neither the appetite nor the will to blog a single word more. And their blog struggles, and dies.
Or they tell me… “well I haven’t blogged in a while because I’ve got writer’s block”. Once you stop, it’s hard to go back to it.
Some would be bloggers are afraid to start blogging because they’re afraid they’ll run out of things to say.
If You Start Blogging You Must Be Consistent
As I’ve mentioned previously, Nicky Jameson is my second blog. I have blogged consistently on my first blog almost every day, for three years – except perhaps when I’ve been on holiday and deliberately decided to take a break. Actually, if I’ve come across a story I just had to share I’ve even blogged when on holiday. I blog one or twice a week on my personal blog (I decided the previous three times a week schedule would not leave me a life and I wanted a life), and 1-2 times on this one.
Where To Get Ideas?
There are many ways to get ideas for what to blog about – depending on what you’re blogging about, and your niche or industry. I thought I’d share some with you, based on my experience.
Warning – Ideas Often Occur Unannounced
I get ideas in very different ways and they can come from almost anywhere – and at any time.
Sometimes an idea just pops into my head – usually when I am thinking about or doing something completely unrelated to blogging or for that matter, writing. Usually when I have no writing tools to hand either. I’ve had to learn to grab them and write them down along with a few thoughts of my own at the time they appear – whenever I can.
Several ideas come from my experiences and I’ll expand them, from stuff I know and am interested in. Or I’ll be reading something or listening to something and I’ll think “That would be interesting to blog about…must find out more.”
The Easy Riders Writers
These are the posts that almost write themselves. They’re among the most fun to do as they are almost effortless. The ideas come faster than I can write. I get everything down and then go back and edit them. Alas, you can’t rely on them, for most they are few and far between.
I read a lot, online and off-line and that almost opens up new avenues for ideas. I also read lots of business research. I get inspiration from visiting other blogs, from both the post and (more often) the comments. When I see something of interest I re-blog it with my unique take.
Blogging The News? Make It Yours
From news sites, magazines, newsletters, the world of business and economics, politics, recent events and old events. News is probably one of the areas that bloggers target for content. I started off blogging about top news stories, until I found that everyone was blogging about top news stories. I then began digging for lesser known news stories and articles as a way to differentiate.
But here’s where I really came into my own. I would read blogs (on a news topic) and see what everyone was saying. In many cases people were all saying the same thing, some even reporting the news article word for word. What I enjoy doing is to bring a completely different viewpoint when I blog.
This, in my opinion, is where blogging is a world apart from pure “journalism” or “reporting.” You have an opinion. Bring that opinion to your blog post. Don’t just repeat what everyone else is saying, add a twist, a different argument, some controversy, the pros and cons.
Ideas From Readers and Commentators
As you develop a community of readers you may find they send you send you links to articles they feel you’ll be interested in, or links to interesting stories related to your topic. This is great, because it’s hard to find every interesting article out there yourself! It also means your readers are co-producers with you, enjoy your posts and trust your blog.
My Secret Weapon – Bookmarking
I sometimes find ideas long before I blog about them. And for me Delicious is a Godsend. In fact it’s my secret weapon. Whenever I come across something I feel is even remotely interesting (for either of my blogs) I bookmark it immediately. Then, when I am ready to write about it, I have it there, with any comments and tags I’ve made. I may bookmark weeks or months before I have any idea of what I am going to say. Or I may never blog that particular article. The point is, I build a bank of ideas ready for me to blog. I have used this method for years and it’s marvellous. And I highly recommend it.
I’m writing a series of guest articles for a friend’s blog starting with this one. You can invite guest bloggers to do the same for you. It’s a wonderful way to connect with other blog readers and offer them content ideas. I am enjoying it because I am writing on another aspect of life that means a lot to me… business success and personal self improvement. Writing for another blog has opened up a new thought train of ideas.
Your Unique Perspective
The wonderful thing about blogging is that, depending on your blog, you can decide what works for you and your audience. You can get ideas from anywhere – sometimes I find it’s really just a question of looking at something in a different way, bringing your own unique perspective.
This may make you feel as if you’re going out on a limb but it’s also refreshing. You don’t want to sound like an “echo chamber.” Aim to blog about what you know, or an area you are expert in which you are very interested in or want to learn more about and blog enthusiastically and consistently.It’s your personality that will bring your posts to life so pick things that fire you up.
Every post doesn’t have to be a “tool-tip”. And don’t just think in terms of “content”. I have found the challenge isn’t so much getting the ideas, it’s translating them into the kind of articles that you enjoy writing and others enjoy reading.
Have I ever faced bloggers/writer’s block? Let’s put it this way… there are more ideas out there than I have time to write about. I’m “collecting” ideas on my “niche” wherever I can find them (remember my Moleskines ?) so I plan to have stuff to write about for a while to come.
Lorelle On WordPress – A Content Resource For Bloggers
If you want ideas for your blog, Lorelle’s Blogging Tips – Hundreds of Resources for Finding Content for Your Blog is very well put together, informative – and an excellent good start if you’re wondering – “well, what on earth do I blog about now?” Or, “Oh no! Where will I find ideas to blog about?!”
If you follow even a couple of the points within the niche you’ve chosen, you’ll never run a ton of stuff to blog about…and if you exhaust them all… well, perhaps you should put together your own resource!
How are you inspired? How do you find ideas?
If you’ve been blogging a while are you running out of things to blog about? Or do you feel you haven’t even begun? Have you ever faced the dreaded writers’ block? Or do you have a system for collecting ideas and writing inspiring posts? Are you new to blogging and wondering what to blog about?
Share your thoughts.