“What should I write about?”
This is one of the most frequently asked questions by new writers who want to start blogging and need good blog post ideas or blog name ideas. No one can tell you what to write about. At least no one should. You have your own ideas in that brain of yours – you just need to know how to get them out into the blogosphere.
You have a goldmine of education, contacts, experience, memories, and stories in your head. Let’s get started on digging those blog ideas out of your brain and sharing them with the world. Try these 9 simple ways to generate some great ideas for your next blog post:
1. Take notes while reading a book or magazine you love
Maybe you’re like me and you do this: When I’m reading a book, I often have a pen in my hand to take notes. Sometimes I jot down words I like or am not familiar with on those blank pages at the end. Then I look them up later. Sometimes ideas flow from those words.
Do you ever stop and ponder an idea in the last paragraph or chapter you read? What would you say to the author if you were having a conversation? What ideas could you insert into the story to take it in a new direction? If you don’t like writing while reading, you can use an app, like Quick Voice, to record your ideas.
2. Review books to develop blog post ideas
Love it or hate it, now that you’ve read it, tell the world what you thought. What inspired you? What could have been better? Could the author have gone further with her analysis? Were the arguments flawed or do you have better examples to strengthen her arguments? What experience do you have with the subject matter? Reading and reviewing another author’s work is probably the single most important and enjoyable thing you can do as a new writer to develop blog post ideas and sketch out a story of your own.
3. Create a mind map
Reach deep into your mind with a mind map – a system that’s a bit like the word association game. For original blog ideas, start with a central idea or word and branch out with whatever words pop into your mind. Branch out further and further. Before you know it, you may have several blog ideas or even headlines for your next blog post. Here’s a mind map I created just before starting to write this post:
You can see I started with just one word, ‘Ideas’ and branched out until I had five possible blog ideas to write:
- 10 Thoughts on How a Writer’s Brain Works
- My Brain Without Caffeine
- Make Your Fantasy of Becoming a Writer Come True
- Need a Great Idea? Think Like a Child
- 5 Reasons You Might Get a Headache Today
This exercise took me about 10 minutes. Now I just have to get to work putting them on my editorial calendar and writing them. But before I go back to work, there are a few more techniques I want to share to help you come up with your own blog ideas.
4. Visit Buzzsumo.com
Not sure what your readers would be interested in? Pop a search term into the Buzzsumo search bar. You’ll get some interesting results telling you what types of posts are most shareable on a variety of social media platforms.
This is valuable data – the most shared posts must be the most useful, entertaining or interesting, right? Read a few to see what people are talking about. Of course you don’t want to copy the author’s ideas. But you might see a new angle on a topic, get a flavour of the best writing styles, and find out what’s useful and valuable to your readers. I also use Buzzsumo when I’ve been assigned a blog topic I don’t know much about. It helps me get up to date on the current ‘buzz’.
5. Use Writer’s Market
If you’re a professional freelance writer like me, you probably already have Writer’s Market on your shelf to help you find writing jobs. This reference is a handy tool for finding out what magazine and trade journals want in terms of articles to publish. It’s organized by categories such as Pets, Travel, Auto, Food, Health, etc. Within each category is a listing of publications and the details of their needs. You’ll find lots of opportunities for submitting manuscripts for paid work. While you’re at it, you might just get some great blog post ideas.
6. Review a new app
Did you just download a new app you love? Why not tell everyone about it? If you want to see an example, I occasionally write about apps on my blog, Social Kitty. I’m planning to write another review soon about two that are new to me: Spotify and Chromecast. I use them together to listen to music that I ‘cast’ to my TV. I’m still amazed whenever technology takes me to a new experience like this! And I’m not alone. There are loads of technophiles out there who’d love to read your take on the latest cool app, so why not start writing about your favourites now?
7. Check out an image library
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. And that’s great because your blog post might be about that long if you use visuals to stimulate great blog post ideas. There are so many places to look for images online, it’ll make your head spin. Google Images comes to mind first, but you might want to pay a small amount for images that you can use without having to worry about infringing on licensing or copyright laws. Check out iStock, Getty Images or Fotolia for starters.
Don’t forget your own library of images. Sometimes a simple album from your travels will bring back a memory related to your blog. Weave a story around your favourite image combining some of the idea generating techniques above.
8. Animals = Amazing Blog Post Ideas
I ask my cat Charlie for ideas. Ok, I know that sounds crazy. But I spend a lot of time with my cat and there are boatloads of blog ideas that arise out of the simplicity of her happy, little feline world. I study cat behaviour and draw themes and stories around it. See if you can come up with your own topics by watching your pet’s behaviour. Here’s how my wild and crazy brain works when I let my cat give me ideas:
9. Children = Amazing Blog Post Ideas
I bet you can come up with a lot more blog post ideas than me if you have small children in the house. Kids are a great source of ideas because they have no boundaries to their imaginations. Try writing down little things they say. Watch them as they play with imaginary friends. Their pretend worlds are rich in ideas allowing them to invent something out of almost nothing. Have you ever seen a child play in the backyard using some leaves, grass and twigs to build a bridge, a boat or a car? Getting in touch with our children’s play can reap huge benefits in developing our own ideas and enjoying the power of imagination.
Did any of these blog idea generators work for you? Do you already have your blog name idea, but need a writer to write the blog? Have you already written your blog, but want a professional proofreader or editor to polish it up?
If you need help coming up with blog ideas, writing, proofreading or editing, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m a professional blog writer with experience in many different industries and would love to work with you.
Let’s cook up a great idea together!